Friday, 18 February 2011

Catching up with life

Since school started, my feet have hardly touched the ground. Noone ever tells you how much it takes to get settled into the school routine, and even if they did, I probably wouldn't have taken much notice as being full time at work throws it all out anyway, and I am not doing the normal school runs that most school mums do.

However I am quickly learning that the new routine is going to take some serious getting used to. From experience when I was only a mum to one, I knew that adding just one extra work day to my week was going to be exhausting - especially as that was the last step to full time status, leaving me only the weekends to be with my precious little darlings. But add to that two extra stops on the way home from work (one stop was often needed to get something from the supermarket for dinner), with a childcare pick-up I didn't used to have to do with a nanny waiting at home with them , as well as an OSHC pickup for a totally exhausted boy who is bouncing off the walls and seems to have grown fluff in both his ears by the time I get him, and I just can't seem to be on schedule with the diunner bath, stories and bed routine. I think the earliest I have had them down is 8pm, but it's often extending out toward 8:30, when they are normally more than ready at 7:30, their standard bedtime.

So my challenge is set, and I would love to know any tips from working school mums out there to help me get home, spend a little time with them, get dinner on the table by 6, and them into the bath by 6:45 so that there is still plenty opf time for Austy to do his reader, and me to read them their bedtime story as we snuggle up on Austy's bed, in time for a 7:30 kiss goodnight and CD players switched on to send them on their much needed nightly visit to slumberland.

Of course, by the time I have done all that, I am more than ready to throw myself down for a much needed break, but I know if I stop, that is it for the night. So instead I run around clearing the turmoil that is left from rushing through cooking and from trying to get them off to bed and there's usually a load of washing to hang (I put it on to wash as soon as I walk in the door, when I get Austy changed out of his school uniform and go through his school bag to read notes and get it ready for the next day), dishes to unload from the dishwaher, toys to pack away, another load of washing to fold and put away as I generally hang one out in the morning before work too, as well as any general cleaning. I still have a list as long as my arm for craft projects I want to work on, but by the time all the "must do" stuff is over with, it's getting quite late and I have an alarm set to wake me up at 5:30 to do it all again the next day. If I do make time for what I actually WANT to do, it's at the price of sleeping hours, which I need too, so it's a bit of a balancing act, that's for sure! Then there are the nights where the kids just won't go to sleep as Austy wants Lotta to sleep in his bed, and Maddy, well she's just being Maddy, calling out for an hour or so after I say goodnight and needing me to go in every 5 minutes (I will add she is teething with those dreaded 2yr old molars, and she's not waking us up at night like her big brother did when they cut, so I won't be too harsh about that one!). Welcome to my world!

Austy's school didn't provide me with any kind of guideline about waht he needed this year, as they supply "everything", which is great as it does save me some time as I don't have books to cover and a million labels to apply to belongings, but I was a little embarassed when I mistook Austy's reader bag for a library bag and left it home since they didn't have library day for another week. When the teacher asked me why the reader bag wasn't in his school bag as it must come back every day, I told her that I thought it was his library bag, and she replied "No, you need to get him one of those yourself". So on the weekend between week 1 and 2, while Austy was out for a special night with Dad at the cricket for being such a big brave boy at school (he shed quite a few tears that first week so we had to make a big deal), I was sticthing up a cute library bag that he would recognise easily as his. He loves green and is very much into space and rockets, so I had set out to find green rocket fabric and actually found some without too much struggle. Being bought locally instead of online from the US, the fabric was nearly 3 times the price that I usually pay, so I just bought a little strip and then downloaded an embroidery design pack from bunnycup. Austy chose this rocket, and I picked the colours to match the rocket fabric at the top.

I also have been doing a bit of dyeing in the past couple of weeks that I have been neglecting my blog. First up I did this colourway, which was mean to be nice and bright like the shot below. It is gaywool dyes on a WOLLganics base, and I didn't know that you need vinegar with such soft, unprocessed wool. So half of teh colour washed out and left this suttle blend of colours. I wasn't happy at first, but after seeing a knitted swatch I think it will make a gorgeous unisex newborn project for one of the many babies that keep popping into the lives of those around me.

Then I had another go and got this. Exactly what I planned for the WOOLganics auction set that was won by Susan. Keep your eyes out for the finished set as it will be getting packaged to post in the next week or so.
The photo at the top of this post was also WOOLganics, dyed after learning my vinegar lesson with the "Dinosaurus" colourway for the auction set. THe purpose for that dye up will be revealed soon, as with the reason for this girly 4ply dye up on BWM Luxury.

While Austy was at school that first week I made three pairs of Tinkle Time Trainers for Miss Maddy, who is 2 going on 10, but nowhere near ready to toilet train. Andrew thought that he would like to give it a try while I was at work, since we are having warm weather and Austy was pretty much trained by now (only to regress when I started showing a bit of a baby bump with him at 2.5yrs and wanting to keep being my baby). Maddy's not doing too badly though, and we have found it wonderful to keep the disposables off her at childcare. They won't use cloth nappies there but they will use cloth trainers, and the disposables just don't get changed often enough (she's only there a few hours but she still needs a change!) so she was getting a rash. Now we put her in trainers, if she wets they notice, and put her in a disposable and I get it off the instant we get in the door. She even managed to stay dry the whole afternoon one day this week, and then I told Andrew and he said she had insisted she wear those trainers that morning, so she had actually gone the whole day!

And since I am now really getting along with my embroidery machine, when I had to come up with a baby shower present in a matter of days, I whipped out my embroidery hoop and appliqued this cute little monkey.

I thought it went beautifully with this super cute fabric I HAD to have when we were at Joann's in the US when Maddy was a baby. It wasn't really girly enough for me to use for her, since everyone kept calling my baldy baby a boy, so I held onto it, waiting for just the right project. This is it! Super cute and perfectly practical, the pattern is from Ottobre, and done in size 56cm, it should last the bub for at least 3 months. This little boy is going to be little brother to Madelyn's swimming friend Collin, so I think a little something for Collin with this monkey design is also on the cards.

I haven't forgotten Blockapalooza either - 6 blocks down and a lot more to go. Hopefully I will be back soon to show off my progress with my Central Park fabrics! Ooh, and a wonderful purple package that arrived today as part of a ravelry swap, especially for me. But for now I had better get back to that nagging housework to see if I can fit in some sewing before bed.