Tag Archives: life

Girls growing up

And so our little Miss 10 continues to be less a little girl.

It might be a taboo subject, but totally appropriate for my blog and a male living in a house with 3 females.  A few weeks ago, Miss 10 and Wifey had to attend a mother-daughter talk at the school on menstruation.  Uh huh..  the next step of growing up.

A female only night hosted by a local health nurse, all I heard was of how some mothers were giggling away and kids being embarrassed – probably not so much of the subject matter, but because their mothers were there!

I wondered – should I talk to Miss 10 about it at all?  I mean, would that freak her out?  What would I know?  I decided to leave it to girl territory and telling myself to be patient when the time came.

But I’m bracing for the coming years when the worst case scenario could be 3 weeks out of every 4 being trouble.   I think I need to start planning some sort of “man den” to escape to.

Men – there are some rumours that menstrual cycles might sync up for females who live/work together (eg. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/532/do-the-menstrual-cycles-of-women-living-together-tend-to-synchronizeand http://malaysia.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080427195553AAg20xH) but then I’ve found some other articles that say otherwise (http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=0d429707-b7e1-4147-9947-abca6797a602&chunkiid=156991).

I guess I’ll have to wait and see…

1 month down, 11 to go

I can’t believe how fast the year is going already. 

So 1 month has gone by.  I thought about my New Year’s resolutions and how they’ve been going.

More Violin
Well, going for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra audition was definitely a great way to kick start my violin this year.  I’ve realised that I need to set targets so that there’s something to aim for and practice for.  I’m now thinking of what I can set next – I would really like to finish learning the Sibelius Violin Concerto.  A good target for this seems to be the Fremantle Eisteddfod.  But that’s for kids/students right?  The last time I entered one was… decades ago.. literally!  Well, surely the Open section is open to anyone right?  Am I too old?  Would I be competing against kids half my age?  Is 3 months enough time to learn the first movement up to an publicly performable standard?  Hmmmm…

More dates with Wifey
This one hasn’t gone too well!  Only 1 dinner date in the whole month of January.   OK, so there quite a few parties at our place with friends and family.  But I’m determined not to make any excuses – we have to pick this up this month.  Starting this week…

More time with friends
Thanks to the great weather, the pool at our house and school holidays, this is all good!  Dinner dates without kids is not going good though.

More cycling/exercise
Only 2 cycles this year so far.  Not too good.  But as a next step, I’m thinking of aiming to do the HBF Freeway Bike Hike for Asthma .  I’d love to upgrade to a racing bike before then though – I don’t think my mountain bike with big nobbly tires is going to help much!   Time to start looking around the house for things to sell..

Heart palpitations

I am stressed.

I didn’t think it would come to this, or that I would suffer from stress.  It feels as if I’m inferior because I’m unable to cope with all the things that I have been able to, or think I should be able to handle in my life.  I used to be able to juggle all these things in life and draw upon adrenaline to keep me going.   But I guess the activities and responsibilities in my life have been building up slowly over the last few years to the point where now I’m in a position where I’ve probably got too much on my plate at work and in my personal life  *sigh*  It’s probably a result of saying “Yes” too much. 

So what happened?

All this week, since Monday, I’ve had palpitations, mostly at work.  I’ve had some before, but only one or two weird missed beats or extra hard heart beats which I wrote off to excessive caffeine.  But this week it’s been happening much more and from Monday to Thursday.  What do I feel?  Basically – missed beats, extra hard beats… hard to describe.  I can constantly feel my heart beat, wondering if I’m going to have a heart attack.  Last night, I was definitely skipping 1 beat every 5-10 or so for a while.  Even Wifey heard it.   But I think it got even worse last night because of the stress I was having thinking about the stress and the palpitations!

So I went to the doctors today and had an ECG done.  Unfortunately no missed beats when I was there.   It’s funny – I sat in this little room for ~30 minutes with all these wires hooked up to me, nothing to do but stare at the white curtains surrounding the bed – I hadn’t felt this relaxed for a long while!!!  I think I just need to sit down and meditate/relax for 30mins to an hour each day.

Hmm….   anyway, now I’m booked in for a blood test, a Holter monitor and to see a cardiologist. 

Deep breaths, relax, deep breaths, relax, clear the mind….

(Seems like another blogger had a similar episode here:  http://www.georgeslife.com/?p=27)

Fragile life

I don’t know why, but in the last 2 weeks, four people have passed away who are friends/family of friends.

It just makes me remember how precious life is, and how precious my wife and kids, family and friendships are. And how irrelevant work, money and materialistic goods are in the grand scheme of things.

May God look after them and may God bless their families.

Fragile by Sting

If blood will flow when fresh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrow’s rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetimes argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are
How fragile we are how fragile we are

[Lyrics are property and copyright of Sting]

Our daughter invents overdubbing?!

Amazing!  Our 9yo daughter keeps on surprising us.

Our 9yo takes singing lessons.  In the last few days, she has been “arranging” one of her songs for herself and her friend to sing.  She’s typed out and printed out the lyrics on the computer, then has allocated verse 1 for her friend, verse 2 for herself, etc.   She’s even made up a harmony part all by herself!

We’ve recorded her singing the song before with our little home recording studio setup.   But just one part against the backing track.   Then last night at dinner, she said something along the lines of – “Dad, I could record the song with the headphones on, then go back and record the second part (harmony)”.  Amazing, she’s just stumbled on the art of overdubbing.

Don’t want to go to school!

This morning, our 7yo didn’t want to get out of bed.

“I don’t want to go to school!” she complained.



“Is there something you don’t like at school?”

“We have to do maths for the rest of the week.  I don’t like maths.”

“What are you learning in maths?”

“We’re doing takeaways, like when you go shopping, how much money you have left.”

“That’s important baby.. you have to learn that so you can go shopping.”

“No I don’t.  I can still go shopping,” she replies in a sing-song whining voice.

It just seemed like yesterday when I, myself, was in school and had days that I wanted to wag school!  And now, I’m having to convince my kids that they need to go to school and learn maths.

WHHHYYY??  Does being a parent mean having to get your kids to do the things that you yourself didn’t want to do when you were a kid?

I so wanted to take the day off with her, bring her to the cinemas for a movie, maybe going to Leederville for lunch, go for a walk or cycle then an icecream by the beach…    but…   I have to go work…

Personal time

I heard a close to home sermon on the weekend.  The question was asked “How much personal time do you have?  And what do you do with that time?”.

Wifey and I often lament over the lack of our own personal time.  Sometimes we accidentally leave personal and each other time after kids, family, community and work.  Although it all seems like common sense, it’s good to hear messages like this once in a while to help maintain our focus and priorities in life.

So the weekend went by with an Olympics TV night with family and kids, driving kids to dancing, buying presents for birthday parties, organising and playing music for church, attending the birthday party and visiting the wood show with my father.   It wasn’t until about 5.40pm on Sunday that I suddenly realised I had my first real hour of own time of the whole weekend.

And with that time, I decided to watch the Olympics…


Pool worries

By the pool

So we moved house and in the process, we’ve acquired a swimming pool.   When we told family and friends about the pool, we heard all sorts of mixed responses from “Wow! Cool – parties at your house in summer!” to “Good luck cleaning it!”.

The very first week we were here, the kids were overjoyed and so enthusiastic about the pool that they scooped up all the leaves, even going in up to their waists even though it was absolutely freezing in winter.  But that enthusiasm has waned, and as I had suspected all along, it was left to me to do the good old clean.

Coming back from our holidays, all the leaves in the pool had sunk to the bottom, the sides of the pool are looking a bit brown, and I feel that the Kreepy Krauly doesn’t seem to suck as much.  Time for some professional help 😦  Can’t wait till we can actually use it.

I’m considering getting it heated when we saved up enough money.  Is it worth it?

Letting kids make mistakes…

I’m struggling with this one today.  One way for kids to learn is by making mistakes.  We can’t always be doing things for them or guiding them through life.  When they’re young, it might be not holding their hands all the time so they learn to walk independently, letting them try to figure out how to pronounce words phonetically, etc.   Unfortunately, as they grow older, it seems that the mistakes and lessons they have to learn get bigger and bigger, and start affecting other people.

Like what happened today…

T had a dance performance at assembly this morning.  She was required to be at school early for a rehearsal.  I know how slow she can be in the morning, so I made sure I woke her up at the right time, and used my normal technique of informing her throughout the morning that she should be doing X now to get to school on time.   There’s a fine gray line between actually doing it for her, and letting her do it herself but letting her know the (time) impact.  I’ve been trying the latter approach lately.

But today, she was running late.  I could see it coming all morning.  But I decided to let her continue but told her throughout the morning how late she was going to be.  She didn’t really hurry up until I told her that we’ve probably now missed the whole assembly and she got upset because she wanted to do her dance.   In the end, we arrived at assembly after it started and the rest of her dance team were already on stage ready to go!!   She missed the rehearsal, she was unprepared and everyone was waiting for her..  argghghhhhhhh!!!!

It makes me wonder whether I did the right thing – making her learn about letting others down and missing commitments (like the rehearsal).  Maybe I should have intervened this morning to get her to school on time?  But then at what age should this stop?

How long can it take to do hair?

OK.  Both my wifey and I work full time and we’ve come to an arrangement where I do the “morning shift” and she’ll do the “afternoon shift”.  Basically what this means is that my morning duties are to get the girls out of bed, ensure they get dressed and beautify, have breakfast, check their school bags and lunches and send them to school.

Easy right?

The thing I’m struggling with is how long it takes for the “get dressed and beautify” part of all of this.  My girls are only 7 and 9 but they can take aaggggeeesss to do this part.  I mean, it’s really just put your clothes on, brush hair, brush teeth, wipe face, etc right?  For a boy, changing is simple, just wack your clothes on – doesn’t matter if it’s pulled up right.  Hair?  No problems.  For me I just run some product through it and 10 seconds later I’m done.

But for my girls, especially T, the most time is spent brushing and doing hair.  Arrghhh..  the hair!! Making sure it’s absolutely neat and fashionable and not so functional.  There’s heaps of decisions to make like looking for a pretty hair clip or hair band that is within the school rules but individual and pretty at the same time.  Then there’s the hair style – they’ll experiment with a few ways of tieing it all up – one pony tail, or two.  Today, do they want the pony tails to be to the side, back, high or low.  Maybe it should be a head band today.  Or maybe plaited in which case they call on Daddy.   Even if it’s plaited, should we tie the ends individually, or together.  Or french (which I can’t do well, if at all!)

And that’s all after it’s been brushed nicely to start with.  No wonder we’re late for school nearly every morning!

It used to be easier when they were little kids and I did their hair for them.  Or maybe..

Anyway, I’ve been experimenting with many ways to speed up the morning routine and have these tips that have worked to some degree:

* Get up earlier!  Yes this seems the most common sense way of not running out of time in the morning. Unfortunately being night owls, even I find it hard to wake up early, let alone the kids.  With both of us working full time, the evening is our main family time.

* Do the hair first!  A strategy from my project manager experience, do the hardest and longest tasks first.  Unfortunately, this sometimes makes T think she has more time to do her hair.

* Do hair at a certain time each morning.  I have a mini agenda each morning – like we have to leave the house at x:xx exactly.  So working backwards, hair should be done by x:xx – Y minutes in the morning.

* Ensure that there is enough equipment!  By this I mean, hair brushes, hair clips, ties, etc.  There is also a balance in teaching kids to look after the hair brushes themselves and putting it away in the right place after using it, but for a while we had only 1 large hair brush between the two girls and this caused major holdups.

* Get hands on – yep, learn how your daughters do their hair.  Learn to plait, braid, tie pony tails.  I’m no expert, but definitely better than before!  Plus, it gets me involved with the girls..   and be able to monitor their head for lice!