What is the correct etiquette for shopping centre rides?

We just got home from the shops, and something really weird happened to us.
I usually let the girls climb in and out and over the shopping centre rides that we have here (in other words, we don’t pay). The shops we went to today had a Wiggles one and also a Thomas the Tank Engine one. We pulled over at Thomas and I got them out of the trolley and into the ride and started to let them have some fun times when this old lady came up with a little girl. She looked at me, looked at the girls, made notice of the fact that I had no intention of putting any money in and then said “Can you please get your kids out so that I can put some money in for my grand daughter for a proper ride?”.
Now – I was a tad shocked at this, I felt myself go bright red in the face and muttered something along the lines of “yup – sure” and started to get the kids back out of Thomas. As I was doing my best to strap Tali into the trolley she then went on to say “Its only fair if I am paying that you should hurry up and finish your turn”. She could see I was trying my best to get my screaming kids out of the ride that they had just hopped into and had not finished playing on – but she thought it would be helpful to KEEP TALKING ABOUT IT. I very loudly apologised to her, then I turned to my very upset children and said “its okay girls, we have had a very quick turn on Thomas, but we will go straight around to the Wiggles now and have a long, fun turn”.
It was pretty crazy – I couldn’t understand what had happened until I was sitting at the Wiggles ride – my kids got bullied off a ride by a Grandma! We were not doing anything wrong – just because we didn’t pay the $2.00 for Thomas to go “toot toot” doesn’t mean that they were not having a fun time. The girls had much more fun playing on the Wiggles ride pretending (in Maisie’s words) “to go to Sydney on the Wiggles plane”.


and doesnt every one know it!
(Well – duh – it is the middle of summer in Australia…)
I have just spent the morning moving the cots and beds around so that we can all share a bedroom that will be able to benefit from our small but useful air conditioner. It will take some time to get used to, but its better than nothing!
I have to say that I feel for all the people that work in factories, warehouses and outside during this weather. Its not fun when your house is hotter than it is outside – let alone your work place!

sleeping thru

I think as parents of young children, some things can be easy to dwell on.
An example of this is when you are kept up thru the night by children who are sad, wet, hungry, teething or just feeling yucky – the next day all you can think about is how much sleep you didnt get the night before and when you will be able to make it up next.
BUT – when you have a night when you are not woken for any reason, you tend to forget about the fact that you got 8-10 hours sleep and its hardly ever even in your thought process until your next “bad night”.
I am so guilty of doing this.
TB has been sleeping really well for weeks now – I had been waking her when I was going to bed to give her a late night feed and putting her straight back down with total success, but I havent done this for the last few nights and she is going for gold. Last night we put the girls to bed at 7:15pm and TB woke at 7:15am and Moo woke at 7:30am.
I spent today thinking of the fact that I am so lucky to have babies that love to sleep. I now feel guilty about the complaining that I did about TB when she wasnt sleeping much – but I can blame that on my “0-4 month silly state” that I was in.
The fun thing for parents is – it doesnt change. The reasons for waking change – scary dreams, loud claps of thunder and the stress of school in later years, and then we somehow do a weird swap – and the parents are the ones that are waking all night – wondering why their children havent come home from their friends house or the party that was meant to finish a few hours ago.
A wise woman told me that the tiredness doesnt stop – you just learn to live with it and your body copes the best it can. Tomorrow I will either wake up refreshed after a great nights sleep, or not. Full steam ahead either way….

Our baby names

When we came up with names for our children, we tried to find ones that we hadn’t heard of before or didn’t know anyone by that name. Turns out we didn’t look hard enough.
Maisy is a mouse who has numerous books/DVD’s and even a TV show named after her.
And more annoyingly, Talia Doyle was born in 2003 to Sunrise star Melissa Doyle. Talia Doyle’s middle name is Grace, which is suspiciously similar to Talia Whitbourn’s middle name, Mersey.
While on the topic of similarities, Melissa Doyle is exactly 10 years older than Lisa… To the very day…

Fujitsu: my bad customer experience

I bought a Fujitsu external hard drive on the weekend. Good price, good timing just before the end of the financial year and a good decision… or so I thought.
It arrived in the mail on Tuesday, which was a pleasant surprise. However soon after plugging it in, I realised it was faulty – I don’t think hard drives are supposed to make clunky stop/start whirring noises and not respond at all once you plug them in.
Anyway, would you believe I made more than a dozen phone calls today just trying to speak to somebody who could at least listen to my inquiry, let alone suggest how I should go about returning the faulty product?
It seems either nobody at Fujitsu wants to help, or nobody at Fujitsu knows how to help, or nobody at Fujitsu has a clue what’s going on. A customer service representative would refer me to another number. A recorded message would ask me to enter an extension number!? A voice-mail would ask me to leave a message. At one point I found myself speaking to a secretary in the Fujitsu air conditioning arm of the business. She confessed she often deals with disgruntled customers who have ended up being redirected to her with similarly unrelated issues. Sometimes I would insist on a verbal assurance from the voice on the other end that they knew who I needed to speak to. Several times I was assured but ended up disappointed.
Here is a list of unhelpful numbers I was given to ring.
1800 288 284
1800 288 283
1800 226 347
1300 364 484
Needless to say I finally found somebody who answered my inquiry – and quite quickly at that. The hard drive is in the mail on it’s way to the Fujitsu warehouse where it will be (hopefully) swapped for a replacement product. Let’s hope for Fujitsu’s sake that this story has a happy ending.

Wax in my ears

Had the doctor clean my ears out today. They have a tendency to get blocked up with wax. I’ve found the only solution is to go see the doctor who will clean them out by squirting water into them via a syringe. I’ve tried the candles, I’ve tried the waxsol by itself, by syringing is the way to go.
It feels uncomfortable, bordering on painful – but it works.
The doctor I saw today is not my normal doctor. My normal doctor will just syringe them out on the day if I ask him to. But this doctor insisted I treat my ears with Waxsol for a couple of days prior to loosen up the wax a bit. Much to my frustration, I complied with his treatment and I think the result is all the better for it.
You should have seen the clump of waxy gump he removed from my ears! You probably had to be there.
Ongoing treatment? He recommends I just wipe clean the inside of my ears with a tissue after I shower. Ear buds are a big no-no.
The really interesting bit? It felt like my left ear was blocked the worst, and the right one didn’t need treatment at all. After the doctor’s inspection, he convinced me that the right one was actually blocked much worse, and the stereo effect meant that my left ear had to do more of the work so it just felt more blocked – or something like that. At first I thought he was bluffing, but the proof was in what he actually extracted – and the right ear was in fact far worse.