Here’s a mysterious photo of my lemon tree, branches bowing from the weight of lemons (which aren’t very good because we don’t water it enough) set against the beautiful, blue Perth sky on an Autumn morning. The image makes me beam with delight!
Anyway, I’ve been jotting down lots of little stories for my “Catch up with me over coffee” blog post… so here goes!
1) New Ambassador Based Projects
My latest projects for Kailis Jewellery, Breast Cancer Care WA and HBF Run for a Reason (and a few more) are in full swing. Keep an eye out on my Instagram (@karenlycheng) and I’ll be posting about them on my blog next week too.
2) Reducing Freelance Hours
Recently I’ve been cutting back on the amount of work I take on, because I have a lot of LIFE STUFF happening.
I’m planning and organising our upcoming 4 week family holiday. I know this is such a first world problem, but it’s such a headache to research, look for the best deals, gather contacts and information, compile an itinerary, send emails, book tickets. It’s taken me weeks!
I think for once I’d like to go on a holiday where everything is organised perfectly for me. That’ll be a real holiday for me!
I also had a few things to organise… stuff for my father in law, stuff for the kids, and medical/dental stuff too… which brings me to my next point.
3) My 9 year old had dental surgery recently – eekk!
He and my husband woke up at 6am one morning to head to the hospital. Then he had a general anaesthetic to extract a few “extra teeth” that were pushing against his regular teeth. According to the experts, the extra teeth needed to come out now (one was growing in his palate?!) or they would cause problems in the future.
I was pacing up and down my house, my stomach all in knots and my heart fluttering from all the nervousness. I’m glad my husband went and not me.
Hours later, he was a bit sore, tired and grumpy about the numbness, but he was absolutely fine.
He even snuck outside to ride his bike on the street with the neighbours in the late afternoon! Ugh!
4) And speaking of neighbours, a new family moved into the house across the road.
They also have two boys aged 10 and 8, so they are very similar ages to Liam, my 9 year old.
They have been a breath of fresh air for our family dynamics! Liam plays with them every afternoon, for hours and hours and he is so happy! It has been wonderful to see him play with kids his own age. Sure he has heaps of friends at school. But this kind of play is a kind of long-form play brought about by boredom, hanging around and thinking up of crazy boy ideas.
Now Liam has someone to play Beyblades with, talk about Pokemons, play tennis on the street, dig holes in the garden, make books about cats, draw Minecraft pictures, build a cubby house, ride to the park, make lemonade from lemons in the backyard… all the things my older boys used to do when they were younger.
It made me realise that my older two boys (aged 15 and 13) just don’t play in that kiddy way anymore. If they did play tennis on the street with Liam, they would get so frustrated by his lack of skill, or start playing at a lower skill level, but then move to an increasingly higher level, and then eventually Liam would get frustrated. Fights! Tears! Screaming! Every! Single! Day!
So in a way, Liam has missed out on a lot of brotherly “long-form play” over the years. I’m so happy he has some new buddies his age to spend time with.
5) As for my older boys…
I’ve been slowly teaching my 15 year old some life skills and responsibilities.
Meaning: When life stuff comes up, I make him do it.
He recently bent his debit card and it stopped working. He couldn’t use it for paypass, but he could still buy stuff online. Every time he complained about it, I politely reminded him that all HE had to do was call up the bank to get a replacement. So easy!
After 6 weeks of procrastination (ugh, teenagers!) he finally looked it up online and discovered that he didn’t have to call and talk to a human, he just had to log into his account and apply for a new one online. But he now has to wait 7 more days for it to arrive in the mail haha.
Lesson: Sometimes things are not as hard as you imagine they’ll be.
He also recently broke the gears on my bike (my derailleur!) and I made him walk it to the bike shop (only 1.5km away), explain to the bike guy what happened, arrange contact details, payment, pick up details and walk back home. He was not happy, but he did it anyway. Only cost him $70 in the end.
Lesson: If you borrow something and break it, it’s your responsibility to pay for it and fix it.
Omg every day something new happens and there are new lessons to be taught. It’s been slow and painful. But he’s doing pretty well and he’s such a great kid.
6) My 13 year old boy got a job too.
I think it’s such a great/important/crucial way for teenagers to grow up, learn skills, interact with other adults and start being independent.
He has been helping my brother-in-law with house renovations, in particular, moving and cleaning bricks – hundreds of them! It’s good hard work and he gets paid by the hour.
Apparently he’s a “good worker” with a “good attitude”… which is exactly what I want to hear, yay!!
7) Thinking about universities
I know right?! What the heck?!
With lots of encouragement from his high school, my 15 year old has started to thinking about what he wants to do after high school, which university he wants to go to, what course he wants to take etc etc.
My mind is blown. I can’t deal with it.
8) Randomly, I’ve been invited to be on an Australian Reality TV Show
I received an email asking if I’d like to be a contestant on an Australian version of the Chinese mega-show “If You Are The One”!
Haha! Um, no thanks!
Firstly… 1) I’m already married… 2) I’m not exactly a fun-loving 22 year old!?! 3) I’m old, boring, I like gardening and reading, I’m cynical and sarcastic of all things media and TV reality show related and… 3) I’m ethnically Chinese, so the TV producers are probably going to portray me as an “exotic”, “piano/violin playing”, “straight A student”, “quite-spoken prude”, or “dragon cougar lady”. Haha omg no thanks!
OK that’s all from me!
Have a fantastic week!