Party bags!!!

Forgive me Lord of the Dance/Rings/Vodka/*insert appropriate deity here*, for it’s been 3 weeks since my last blog….

And I’ve been going birthday party crazy!!!  Thankfully nothing that requires an ACTUAL confession, but there were a few homicidal thoughts as I tackled the shopping centres  in search of the last few ‘essential’ items for Snotface’s party.

I believe I left you all hanging on the edge of your ergonomic roll-y office chairs, waiting for the party bag unveiling, so here it is: Bright Idea #3

Snot has been invited to numerous parties over the last 12mths (mainly girls, Hairy is proud), an d we’ve come home with all manner of items in our party bag.  In this day and age (man, I sound like my Nana!), people are reluctant to fill a bag with lollies to send home with the kids – and I can understand it, but does that mean my car/house/backyard has to be filled with so much useless crap??!?  Snot has about 6 mini slinkies that don’t work, bouncy balls that don’t bounce, yoyo’s that don’t yoyo,  a pair of novelty glasses that the lense fell out of before they even got home, necklaces with skulls and cross bones because heaven forbid a boy should get a beaded necklace in his bag!  I distinctly remember going to a fairy party (Snot was an elf, a blog for another day) and all the kids were looking in their bags at the end of the party – all the girls were pulling out small fairy wands, and Snot looked in his to see a finger skateboard.  He was devastated.  He wanted a fairy wand like his friends.  He was 3.5yrs old.  He didn’t understand why his bag was different.  And as the Mother had outsourced the party bags to her party planner, she didn’t have any leftovers.  I left with a very disappointed Elf, who wanted a fairy wand.  He got over it by the time he woke up, but he does ask me every now and again where his fairy wand is.

So with these experiences in mind, I set out to create a universal party bag, that contained a good ratio of lollies to goodies, and that wasn’t entirely full of crap!  I tried to keep it with the pool party theme, and think I managed reasonably successfully.

My original idea was to present the ‘bags’ in beach buckets – but I quickly realised that buckets would substantially increase my costs!  So the hunt was on for a bag large enough for my vision and didn’t involve licensed characters.  $2 store to the rescue!  I also wanted to make the party bag ‘last’ and have things for enjoyment past the first 24hrs.  And, of course, some just for fun stuff.  Here’s the stash:

 

Each bag contained: a beach ball, a crazy straw, 2 glow stick bracelets, a splash ball, 2 bubble pots, 2 ice blocks for later, a mini water pistol, a lollipop, some sherbet straws and a packet of smarties.  Once I’d put the bags together, I realised that in my quest for the ultimate party bag, I was lacking in lollies!!  A quick trip to Kmart for additional supplies and I had added some popping candy and something called ‘sparkling candy’ – I am yet to investigate what they actually are!  There is a distinct lack of chocolate, on purpose – I didn’t want melty freddos!  And I wanted individually packaged lollies.

I am quite pleased with the result, and so far, Snot is pretty impressed with his loot!

More party posts to come….. there are cupcakes for kindy, the cake, and the pool party debrief…..

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Waiting…..

I’m about to commence my 2nd week back at work and I’m exhausted…. The laundry was behind until the weekend (thanks, Mother of Hairy!), the kitchen is a mess and I’ve lost all motivation for cooking dinner.  I’m sure my mojo will come back… just in time for our 3 week New Year break, where I will lose all care for things like schedules and plans.  Well, not all care – I think I’d melt if I didn’t have some sort of schedule.

But I tell you what, after 8 weeks of not really having to be out of bed until 8am most mornings, a 5.30am alarm 5 days in a row is just plain RUDE!

My hiatus from the working world was not voluntary (even though the words ‘voluntary redundancy’ were used in my termination).  I was a victim of Can-Do Campbell’s grand plan for the Queensland State Government overhaul.  I was a casualty who did not walk away with over $100,000 in my bank account.  I was discarded, thrown on the rubbish heap, and left out for passers-by to collect – it took 8 weeks for someone to pick me up.

I’m not going to rehash the moment – but I will say it was the most stressful 6 weeks I think I’ve ever experienced.  I was emotional, I was angry and, at some points, I was irrational.  Thankfully Hairy is a fairly calm sort of bloke and was able to get me to focus on the bigger picture every once in a while.

It wasn’t just the loss of my job and income that had me spiraling.  It was the fear of the unknown.  It was the self-doubt that I could do anything else.  It was the lack of confidence to learn something new.  And most of all, it was the potential loss of having another Stinkbum in the house.

We had a plan, you see.  I was in a secure job, with great maternity leave benefits, and great flexibility on return to work.  We had a miracle child who was due to start Prep in 2014.  We may have difficulty getting pregnant.  We were going to start trying when Snotface turned 4 (for many reasons, most of them financial).  Then we reconsidered the plan around about Easter time and decided September might be a good time for a trip to the GP to get the ball rolling…..  Then I lost my job and the whole plan came toppling down on me.  I couldn’t talk about this impact for weeks – this Government decision had possibly robbed me of another child……

I’m not getting any younger, and I’m already close to the magical biological age of 35 when EVERYTHING about pregnancy becomes scarier.  But I just have to wait….until I can hopefully pick up a permanent job….until I can crunch the numbers and make them work….

I just have to wait……

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Snotface Stinkbum is turning 4

Soon…. In about 3 weeks actually….

This means PANIC STATIONS for me – who, after 8 weeks of unemployment (thanks, Campbell! *insert pic of me thumbing my nose*), is returning to full time work on Monday.  Yay for bills being paid, but it will ruin my caramel-latte-after-wandering-the-shopping-centre addiction.  It also puts a major spanner in the birthday party works.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to get some time off on the Friday before the party (being a new job and all), which will equal at least one irrational meltdown (from me) on cake making evening, which will lead to Hairy sending me to bed before I’ve completed ALL the items on my super organised list, which will then lead to me being up early in the morning fussing, prepping, packing, sorting so that I can be ready for the party 3 hours before it starts.  What, doesn’t everyone do that?

Now, I had this bright idea (actually, I had a few of them –more to come) to have Snot’s party at the local aquatic centre – complete with slides, kiddy pool, and those mushroom shower things – mainly so that I don’t have to do anything organise any party games.  This has created some logistical issues.  Everything has to be carted in (and out), in eskies.  This will take some careful menu planning and Tupperware selecting.  The cake has to be kept on ice, otherwise it will end up all kinds of melty (North Queensland summer and buttercream – a friendship that only stays together with refridgeration).  This leads me to bright idea #2

Giving Snot the cake books to look through and choose his cake! *facepalm*

He chose a castle, he chose a completely-made-from-fondant dog, he chose the rocket ship he had last year, he chose an icecream cake!  I eventually steered him towards a boat – fits with the ‘water’ theme, will fit in my Tupperware cake container (which will fit in the esky) and can be made from store-bought sponge cake – winnah!

“and I want it to have fishies like the picture, and my name on it too, Mummy”

Of course, my precious darling, it is your birthday after all…..

Cue Mummy spending her last week of freedom unemployment searching every department store, grocery store, $2 shop and toy shop for fish to place in the ocean, and those little sugar letters that you used to be able to buy in the cake decorating supply section of your local grocery store.  NADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I finally found some plastic sea animals in a pack for $1 – a shark, a dolphin and a stingray are fish, right??  Sugar letters are still elusive (even on the interwebz for less than the cost of my left arm), so I may be forced to use my mad piping skillz…… you’ll be in awe….

Stay tuned for bright idea #3 – the party bags!

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Why I decided to blog

I’ve been thinking about it for a while (at least 12 months)… but didn’t think anyone would want to read my ramblings.  Then I realised it didn’t matter if no one else reads it, my blog could be a place for me to vent, whinge, reflect and plan my life – and I couldn’t give a flying proverbial about what anyone else thinks!  Blogging has become the 21st century journal of my teenage years (hopefully my blog will be less angst filled!).

I watched friends and relatives start blogs on varying topics, read along with pride and thought “hey, I can do this”.  So I bit the bullet and started my blog.  Now I can’t stop thinking about all the things I want to blog about!  I think I’ve created a monster.  Note to self: place a notepad and pen beside the bed to record 2am inspirations.

Another reason I decided to start blogging was the seeming lack of online support for fulltime working mums – plenty of help and inspiration for SAHMs (stay at home mums for the uninitiated) or the WAHMs (work at home mums), but those of us with more traditional jobs outside of the home seemed to be forgotten.  WHY???  We juggle full time daycare commitments (drop offs, pick ups, fees), peak hour traffic, public transport or parking costs, the same amount of housework and cooking as everyone else, with fulltime work commitments – and sometimes we drop a ball or two… but we survive, mostly.  And sometimes that all it feels like – survival, from one 5.30am alarm to the next….

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Everyone else is doing it….

so I figured I’d join the party!

This is my blog – it’s about life – my life to be precise.

I’m not promising Shakespeare and I’m definitely not promising Stephanie Meyer (you can thank me later), but I am promising honest, from the heart, blogging.

It will most likely be a place for me to vent, reflect and plan my life with my son (Snotface Stinkbum – almost aged 4) and my husband (Hairyface Stinkbum – younger than me).

Come along with me and maybe we can both learn a thing or two about this thing called ‘life’

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