Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bite-size chunks

When I worked in the corporate world, one of the things I did was Organization and Time Management training. Ha! If they could see me now! Have you ever had so much going on that you feel like the proverbial blue-arsed fly? Well that's me right now. We have less than a week left at school, and I think I might well implode by then. (Yes, less than a week!)

This morning, I suddenly realised it's little one's birthday on Monday. Not that I literally forgot when his birthday was, but I calculated that I only had till noon to shop unencumbered, I mean unaccompanied by him. I therefore slowed the car down and kicked him out as I passed school, and got to Target (large ASDA like store) by 9am. Yes! A personal best I think. Of course all he's asked for is Murdoch, one of the Thomas trains, which would be the only train not on the shelf. I bought Diesel 10, but he can now read a bit, so he'll know it's not Murdoch. What to do? What to do?

Inevitably, the list I'd made was safe at home on the kitchen table, so I speed-wandered around the store trying to will it back into my frontal lobe area. Indian food was coming through loud and clear? Oh yes, my 12 year old's grade is doing an Indo-Chinese performance tonight and we're allocated an Indian-themed snack. If I'd been in England there's be packets of popadom crisps all over the place but here? Cajun, Hawaiian, South Western, Tex-Mex...nothing east of New York. I was only looking for a bag of Bombay mix fer crying out loud. Now I'm going to have to apply myself - or take nothing. Ooh, tempting. They'll never notice. There's always too much food after these performances and we usually leave straight away anyway. Yes, that's it. Nothing!

Fabric pens next. Christ - they had every bloody-buggery kind of washable marker. Who needs washable - I want it to stay on. This is for the crazy quilt giant cusion cover complete with kids' fabric photos I'm still making for the little one's class gift to the teacher. (A tradition over here which is out of control in my opinion. Our school has banned store bought gifts since they were getting bigger and bigger and looked more like bribes than thank you gifts. It now has to be a small token or something hand made, so big mouth here decided on a fairly labour-intensive project which she started less than a week ago.)

Popped a few more things in the cart/trolley-with-the-wonky-wheel - cleaning products, three bottles of cut-price Merlot, birthday cake mix (shut up, one of the school kids is allergic to eggs so I have to use a packet mix), and two father's Day cards. (Those gifts will have to wait.) Then dashed across the road to the giant craft store. I can usually spend hours in there, buying stuff for when I have enough time to do projects without a deadline - all of which end up in the far recesses of a cupboard, gathering dust and guilt. This time however, I was on a mission for the sodding fabric pens - and there they were. Hundreds of them. I was rooted to the floor with indecision. Glitter paint pens - no the kids will just pick it all off eventually. Ink that poofs up and feels like velvet - ditto with the picking. Unable to just PICK ONE I bought a five pack and just hope it'll do. I am only writing their names underneath the photos anyway. I was going to stitch them, but somehow came to my senses on that.

Also remembered to buy a zip/zipper for the top of the cushion cover, two wrought iron hanging basket things for when I have time to see to the garden and a blank t-shirt for 5 year old-to-be. (Now that I have the fabric pens, I might as well make him a t-shirt to wear on his birthday.) Oh and I found a great iron-on transfer for my older son with an electric guitar on.

Hmmm....I'm getting the distinct impression that a lot of this stress is entirely self-induced. Why I don't weight about 90 pounds I just don't know. Oh wait - it's probably the Merlot.


  1. Thank God it's not just me! ExpatOwl and I seem to be going through the gin at a vast rate of knots right now. If it's not one crisis or last minute hiccup it's another. And that's just with one of the children!! My 5am starts are turning into 10pm finishes and I'm wrecked. My bathroom hasn't caught a whiff of dettol/clorox for 2 weeks.
    Pass the Merlot quick!

  2. Good luck with the birthday - it will all fall into place x

  3. Having children makes the corporate life seem easier than you remember it to be, I'll bet.

    As for me, I can see why I've always been satisfied to be childless!!! (Note, though, that I LOVE other people's!)

    Good luck with everything!


  4. It's not just birthdays though is it? Where is this rule that says that if a mum wants to go away for a few days she has to work twice as much in the days beforehand - stocking the cupboards, cleaning the house, writing up instructions for co-parents who should surely know all this stuff?! - to make up for the time she'll be gone? I leave in just over 12 hours and not a whiff of a suitcase yet, let alone that long-overdue leg-wax . It's not even a jolly; I have 5 days to find a new house and school so we can join Nobby in Hungary sometime before Christmas.

    I feel for you m'dear. I'm having a virtual glass of veeno with you. x

  5. I don't know about it being self-induced, I was getting a big knackered just reading about that myself!!

  6. I think when it's known that you "work from home" you might as well have "Volunteer" stamped on your forehead!

  7. You. are. joking. Less than a week left of school? We're still in half term! But ohmygosh it does sound like you've a lot on your plate ... good luck with it.

  8. Yes, over here the kids have 3 months off. However, my oldest is doing Diver's Ed throughout June, the middle one has various sleepover camps scheduled, even the little one has a week of day camp in June. Otherwise I would either do them all some damage or run away!

  9. Hope you all get on fine with the Birthday and that all the prezzies will suffice! They are easy to cater for at that age.
    Maybe you'd like to read my latest toilet experience from my recent coach trip! I was thinking of you!

  10. I was just thinking that I should reject all this consumerism cr*p but it's hard to do...isn't it?

    Even in the wilds of Northumberland it's difficult. Mind you even if I was in Outer Mongolia I'd probably still find time to buy 5 Fabric marker pens via the internet!

    Best of Luck especially with the Merlot!

  11. Hope the birthday went all right. Makes me so glad my children are grown, and several thousand miles away.

  12. Mike, you sound positively English!

  13. Organization and Time Management training?

    That's the school I graduated from!!

  14. How is it your children have only a few school days left?! We have another month....but, new to this country and still getting used to the heat, I can see why the schools finish early. Not that I'm complaining about the weather...I love it...except when I'm stuck in Target buying school supplies and a tent.
    You too?! We could have met there with the Merlot. It would liven up the checkout queue.

  15. Not sure Bella. But if it means you have less than three months to put up with them, I am envious. Far too long!
    And yes, I love that Target now sells booze. One stop shopping!


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