A poem about ‘The Rabbits’ book


I wanted to share this here as a bit of a mummy brag, and to keep it for posterity. It’s a poem my son wrote for a school project after reading a book by John Marsden and illustrated by Shaun Tan called The Rabbits.

I think by reading the poem below you get an idea of what the book’s about. The reviews on Good Reads (link above) are divided. I’m in the I loved it camp. I thought the illustrations were superb and I enjoyed the narrative as well.

He was awarded 6/5 – yes he got a bonus point for excellent work. Well done JJ.

Century in the past the rabbits came
Some were friendly some were a pain
The Elders warned us what evil they had within
The elders said they would have many sins
They came from sea
Without the key
They destroyed our land
But not with their hands
They brought terrifying machines
And ate our beans
They brought terrifying creatures
With terrifying features
Nothing could stop the rabbits
With their hostile habits
They killed us because we were different
They took our kids in a shipment
They stole our food
They were very rude
Took our young
Just for fun
And they kept on coming
They were very cunning
Nothing could stop them
They destroyed us
Who will save us from the Rabbits?

photo by: Rob Stemple

Baby showers – what do you think?

Julian on Carrickalinga beach at sunset

I’m not a fan of baby showers. When I was pregnant I was asked if I was going to have one but as I’m not a fan I also decided not to be a hypocrite and therefore decided not to have one.

I’d already been overwhelmed with the generosity of people and had most of the stuff I would need so I thought it would be greedy of me to also have a baby shower. If you’ve not been pregnant and decide to have a baby, those wanting to get rid of their baby gear are usually more than happy to do so. Keep that in mind before you go and buy all brand new stuff.

Once my son was born I was given even more things for him, including some gifts from people I rarely saw, and I was really appreciative of all of them. And during those first few months of his life I hardly had to spend any money on him as I was able to breastfeed and I mainly used cloth nappies.

A couple of friends have had babies in the last year and both of them had a baby shower. Due to other commitments I wasn’t able to make either of those functions but I did pop round to their places after they had their babies with a present, and food for the parents.

If anything, I think that’s more useful, friends bringing you food after you bring the baby home. A couple of friends did that for me and it was great. I also had two friends come over weekly and bring us all takeaway. That was my weekly social event sometimes. Being a new mum, especially a single mum, can be quite isolating.

I recently read about a poem a woman who’d just had a baby shower sent to those who didn’t attend trying to guilt them into buying a gift for the baby. Read it for yourself. It has to be seen to be believed.

I hope it’s a hoax, but unfortunately it’s probably not.

If, god forbid, one of my friends or acquaintances did something similar to me they wouldn’t be on the friends list any more. Some of the commenters were suggesting sending an equally passive aggressive poem back but I would just ignore it and fade out of their lives. If that’s all they saw me for, a present giver, then they’re not worth it.

What’s your thoughts on baby showers, and/or the supply of food when you’ve got a new baby?



Baseball. A win. Finally.

Adding some images here is all I’m good for at the moment. I’m going through some personal stuff right now and I find that when that’s happening it drains me of energy in other areas of my life except the essential ones.

The photos below are photos I took at JJ’s baseball game the other day. Little did I know when I shot them that this would be his team’s first winning game this season. We were all SO happy for them. He did a great job of pitching by the way. The opposition got no runs off his pitching and he did a great job considering he hasn’t touched a baseball since before Christmas.

I love the focus as he’s pitching.

The winning game

The winning game

The winning game

The winning game

The winning game

The winning game

The winning game

The winning game

The winning game

The winning game

Linking up with Trish for Wordless Wednesday.

Sometimes you just gotta stick with it


Last year my son played baseball. He went from really loving the tryout sessions to not really loving the actual training and games. It wasn’t because of the sport itself, but more the dynamics of the team members. He was the new and inexperienced kid who didn’t know anyone. A lot of the others went to school together and JJ didn’t so was immediately the outcast.

He was also out of his depth playing for a more experienced division – actually so was his whole team so they didn’t win a game all year.

He also got put off because he was afraid the ball would hit him. It had a couple of times which made him hesitant to properly participate and his batting went from pretty good for the first few games to almost non-existent after that.

Don’t ask me how but I managed to convince him to play again this year. He’s gone off cricket because of the length of the game and I’ve always said I’d like him to play a sport. However, I’m not really pushy about it, just suggest strongly.

And this year is completely different so far. He now plays for a minors team and is one of the more experienced members of the team as a lot of t-ball kids have moved up. There are a couple of kids from his team last year but they’ve bonded really well.

The first game he played a couple of weeks ago he got the ‘play of the day’ award for hitting a home run. He also managed another good hit and got a few people home, then eventually himself, and when fielding caught a couple of people out on first base.

It’s really boosted his confidence and he’s staying behind after practise and games t0 do some pitching practise. He’d pitched his first ever innings in the preceding game and did pretty well considering he’s not practised that much. He pitched an innings at his last game and the first 10-20 pitches weren’t that great but he improved and a spectator from the other team commented that he was doing well. I did the mum puff up with pride thing.

I love the turnaround in him and it makes the two nights a week training and the three hours out of my Sundays very worth while.

As a parent who needs to do this running around I used to resent the time it took out of my day and the things I could be doing but I’ve turned that around as well. So much so, that I’m going to start learning how to score. That looks a bit complicated but if enough of us share it, it shouldn’t be too onerous.

The advantages for me are that I get to meet new people. Now that we’ve got a dog again, I get to take the dog out so he can socialise and exercise.

What do high school kids do in school holidays?

Just incase we forget his name.

It’s school holidays here at the moment and my son’s in vacation care. It’s very handy for me as a working parent who doesn’t have other options.

It’s very handy that he’s still in primary school and vacation care is an option for him.

However, it’s not going to be too far away until he’s no longer eligible for vacation care because it’s only for primary school aged children.

I’m not worried about after school care because by the time he gets home I won’t be that far away and he’s been doing a bit of that here and there  and he and I are fine with it.

But what about school holidays? I don’t want to leave him alone at home for hours on end while I’m at work and because I work I don’t want to rely on other parents who don’t work to shoulder the load. He reckons he’d be okay but I think he’ll get bored.

I see some school holiday activities advertised for high school age children in Adelaide, eg Carclew, but what other options are there? Sports programs maybe?

What do other people do?

I need ideas please and then I can update this post to share with others. UPDATED below with all-day activities for high school kids.

School holiday ideas for high school kids in Adelaide, South Australia

Glimmers of his younger self, and what he will become

Fork in the road

I see the maturity coming out in him quite often.

He knows when one of his mates are having a bad time and asks them about it. He’ll ask a couple of times and they’ll either tell him to back off or fill him in on what’s up. He does back off, or listens sympatheticallly and keeps it to himself. I tell him that’s important, the keeping to yourself bit in situations like this. Nobody likes a tattle tale.

He asks me what’s life about? Wow, I say. That’s the million dollar question. Lots of people want to know the meaning of life. He asks what’s the point of getting up, getting ready, going to school, coming home, doing homework, eating dinner, then going to bed. Why do we do it? Good question I think. I often wonder the same thing when I’m stuck in the day to day drudge.

Then I see him trying to hold onto his childhood when he asks for a tickle every night. I never do it properly. I don’t make him laugh but he still wants me to do it.

He also loves the game of ‘Where’s JJ?’ He says this as he’s in bed hiding under the blankets. He remembers the first time I went into his bedroom asking where is JJ, and then pretending to be cross that he wasn’t in bed when of course he really was in bed trying to stay still and pretending not to be there.

I see the teenager that he’s not far from becoming. He’s stubborn. He sometimes has trouble reconciling the fact that I’m the parent and the disciplinarian. I’m learning loads too and it’s not easy. Not easy for either of us I suspect.

I came across this article – an exerpt from a book called Masterminds and Wingmen. It’s about:

In a changing world, proactive parenting can be the key to steering your child around the many impediments towards young adulthood. In “Masterminds and Wingmen,” Rosalind Wiseman helps parents navigate the inevitable tests that they and their sons will face.

It talks about what to do if they do something wrong. It talks about discipline and effective punishments. Note: grounding doesn’t work. I think I’ll buy it.

I like the fact that he’s strong-minded and has a mind of his own. I sometimes hate the fact that he’s strong-minded and has a mind of his own.

He’s as tall as me now. Soon I’ll be looking up to him. Sometimes I look up to him because he’s teaching me something. I like that.

Holiday. What holiday?

This time two weeks ago I was complaining about bedbug bites. Now I’m back in the cold and my bedbug bites are mostly well and truly covered up.

The hotel gave me a bottle of bubbly to ‘apologise for the inconvenience’. I opened it on our last night there and had a couple of small glasses and through the rest of it away. It was revolting. You’d think that if you were trying to apologise to someone that you’d give them a decent bottle of plonk, not one that tasted like vinegar.

I duly posted a review to Trip Advisor about the hotel and their management of the bedbugs. It wasn’t all negative, I did include the positive things.

Overall we had a great holiday and while the bedbugs incident did put a dampener on things it didn’t take over, although I was annoyed that I couldn’t wear some of the clothes I took there because it would have meant exposing my unsightly pussy bites to the public which I didn’t want to do.

I’m glad I hired a car while there. Yes it did add that extra expense of a few hundred dollars but it was really worth it. Our Port Douglas accommodation wasn’t central so it was much easier to hop in the car and drive to the shops. We also had the freedom of doing the tourist thing without having to pay for transport either locally or on a tour.

Our day trip to Kuranda didn’t leave us enough time to see the Birdworld and the Butterfly World – not sure of exact names. Plus it was a lovely town so we drove back there one day. This would have been harder to do without a car. We also took the inland route rather than the coastal route, just for something different.

JJ had an interesting experience with a bird who must have sussed out that maybe JJ doesn’t clean his teeth as well as he should?

Cleaning his teeth

Going in for a kiss

Inspecting his mouth


Jules and the bird

Or he just wanted a kiss from a cute boy? I don’t know but it was funny to watch.

This Macaw was friendly but neither of us had a go of him sitting on our shoulder. Some people just hogged him.


So now our holiday is a memory. A good one though. When people ask JJ what his favourite part of the holiday one he says very sarcastically while rolling his eyes, ‘spending time with my mum’. Even though he’s dripping with sarcasm I think he really means it. Apart from a couple of little mother/son niggles we travelled well together and it’s something I’ll always treasure. I hope he does too.