And what a busy year. My goodness, so much on and so much done.
Ahhh, such beautiful creatures. They have grown and blossumed into more lovely, intelligent, fun, funny, frustrating, loving people with the year.
Beren started 'real' school in Prep this year. As opposed to homeschooling, which he was preparing for the year before. The first half of the year he was very enthusiastic but then the second half he started complaining and flagging a bit. He said school is way to hard, you have to do work! and you only get a short lunch break to play. Hmmmm, will someone please break the news to him gently that this is pretty much life LOL He finished year the year at grade 2 level for 2/3 rd of his subjects and the remaining ones were the high end of grade 1 level. Not bad for a kid who thinks the work is too hard.
He has come out of his shell so much this year. At the start of the year he was hesitant to mix with anyone, to initiate conversation and had very few social skills. By Dec he had achieved great social skills and communication skills. He is developing patience (doesn't get that from me) with others, is much more tolerant of his sister and enjoys teaching her things and playing with her. they have become very good friends. I am so very proud of him. He is such a loving and sensitive soul.
At the end of November Beren had his tonsils and adenoids removed and grommits put in his ears. The difference in his breathing, sleep and behaviour has been mind blowing. This was a difficult decision to come to and I had really tried every other option for over 2yrs before arriving at this one. I noticed a difference in recovery and once the swelling and pain had gone (after about 2wks) he is 100% on what he was.
Nienna had a very choppy year. due to my study commitments she needed to go into care during the week for a couple of days. She started out in family day care with a lovely lady but soon became bored and unhappy due to there not being enough stimulation. I moved her to a private childcare centre, unhappily for me as I am again these as they are too profit centred rather than child centred. However, it was next to Beren's school and cut down fuel costs and running around for me. She thrived and loved it, even though I found the care inadequate and was not happy at all. They ran a 3yo kinder program that she really enjoyed but once that ended in term 3 I took her out and moved her to a local council run centre for term 4. She settled there and enjoyed the last term. I felt the care, facilities and staff to be sensational and we will miss them greatly.
Nienna, is a very sassy and independant 4yo. A born performer who's life is one big stage LOL She really does have me in hysterics some days with her "Nienna Logic" and is a pleasure to spend time with. Her imaginative play astounds me and I love sitting here listening to her play. She is incredibly generous and kind and adores her brother and makes a great playmate for him. She is pure joy! She starts proper kinder next year and I just know she will thrive.
Well the kids aren't the only ones who have come a long way this year. I would say this year is the best I have been for many years. I feel confident as a parent and as an individual and am proud of my achievements. I managed to drop my medication (zoloft) from 200mg down to 125mg and am still here and going strong! Anxiety and panic have been at a barely noticeable minimum and that is a fabulous feeling.
I completed a Diploma of Community Development this year and did a concurrent Diploma of Sustainability. This kept me pretty busy and I did find it difficult to juggle with children but thanks to my teachers being very flexible and understanding I managed it and passed with a 98% average, pretty damn pleased with myself.
I have made some wonderful friends this year and created a beautiful circle around me. I became part of a knitting group formed through Ravelry and these women have become much more than just fellow crafters. Solid friendships have been made and will last for a long time I am sure. Charlotte and I really cemented a friendship this year too.
I had been throwing the idea around of moving back to Tasmania for ages and couldn't settle on a decision. A few weeks ago though, I just woke and knew that it was time to go home. Thus, the kids and I (and cats) take the Spirit of Tasmania on 24th January 2009 to start a new chapter in Launceston at the North of the State.
I will be closer to my folks who live in Bicheno, on the East Coast, which will be lovely for the kids and supportive for me. In February I start another grueling education challenge for myself. I am doing a Bachelor of Social Science/Social Work with the aim to work towards further study in Social Ecology
CONSUMPTION CHALLENGE 2008:
I know my blog updates on this fell by the wayside but I certainly didn't stop being very conscious of my challenge and trying to stick to it. To recap on the rules:
My rules for this challenge are:
1. I can buy underwear, toiletries, food, medicines new.
2. Clothing is sourced from 2nd hand shops, opshops, freecycle or made.
Well, from Jan - Nov I stuck to this. I pretty pleased with myself, not that I have ever been a big shopper of clothes. I did by a top and jeans with a gift voucher my mother gave me for my birthday in Sept. Yesterday I took advantage of a sale and bought 4 tops (much needed), a dress and a pair of jeans all for $40.
3. Fabrics are from my already massive stash or opshops, as is yarn.
I have bought fabric 3 times. Two lots were specific requests from Nienna and I didn't have the kind she wanted in my stash the 3rd was some discounted fabric for a dress for myself.
4. All gifts/cards etc will be handmade or second hand
I made all cards etc with the exception of one a few weeks ago as I was pushed for time for this birthday party.
5. Unless something is desperately needed and I can't find 2nd hand or freecycle then I will consider purchasing new IE washing machine/fridge etc
I haven't had to make any major purchases, I did buy a part for my washing machine 2 wks ago and fitted it myself. However, I also bought a portable DVD player for $98 for the kids to use on the boat trip to Tasmania. I wouldn't have been able to get this on freecycle and I am hesitant to buy stuff like that 2nd hand on ebay or similar.
6. I am menu planning and currently devising a shopping plan that is more economical for our groceries.
7. I am consolidating debts and creating a budget that will allow me to trade my car in for a smaller more economical one
Still have my old heap but I did consolidate debts and am waiting for the right time financially to trade my car (ok, waiting til I have the money LOL)
8. I am decluttering, what I don't need I am passing on.
SHIT! I have surprised myself big time here. I have reduced my books to 14 boxes from 22 boxes. I have sold masses of stuff and donated half a truckload to Diabetes Australia. I had a garage sale a couple of weeks ago really had a good cull.
9. I am teaching and including my children in all of the above so they will be 'aware'
There is no way they can escape this and they are slowly getting the message.
10. I am slowly converting things over to more permanent solutions. By this I mean that instead of plastic in my cupboards I am almost all glass. Once I can afford it I will buy each of the children SIGG drink bottles as they are longer lasting and healthier than plastic ones. I already have a katmandu travel one.I still want SIGG bottles but haven't got them as yet. I have almost depleted my plastics and pick up glass ware from opshops when I can.
All in all I have had the odd lapse but I have really proved to myself that 90% of my 'wants' are definitely not 'needs' and therefore are unnecessary. Doesn't mean I don't lust over 'stuff' I am human after all but I find it very easy to just walk on.
HOPES FOR 2009:
I hope that my kids and I settle into our new home and create a new circle of family/friends for ourselves quickly and easily.
I hope that our studies go smoothly without any hitches.
I hope for happiness for my kids and a less complicated life.
For me, I would like some companionship this year. I feel after almost 5yrs I am ready.
I really want to get healthy and lose weight this year and hope to come off medication completely.
I want to continue to tread lightly on the earth and be a positive influence in others doing the same.
And lastly I hope we are blessed with beautiful friends, love and laughter again as we have been this year and that the challenges are positive and a learning experience.
Love to all of my friends, family and blog readings, may the new year bring health, happiness and blessings to you all.