Miss BG and the knitting Nancy #blogjune

Miss BG like me, enjoys to read. There are books scattered from one end of the house to the other that she has dipped into- craft books, nature encyclopaedias,  and Roald Dahl books, which she has inherited from her big brother.


She is not, however, a great one for finishing a book. Many of her school readers are quite short, and she hasn’t developed the reading stamina to persevere with a longer book. When the twin distractions of TV and Minecraft are competing for her attention, it’s even more difficult to encourage her to finish a book she has started.

I resorted to outright bribery on the weekend, with an incentive- finish a book and get a Knitting Nancy. The book was George’s Marvellous Medicine and it was wonderful to see her want to stay up to read, or get up early to finish off a chapter.

She finished it today at school, with a great sense of achievement. I am hoping that this is the start of many more books finished, and that maybe next time, the incentive may be learning how to crochet, or to knit- my yarn stash seems to never decrease…

Miss BG and the case of the lazy Reader

There are times when I see Miss BG and I am slightly freaked by the resemblance. People joke about Mini-me and sometimes it is a mannerism, an arched eyebrow or catching her in a particular light which makes me think the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

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We  share a taste for sweet things, dancing, and 80s pop music. She has a tendency to let things pile at the end of her bed and she can be a tad messy (no smirking, Mr BG).

There are some differences though. She is quite outgoing, much more so than I was at that age, and she is a lazy reader. In a household where both parents are librarians and her big brother is a reading know-it-all, that is not easy. She can read, and when she does, she’s pretty good- her fluency is coming along, as is her expression. But she doesn’t seem to have the love or passion for books that the rest of her family does. She will opt for the easy way out and that is to get other people to do the reading for her. Her big brother is apt to be a bit of a show off and will often try and show her up.

Miss BG is her own person- very headstrong and stubborn, but still an individual. I am glad for the differences between us. BUT, literacy skills are something which are essential and pretty much non-negotiable.

Talking to her teacher Rhonda, I am relieved that she is not at risk. Miss BG uses reading strategies and displays a good memory, it is just that reading is simply a means to an end, rather than a passion, or essential to life.

These are the strategies we have been using

1. We read together every night. It can be a chapter from a long book, or a short picture book. Occasionally she will read aloud a few sentences here and there, but this is something I am not pushing – it is something that Miss BG has to want to do herself.

2. We do her reader and her words religiously.

3. We have her try to read something, rather than have her ask what does that say.

So far her reading has improved, as has her confidence. I really enjoy the time before bed with her, as is she. Even if we never share a passion for To Kill a Mockingbird, we will always love ABC :).

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Another omnibus edition, as my internet woes at home continue. And it would be good if my ISP would return my call…

Mr BG doesn’t really go in for music videos for his own music, and this is a screen grab of someone’s video of one of his songs that has been uploaded to YouTube. It’s intriguing to realise that many people discover new music through a visual online medium, such as Youtube, rather than radio or TV, but you gotta be where people are! MrBG is yet to embrace social media- he is quite happy with Last.FM and email, and checks out people on Facebook through my account, but that’s the extent of his foray. He still spends an inordinate amount of time (and bandwidth) online, it’s just doing other things than firing off pithy tweets or posting his latest BuzzFeed quiz results. He does like pictures of cats…

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Mine craft madness #amonthinthelife #emily

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It was funny overhearing the kids playing at Minecraft. Master BG is the older patient brother, trying to instil a love and passion and correct playing procedure in his little sister, but all she wants to do is play. The funny thing is, they were playing quite well, enjoying a common game, without the usual bickering. Miss BG adores her older brother, and was quite happy to hang out with him.

A new skirt, bought on sale from an ethical fashion website. It was a lovely splash of colour against the foggy autumnal day today, which became one of those glorious sunny days that make me love autumn so much. It looks great with black, so it should fit into my wardrobe quite well, thank you very much…

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This is an omnibus edition as a catchup over the last couple of days. A slow internet at home, and a frantic workplace does not auger well for daily posts!

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#ghostsigns #amonthinthelife #ballarat #autumn #campst

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I collect Ghost Signs, remnants of a building’s past through old signage remaining on a facade. This is one on an old woolstore which is now a local nightclub. Situated on the corner of Camp and Mair Streets, it’s a beautiful bluestone building with a cellar. There is another sign on the right hand side of the building which shows it used to be an antique shop!

I was on my way to my hairdresser to have a leisurely cut and colour when I snapped this photo,

Master BG turned 9 on Monday, but the festivities commenced a day early. We were in Geelong to visit my parents and brother who had journeyed out from London and after a lovely roast lamb dinner we had a birthday cake! Master BG, being the Minecraft nut that he is, was suitably impressed with the efforts that my lovely sister had undertaken. I am very lucky to have such a cake decorating whizz in the family :).

The actual day of the birthday was a bit rushed I fear. Master BG wanted to head out for dinner, which appealed to me after a busy day at work. He decided he wanted an adult-sized spaghetti bolognese from the local and managed to eat his way through most of it.

That may explain his reluctance to eat anything for breakfast the next morning…

Miss BG’s dance class had an open day. This allowed parents to have a peek into what the students were doing in jazz ballet. Miss BG loves jazz, as it allows an element of freedom and an opportunity to do as many handstands and cartwheels as possible. She didn’t stop moving during the class and really applied herself to it

#amonthinthelife- Day 11

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Ballet bag #amonthinthelife #danceworks #emily #jazzballet

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Tuesdays are the day Miss BG goes to dancing. She switched from classical ballet to jazz this year and has definitely enjoyed the transition to a freer form of dancing. Normally I pick her up from after-school care and then wait in the waiting room, but today was a curriculum day, so I picked her up from home.

The waiting room at dancing is noisy chaotic, full of tired school kids and toddlers waiting for their sisters to finish and parents catching up. I usually while away the time checking emails and reading. If I get myself organised enough, I will bring crochet to do next week :).

#amonthinthelife- Day 8

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Post run selfie #amonthinthelife #emily #iwd

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I get up early Saturday morning and go for a run with a group of women, one of whom is my neighbour Robin. It was an early start this morning and too dark for the running track so we ran around town then headed to the Lake. We said hello to fellow runners, and cyclists, often greeted with the words “Hello ladies”.

It was a good run for me- 8km with very little walking and I was running at a quicker pace than usual. There are a couple of runs coming up for which I am tempted to register. Having usually run by myself, I am really enjoying being part of a group. You are motivated to keep up and we talk about everything under the sun. At the end of the run, you have a great sense of accomplishment, even over little challenges such as running up a hill :).

Coming back, I heard footsteps down the hall and a little voice saying “Morning mummy”. I got a cuddle and kiss and then I took this photo.

Happy International Women’s Day to all.


#amonthinthelife- Day 7

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Playing together #amonthinthelife #emily #sean

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Miss BG got a Leap Pad from Santa and it is something she enjoys using, in between playing with her babies, having tea parties, watching TV, getting cuddles and making mud pies. Her brother usually pooh poohs it, as it is considered a bit childish, but he is still curious over her use and will often make suggestions to assist.

#amonthinthelife- Day 6

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School sports day #amonthinthelife #ballarat #nofilter

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The little BGs had their twilight sports today. They didn’t start at school until 1.30, so they came into work with me for the morning. They visited the library, and attended a maths class with one of the maths lecturers! Both kids enjoyed the university experience :).

After work we headed down to the local oval to see them race. They aren’t the fastest of kids, but they tried their best, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Curriculum Day

Yesterday was a curriculum day for the teachers at the local primary school, so the little BGs and myself took off to Melbourne. I decided to take them to two places very special to me, the State Library, where I worked a very long time ago, and the National Gallery, where I spent a lot of time skipping uni classes cultivating a life long appreciation of art. I didn’t want to overdo the day with packing heaps of stuff in, but just them a taste of being on a fun day trip to Melbourne.

On the way to Melbourne! #curriculumday

We headed down on the train, armed with a variety of boredom busters including books, snacks and the tablet. In order to ensure little feet didn’t get tired, we took a couple of trams up to the library.

At the SLV

The kids were suitably awed by the library. Master BG made me a proud mum by confiding he’d love to work with books one day :). We played some computer games in the Experimedia space, oohed and ahhed over the Domed Reading Room, then went downstairs for a hot chocolate at Mr Tulk.

In the Domed Reading Room #melbourne #SLV #curriculumday

Followed by the obligatory pitstop at Readings, we stepped onto another tram down Swanston Street. When we got to the National Gallery, I introduced them to the water wall. The look of wonder and joy on their faces was priceless, feeling the water cascade on their fingertips. They could have stayed there for ages playing with the water!

Sean meets the water wall #curriculumday #melbourne #ngv

The next stop inside was the stain-glass ceiling, where I got them to lie on the floor and just look up. I think the word Master BG used to describe it was ‘Epic!”

Emily meets the water wall #curriculumday #melbourne #ngv

We headed up to the 19th Century European collection, mainly to see if there were any Van Goghs. There wasn’t, but there were a couple of paintings which caught their eyes, Ulysses and the Sirens for Master BG’s current interest in Greek mythology, and the toilette of Venus for Miss BG (‘she’s naked mummy!” she said, very scandalised).

Greek mythology at the NGV #curriculumday #melbourne #ngv

After another bite to eat, we headed for home. The kids behaved well, and really only started swinging from the luggage rails in the last 20 minutes of the trip!

Swinging#curriculumday #melbourne#train

Ted’s sleepover

Miss BG is hosting a special visitor this weekend. Ted has come to stay and we get to write and draw about his visit in a book for school.

She dressed Ted in some pyjamas…

ted in pyjamas

She took him to bed with her, much to the disappointment of the other ted in her life.

in bed with ted

Ted accompanied us to the hairdresser and then later to the cafe.

ted in the chair

ted at the cafe

Then Miss BG read Ted a story- a Maisy book!

Ted being read toTed was a lovely guest and we hope to have him back again!