Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Return to Uni

One of the perks of the redundancy package was a substantial training allowance.  I have been scouring the internet in search of options on how to use it up.  Nice dilemma to have I guess.

It isn't enough to cover a Masters, nor do I have the time or inclination to do one at the moment.  But what I did find was a Post Graduate Certificate in International Relations.  I also managed to find a Post Graduate Certificate in Business that was burried amongst my academic transcripts!  The degree was obviously more important, as I framed it and hung it on the office wall.  Not such an illustrious end for the next one!

Four subjects, about a year part time I guess.  Seems to fit in with life at the moment, it is a little quiet in the evenings.  The life of a contractor means that when the day ends, I clock off.  No evening work, no burning desire to do 60 hour weeks when you are only charging for 40.

Contracting is also a dilemma at present.  The hours are great, the pay is good and the roles are dead boring.  Definitely can tick off that goal to reduce stress this year!  I miss being part of developing a strategy and working with a team to achieve our goals.  Contracting can be a tad lonely, often the surrounding people are pleasant but not overly friendly.  I guess they think that you are a short term arrival, or even worse that you are here to encroach on their roles or future positions.

As I ended one role and started the contracting gigs the very next working day, I still have a redundancy payment sitting in the bank.  This provides a great sense of financial comfort, and the count down of 51 days to go for this role doesn't seem to bother me.  I spend my days and nights on the look out for the next opportunity, happy knowing that it will arrive when it is meant to.

Vegie Garden Still Growing!

Taking advantage of some spare time and room in the bin, we set about cleaning up the over grown vegie garden.  Turns out when you barracade out the turkey, you also do it for the gardeners!  That combined with what appears to be a shortage of outside time at home, well things are over grown.

Maddy loves time outside exploring, and often asks are we gardening today.  There was squeals of delight upon finding some potatoes.  She was so proud of them, she was announcing to anyone that came over that we had grown out own potatoes.  

Maybe I should be telling her that these are the potatoes we grew, you should definately be eating them!  It makes me smile that she doesn't really enjoy potatoes or chips, kids all over the world would have eyes wide open in amazement.

Athletics Carnival

After a few days of crappy weather, it was a fluke that we actually packed our sports gear for school that morning.  After the 45 minute morning drive, the sky was overcast but not raining when we arrived in the city.  I was the only parent arriving at the athletics carnival in a suit, but none the less I was present.

Although the school has fantastic facilities, they take advantage of a local university for their athletics carnival.  Looking back to my state school days, some hand drawn lines on the "school oval" were about as good as it got.  I also managed to land in the rep team for athletics, and even then the facility was the a nearby town's local footy field, hardly athletic facilities!

It was amazing to be sitting the the covered stands and watching the kids run on a proper track.  Even with the zoom lens I could tell that there was still some anxst on the starting line.  Possibly she was thinking back to her performance in the swimming carnival and wondering how you can go from the top of one school down to the bottom of another.

When the gun went off, she was away, and I was cheering just off the track, and the smile from her indicated that she had heard that Mummy was there.

Second in the 80 metre sprint and third in the 100 metre sprint, with sizzling times to land her in the final.  This means she made the top 8 for the 9 year olds.  I was so proud.  Apparently not so for the child, her harshest critic.  I may have been described as a driven over-achiever in my time, so I am super conscious of not placing my demands onto Maddison.  I think the schools schedules are demanding, throw in extra swimming, violin and speech and drama lessons and there is little down time for her.

To celebrate the success of the day, we headed off to Toy World to pick out a reward.  I was also super excited to get the official letter from the school, she made the schools reprentative squad for athletics.  Little did we know at that time that required three training sessions per week, and two of them start at 6:45 am.  It is winter now, the mornings are cold, but she never complains about having to participate. And each Wednesday afternoon I arrive to see the final half of training, often with a little chocolate something stashed in my back pack.  I am not sure she will make the final team, but I couldn't be prouder of her efforts.

Easter Bunny

The fact I am posting about Easter activities whilst in June is clearly an indication that I am way behind with my blogging!

This Easter was spent down in Yamba, NSW.  The Blue Dolphin Resort is an excellent kid friendly location.  Perfect paths for completing the learning to ride your bike goal, pools for swimming, close proximity to the water for surfing and fishing.

I also managed to survive a week of extended family, with only a few small sanity departures.  Although I thought I had thought of everything, I was caught off guard at 8.00 pm with the notification from the child that Easter Bunny needs a carrot!  Whilst still having my OMG moment, thankfully the in laws come to the rescue producing a carrot.  With much relief we headed back to our cabin to prepare for the evening.

The youngster had thought of everything ahead of time.  She packed the ears and her collection bucket!  Now in a small two bedroom cabin, there is only so far the Easter Bunny can go to produce a hunting trail.

It all panned out ok, with small shrieks of delight the following morning.  As she is approaching nine, that may well have been our last Easter Bunny, but hopefully she fakes for as long as possible....they grow up so fast.  If I blink, she will be starting uni.

Finally Riding

It has been a tragedy unfolding over many years, but finally the goal of teaching the child to ride her bike has been over come.  Many thanks to those who have more patience than I in contributing to the family success!

We still have a challenge in learning the rules of the road, but the passion for riding, especially with Mum or the broader family is away.  The tag along bike is now on eBay awaiting a new home, and the freedom of not having to pull the darling child along is a welcome relief.