Sunday, 16 November 2014

Adventures with Olaf

Ever have anything that you half dread yet half anticipate with excitement? It was my turn this weekend.

Pickle's playcare class have an Olaf toy (from the movie Frozen if you have been hiding under a rock don't have young kids) that goes home with a family each weekend, and they document the adventures.  So far he's been away to the Gold Coast and Townsville on holidays, but even those at home have done some seriously creative scrap-booking displays.  One talented Mum even propped scenes.  I'm not sure if I want to hat-tip or throttle her... stuff like this is just not my forte!

Then Miss Vanessa, Pickle's girlfriend educator sprung it on me Friday morning that we'd be taking Olaf home this weekend.  Cue panic.  We didn't have anything out of the ordinary planned, but...

Olaf came along for the ride - quite literally - on the cargo-bike, in prime position next to Pickle for the journey home on Friday night to kick start a pretty typical weekend for us.

Arriving home, Pickle and Olaf set to playing on the fort before a dinner of sushi in the garden.  I had joked that Olaf needed a spa day. Jinxed myself didn't I, as Pickle had a massive nose bleed just before bed.  Olaf enjoyed his spa night and looks quite spiffy now.

Saturday is Kindergym... gymnastics for under fives.  Lots of games, balance beams, trampolines, and the pièce de résistance: the foam pit.  Pickle and Olaf were also up on the rings, they bowled and finished off the morning playing under the parachute.

Time for a relaxing fruit frappe and dairy-free babychino which Pickle and Olaf shared.

We went shopping to get Pickle a proper tea pot. Afternoon tea time meant we each had a cup of "tea" poured for us.

Then Hermes decided to get in on the action for cuddles. Lulu was camera shy.  Olaf previously met (co-educator) Miss Rachel's cats, so he knew cats are friendly and like warm hugs as much as he does.

Pickle wanted to make Warm Fuzzies, so he could give one to Olaf to let him know he enjoyed his visit.  He picked each set of feet, pom-pom body and mouth for each person he made them for.  Olaf's is the green pom-pom with yellow feet and red "kissy lips"!

B2, B1
Pickle, Olaf & RJ
Sunday night we went out for dinner with Big Ted and his "big boys", B1, B2 and RJ.  B2 has finished his final school exams and he graduates this week, so we went out for dinner to celebrate (he also got the purple Warm Fuzzy and a "gratulation" from Pickle).

Last night for the sleepover with Olaf and Pickle with his regular cohorts of Charlie the monkey,
Woofy the dog and Sven the reindeer (who is actually a moose, but Pickle named him after the Frozen character, and who am I to argue). It's been great fun.  We'll miss you Olaf!

So the scrap book has been updated.  Pickle will stand up in class tomorrow to tell everyone about his weekend with Olaf.  *proud Mummy gush*.
The end result - what do you think?
My coloured card and origami paper might not be quite as artistic as some of the efforts, but I don't think it's embarrassing and we sure packed a lot in.

So what do you think? Are you one of the über artistic parents, or do you dread the creative stuff you need to do for daycare/school participation as much as me?!

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Degrees of doldrum

I'm done!  After taking the best part of 8 years to complete my degree, I've finally finished.  And truth be told, it's been a little anticlimactic.  I was expecting a huge rush of triumph... but it didn't happen.

Finishing up was spread over a couple of months.  I handed in my last paper, a few weeks later I got the results.  Then I had to finish the practical aspects... the required client hours and clinical supervision.  The final supervision session was delayed as I ended up in A&E with Pickle (who had fractured his arm, but coped really well in plaster and is fine now)... and then it was done.

I had to finish up at my placement venue as I was no longer a student, yet the required meetings and paperwork hadn't been completed in order to offer me a position.  So I set to spring cleaning my house, de-cluttering our wardrobes and the accumulation of toys (this is still a work in progress).  I had the meetings, signed the paperwork and a couple of days later I was back in the workplace having only missed two days of work (I've chosen to work part-time as a good balance for my own mental health and well-being particularly as a single parent).

The beautiful flowers on my desk at work
with obligatory photo of my gorgeous Pickle
BigTed sent me a gorgeous bunch of my favourite flowers to celebrate my first day as a fully-qualified paid counsellor... and as they are opening up they smell stunning.

And don't get me wrong, I am ecstatic that I was offered a position doing the work I love.

Over the coming weeks I'll need to do some delightful paperwork *yawn*, to apply to graduate... in May 2015... so I'm not sure when, or even if, I'm going to a celebratory *woohoo* moment.

Has this ever happened to you?  Did you get your *woohoo* eventually?  What triggered it? And what happened if you didn't get that lightbulb moment?

Cheers, KangaRue :)
BAppSocSc (Couns)  - well, that's the first time I've written that and admittedly it feels pretty good

Thursday, 16 October 2014

It's all in a name...

For some time I've been pondering a name for my cargo-bike. I was thinking it had to be a girl's name as aren't all vehicles named after girls?  Recently, my friend, Mikey, bought his first car and was looking for a name, in the search to procrastinate on my spring cleaning be the helpful friend that I am, I stumbled upon a first name that just fit. (I suggested Heather for Mikey's car in case you were wondering.)

Later that day, another friend, Rochelle, did one of those silly-fun Facebook quizzes "what's your hippie name?".  I loved mine.

Then came my *lightbulb* moment.  That's his name.  Sorted.

So maybe I've over-thunk that, but so be it.  And on that note, I'd officially like to introduce you to...




Clarence Breeze 

Pickle raiding his lunchbox on the way to playcare, while riding in Clarence Breeze.

Have you named your vehicle of preference? 

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Freaking Out

That's how I'm feeling right now. I've got a major assignment looming, am only current on the current week of my university work (as opposed to ahead so I can actually *do* the assignment), the house is a mess, I need to find a second student placement (and believe me the first one was a struggle to find though it ended up awesome). Oh, and somewhere in there I need to be a mother and have a life.

I had the flu for almost three weeks. Which meant any advances I made, promptly disappeared. And then we had three public holidays in a two week period. Now for most people, this means extra study time... but as a solo parent, not so much.

So I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. I felt my anxiety levels rising quite dramatically this morning. So I've done some mindfulness meditation - I am a little bit in love with Smiling Mind at the moment. I've then cracked on with it, asked my tutor for an extension on the assignment, and I'm using this post to clear my head a bit before hitting the books again.

Do you ever feel like a huge wave is about to come crashing down on you? How do you manage the anxiety it produces?

Cheers, KangaRue :)

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Nailed It

I've been seething since the weekend. A parent of one of Pickle's friends told him "you'll have to stop Mummy painting your nails in a few years". I turned around and politely told this man that Pickle actually asks me to paint his nails and chooses the colour each time.

The "offending" toes - outrageous!
I'm allowing Pickle to express his individuality as he wants. He wants to put the pretty colours on his toes, like Mummy does. Is he likely to want to conform to gender norms down the track? Probably. But it will be his choice, not something I'm going to force on him.

Pickle has a tea set, he has a baby doll he nurtures, along with a myriad of stuffed toys.  Not to mention Lulu and Hermes, who are subjected to his attentions he also adores. He also has a Buzz Lightyear, dinosaurs, light sabers, laser guns and a train set. He plays with the lot, in fact the dinosaurs often have tea parties.

As a society we're (still) figuring out that girls/women are as capable boys/men - if I had a girl, I'd be buying her Goldieblox.  If you don't know what they are, there are some excellent videos on YouTube here and here, and a fantastic TEDtalk.

Can we do the same for our boys/men please? (But in reverse, if that makes any sense?) They can be - and indeed are - loving, caring and nurturing.

Picture from Stonewall UK - a great resource site
And what about Rainbow individuals? As a counsellor, I particularly want to work with children, young people and their families. The risk figures around mental health and suicide sky-rockets for Rainbow youth. By raising Pickle to be accepting of all people, I hope he'll be an influencer in his generation on acceptance of all people.

If I painted that man's toe nails, would it change his sexuality or preferred gender? I promise to get off my soapbox soon, but would really love it if you watched this video that asks the question gay people get asked all the time... and this mind-expanding TEDtalk about transgender youth.

As a girl, I think I had the best of both worlds, I had dolls (and cats) I dressed up, but I also climbed trees, and rode both a bike and a skateboard... I'd like for Pickle to have the same opportunities.

Do your boys paint their toe nails or play with tea sets? Do you allow your girls to build with blocks or train sets? 

Cheers, KangaRue :)

PS. Thanks for allowing me my rant!