Monday, July 25, 2011

A Five Year Plan

I was recently asked about my five year plan. It was all work related of course, but no matter how hard I tried to stay 'on task', my five year plans always ended up being something like this:

1. Work long enough to pay for a pool. Then spend rest of life lying beside or in the pool, avoiding work at all costs. However, this isn't feasible at all. Remember this? Being a Farmer's Wife isn't all beer and skittles.

2. Stay home long enough to watch my children grow into school aged little people, and then living out the remainder of my working adult life as a relief teacher; surviving on a salary barely high enough to pay for chlorine for above mentioned pool. Yeah, no.... see this again...

3. Whenever I think about the IPP (Individual Performance Plan) I have coming up with my Principal, I am reminded of this cartoon...

So, my lovely Principal, if you're reading this...

I suppose that somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my brain, I really do see myself as a good teacher; upskilling, excelling, better organised, blah blah blah. The truth is that after having been 'out of the loop' for the last six years, I really am quite intimidated at the prospect of starting over again. And that's exactly how it feels. And considering how much of a control freak I am, this is a scary thing for me to do - to write a five year plan. That's why I focuss on my 'happy place'...

4. I see myself here:

HAHA - Yeah - not likely.

5. It doesn't matter where I see myself. I have a busy brain. I always need to be doing something. I have my hand in a few local committees. I work to keep my brain stimulated. I like a challenge. I love being a Mum. It's incredibly rewarding. I like the pocket money that working gives me, and if I want to spend it on a pool, then so be it. Plans are awesome. But right now, with so many 'hats' on, I find I am functioning better on a 'Five Minute Plan'. Ie: "In 5 minutes, I hope to have dinner ready.", "In 5 minutes, I hope to be in bed.", "If those kids aren't asleep in 5 minutes..."

You get the picture?

Five years is an eternity when you have kids, and the blink of an eye, depending on which end of 'having kids' you are at. Five years is a place and time I can barely fathom at the moment.

Five years from now, in a perfect world, I am lying here:

But if I'm still working and lying here, then that's not all bad either.

It's five years away after all.

Here's to good friends, family, health and happiness. In whatever shapes and forms they may come in the next five years!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wife Swap

Yesterday, in an email from our local ICPA, this came to my attention:

And in case you didn't click on the link, it's not going to take you to a page for 'swingers'... It's actually a link to an application page for the television show 'wife swap'.

You may have seen the American version on television before. Two very different families in two very different locations. The wives 'swap' for a week. At first they must abide by the 'new' family's rules. After a few days, the wife can implement 'new' rules, and the new family has to abide by them.

 I think I want to apply. And not just because I am a reality tv junkie.

This isn't me. Even if it's how CP thinks I see myself...

Here's what the Producers of 'Wife Swap' have to say:

"A new Australian TV series for the Lifestyle Channel is looking for families who live in rural and remote locations to take part in a fun social experiment.

"Wife Swap" is based on a British format of the same name but this series will have a uniquely Australian flavour. The producers are looking for families from all walks of life who have a good sense of humour, love their families and are up for new experiences.

In the show, two families "swap" their wife/mother for one week during which time the "new wife" experiences the life of her new family before making suggestions/new rules about the day-to-day running of the household and family could be improved. It is important that participants feel that they could have something positive to contribute to another family, whilst also being open to learning from the other family.

Since the producers are looking to represent a range of lifestyles and values, they would like to feature an Australian family who live in a rural or remote location. It would provide the audience with a unique insight into both the advantages and challenges of living in rural Australia (juggling work, parenting, hometutoring, house/farm duties), especially when seen through the eyes of the "new wife".

It's a side of Australian life that is not often seen on television and an opportunity to make Australian television more inclusive and diverse. For the families who take part, it will be both an adventure and a learning experience.

There will also be a fee paid to families for participating. "

And here's what the ICPA has to say:

"Calling all ICPA Families,

Federal Council has received a request from the Lifestyle Channel asking if any of our members would be interested in participating in a new TV series - "Wife Swap".  Well, some husbands I know would say "It must be my lucky day!"

Now, before you delete this email please take the time to read it  and consider the implications it could have for our organisation.  Federal Council believe it could be a great opportunity to give insight into what a Home Tutor's duties entail and this could be seen as a help in our lobby cause."

Here's what hubby had to say:


Here's what I have to say:

"CP - did you not get the memo about the bit where a 'fee' is paid to participating families??? And did you not read the bit about bringing awareness to the plight of rural and remote families? I'm all for it."

 Admittedly, I don't home school here. But I feel for families who do. When we had the flooding earlier this year, I was stuck at home for two weeks with my eldest (in year 1). I'm a trained teacher, so I should have no problem with this. Except that I also have two younger children at home. And... HOW THE HECK DO PEOPLE DO IT !!??? It was such a difficult two weeks. I found it easier to invite the neighbour's children over and run our house like a 'school', with official lunch breaks etc. But to do that with your own children is SO HARD! I take my hat off to all you mums who managed that!

I think that if I was to apply, I would bring awareness to the concepts of distance, and lack of child care. I would raise awareness of how hard it is to be a working Mum, a farmer's wife and a cleaner, friend, cook and then find time for yourself on top of all that!

So the verdict on how this rests at our place for now...

1. CP wants to know what the fee is.
2. I am going to apply. I'll keep you posted. Even though my chances of being selected are slim to none. You've got to be in it to win it. Even if I am petrified that they'll make me out to be the crazy extremist. 

Also not me, but also how CP probably thinks I see myself...

3. The real winner on the day is reality television.

If this all appeals to you. Here are the contact details:

For more information, interested parents can call the toll free office number on 1300 885 165 or email
Alternatively, they can apply directly at
(where you can also find more information about the show).
Applications close August 12, 2011.
Watch this space!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Big Day Out

As I had made an executive decision not to go on an 'official' holiday this school break, I thought it would be a good idea to take the kids away from the house for a day or so to at least help them feel like they were on 'holidays'.

I won't be in a hurry to do that again. They were monsters.

Monster 1

Monster 2

Monster 3

I had Sara (our au pair at the time) with me, and we took the children to McDonalds for dinner. This is a real treat for them - they rarely get to eat McDonalds. And also a real treat for us - they run themselves ragged in the play area while we use the free internet acess for the duration.

Except that it's never that simple. Sam takes the entry to the play area as his cue to have 'quiet toilet time'. And the copious amounts of sugar in McDonalds food is bound to catch up to my children sooner or later. Mostly sooner I think...

After all 3 children are bathed and ready for bed (we were staying in a motel overnight), Sam starts with the 'I want to go home and sleep in my own bed' shenanigans. Then the bed swapping begins. The fights over pillows. The snoring. The crying. After 3 hours of sleep, we all woke up.

That morning we thought we'd take in the earliest session of 'Cars 2' while the kids were at their most fresh. I plied them with sugary drinks and popcorn and lollies in a desperate bid to get all three to sit, simultaneously, for a two hour period. Big mistake. Lucky for us, there were only two other people in the whole cinema, so there were no actual complaints. I had hoped to fit in a little nap during the movie - to make up for the poor night's sleep.

This is how the movie panned out for me.

1. Cute pre-movie on Toy Story : managed to hold attention of all 3 children. Even Sara and I laughed.

2. Cars 2 begins : Sam gets all excited about seeing his favourite characters up on the big screen and shouts loudly and inappropriately at anyone who will listen.

3. Cars go to Japan : missed major part of storyline whilst trying to mop up slushie that Sam has spilled on his chair. Manage to tip over half a box of popcorn in the process. Cursing under breath begins. Olivia needs to go to the toilet.

4. Cars go to Paris : Darcy needs to go to toilet. Olivia wants to change seats. More popcorn is spilled. This time in the aisle.

5. Cars go to Monaco : Olivia wants to go back to the toilet. Darcy and Sam are fighting over who had the most lollies. Sam can't find his drink. Crying begins. In an attempt to quiet my noisy children, I move Darcy up to the back row and force her to sit on my lap. Sam is moved next to Sara, 2 rows in front of us, and Olivia is sitting on her own one row behind the only other people in the cinema - probably kicking their chairs. I can only hope they'll scream at her for it and save me the pleasure.

6. Cars go to London : Olivia moves one row back and Sam accuses her of trying to steal his drink. Another fight begins. Darcy shouts that she didn't get much popcorn and due to the intensity of her cries, I remove her from the cinema and give her a big dressing down in the hallway. We arrive back inside the cinema just as the Cars go to London.

7. Just as the climax of the story is building intensely, Darcy needs to go to the toilet again.

8. Darcy starts to ask me what is happening in the movie. I spend 5 minutes saying 'sssshhhhh', thereby missing the main part of the movie.

9. Deciding that I have missed what this movie is all about anyway, I start picking up the 3 boxes of popcorn my children have scattered around the cinema. I check where Sam spilled his slushie, and thankfully it has dried.

10. As the credits are rolling, I am holding two children, one under each arm, and Sara is dragging the third with her. I shove all three into their car seats, vowing and declaring NEVER to take them to a cinema ever again.

And this whole experience comes with the jolly old price tag of $75. Grrrrr.

I suppose some kids - and by that I mean MY KIDS - are just solely outside kids. Next time I will take them to paint ball or something where they can take their frustrations out on each other, except it will all be in the name of the sport!

One thing is certain. I won't be taking my monsters back to the cinema in a hurry. Even if they are cute little monsters...