Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cleaning Challenge Day 4 - Bathroom.

I'm not taking a before shot.  Its far too embarassing.  Our main bathroom (the kids bathroom) is terribly old fashioned.  When it was done up I'm guessing it was amazing.  There is a floor to ceiling mirror tile wall.  A corner bath with brown glass.  Cream/pink tiles and a worn out old vanity.    This one is still a work in progress.  Day four may take four days to complete.

It sure is retro.

Bathrooms - Aah the bathrooms, if neglected they become quite grotty.  The key to the bathroom is to routinely clean it which will then reduce the amount of scrubbing you will need to do.
Today’s cleaning task is to do the following in all your bathrooms:
  • Spray your shower with shower cleaner, leave for 10 minutes.  While waiting:
  • Using all purpose cleaner remove the hard water build up around the taps, using a toothbrush if needed
  • Remove the buildup in the drain
  • Clean mirror
  • Clean toothbrush holder (I put ours in the dishwasher
  • Wipe over vanity and all other items sitting on vanity
  • Wipe over and refill soap dispenser
  • Wipe over window sills
  • Clean window
  • Wipe bathtub and tiles
  • Wipe over sink
  • Depending how dirty your shower is, use a brush to give the screen and grout a good scrub
  • Rinse shower
  • Clean toilet
This is plain awful.  But its our en-suite.

Bathroom vanity bench – Remove as much as you can from your bathroom vanity to make it look tidier and easier for you to clean.  I use a toothbrush holder that is suctioned to the mirror to make it easier to wipe the bench.

Shower caddy - The original post had a whole lot about cleaning products.  But I'm an Enjo convert.

This Is Me - Part Nine

Had to skip part 8 as I'm not a grandparent.

*What are some of your personal and family traditions for each holiday?  (New Years, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Easter, Christmas, etc.)
We are pretty poor when it comes to traditions.  Currently New Years Eve is spent calming our dogs down.  Easter is not set in concrete yet, but an Easter Egg hunt is a must.  My tradition for Good Friday is NOT to have fish as my mum was against that Catholic tradition, so I am too.  Christmas is we must watch Carols by Candelight on Christmas Eve and that is about it.  Must make some traditions... Elsie style.

*What traditions have you carried over from your childhood?  Which ones did you start in your own family?
None that I can think of.  Oh my goodness that is sad.
*How do you celebrate adult's birthdays?
Family dinner, birthday cake and presents.
Jamie's 39th birthday, Tiramisu!

My 40th, a vanilla cake (I think)

*How do you celebrate children's birthdays?
Family dinner, birthday cake and presents.
Mark's 15th birthday, choc cake.

Ryan's 4th birthday, funfetti piñata cake.

Ben's 2nd birthday, he slept and didn't get cake as we were in Thailand.

*How do you celebrate your anniversary?
We were dreadful, we both forgot.  Remembered about 5 days later.  Not into the celebrating thing.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

This Is Me - Part Seven

*Give your children's full names, birth dates and places.
Mark Emmanuel Lantz - 12 June 1998, Melbourne Victoria

Ryan Joseph Storer - 4 December 2009, Newcastle NSW.

Ben Arthur Storer - 3 April 2011

*How did you choose their names?
Mark was chosen very early and confirmed very late in the pregnancy, his biological father is French, so it had to be a name that made sense in Australia and in France.  Vince had a lot of good experiences with people called Mark and I really liked it, so Mark it was.  Emmanuel I just love and it was Vincent's childhood best friends name.

Ryan was a toss up between Jared and Ryan.  About two weeks before he was born I asked my mother to spell Jared (my preferred spelling) and she chose Jarrod, that cemented Ryan which we both really liked.  His middle name is after Jamie's uncle Joe.  We also have a fob watch which is engraved J Storer, so one of the boys had to have a J in their name.

Ben was a challenge.  I knew it needed to be simple to "fit" with the other boys names.  Jamie didn't want a name that was already at the football club!  Hard call Jamie when we were in contact with around 50 boys.  Elliott was high on the list, Ruben was too.  But why Ben and not Benjamin, there are no adult Benjamins - they are always Ben, just go with Ben at the start.  BUT everyone asks.. is it Benjamin.  Arthur was my maternal grandfathers name.  I never met him, he died before I was born. Plus it has a bit of a dagginess factor which is very important when dealing with a middle name.  By the way, there were at least 3 Ben's in the footy club!

*What were the circumstances of each child's birth?
I've written about all three previously, Mark, Ryan and Ben.

*What are some funny things that each child does/did or says/said?
These are peppered throughout this blog and more frequently on Facebook.  Scroll back, they are always saying funny stuff.

*How do you spend your time with your children?
We do heaps of stuff together, they help me cook, we go on adventures to playgrounds, we love a good playground.  I try to fit in a proper family outing every fortnight, I haven't planned it that way, but its how its working out.

*What are your favourite family activities?
I like when we do stuff all together, even if its doing a garage re-sort and the kids pretend to help.  A family dance party is fun.  We really enjoyed bike rides last year, haven't done it this year.  Dinners with the Dunn family are great too.

This is me - Part Six


*How did you meet your spouse?  Was it love at first sight or did it take some time?
 I met Jamie on the internet, long before there was such a thing as internet dating or hook up sites.  We were chatting on ICQ a chat program and to this day neither of us know who contacted who first.  He was easy to chat to, surprisingly funny and we got along very well.  We started chatting online in 1999, met in person later that year and although he was friendly and nice, it was not love at first site.  I started uni, and our friendship grew.  He worked afternoon shift, so some days I would visit if I didn't have classes and we just talked.  In March of 2000 we went on our first official date, to his cricket presentation.  He won a pretty good award.  We had our first kiss and have been "a couple" ever since.

*How long did you date before you got engaged?  How long was your engagement?
 This is a bizarre question, because I don't feel we really dated.  The first year probably.  We moved in together in July 2001.  We moved interstate together in 2004.  We fell pregnant together in 2009 after trying for two years.  We got engaged August 2009 and our engagement lasted 2 months.

*How did you get engaged?  (The story.)
Our engagement story is very unromantic.  I believe in strange bits of karma.  I know my relationship with Vince was doomed, but felt the nail in the coffin was at the hospital when although Mark was named Mark Orset at birth, they put on his paperwork Mark Lantz.  Somehow that was some type of karma about a doomed relationship.  Therefore I knew Ryan was going to be *insert name* Storer, so I could not give birth as a Lantz.  I needed to be Christy Storer so my baby had the correct name from birth... what does this have to do with an engagement story.  I had wanted to get married from mid 2000.  I knew Jamie was the person I was to spend the rest of my life with.  He is not quite so forth coming.  Its a shyness thing.  Admitting love in front of people is not something he's keen on.  I know he loves me, I'm not concerned.  Neither of us are very photogenic either, that was hold up for getting married.  So one day in2009 when I was 5 or 6 months pregnant, I asked him "give me one reason why we shouldn't get married, otherwise lets do it"  We were in a full marriage like relationship anyway, there was no reason not to so we did!
*Who did most of the wedding plans?  Who helped?
I did it all myself.

*Who were your bridesmaids/best men? 
We did not have attendants.
*Describe the details of your wedding:  the colors, the cake, the decorations, etc.
We got married at the Newcastle Registry Office.  We had our good friends Jason and Terese as our witnesses, all of our children (Mark and their two boys) and that was it.  I was hugely pregnant, I had massively swollen feet, I wore a white sun-dress from Kmart and gold ballet flats.  It was perfect for us at that time in our life.

*Where did you go on your honeymoon?  What adventures did you have?
Still have not been on our honeymoon.  6 weeks after we got married we had Ryan, then obviously Ben followed closely.  When they are a bit older we will have our official honeymoon.

This Is Me - Part Five

*What jobs have you had?  

1.  1991-1992   My first job was a courier working with my dad when I was 18 for about a year and half to two years. I drove a little white hatch back all over the eastern suburbs collecting pathology samples.  I did a Tuesday evening run and a Saturday morning.  I loved listening to the radio and stopping at all the centres.  It was a great job.

2.  1993-1997  Next was Melbourne Pathology when I was 19, I was the junior technician in the microbiology department, I was at TAFE and the job was actually handed to me.  Sue Lloyd Jones from MP came to my class one day (she was the boss of micro) and asked if anyone was interested in working, the teacher forced me to put my hand up and I was working about a week later.  I did specimen reception, bacterial swabs plating out (putting onto petri dishes), first stage microscopy of vaginal swabs and faeces specimens. I also did a bit in the immunology department, setting up the tests for rubella, syphilis, arthritis and a little bit of hepatitis. I liked the job, but I got as far as I could go without having a degree.  But once I had the degree I would have sat in the chair beside me and look at gram stains... not very exciting.

3.  1998-2000   Stay at home single mother - the best of all the jobs.  I loved being home with Mark.  He was an easy baby, an awesome toddler.  But it doesn't pay the bills.
4.  2000 - 2003  Blood collector also with Melbourne Pathology.  I did this part time during my nursing degree and then full time for a year when Jamie lost his job.  It was also not a very thrilling job.  I was very good at it.  But the pay is crap and really every single day is the same.  No one wants to be there, some people are nasty and job satisfaction is getting a vein.  Not long term thank you very much.

5.  2004-2011  Registered Nurse at Hunter New England Health Service in the Gastroenterology Department.  I loved working on H3.  It was an awesome bunch of people.  The work was crap (literally) but I liked it.  Ended up being a Team Leader.  Had a stint in the Motility Clinic.  Cleaned lots of bums, gave out heaps of pills, help implement change.  

6.   2012   Agency Registered Nurse - this was the WORST job ever.  I hated every minute of it.  New place every day, no friendly faces, no one explaining what to do.  Only did it for about 2 months.

7.   2012   Registered Nurse at St Vincent's Private Surgical Ward.  Thankfully I was only there for 6 weeks, this was the 2nd worst job ever.  The staff again were bitchy and not helpful with explaining protocols and left me to my own devices until I made a mistake and then was told off.  Weekend shifts were often cancelled due to no patients.  Phew only 6 weeks of that shit.

8.   2012   Practice Nurse at Medical One.  I loved this job.  It was a nice pace, lovely staff, friendly to the point of amazing boss.  Huge learning curve, VERY different from hospital nursing.  Very little pushing out of the comfort zone.  Pay was completely crap.  Would happily be there today, but the pay was terrible.

9.   2013 - present.  Practice Nurse at Care Medical.  Some days I love it, some days it makes me cry.  It has taken over my life.  Its fast paced or completely dead.  The role has changed so much since I started 12 months ago.  Its grown into a monster that I don't think I can do it all.  But I'm sticking at it. 

*Who were your bosses?  Did you like them/get along?
  1. My dad (he was a great boss).  
  2. Sue Lloyd Jones - hmm.... she was aloof, cold, but sometimes fantastic, I recall her having great hair.
  3. Mark (oh my darling Mark)
  4. Some woman called Marcella and more directly Ellie - strangely enough I met Ellie again recently and she remembered me.
  5. Petra / Ginger / Kelly / Kristy / Cheree - disliked Ginger intensely, wrong person for the job.  Got on with Kristy the best she was born to be a NUM.  Petra I sensed didn't like me and always looked confused.
  6. Who the f**k cares.
  7. What was her name... Sue and she was delightful.  She had an eccentric look about her, big floaty clothes and teased bright red hair.  She was very warm and welcoming.  Everyone else was a bitch.
  8. The wonderful Kym Robinson.  I wish she was still in my life.  I loved her.  She was the friendliest person with the most wonderful smile and nature. She quit Facebook after we both left Medical One, and I don't  her phone number 
  9. My current boss is Dr Hussain.  I shall leave it at that.
*How did you get along with your co-workers?
Exceptionally well to all except for the agency and the private hospital.
*Which was your favorite job?
Hmm... every job is fine when the circumstances are right.  I didn't like the shift work, but my current job doesn't pay as well.  I loved the closeness of the hospital. 
*How many years until you retire?
Too many years I guess.  My youngest child is 16 years off being 18... I'm working for a very long time yet.  25 years until I'm 65.
*Do you have any big plans for your retirement? (If retired: What have you done since retirement?  What's next?)
I want to travel the world with my Jamie.  I want my boys and their partners to be welcomed into my home as often as they want.  I want to have a heap of grandchildren and be able to spoil them.  But most of all I want to be pain free, healthy, happy and in love in my retirement.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Trying to do - Master Bedroom. Day Three



This is my bed all the time. Jamie hops in as soon as I get out and he doesn't make it.
Must add it to my list, make my bed when I get home from work.

I'm having terrible trouble completing this task. I shall add the photos later. Its too big for me to do on my own.  I'm on my third day of trying to do it.  My bedroom has been the dumping ground.  I sleep in it overnight, Jamie sleeps in the day time, I fold the washing there in the evening.. but more often I dump the washing on the ground and tell myself to fold it tomorrow.  There is always dirty laundry on the floor.  Little bits of paper, boxes, suitcases, anything that doesn't have a home is dumped in our bedroom until we can work out where it should go.  My bed is NEVER made, the curtains are the most atrociious things you have ever seen and are always closed.  There are coffee cups and coke cans on the bedside tables.  Nothing matches and its old, dated and revolting.  To be honest (as you can tell) I hate my bedroom.  No love, no passion (obviously - my husband works nights), no style.  The plan for the clean-declutter-organise is:

Oops, blurry. 
This is where all the crap is. 
Messy bookshelf (needs a huge declutter 95% can go).


Main Bedroom
  • Strip the bed sheets off the bed
  • Wash all bedding
  • Place decorative cushions on line in sunshine for a few hours to help remove dustmites
  • Vacuum mattress
  • Flip mattress if you have not done in the past 3 months (I flip mine every 2 months)
  • Pick up and put away all clothing
  • Pick up and put/throw away all paper clutter
  • Pick up and put/throw away all other clutter
  • Dust all surfaces, bedside tables, dressing tables, mirrors, picture frames
  • Dust ornaments
  • Vacuum ceiling fan to remove dust that has settled during winter
  • Vacuum the floor, including under the bed
  • Place clean bedding on your bed
Please don’t do the following tasks today, they are coming soon:
  • The ensuite
  • Your wardrobe
 Bedroom surfaces – Do you have one too many ‘pretty things, nic nacs, ornaments’ on your bedroom surfaces.  Having too many little things will make the task of cleaning harder and you more than likely won’t be dusting over your surfaces as often as you should.  Today’s task is to look over what you have and re-evaluate if they need to be there.

My lovely bedside table.  Deoderant cans, empty coke can, wet towels. 

 Top drawer of your bedside table - My bedside table doesn’t have much in it these days, years ago I would have magazines or a pile of kids drawings, now it’s a drawer of my items I use every night.  My 2nd drawers is where I keep my treasures, cards and love letters from hubby, trinkets and memories of my grandparents and school years.

I shall post my AFTER shot tomorrow.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Day Two - Laundry

Day Two I have chosen to be the laundry.  My laundry is VERY small.  I have a dual sink.  A washer and dryer (attached to a wall), a chest freezer and a double doored wardrobe.  I can only just turn around.  But it still gets cluttered.  There was some wayward Christmas Decorations on the floor.  Floor painting items in a sink and a VERY dirty shelf.


Laundry - The next room for our challenge is to clean the laundry.  With 5 members in our house, I am washing 6 out of 7 days.  To make it easer on myself I need to keep the laundry tidy and clutter free.  Here is today’s cleaning tasks:

  • Wipe over the laundry sink
  • Clean all benchtops/surfaces
  • Using the brush attachment remove all dust and lint from your dryer
  • Dust your laundry walls (lint and dust does build up due to moisture from the dryer
  • Clean window
  • Clean floor  

Remember just do the tasks above, we will be coming back to the laundry during the challenge to organise and clean other areas.

Laundry Pile – That’s right declutter your laundry pile by organising the dirty laundry. In my case, this just means do the next load!

Laundry Routine - I'm a do it every day girl.  I don't have a system for washing, it all gets washed.  I need the system for folding and putting away.

Friday, January 24, 2014

20 Day Challenge - Clean and Organise My House.

Thank you to the Organised Housewife for this.  My blog is tiny without a following, her site is amazing, but its challenging to find these posts so I want to help myself with this organizing caper, so despite being a bit wrong, I'm posting her posts... trust me, hers is better than mine, go to the original (see link above)

The usual state of our kitchen.  Crap everywhere. Dishes in the sink.

Day One Kitchen

My kitchen is in the middle of the house.  I don't like its layout, it involves a lot of walking.  The stove is in the most ridiculous place.  The main problem with our kitchen is its a dumping ground.  The ledge gets covered in "crap" the bench is always covered in crap.  It is NEVER clean.  But we all all love it when its clean.  I want it clean, we all want it clean.  No one wants to take responsibility for its cleanliness.  I want to feel organised, clean and tidy.  I'm not cleaning the stove, oven, fridge, freezer or pantry today, I'll get to them soon, instead today's task is is:


Remove everything from the kitchen bench that does not belong there:
  • Paper rubbish
  • Rubbish
  • Food
  • Appliances
  • One too many canisters
So retro, so much wood.  Clean and clutter free benches.


  • Load dishwasher
  • Wipe over sink
  • Clean the benches
  • Wipe down the cupboard doors
  • Dust on top of the overhead cupboards   
  • Clean the microwave
  • Wipe over walls
  • Clean window and window sills
  • Dust light fittings
Sparkling-ish sink.  That def could be better, but it was 11pm when I took the pic


Under the kitchen sink, this cupboard gets untidy quickly, it’s hard to access most items upon which they tend to get thrown in.  I removed everything from the cupboard and reassessed what I had in there, throwing away anything I no longer needed such as cleaners or relocated some items to the laundry. 
Cupboard under the sink.  WOW

Thursday, January 23, 2014

This is me - Part Four

College years:
*Did you attend college or a trade school of some sort?
Its not called college in Australia.  Straight after high school, I went to TAFE (Technical and Further Education), I studied for an Associate Diploma of Applied Science - Medical Laboratory.  This set me up to be a lab technician in the Microbiology Department of Melbourne Pathology.  I did that for just over 4 years.

Then when I was 27 and Mark was 2, I went to RMIT University and studied my Bachelor of Nursing.

*How did you choose what you wanted to be when you grew up?
Dad worked for a pathology company as the courier when I was in my late high school years.  I did some courier work with him. I also did my year 11 (I think) work experience with Victorian Pathology and quite liked it.  I didn't get the marks to go straight to uni and do Bachelor of Applied Science, so I did the TAFE equivalent. It allowed me to be a lab technician.  

*What did you think was the hardest thing about your chosen profession at that time?  Did it turn out that way?
My chosen profession wasn't that difficult.  More dealing with the personalities of the staff... its always about personality.  I had some difficulty recognising the different parasites in poo to start with.  But I shall always remember what a Giardia looks like.

*What dumb things did you do during those years?
I don't recall doing anything dumb.  I was pretty straight laced until I met Mark's biological father.
*What good things did you do?
Again, I don't really recall.  My memory is pretty crap for that time of my life.
*Did you live on your own?  How well prepared were you for that?
I lived with my parents until I was 21 years old.   Then I moved out with my sister Jo to North Fitzroy.  We did pretty good. 
*What life lessons did you learn?
Best if I don't live long term with my sister.  That poo doesn't really bother me.  That I don't' really enjoy looking down a microscope.
*What choices did you make that affect where you are now?
Nothing that I can think of.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bath Time

Thinking he's cool

Checking themselves out in the mirror


Add caption

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hot - freaking F*&%ing HOT

You think that is harsh, but its not.  We are in a heat wave.
Monday was 31C,
Tuesday was 43C
Wednesday was 42C
Thursday was 43C (today)
Friday is scheduled to be 44C

Only last week we were complaining about how cold it was, a friend of a friend said "don't worry, the Australian Open is on next week and we'll have a heat wave"  Well he was far too correct.  Every one is melting.

So every day after school the boys have stripped naked and played in water.  Ok no nudity in these pics, but cute shots..

Matching PJs

Jumping with the sprinkler under the "jumpoline"

Ben up. Ryan down.

Ben down. Ryan sees the camera!

Monday, January 06, 2014


Both little boys are talkers.  They can talk the leg off a chair.  They mainly talk to each other.  Little snippets from today.

Whilst playing on the trampoline:
Ben: I would like a shovel thanks.
He reached into the top of his shorts pretending to get some money.
Ben: I just bought a shovel mum
Then he reached out, shook Ryan's hand and said "Good doing business with you".

He wanted a drink of milk, and wanted to pour it himself.  He did a good job.
Ben:  Thank you Mummy.  Thank you Ben.  That's ok.
Yes that is right.. he thanked himself (and replied)

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Years Eve

We stayed in.  Having a 2 and 4 year old makes it hard.  Ones that refuse a daytime nap and then turn into little psychos are not ones we can take out.

In our celebration of NYE, I got some sparklers.  It was the first time the boys had seen sparklers and they were amazed.

BTW Mark is with my parents at Phillip Island, I don't ignore or forget him.

So... what are you doing there Dad?

Sparkles start, smiles start.

Love the looks on their faces, having never seen them before.

No fear, just amazed.


Thumbs up!

What do you mean you can't make it go again???

Another one before bed.. just for fun (then my battery died)

Then the fireworks start.  They are everywhere and often.  Two terrified dogs.  Looks like a minor injury on Charlie.  We get awfully cranky about fireworks.  They are illegal and they are going off everywhere - not just the city!

So 2013 was a challenge.
I started a new job, I still wonder if I made the right decision.  The pressure at my job is immense, but the satisfaction is too.
Jamie is still working night shift.  Seems to be in a better rhythm though.
Mark did reasonably at year 9.  I'm looking forward to a more productive year next year for Year 10.
Ryan is in the Pre-Kinder room at his creche.  He loves his teacher and she is awesome.  He's very good at sports and is getting the hang of riding his bike.  Toilet training went VERY well and transitioning to his big boy bed did too.
Ben moved up three rooms at crèche. He is now in the Toddler's room and is a friendly happy kid.  His drop offs are bad, but will improve.  His transition to a big boy bed was also marvellous.  Still have not started the toilet training, but will get to that around Easter time.

We went on our HUGE overseas holiday.
Worked too much.
Had a Christmas Holiday at the beach.
Worked too much.
Seemed to get sick an awful lot.
Turned 40!
Body wearing out.

My resolution for next is to be ORGANISED.  If I can be organised then all those other "normal" resolutions can fall into place (lose weight, exercise, eat better, do more fun stuff)  Part one of organisation is working - menu plan is done and freezer cooking is also done.