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Packing time again

With school holidays looming, we’re headed off once more. The cat-sitter (and house-sitter) is booked, the rooms have been paid for. All that is left is to finish work, clean the car and pack. Oh, and write a 1500 word essay.

I have blogged before about trying to pack for game conventions. It’s fair to say, though, that that is the easiest of these tasks. Because when it comes down to it, we throw lots of clothes into a bag and then put games into the car until no more fit. And then trade them out until we have a decent set.

But to do that requires us to pack the car. And the car is still full of stuff I bought at IKEA a couple of months back, when I was going to clean out the Bigster’s bedroom. I got 60% of the work done, then stopped, and now it is around 20% more messy than it was, with 100% more floorspace covered. And I don’t want to move the new stuff in while the floor is still kinda incognito. So that’s a challenge, especially as the Bigster’s response to anyone going into her room while she is there is to go kind of Chuck Norris on them … and she’s there pretty close to 24/7 at the moment.

No-one cleans Chuck Norris's room

Courtesy memegenerator.com

And before that can be done, there are several days’ worth of work to do (because going away just brings all of that week’s deadlines forward by a week) as well as a 1500 word essay on internet censorship to be written.

And I don’t think the meme generator can do either of those things for me, more’s the pity.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2012 in decluttering, games, study, to-do, travel

 

This week in my life

There was a trip to the dentist. Resulting in a bruised jaw and droopy anaesthetised eyelid. Very attractive, me.

Also two trips to the Children’s Hospital, involving four vials of blood and a chest x-ray.

There was a trip to my accountant to do OMGTAX. And, if I manage to squeeze it in, a trip to the local council offices to view and photocopy the plans for our house.

There were traffic lights on Facebook that made it into my blog. And a bad friend who quoted the Traffic Light song and now I have an earworm.

There was a Diagram of Cheese, which did not. Until now. I don’t think it’s very complete.

There was an ill-advised Trip to IKEA (if I count last Sunday as part of this week).

Two gifts were bought for Fraser. He does not know what they are so I cannot tell you, Dear Reader. But they are awesome. And one might be for Sharing. Tragically, though, neither of them is Spy Cufflinks.

There was lots of work, jammed in between driving the Bigster around and hangin’ at the hospital.

And Nigerian Spam, addressed to Dearest One. Which made me feel happy even though it was from the Bad People.

There were no games at all, and only one very mediocre book. (See my slightly ranty review of the latest Pern novel, Todd & Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon’s Time at Goodreads – warning, SPOILERS sweetie!)

But there were TWO purple vegetables. Neither of which is usually purple.

And there was excitement about the upcoming Doctor Who card game by Martin Wallace.

As weeks go, I’d give it a 7.5/10.

 

Traffic Lights

My friend Brunhilda* recently bought a house somewhere North of here. She hasn’t moved in yet, but she’s been checking out the property.

(*Names changed to protect the innocent.)

And it turns out that there is a set of traffic lights in the roof cavity.

If that wasn’t interesting enough, the set of traffic lights is apparently too big to get OUT of the roof cavity through the hatch.

The guy she is buying from can’t remember how they got up there.

So there has been much discussion about the traffic lights and the other stuff in the house etc etc etc but my mind got stuck at OMG TRAFFIC LIGHTS HOW COOL IS THAT! MOST AWESOME CHATTEL EVER!

Because if the house were local, I would generously offer to take the traffic lights off her hands.

I thought that I would offer them to Otto’s school. So they could have their very own European Right-hand drive Traffic School.

But then I realised that I would probably keep them for myself. And put them at my front door and not let people into the house unless the lights were green. That would keep me amused for at least a week.

And make an Ampelmann cutout so I could have different dudes on my “Go” sign. OMG that would be awesome.

Also, I could Inspect my traffic lights with my Inspection Camera, to make sure they were working. In case there was any doubt.

And so I was sad, because the traffic lights were not somewhere I could get to with any ease (although Fraser did drive to Sydney just to collect a carload of games last year – so maybe it would not be so unreasonable for me to go up to lever off a friend’s roof and steal a set of traffic lights? Maybe?)

And then I discovered that you can buy your very own traffic lights at really quite a reasonable price. And I was momentarily quite excited until ANOTHER old friend spoke to me very sternly and said

Melissa, no! You have a Masters to pay for – no traffic lights for you!

Which really has got to be the best thing anyone has said to me for days.

 
 

Lissa Loves Lists, too!

So, Facebook thought I should follow a new website: Mama Loves Lists. It’s a site where you can go to find lists to help you. “You” being, apparently, a busy mom.

I looked at this one: Birthday Parties.

Now, I am a fan of lists. Always have been. To the point that my family (really!) used to call me Melister. Because of the lists, geddit?

I rarely start a task without first making a list. I have lists of what to pack for holidays, lists of what was packed in each box when we went away. Shopping lists, to-do-lists, you name it … I have it. Timetables of when to put on what food on Christmas day. One year, I even programmed that into my pager so I couldn’t forget to do anything or miss out if I didn’t check the clock.

It’s even possible that once, for fun, I made a list of all the stuff I would buy if I won a bajillion dollars and bought a holiday house and furnished it from scratch … but those rumours are unconfirmed. (It was fun, though).

Here is my list for birthday parties:

  • food
  • drinks
  • bags for gifts
  • lolly bags
  • rubbish bag
  • candles
  • oh crap I always forget the matches!
  • birthday cake

When I compare that to the Mama Loves Lists list, I go a little pale. Their list is very comprehensive and is probably useful if you haven’t done that stuff before, or if you are very forgetful. They get full marks for being comprehensive – but it’s really not for me.

My lists are fun, short … and generally missing something useful. To me, that is a part of their charm.

I still followed the site on Facebook, though.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2010 in to-do

 

OMGTEHBUSY

Here are just I AM WORDPRESS I EAT YOUR POSTS

Carry on as usual. Sorry

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2009 in to-do

 

No update update

We are back from Essen Spiel and are off to Berlin tomorrow.
Not only are we completely knackered, we’re busy too. Ugh – 2 hours at the launderette today.

I know I owe lots of people emails and have things to arrnage. I promise, I will be in touch asap.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2009 in to-do

 

And three weeks zipped by ..

Last time I counted, it was 6 weeks till we left.

Ah, heaps of time.

Now, it is three-and-a-half.

Just to put that in perspective:

  • The girls and I have three weekends left in Australia. This weekend, Fraser and I will be at BorderCon in Albury – so there are really only two weekends left before we go. And we want to have a party the week before we leave – so really only one weekend to pack things up.
  • I have a project to finish for a client. It involves writing a whole battery of PRINCE2 documents. That will be achievable.
  • I have another project to finish for another client. It involves lots more writing. That will be partially achievable, but I will probably have work to do when I get to Germany. The client is not happy with some of the work that I didn’t do, and has asked for me to work on that area. While her faith in me is touching and flattering, I am nervous that it might be misplaced.
  • I have two games to translate. The urgent part of one is half-done. I’m hoping to finish the urgent bits by the middle of the week.
  • I have all sorts of things to organise for our trip. More on this elsewhere. I need to stop overthinking the small stuff.
  • Mum and dad’s house has its first Open-For-Inspection on Thursday. I have not been there for a week. I need to find time to go there.
  • I still do not have a British passport. Nor do the girls have Australian passports (long story). Lots of chasing things up to happen on Monday morning.
  • Fraser and I need to get international drivers permits. We tried to do this on Saturday, but the RACV shop closes at 12 noon (where every other shop in the centre closes at 5pm).
  • I have to go to the luggage shop and ask if they can order the new model of Trunki for Otto. Failing that, I need to order one online. This is becoming urgent.
  • We need to organise parent-teacher meetings with the girls’ teachers. These would normally happen at the end of this term but they have been delayed to early next term.
  • Fraser and I need to move back to our “2 boxes a night” packing philosophy.
  • I need to do invoicing and tax. Urgently.
 

Loss of control

I am so unbelievably, incredibly busy right now that it beggars description, let alone belief.

Between now and June 24th (arbitrary date, that one!), I have to:

  • Work (important) – practically a full-time job even though it officially Isn’t.
  • Look after my kids, do all the usual stuff that we do
  • Show our exchange student (here for another 6 days) some of the nice things in and around Melbourne.
  • Clear out my house (even if we decide not to rent it out, I don’t want to get back to clutter). This could be a full-time job, if I really went at it.
  • Pack up our personal stuff, if we do rent out the house (books, games, clothes, …). This definitely makes clearing our house into a full-time job.
  • Get my parents’ house ready for the decorators – in the next 3 weeks.
  • Clear out my parents’ stuff – sorting it for Op shop, Auction, Family, Rubbish, Keep. This? A full time job for TWO people.

At the moment, I’m feeling in control. Blocking out time so that anything I do, I can give all my attention to.

Meanwhile, Fraser and I want to go away to a games convention one weekend, and the girls want to have Sleepovers with their friends.

(Pardon me while I laugh hollowly)

Oh yeah – and most of the local high schools have open days this week and next.

Soon, I suspect that I will start to feel like I am rollerskating on greased ice. Watching carefully for that loss of control, because if I am not careful I could lose a couple of days – which would lose me all my free time.

And if you have ever seen me on rollerskates? That is almost an improvement.

 

Plan for this week:

Today – work, school info session, kid time, exchange student time, family time. Then work after 9.30 once the kids are asleep. Hopefully I can do a little clearing first.

Tomorrow – stay home and work work work, then school info session

Thursday – work, doctor’s appointment, kid/exchange student time

Friday – organising packing boxes, grocery shopping, housework, game club at school, take kids inc exchange student away

Saturday – sightseeing with kids and exchange student, drive home

Sunday – 10-5 packing at parents’ while Fraser does exchange student stuff, dinner with extended family.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2009 in house, to-do

 

The horror that was March 10th

I know that Jon at least hates this type of post, but I can’t think of any other way to express the fairly unutterable horror that was March 10th.

It went a bit like this:

1am: Bed. Oops. I can’t even claim that I was working – I was chatting with friends. Haven’t done that for ages – at least, not till that late.

7am: Wake up. Groan. Pretend to go back to sleep

8am: Finally give in and get up. Get kids ready for school, etc etc etc. Otto mucks around so we are late for school and arrive at …

9:04am: tell kids to just sneak in to whole-school Assembly as Rolls are marked afterwards and not before. Biggie disappears into the Year 5-6 building to put her bag down while I head for Assembly with Otto, who really does not want to be there. Oops – mea culpa. Important to get them there on time.

9:20am: Wonder where Biggie is. School psychologist person pops up at my elbow and asks if I have a minute. She has Biggie in her office, very unhappy. She went to sign herself in because it’s a Rule. Looooong discussion where Biggie asserts that she thinks I love Otto more than I love her. And so does dad. And so does Otto. Terribly terribly sad but why do I get the feeling she is pushing buttons? Note that she didn’t actually say she thought that, school psychologist asked her whether she thought that and she agreed. This seems to me to be a Subtle Yet Relevant Difference. Agree to meet with school psychologist in a couple of weeks. What a mess – if the Bigster really does think that, there is major damage repair to be done. If she doesn’t, grrrr.

9:55am: call the salon to cancel 10am appointment. My eyebrows will have a life of their own by the end of the week.

11:10am finally leave school psychologist’s office. Realise I still have Otto’s bag. Realise lunchtime has started. Bolt for Year 1 classroom to find Otto and teacher, puzzled. Phew.

11:25am do the quickest makeup ever, grab bag for work. Realise I will have to drive in to make 12 noon meeting. Realise client has rung this morning. Hope it was to cancel 12 noon meeting. 

11:26am Realise I am out of luck. She was confirming the meeting. Decide to drive.

11:47am Outside client’s work. See guy get into car ready to drive off. See guy talk on mobile phone. Decide to wait.

11:50am Still waiting

11:52am Decide to move round to the other side of the road so guy can see me, waiting for his parking space.

11:52:30am While I am moving, guy drives off and Other Driver takes spot. Gaaaaah.

11:57am See someone get into car parked outside client’s office. Do u-turn across tram bumps to get to spot.

12:00noon Walk into office.

blah blah meetings blah blah move car to nearer my office blah blah feed meter, leave.

15:10 arrive at school for 15:30 finish. Decide to go buy Otto a Doll.

15:24 in shop, listen to owner screaming at husband to get off the damn phone so she can process my credit card transaction for doll and dolls’ clothes. Fair Trade Organic Cotton dolls’ clothes, no less. Yikes!

15:28 back to school. Yay!

Then the girls and I bought donuts (for them and Fraser, not for me) and I went to the dentist for stage 3 of my root canal that began in Hungary. This time, I have ended up with a metal band that looks like Alfoil around my tooth (Jack Sparrow, eat your heart out). My dentist kindly cleans up my “panda eyes” after there was weeping. Stupid dental anaesthetic. Stupid pathetic mouth pain threshold.

Hmm, what next. Fraser took Otto to swimming and dropped the Bigster at home for some quiet time (at her request). Then they came back to collect me after my Exciting Tooth Experience.

Home and Biggie cooked dinner (put pre-made by me meatballs on a tray in the oven). Then the girls and I made the first batch of yummy cupcakes to take to school tomorrow for Otto’s 6th birthday. Yum!

I had a late doctor’s appointment – which was not great. I don’t have weird side-effects from the tablets I am on, I have gastroenteritis.

Home again to throw out the cupcakes I had made with Otto. Doctor’s orders.

And this brings me to the point of this post.

Because Fraser, who has never done this, EVER, for any of the girls’ birthdays, rose wonderfully to the occasion. He is now the proud baker of 35 perfectly pink vanilla cupcakes, with pink icing and pink and purple sprinkles. I may have been supplanted.

And I? Did work work work, chatted with Biggie’s friend’s mother, wrapped presents, tidied and generally supervised.

And now, it is 1am once again and I have a little girl who will be completely and utterly 6 in around 20 hours. And a little bit 6 before that, even.

Her gifts are all lined up on her new daisy beanbag.

I just wonder which of us will be last out of bed.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2009 in children, family, food, health, to-do

 

Slowly slowly, a new game, and history repeats itself

This is my ‘interim week’ where I slowly ease us back into our busy life.

So far, I have:

  • cleaned the kitchen (again) – this was the last of the OMGURGENT things from  the Christmas-New Year break.
  • visited friends – very important. And we had a fantastic view of the Australia Day fireworks, too.
  • taught the Bigster to bake a basic cake (well, cupcakes)
  • taught Biggie and Otto to ice cakes (it’s a start – and one day they will learn that they don’t have to have 5 different colours of icing)
  • prepared meal plans for the next 4 weeks (these keep me on track, cooking meals instead of resorting to take-away. By looking at our schedules, I can see that I will want to cook real food Friday to Monday, with Tuesday to Thursday being pasta or something quick out of the freezer. That helps my planning and also shows that we need to shop on Fridays.)
  • tried 2 new family dinner recipes that will be ‘stayers’ – delicious and (relatively) inexpensive. (A chicken pasta bake thingy that the Bigster wants to have for school lunches as well, and an organic butterflied roast lamb that tasted OMGFABULOUS and was probably cheaper than a leg roast anyway).
  • booked myself back into French classes for the year (yay!) and done some revision (double yay!). I am feeling fairly sure that repeating the 2nd half of the last class I did (the busy term where I missed a few classes) is the best way forward from here, then I will plan to do another intensive class next semester.
  • Moved the Bigster’s swimming lesson. OMGYAY! I nearly kissed the woman at the pool. See, last year, Otto’s lesson was at 5 and Biggie’s at 6 – meaning that we were at the pool from about 4.45 to 6.45 every week *shudder*. Nice Pool Woman found a spot for the Bigster at 5 as well – so we’ll be in and out in around an hour, and home before 6. Honestly, I want to buy her flowers and chocolates.
  • Organised some regular meetings for work – aiming to have a similar schedule to last year, where Tuesdays and Fridays are part work-from-home, part own time. With 2 big and one small projects lined up already, that may be more work-from-home than own time, or I might need to take one more day of after-school care for the girls. Hoping to avoid that, though.
  • Napped for 3 hours this afternoon (it was hot … eek …)

I’ve also tried one new game already this week – Cranium Whoonu, which was recommended by a friend. It was fun as party games go – still not my thing, and maybe more an activity than a game? (but that tends to be my criticism of most party games). You each have 4 cards and have to select the one that another player most likes — then they rate them, and then the next player has a turn. Good with people you know well – we knew one couple well, the other not so well, which was apparent. The wives did better than the husbands at predicting what their spouses would like. 

I guess the other 2 women didn’t know me well though. At the end of the game, one of them said, “I had The Colour Pink as one of my cards!” and the otther said, “I had Valentine’s Day!” — Fraser and I snickered. I just am not quite sure which I would have given the maximum score to. Probably birthdays win over colours.

I have also been being avoidy over the last few days. With it being 3-4 weeks since I have spent any time on bgg, I know I will have lots of mail messages. So instead of being a grown up and logging in and dealing with them, I have been fretting about it and doing other stuff. I have given myself a big slap and told myself to get over it: Tomorrow is crunch time. Will there be over 1000?

The bad news? I think there might be a Smell in the living room. And as I *know* it is clean, that means we might be back to the old cause. Like last time, I have been able to smell it for 3 or 4 days – almost since we got home – whereas Fraser and the kids only noticed it late yesterday.

For those who are not familiar with The Smell:

OMG. What if it is the Other Half of the possum that was in our back yard when we got back?

It is going to be over 40 degrees every day for the rest of the week. This does not bear thinking about.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2009 in family, food, games, house, to-do