Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

As most of my readers would know by now, I’m a mum with three young children. And as the type of person who always thinks long-term – well, when my eldest was just a few months old, I decided to go down the “rechargeable battery” journey.
So I splurged on a good quality recharger and a number of packets of green ‘Varta’ batteries, AA and AAA size.
Fast forward several years, and I’m still buying packets of rechargeable batteries whenever I see them on special while grocery shopping. I use them for everything; and now that we’ve finally joined the ranks of being Wii owners, we’re using batteries more than ever! Which is fine.
I was pretty stoked last week. I scored not one but two packets of 4 AA batteries (silver cases, not the green ones which I prefer) for only $4 each! I was a little bummed though, that when I got home and tried charging them, they wouldn’t charge. Hence my trip to BatteryWorld this week. And this is what I learned:
Varta batteries are made in both Germany and Malaysia. BatteryWorld don’t stock them anymore, because they couldn’t get the German-made ones.
The AA batteries I had bought last week should have held about a 1.2 charge. They were holding a charge of around 0.6 – which is pretty crappy, really. No wonder they weren’t charging!
I told the guy at the counter that when I charged a newly bought, silver cased Varta battery with one of my older, green cased Varta ones, they’d charge. When I tried charging two of the silver ones together, they wouldn’t.
His advice:
– charge batteries that you buy together, together. Don’t mix and match battery charging; as in, don’t charge batteries that you bought at different times, together, because they’ll have been manufactured in different places with different metals. They’ll have different levels of charge.
– When you charge batteries, they’ll both only charge to the lowest level of charge. So if you charge a good battery with a dud one, the good battery will only be charged to the level of the dud one. You weaken the good battery; and it’s very very very difficult to get the charge up again.

I also bought a new brand of batteries, on his recommendation. Eneloop. Write it down. Because not only were they bright, sparkly and multi-coloured (yes, I’m writing this with my tongue in my cheek here) but their 8 pack of AA batteries also had the BEST packaging I’ve ever seen on batteries (and no, I’m not being silly now – as as marketer, I was impressed with how customer-friendly their product packaging was) but what had me over-the-top impressed was the 2 D-size batteries I also tried to buy.

Because I didn’t end up buying D batteries. Instead, I bought D cases. Which fit AA-sized batteries.

Yes – that’s right. How incredibly AMAZING is this idea! You buy a D sized case, and slot a AA battery inside! When it runs out, just click it out and put a new AA sized battery in. How AWESOME!!!!!

So. I’m sold. Just thought I’d let you know!

 

Have a great day, dear readers!!!

— Ceridwyn

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Late last year, I purchased the App “Proloquo2Go”, on the recommendation of Mr 3’s Speech Therapist. It was expensive. But worth it!

It’s programmable, so you can make words (buttons) and phrases and sentences, categorise them according to high-interest activities (we have one folder for Playstation games and a separate one for Wii games, and then folders for breakfast, lunch, etc etc) and if the photo to accompany the word isn’t already in the App’s library, you can take a photo of the concept, and use that.

One downfall is that you can’t program your own voice – but that’s a pretty minor disadvantage, compared to all the positives.

Worth the $200? To hear my autistic boy move from being non-verbal to verbal?!

YES!!!!!

That’s how my life feels right now. It’s just so jam-packed… and I love it! Okay – I’m up again, on my computer, posting at 5.52 am, after settling Mr 3 at 2.48am and again at 3.52am, and then deciding to just stay up because I’ve got so much to do anyway…

So the weekend before last, Hubby and I spent Saturday together. No kids. (Yes, this is actually rare enough that it rates a mention. Sad, really…!) and we visited IKEA. We’ve been married almost 18 years, and only now am I learning that his dislike of ‘clutter’ means that he dislikes bookshelves. He prefers furniture with doors – cupboards, wardrobes, buffets, etc etc). Rather a revelation for a wife who loves books (yes, @jobeaz, the physical variety! I haven’t really warmed to the whole idea of eBooks yet!) and who has lots and lots… and lots of them.

Never mind; I’m adaptable. So I started planning how to ‘de-clutter’ (without spending too much money, of course!) and this meant that yesterday was furniture-moving day. I re-worked the girl’s bedroom (Miss 7 got the shock of her life when she got home from school!), Mr 3’s bedroom, our bedroom, the dining room, and have started on the lounge room. This Saturday will see two large pieces of lounge room furniture moved to my in-laws, to make room for the new TV/entertainment unit (not yet purchased, but it’ll be coming from IKEA) and the new lounge (again, not yet ordered, but this will be from Fantastic Furniture because I really like their ‘storage’ lounges) – oh, and the orientation of the furniture in the lounge will also change 90%. So it’ll be (eventually) like a whole new house. (And maybe that’s why it’s been over 15 years since I visited IKEA!)

So that was yesterday. On the work front, I discovered last night that a tweet I sent got retweeted by three people.

One of these accounts has over 19,000 followers! And a reply tweet I got form another of these people (in South Africa, by the way) said that she loved my link; and that her friends were currently sharing it around on Facebook. So how COOL is social media!!!

Yesterday, Hubby commented that, “What if we had won Gold Lotto on Saturday? We wouldn’t have to go back to work this week.” He then added, that we could just laze around at home, go to the beach, going shopping, or do whatever we wanted to.

It made me stop and think for a minute . And then I realised something awesome. That even if I *had* won Gold Lotto, that I still would spend my time doing exactly what I’m doing right now. That I, strangely enough, I *want* to work at my job. Because I love my job. No, really. I truly am, in love with, my job!

Yes, I realise just how wacky that sounds. I mean, who would *want* to work, if they didn’t have to?!!

But I love it. The infinite variety. The challenge, after challenge, after challenge. The exhilaration of doing an excellent job, and having that job appreciated by those who know how hard it was. The conviction of knowing that I am doing something that few others do. And that I love it. And that my clients pay me for it.

Wow. That understanding is so liberating!

That’s said, it’s a huge responsibility as well. When I stuff up, the only person to blame is the person who looks back at me from the mirror. And that can be humiliating. That’s a failure is a part of life, and one which I hope I learn from. Only time will tell, I guess!

CC image courtesy 401K at http://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/6355347769/

Cuddles

Posted: April 8, 2012 in family anecdotes
Tags: , ,

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Miss 4 and Mr 3 were invited to a birthday party last week. And when Miss 7 and I went shopping for a present, she saw a $6 teddy bear that she wanted to buy. We were in a rush though, and her pocket money was in her purse in her handbag, back at home; so we left the shop, present in hand but no bear. Fast forward a few days, and I was in the same shop again, this time with all three kids and Miss 7 proudly clutching her handbag, the purse of which contained $6.65. (Please excuse, dear reader, my long and strangely constructed sentences. Watching Gosford Park the other night has brought out the ‘Blogging Austenese’ style in me again!)
So she chose the softest, fluffiest bear she could find, and carried him ever-so-carefully to the checkout, where she was asked to pay $6.30.
“Strange,” I thought, so I queried it. Outcome? Store policy kicked in. If an item scans for more than its advertised price, you get it for free.
“Seriously?!!!” I said. “if I’d known that, I would have got one for each of them!”
Nevertheless, Miss 7 is the extremely proud owner of a free, soft, fluffy bear. Cuddles now sits happily next to Miss 7’s new fish tank – but that’s another story!

Source: flickr.com via Jessica on Pinterest

Ever had one of those weekends when you finally get there and just ‘stop’?! Where your week has been just SOOOOOO busy that you haven’t had time to just sit? And you haven’t really noticed if you’ve eaten, or slept? Well, that’s been my week this week.

Starting last Saturday, I woke up sick. As in, the non-stop dry cough kind. Sunday, this became a back-ache so bad I could hardly move, and spent the day flat on my back. This is extremely unusual for me, a person who is often told that she ‘never stops’. I was actually really quite worried, because I knew how huge the coming week was, and I just didn’t know how I’d survive it all if I couldn’t even walk! But God is good, and I was able to stand by Sunday night, and walk again by Monday morning. Thankfully! But the upshot of a day in bed was that I read ‘People of Heaven’ by Beverly Harper, which was rather reminiscent of Bryce Courtenay’s writings about Peekay and Tandia. An interesting story, but I’m not sure whether the author should have included so much history ‘tacked on’ in places, without being directly relevant to the plot. Nevertheless, a good way to spend a day in which you can hardly move.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were a blur of work, podiatry appointments, childcare, swimming lessons, driving, and non-stop rain. On Wednesday afternoon, I pulled Miss 7 out of school early, planning to buy school shoes at Athlete’s Foot, Morayfield… only to discover that their store had closed, and the closest was at Caloundra. So the kids played with my iPhone camera while we waited in line at BUPA, to get some of the huge amounts of money back from the Podiatry appointment. And be yet more disappointed, because our Health Cover didn’t do much covering. And yet again, it was a day of poor health choices food-wise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday was Australia Day. A day of not ‘having’ to go anywhere. When asked that morning, I had told Hubby that I wanted to spend the day hanging pictures, now that I had finally bought myself a Wall Stud Finder. Instead, seeing as the rain had stopped, we took the kids to a crowded Kings Beach Pool, ate a fish-and-chips lunch, then took a lovely long drive. Mr 2 immediately fell asleep, and the girls played with home-made ‘helicopters’ made out of sandals and sunnies. Quite cute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rain returned that night, so on Friday morning I changed my plans and spent the day at home. It was splendiferous. Hubby and Miss 7 eventually made it to school, but not before being caught in the parking lot that was the Bruce Highway southbound, at Caboolture. And I caught up on work. Housework. Laundry. Dishes. Hanging those pictures. Filing. Blogging for Bloxham Marketing. Oh – and playing with iBooks Author, now that I’d upgraded to the Lion OS and lamented my touchpad now going backwards.

So. That was my week. Huge. And now I get to stop. Hooray!!!!!

Today’s the day! Hopefully this will be the last time that I need someone else’s computer to write my blog!

Catch you all soon when my wallet’s a lot lighter! (And yes, Uni assignments… here I come…)

 

I had a long conversation today with someone I respect. Owns a computer shop, but doesn’t sell Macs. And when I mentioned the iPad, I could almost see him recoil. When I pressed him for his opinion, he then offered ‘They’re too easy. They don’t make you think.” A better alternative, in his opinion? An Android.

So, dear readers, what do you think? Used one before? Got one? What’s YOUR opinion on them? I’d love to get your thoughts…

I absolutely LOVE chocolate. The real stuff though – not a fan of chocolate icecream, chocolate milk drinks, chocolate powder etc, because it just doesn’t taste the same. Dark chocolate doesn’t do much for me either. (Yes, I know it’s supposedly ‘healthier’ – but still!) But dairy milk chocolate – and especially white chocolate (which I know isn’t ‘really’ chocolate at all) is absolutely scrumptious. I’m partial to Turkish Delight, Chomp bars, Caramello Koalas and those yummy red-covered Lindors but my all-time favourite would have to be Raffaello. It is without parallel, in my opinion. That being said though, I’m chocoholic enough to overlook my preferences when there’s chocolate in front of me.

So hubby walking in last night with a HUGE box of ‘Fundraising’ chocolates presented a minor dilemma. Perhaps I should mention that this is the first time in exactly 20 years that I’ve had a box of fundraising chocolates in my house (yep, finished Year 12 in 1991. Who could have believed that two decades have passed that quickly…?) and I’m just a little concerned that I’ll need to pay for the whole box. Soon. (That Caramel Koala was really quite yummy this morning! And it’s only 7.42am as I write. Having enough to actually SELL is not looking too promising…)

Admittedly, I’ve been up since 3.30. Playing with hubby’s iPad for the first time yesterday made me realise that there was a lot in this world that I was missing out on. So I’ve been researching everything “i”, from iPads and iPods to Macbooks (and Macbook Airs and Macbook Pros). And I found out some interesting things doing so. Did you know that as a student in QUT’s MIT(LIS), if I buy a Mac, I can get an iPod Touch free? That sounds cool. And did you know that TechCrunch is giving away an iPad2? So I’ve entered that competition as well. (I might not have WiFi where I live, but I guess I can plan more trips to Caloundra or Caboolture, hey!)

Anyway, here’s hoping. Wish me luck!

It was late in September of 2004. The sun-warmed pebbles of my driveway bruised the soles of my feet as I leaned over my growing bump to hug my friend and offer to help with her bags. She declined, unceremoniously dumping them on the ground, touching my tummy, and letting out a squeal of delight at a corresponding, well-aimed kick at her hand. I was recently 30, and six months pregnant with my eldest. Working as Head of English at Caloundra Christian College left little time to think about pregnancy, let alone the needs of a nursery and a newborn, so Katrina, a girl I knew from our dance ministry team in Nambour, had volunteered to throw me a baby shower at my place. She had arrived early to set up, organise the games, prizes and refreshments.

Baby showers were all new to me. Ever since I could remember, I’d NEVER been one to understand young children. Especially babies. They freaked me out a little. Both my parents had left their entire families in their home countries, so I had zero experience with younger cousins (well, ANY cousins, really!) or friends with younger siblings, and had majored and taught in only secondary schools. “Give me a child after they’re toilet trained and can hold a conversation!” I would always say…

So, there I was. Six months pregnant, and at a baby shower for the very first time. And it was mine! I was interested to see how the day would unfold, and observe the reactions of the others, so I could gauge how I was expected to act. I had NEVER felt ‘clucky’ in my entire life – nor felt anything even remotely resembling maternal instinct. I had been focussed on my career, my relationship with my husband of almost 9 years, and paying off vehicles, paying rent, and then achieving the exalted rank of being a mortgage owner for the past few months.

I turned my thoughts back to Katrina as I had vaguely been aware of her handing something towards me. I expected it to be a bag of Baby Shower items, but noticed with a degree of surprise that it was a present. “I wanted to give this to you before everything started. I saw it yesterday and just loved it… I hope you do too!” Smiling, I thanked her and started to turn around and head up to the house when she stopped me. “No! Do you think that maybe you could open it now?”

“Oh! Okay… sure,” I replied, thinking how nice it was to be given ‘baby things’, as (my pragmatic mind chimed in) it would mean less for me to purchase prior to the mid-January due date.

I carefully opened the wrapping paper, remarking on how I’d made another payment on the cot I’d laybyed at BabyCo, and pulled out the baby outfit. It was a size 000 short-sleeved bodysuit. The top half showed a white background, above horizontal stripes in red, yellow and blue all the way down to its press-studded crotch. But it was the picture on the white background however, that grabbed my attention. It was of a baby tiger, and the accompanying words read “cute little tiger… roar roar roar”.

My reaction was instantaneous. I could SEE a baby wearing this bodysuit. MY baby, wearing this bodysuit. Maybe even pretending to BE a cute baby tiger, and roaring for attention. The emotions that flooded my body were absolutely indescribable. All of a sudden, I had finally ‘GOT’ it! It had taken until I was gone 30, but I finally understood exactly what people were talking about when they said that they ‘were clucky’! I had a sudden, desperate urge to HOLD my unborn baby in my  arms. To know what it felt like to be a Mum. My eyes teared up, and I have no idea how long I stood there, or what I did next. And I didn’t care. All I knew was that I – me! Ceridwyn Bloxham! – was going to be a Mum. For REAL!

Looking back now, I realise that it had certainly taken a long time, but perhaps that maternal feeling was all the more sweet for being so timely. It certainly was a momentous event – number two in my list of six – and remembering that gush of emotions helps me through the more mundane parts of being mother to that same girl that kicked Katrina’s hand that day, ever so long ago now. The covering of what feels like a mountain of schoolbooks this morning, in preparation for next week’s entry into Grade One, when that same little girl will dress for the first time (of many, I’m sure!) in her ‘big girl’s formal uniform’, ironed by me that morning in preparation for the day… yes, remembering that Baby Shower morning certainly gives me that extra spur I need at times!

Anyway… enough waffling. I’d love to hear when YOU first felt that intense emotional whirlpool. Or are you like I was, unacquainted with ‘being clucky’?

Still an’ all… until tomorrow, dear readers, when number three sees me again in a church setting…