Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mice and other critters

I always explain to people that there are humans, dogs and horses and everything else is a critter and

Why can't critters understand this and leave me alone?
This week the critters that have invaded my home are mice. The drought has got them desperate for food and water and they are everywhere. I pulled out Bens spare trundle bed and found mouse poo under the doona. My teatowel drawer had poo in it, my desk has poo on it. There is poo everywhere. I have got baits hidden all around the house, but there is just so many of them. Last week I was cleaning up in the kitchen and one ran through my legs and under the fridge. Luckily we don't often see them, just the evidence of them. We pack everything away at night and leave nothing that they might like around. I just had to remove a dead one from Georgies bedroom ( the baits must of worked on this one), the girls and I were dry retching while we tried to scoop it from a great distance. How disgusting.....
Of course GJ has gone to Sydney for 2 days, so we couldn't just close the door on it and wait for him to come home and deal with it, like we usually do.
Other things we have had in our home
  • Rats
  • Huge spiders
  • Cane toads
  • Geckos
  • Sheep
  • Snakes
  • Lizards
  • Ants

there are plenty of good stories attached to all these, I will save them for later...

Today it is my sister Tan Tan's Birthday
Happy Birthday Tan Tan
Greg had a meeting in Sydney tomorrow, so he is flying down this afternoon to take Mum and Tan Tan out to dinner. They have been joking that they are going to one of my favorite restaurants in Sydney and will eat all my favorite things. Rob is coming to dinner here tonight and we are all going to have Thai takeaway so we don't feel left out.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cousins, flylady and October is party month

Georgia, Sarah and Chelsea. 25th June 2006

We had a lovely day on Sunday at GJ's sisters house for my father-in-laws birthday. The kids loved seeing Granddad and Jan, but the highlight for them was playing with their cousins, Sarah and Jeremy. Ben idolizes Jeremy, and the girls are torn between doing girlie things with Sarah. jumping on Jeremy, playing Sims on the computer or watching cable TV. We only have educational games on their computer, no PS2, Xbox or cable- they think that they are very deprived....LOL

Jeremy and Ben, 25th June 2006

I love this photo of Ben and Jeremy, it show the love and trust that Ben has for Jeremy. Jeremy is so kind and patient with him, he gets all his old cars and trucks out and plays on the floor with him for hours. There is 11 years between them ( and nearly4.5 foot!!!). Jeremy was my height at Christmas and now is taller than GJ. He is 6'2" and has huge feet. I wonder if Ben will be this tall at 13?

Benjamin John Nicholas ....... 25th June 2006

Here Ben is balancing on a fit ball with Jeremy's help. This was the day before his sniffles turned into a full on cold. The poor little thing has a constant runny nose and a big cough and a low fever. The doctor has checked his lung and they are clear, but he is just so miserable, cranky, but on the positive side wants lots of cuddles! I have spent hours this week on the couch reading books with him. As a treat I bought him his 1st Thomas the Tank engine DVD, I think it has been on 6-8 hours/day this week. Bob and the Tubbies ( his other DVD's) have been cast aside for his new favorite.

October is party month

I have just got the email from Target announcing the big annual Toy sale in July. It is time to get organized. Ben has been booked into Kindy for a casual day and I will be there at opening time. Every year I go and buy all b'day and December---------presents and have them wrapped and put into individual boxs and hidden in the garage.

I was extremely organized when it came to my children's dates of birth.

  • Georgia 5th
  • Chelsea 25th
  • Benjamin 15th


GJ's is also in October 30th. Jeremy is on the 12th and my closest friend De has 2 girls born on the 9th and 12th of October. So we call October "Party month".

This is why the Target toy sale comes at a perfect time for me. I always find that as soon as we finish with party month it is Christmas before I have time to catch my breath. Last year I had everything bought, wrapped, Christmas menu planned and Christmas cards ready to be posted by December 1st. I got so much personal satisfaction out of doing this that I plan on trying to do it again this year.

Now if only everything could be this organized..... The house always looks lived in, the floor is dirty within an hour of being cleaned and I have just given up on windows..... This is life. I have really tried to live by the motto of :-

Kids remember love and fun times, not whether their home was immaculate.

I really struggled when I gave up my career 18 months ago to be a stay at home Mum. After juggling so many things, 3 children, full time work, business travel, large home etc it was crash and burn time . The futility of it all got to me, wash and the iron to clothes and then do it again, clean and tidy constantly, shop for it-cook it-then change the nappy and dispose of it. It took a good 6 months to get out of this mindset. I found a web site for a women called FLYLADY, this wonderful women called Marla put it all into perspective for me.

Here is the link, have a look...

"Your free online coach, cheerleader, and fairy-godmother for

decluttering and organizing your home and life!"

Well 3rd time lucky I hope with trying to post this. I do not want to type it out again. I have learned to save after every paragraph.

Nasty Blogspot

I just spent ages inserting photos and writing a post and it is gone....lost forever

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Please leave me a comment

To all my family and friends and even strangers,

I would love your feed back (or if I am really honest- I am soo proud of my blogg and I just want you to tell me how good it is LOL!!!!!!!!)

Just hit the comments word under each posting and drop me a message...

Love JenJen

My first purchase for China

GJ is going to complain (as all husbands do when their wives spend money!!!!!), but there was a great special on snow gear this week at Aldi. I got a pair of thermo-boots, a set of thermal underwear, snow pants, gloves, neck warmer and head band all for $50. All totally unnecessary for daily life in subtropical Queensland, but essential for life in China. Most of the feedback I get about purchasing shoes and clothing in China is that it is very hard to find pants and shoes in sizes that would suit GJ and I. I am 5'7" and have a size 8.5 foot, average in Australia, but the last time I was in Hong Kong a lot of the shops would meet you at the door and say TOO BIG! Apparently it is even worse in Shanghai.

I wonder what would be considered an excessive number of pairs of shoes for an average women to own? Last time GJ did a stocktake it was over 50 pairs for me, but of course he missed quite a few pairs!
I just jumped up and did a quick count, I have culled it down to approx 54 pairs!

This is for my husband and other males:- a mini justification....
  • I never pay full price for shoes
  • I don't mind buying 2nd hand shoes off eBay and I sell off any that are not right for me.
  • I have a wonderful sister who only buys leather expensive shoes which are a little small for her and gives them all to me. ( Maybe she was psychologically damaged by the shoe sellers in Hong Kong?)
  • I look after my shoes so they last for years.

How much flak am I going to cop from this post I wonder? I might need to change my name to Jen"Imelda"Jenqld!!!!!!

Cars by Disney Pixar and the Da Vinci Code

Ben had his first movie experience last week. I took the kids to see Cars, it was great. Ben keeps saying "movies, more, movies". Luckily it was not a busy session and filled with mostly young kids as Ben did a bit a wandering in the last half, which is just a well as he pooped in his pull ups and smelt!!! He thought that lying on the floor at the front was more fun. He was very well behaved though, he kept quiet and crept down the sides and stayed away from the other patrons. Expensive, the cost for 3 tickets (Ben was free) and 1 drink and 1 popcorn was $50

I went and saw The Da Vinci Code on Sunday afternoon with Rob. Gj is not into books and wasn't interested in seeing the movie so I went with Rob. We went Gold class, It has gotten so expensive, $77 for 2 tickets. I bought the tickets and Rob got food and drink- a bottle of Champagne, antipasto and a pizza, this would of cost as much as the tickets. As nice as it is to lie in a plush recliner and sip bubbles while watching a movie, it is not something many could afford every week.

Dancing, snakes, a new car and school holidays

We got the new car last night! It is great, drives wonderfully and feels very safe. We went for a quick drive last night, the kids are so tired so we didn't go for too long. Thank goodness school holidays start next week. It has been a 11 week term and the girls are so exhausted. We are not going away, GJ still has to work. We are going to organize some play dates with the girl's friends and have a lazy 2 weeks.
Here is the snake skin we found by the front door a month ago, probably a carpet snake. Gj is nearly 6'2", so it was a big snake. The one that we found in the house in January (ALIVE!!!) was only about 5' long and was a green snake. Words cannot explain how I feel about snakes, I will leave the horror of it all to your imagination.......The bottom photo shows were we found the skin near the front door.
Here is Georgia yesterday, Her class did a dance presentation of their terms cultural focus, native dance. The girls performed a Hawaiian hula dance and the boys did a German slap dance followed by morning tea of German sausages and coconuts.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Why we want to move to China

I thought that I should give out some background info. A few years ago GJ went on a uni field trip to China and loved it. The closest I have been to China is the border with Hong Kong, back when it was still under British control. We have both wanted to go and explore, but thought it would be too hard with young children. A passing comment a BBQ in Feb 2006 changed our thinking. China is a rapidly growing concern in the business world ( a bit of a generalization I know!!!) and is short of executives in GJ area of expertise. A 2-3 year sponsored assignment would be very exciting. GJ works for an international company, with Head Office in Germany. We have chosen Shanghai as our first choice for relocation (probably Beijing, Singapore, Germany and Dubai as 2nd- 5th choice). The safety of our family has been a major concern in choosing the locations. Terrorism is not a major problem in China, the level personal safety is extremely high.
I spent days on the net researching what it would be like and how we would live and came to the conclusion that we should just go for it! The children are young and would learn so much, they are not close to high school years so education issues aren't that great. The opportunity to learn another language in situation would be exciting.
I was also getting to the stage of thinking that I could be cooking, cleaning and taking kids to school day in, day out for the next 15 years and could go mad. I think that it would be easy to get stuck in a rut, become bored with your life and blame you spouse for it and get a divorce, a little dramatic maybe but possibly a little true for many people. Moving to a foreign country, where not many people speak your language is a sure fire way to keep life interesting...LOL
The culture shock will be huge, hopefully we will love it, if not, oh well 2 years will go quickly.
We as a family will be together and we can support each other and treat it like an adventure.
We are already canvassing our family and friends to come and visit.
Hopefully the company will need us to move more than we want to move and put a great package together for us. The cost of living for an expat in Shanghai is very high. To put the 2 girls in an international school (local schools are not an option as the girls can't speak mandarin) and Ben in kindy for 2 days a week would be AU$68000. Rent on an average furnished 4 bedroom apartment would be between AU$5415 to AU$9476 per month. Food and utilities would be much cheaper than in Australia, but just the school and rent would take all of our current income. The other option would be homeschooling, but I don't know if I would survive.....LOL
Well there you have it, why we want to go to China. Now I just need to make it happen ASAP. Once I decide I want to do something I just want to do it NOW.
I will add some more of the great things about moving to China later, I can hear a kiddy fight in the hall outside the study...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A busy May -Vomit, Volvo's and China

I keep meaning to blogg, but the month has got away!
The kids have been playing tag team with a vomiting and diarrhea bug. I have been cleaning up beds, floors and bums all month. Poor Chelsea slept though the last vomit, we discovered her fast asleep in a HUGE mound of cooling vomit last week around midnight. Chelsea usually makes the bathroom or a bowl, but Georgia only likes to vomit on bedding or carpet... Ben is scared of vomiting so he likes to be cuddled while he vomits all over himself or us. Oh the joys of parenting.

There have been some developments with the move to China. The Hr departments are talking and the Asia director has contacted GJ. The company wants GJ to be fluent in Mandarin. I have enrolled him at UK for a accelerated courses and found an intensive courses at QUT which will count towards his business degree. Neither of us have any skill at languages. The kids and I have a CD lesson in the car which we listen to whenever we are driving. I think that the only way to become proficient is to get over there and just jump in.
It has turned out for the best that GJ has stayed with H... A big payrise and potential relocation.
The company that first proposed a move to China has not panned out, and the other job offer was Australian based only.

GJ is presently in Singapore. He is attending a leadership conference with all potentially outstanding executives from around the world. As he was traveling overnight he is flying there and back Business class. I am sooo jealous. He will be meeting with Beijing people there for a bit of insider gossip.

Our new car arrives next week....After GJ telling me not to tell anyone that my dream car is a Volvo (as it was too embarrassing) for the last 15 years, we are getting one!!!!!
Well, GJ's car allowance is paying for it. We got a corporate deal of free servicing for 3 years plus a few other things which made the lease payments come in under budget, with just enough to pay for fuel. We are getting a white cross country XC70LE. I am so looking forward to the heated leather seats!!!!! Also the dual climate control is good, I can be lovely and warm and GJ can be in arctic conditions on the otherside. The girls like the built in booster seats. The safety aspect is very important for me, as I lost my brother in a car accident.

GJ will be most impressed with me, I stayed awake last night and watched the whole State of Origin game last night with Rob. Of course I didn't watch- I chatted and read junk mail while Rob watched. You can tell that Rob is not my husband as he did a very good job of pretending to listen and pay full attention to me and not the game. If it was GJ, I would of been totally ignored for something that riveting.