Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hannah goes to school

Today was Hannah's first day of school. She was so excited - she's been looking forward to this for about, oh, three years. I bought her a new school bag and shoes a week or so ago (yes I know I'm not meant to be buying anything new, but it's her First Day of School). She wanted to pack her bag and lay out her clothes right there and then. I persuaded her to wait until Sunday (Monday was the Australia Day public holiday but we had a wedding job on so Super-papa was looking after the kids). She laid out Beth's old school uniform and then packed her bag, with many little containers of food - watermelon, dip and crackers, muesli bar, and so on. This morning she was up before 6 and all the other children followed soon after. They were not as excited to return to school, but still eager to see what the new year holds. Everyone was dressed, breakfasted, bags packed and ready by 7am! Except slacker mum who didn't even get in the shower until 730. Kids pushed me out the door just after 8 (we normally leave about 830) and so we got to school nice and early. Did the dropoffs, first Ryan who has a seemingly very organised and efficient female teacher (they do dancing for fitness twice a week, the horror!), next Beth, except her teacher, true to the form we came to expect when Ryan had him two years ago, was still running around like a mad thing getting organised, so she couldn't get in the classroom. So we took Hannah next, she was the first one in her class, just about busting out of her skin as she found her table with her name on it, put on her name badge, took out her fruit snack, found her tray and put her bag on the racks. All the things she's helped Bethany do so many times before, now she was doing it for herself! Her teacher seems lovely, I've heard very good reports. Unfortunately she has the infamous Bronson in her class, who was in Ella's class last year - hopefully this teacher will be better at controlling him. Then back up to Bethany's classroom, where it was smiles all round, as Sinead, Sammy, Lucy and assorted other friends appeared as well. Back down to Hannah's class (Hannah's is at the front of the school, Ryan and Beth close to each other and right at the back) where Hannah told me I had to wait for Nana, who'd put in a surprise appearance but was off visiting Ella (whose classroom is right up near Beth and Ryan). Hannah was still excited, diligently colouring in as directed by her teacher. Sophie was a bit out of sorts, she's desperate to be 5 and at school too. After many hugs and kisses we finally left, without a backwards glance from Hannah who was busy sitting on the floor listening to the teacher.
I did well too, considering my little helper is now off and away. I did have a little tear as I took the photo above, of her at the school entrance. She looks so little and so proud in that uniform. Considering she's starting school while still 4, and in a Reception/1 class, she is nowhere near the smallest child, in fact I'd say she's one of the biggest, not bad for the one we tend to think of as our little one. After school, she told me she'd had a great day and was happy to do it all again tomorrow. All the kids had a good day, although Ryan and Beth were a little less keen for the repeat performance.
So, hmm, only one left at home. They are relentlessly growing up. I still can't believe my little Hannah-bear is a school girl.

The photo below is of the children proudly displaying their school memory books, which Nana traditionally gives them for their fifth birthday. Hannah got hers a bit early as she is not 5 until March. It was hard to pick who was more excited about her book, Hannah or Ryan!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Touring Down Under

Ryan and I did the Fun Tour today as part of the Tour Down Under. We joined tons of other people in our matching sky blue tshirts and rode from Adelaide to Glenelg and then did a lap or two around the track they used tonight for the TDU Classic. They do 25 laps of the 2km course, took the winner just under 1hr 10. The fastest lap I did was 4min49sec. If I kept that speed for 25 laps (ha!) it would take me just about 2 hours. In my defence though I had to weave through all the much slower riders. And I didn't have lycras on, just a baggy tshirt. Not very aerodynamic at all... Would have shaved at least, oh, two minutes off my time, I'm sure.
Ryan did very well, but struggled a bit on the ride home (since of course we then had to ride back to Adelaide as our car was there). He said he would happily do it again, as long as we didn't have to do the homewards leg. We did about 30km which is pretty big for his little legs.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Scott Hayman now! Universe, send me Alex Sumpter please...

Monday, January 14, 2008


Mostly these are from my old camera, I just retrieved them from the card with the new one.

The nice juicy pile of horsepoo right in front of us at the pageant. Source of endless amusement.

Sophie's latest trick, cross-eyes (though this isn't as extreme as she usually does).

Ryan loves his cricket clothes.

One of Ryan's very first bowls - and caught out!

And a big shout out to Michael who has resurfaced. Yay again Facebook!

We have vision!

Finally, a new camera! Woo-hoo. A Panasonic Lumix like mum and dads only the newer model. Not sure how this really fits into the Buy Nothing New challenge, since it was an insurance replacement for my old one that Sophie trashed.
Speaking of such things, the BNN challenge is going well. Okay, I know it's only halfway through January, but even so.
It's been nice to be totally switched off buying things. Normally I get the junk mail and have a flick through in case there's some real good deal on something, now it's straight into the recycling. Also my compulsion to sales shop, especially this time of year. I am finding it very liberating to just walk right on by instead of popping into shops just in case there's an offer too good to be true.
I've managed to avoid some big purchases, and some little ones too. Sophie needs a bed for Paul's house (not technically my problem of course - and Paul was on track to buy one) but one came up on Freecycle so I grabbed it. I'm not quite prepared to take a Freecycled mattress for her though...
And I avoided having to buy some new hooks for calendars by the ingenious use of paperclips and blutak. Hannah had a birthday party to attend - I had a book lying around that I'd picked up a while back, and then some cash (which Hannah was very excited to give), so no buying there either. Used recycled wrapping paper too of course.
Bethany was after some new shorts so we popped into the Salvos (which was very well-stocked, must be the post-Christmas house cleanouts) and got a bunch of stuff, plus some trinkety things for the girls (so we still accumulate junk, it's just old junk now :) ).
Went to Maccas the other day, no Happy Meals so no crappy little bits of plastic (actually we've been doing this one for a while).
My next purchasing dilemma though is that my New Internationalist subscription has come due, and technically I guess that's purchasing something new, but I like to read it, and I like for them to get some of my money. Perhaps I can just look at it as a donation with a pleasant side effect? I was happy to see that the library now has a cycling magazine amongst its collection - one less thing to miss out on.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Resolution Time

Well, it is the new year. I don't normally make resolutions (although last year I made a pretty big one!). I've been inspired by reading some greenie blogs though - greenasathistle, who is adding (or subtracting) a different thing from her life each day to reduce her impact on the environment, and also noimpactman, who is just generally trying to reduce his family's footprint, and also by watching the Story of Stuff (if you haven't already done it, go download the 50MB 20min video NOW).
So, this year's resolution is (drum roll please...) : Buy Nothing New.
Of course, this is not a new idea, by any means. These guys made news all round the world a couple of years ago (apparently, I don't recall it) when a group of 50 friends in San Francisco set a pledge to not buy anything new for 2006. And of course now there's even a yahoo group for it which apparently has almost 9000 members. I found some neat rules for the challenge here which fit pretty closely to how I think I'm going to try and make it work. Of course I don't drink coffee so I don't have to get the guilts about those cups (or sugar packets!).
Just for amusement's sake I will try to run a little sidebar on the blog with a list of the things I've had to buy new. Of course if it gets too long I reserve the right to stop updating it. :)
The other cool comment I liked which is aimed right at those of us who find it all too hard to know what are the 'correct' things to buy and do (or not) to be thoroughly green, was on No Impact Man as well. I won't give away the punchline, but I like it a lot.
Wish me luck! Of course I'll also be doing my usual things to reduce our footprint as well, this just sounded like a neat thing to attempt.

Auld Lang Syne

It's the season to relive the past obviously. After catching up with Steve before Christmas, today, again very surreally, Sam Warren and her kids came around for lunch and a play. It must have been 12 years or more since I've seen her as well. She's the same as ever too, it was nice to have a good long chat about what we've been up to for so long, and also swap little updates on old school mates. It was funny to see her being a mum - I'm pretty used to me being a mum (although it does still take me by surprise sometimes!) but to see a friend that I last knew as a slightly wild teenager nursing a four month old took some getting used to. :) The kids are very cute and well-behaved, Perrin is five and Jack is the four month old. Perrin was happy to see some kids his age as they've been here (visiting from Perth) staying with Sam's parents for a couple of weeks - lots of grown-up attention but not much kid-play. I found some old photos so we had a bit of fun laughing at what we used to think was stylish fashion (and stylish friends, ha ha Brett B with a perm!).
So now I wonder who else will rock up - Lisa Johnson maybe? [neighbour from Ingle Farm for those who don't remember!].
No photos on account of my camera being broken (stern look at Sophie).