Quote of the Week

Just because I love it so much.  It makes me smile or laugh every time I think about it or hear it.

“You don’t think of Shakespeare being a child, do you?
Shakespeare being seven? He was seven at some point.
He was in somebody’s English class, wasn’t he?
How annoying would that be?”

– Sir Ken Robinson


Down time

What happens when your mojo deserts you?
How do you recharge yourself and get back on the right track?

I’d love to know what you do.  Right now I’m in a slump and I could do with some ideas and a cheerleader or two who has been here.  I understand that by the time the end of the year rolls around everyone is starting to feel the need to slow down, take a break and get back some of their energy.  I guess that this might be partly my problem.  But I think there’s a little more to my missing mojo.

This year has been host to the most time that I have had to solo parent two children* without a really good support network to let me have time off.  I don’t think a month has gone by when Mr Oh Waily hasn’t been away for at least a week of it, if not more.   As well as this, up until the end of October I was regularly running three times a week when I was hit with an injury.  Since then there has been minimal exercise carried out, a once a week weights & core routine with a PT has been it.

Adding to these external issues, is my lack of continuous forward planning.  Despite having some great tools, courtesy of Jo’s My Organised Chaos course, I have failed in recent weeks to set aside time each week for planning and getting things set out.  I have also found myself wandering away from my original Montessori leanings and focusing more on the “schoolish” formal teaching for Miss Oh Waily.

So in a nutshell here are my issues:

  1. Tired, run-down parent.
  2. Lack of implementation of planning time.
  3. Excess focus on Miss Oh Waily’s formal learning**.
  4. Not enough focus on Master Oh Waily’s learning^.

My intended solutions (so far):

  1. Start exercising again.^^  This will bring the biggest reward.
  2. Set aside a specific time each week to plan for the next week.
  3. Re-read Tim Seldin’s How to Raise an Amazing Child to remind myself of why I want this for my kids.
  4. Read the ebook Montessori At Home that I have just purchased to reinvigorate my activity creations.
  5. Find a babysitter so I can get some time off to be me and not Mum for a little while.

Now it’s down to implementation.  Any other suggestions that work for you?

* My hat goes off to those solo parents who do this all year round.  You have my complete admiration.

**  It’s a thing about her turning 5, I’m sure of it.  A little switch has gone off in my brain telling me I need to be “schooling” her now.  😦

^ He is learning by osmosis mostly at the moment.

^^  I plan to try out my achilles heel when we return from visiting family after Christmas.  If it holds up I will start back on my running.  If it shows signs of being uncooperative I will look into going swimming as an alternative.


Coffee Youtube-128Today’s post is a very short one.  Perhaps attributable to a NaBloPoMo hangover?

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I’ve created a new page here called “videos”.  Yes, I’m showing my age.  Perhaps I should have called it YouTube or Media or some other funky, techy name.  But I am what I am.  And Videos it is.

Currently it is only inhabited by three actual links to YouTube, but I do promise that more will be forthcoming.  I just want to make sure that I don’t double up and that what I put on the page is actually worth listening to.

So sit back with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy.  I hope you find them thought provoking, funny and interesting.

The End is Nigh…

And so the last day of NaBloPoMo has arrived, and the struggle to find sensible things to write about now recedes.  And what a busy old day it has been.

This morning Ms Oh Waily headed to the gym for an hour with the PT.  The Oh Waily kids had great fun at the daycare as they rugged up and took part in the fire drill.  They looked so cute (they have to walk out of their room, through a small part of the gym to leave the building) hanging on to the long knotted rope.
Then straight after we finished up, one of their little friends came around for a playdate.  A couple of hours later and we were gearing up to head out again.  This time in to town to see a friend of ours from Auckland who was briefly in Wellington for work.  Follow this up almost immediately by going to dinner with Auntie H before she and Cousin K headed home tomorrow morning.

Homeschooled children are definitely not socialised properly at all.  {wink, wink}

But now my tired little poppets are in bed and their tired Mum is finishing up her NaBloPoMo commitments before collapsing asleep in bed herself.  Who said being a mother was a breeze?  Whoever it was clearly didn’t have kids.

So from next week we are going back to normal, intermittent transmission.  I may have some more things to share, but after this mini-marathon don’t be surprised if I go in to a mini-hibernation either.

Thanks for sticking it out with us.  I hope you enjoyed some of the posts.

A Family Lunch

Auntie H and Cousin K are down in our part of the world this week for a sports tournament, so we headed out to see them at their hotel today.

While K stayed and enjoyed time with her friends, Auntie H came out with us for lunch and a walk around the waterfront.  Silly Mummy suggested that we stop at Kaffee Eis at the Lagoon and get an ice cream.  That’s when we discovered the Amazing Chocolate Boy.

He had the world’s largest “child sized” chocolate ice cream and he wasn’t going to give it up for anything.  He also wasn’t going to do something as silly as bite and swallow lumps of ice cream so that it didn’t roll down the cone on to his hand and up his arm.  Noooo way.

Instead, we have an escapee from a slasher movie.  Or we would have had, if we had chosen some red berry ice cream or other.  Thankfully he just looked like an explosion in a paint factory.  (Or ice cream factory as the case may be.)

Chocolate boy

All of the dark brown splats are chocolate drips, both on his top and on his trousers.  You probably can’t make it out (he didn’t want to stand still for photographs) but his left forearm is one giant chocolate smear.  After all, what do you wipe your face with?

Suffice it to say, Master Oh needs more practice with ice cream cones, or we revert back to ice cream in a plastic cup with a spoon.


A quiet day

Mr Oh Waily had to work last night (and by night, I mean from 4pm yesterday afternoon until 3am-ish this morning) so today has been a very quiet one in the Oh Waily household.

The highlight of my day was getting an hour or so of quiet time to myself while everyone rested.   The highlight of the kids’ day was the pancakes and a bit later, the ice creams at the playground.  The highlight of Mr Oh’s day was probably getting to have some sleep.

So not much to tell you about at the moment.  Tomorrow though we are heading in to town to catch up with Auntie H and Cousin K who are down this part of the world for a school sports trip.  The two little Oh Wailys are really looking forward to it.  So there may be more to write about then.

NaBloPoMo disappointment

I am quite disappointed that I missed yesterday’s post deadline, and thereby did not quite fulfill my promised NaBloPoMo daily posting.  But quite frankly, two posts a day has been quite a challenge and unsurprisingly it has not proved to be without troubles.

Still, on the bright side, it did take until the 23rd day of the month for me to miss a day.  I think that’s a pretty good achievement.

I had been hoping to tell you all about our newly arrived maths books yesterday, but DHL have only just managed to have them arrive in Wellington this morning. I am guessing that they don’t do Saturday deliveries since they must still be sitting at the depot instead of in my hot little hands.  Oh well, I guess that will be Monday or Tuesday’s edition of the Patch.

Something else to edutain you today instead.


Where to begin with this one?
Many.  But really they aren’t truly failures, they’re learning experiences and adjustments.  They’re only failures if you sit down and never get back up again, or if you are inclined to not notice results and you therefore repeat the choices expecting things to change.

Failure #1: Formal instruction.

Miss Oh just doesn’t tend to like “being taught”.  She likes to do it herself.  She likes conversation.  She likes to ask questions and get answers.  She doesn’t particularly like “bookwork”.  She likes to play and tell stories and invent games.
As a traditionally schooled person, this sometimes grates on me.  It can frustrate and annoy me.  Every now and then I wander back into this mindset (it’s ingrained I tell you) and find myself with a resistant child.  So this is my number one problem, as I try to re-train myself to stick with what works.

Failure #2:  Trying to pitch too high.

While I love the idea of Classical Education, in conjunction with Failure #1, it is perhaps something that can be worked on in a more informal manner.  More in topic form with fun activities attached, rather than in the more formal written way that we tried it.  Having tried out the set out curriculum it seems to me that it is perhaps a little to high for Miss Oh at the moment.  I think that Miss Oh, while she can and does like to listen to stories, is perhaps a kinesthetic learner too.  She has always been a very physical child – lots of great physical skills from an early age.  But it’s a bit too early to tell which of the three learning styles she most leans toward.  No doubt this will store up future failures for me to tell you about.

There are more, but I’ll save them for later, as well as my own blushes.

So, what works for you and what failures have you had?  I’d like to not feel too alone on the failure front.  🙂


Miss Oh Waily’s current bed time story of choice is The BFG by Roald Dahl.   She begs me to read as many chapters as I can, and then asks for more.   As I didn’t read this as a child, which is sacrilege I know, I’m having a good time doing it.  There was absolutely no Dahl in my life except Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in movie form.  Can you say Gene Wilder anyone?

I am quite enjoying getting to know the wacky worlds of Dahl’s imagination in their written incarnation.  And The BFG is full of fabulously ridiculous mish-mashing of words as well as the wild imaginative creations of the giants’ world.

I mean how can I resist words like snozzcumbers, whizzpoppers*, as well as the fact that unbeknownst to me before now that Wellington appears in the story.

‘Wellington?’ Sophie said. ‘Where is Wellington?’
‘Your head is full of squashed flies,’ the Giant said.  ‘Wellington is in New Zealand.  The human beans in Wellington has an especially scrumdiddlyumptious taste, so says the Welly-eating Giant.’

It was all going so well at this point, but by this time in the chapter, I knew what was coming and it wasn’t complimentary.

‘What do the people of Wellington taste of?’ Sophie asked.
‘Boots,’ the Giant said.
‘Of course,’ Sophie said.  ‘I should have known.’

I will forgive Roald for conspiring to say that I taste of boots, because he came up with words like hippodumplings, crockadowndillies, fizzwiggler, humplecrimp, wraprascal, crumpscoddle, disgusterous, sickable, rotsome, rommytot, glubbage,  dogswoggler, frobscottle and many, many more besides.

Tonight I met my first proper tongue-twister and had to have three attempts to get it right.  Oh my brain may ache by the time I finish this one.  See how you go reading this aloud:

‘Catasterous!’ cried the BFG. ‘Upgoing bubbles is a catasterous disastrophe!’

Oh, and the only slightly disturbing feature I have found reading this book, and I’d appreciate other folks’ experiences here…

I find myself morphing into some sort of weird, mixed up part-Cockney, part-Devonian hybrid accent while I’m speaking as the BFG.  I just can’t seem to stop myself doing this.

Please tell me I’m not alone in this.  Please.

* just don’t you whizzpop around me, alright !?!

To be or not to be

that is the question surrounding tonight’s post.

I was looking forward to bringing you a nice bloggy piece about Gollum tonight.
As you may know, many of us who live in Middle Earth, are particularly fond of this creature and others of his stature.  We are, in fact, getting rather manic about the upcoming movie being shown in it’s home town.  To that end I wished to share with you at least one manifestation of this festive attitude, and tell you all about the Oh Waily children’s reaction to it.

Unfortunately my computer has decided to have a panic attack about some random thing and may have completely ruined my photo albums.  I am not a happy camper about that, I can tell you.  So I am patiently waiting to see if I am going to need to cry into my keyboard, and therefore will be heading off to a computer doctor tomorrow, or if it can right itself and return my images to me.

Please keep your fingers crossed for me.