Sunday, January 31, 2010

Is there anything about me you don't already know?

I am soo slack – last week Tony over at Artisan of the Human Spirit passed on the Honest Scrap Award to me. Even though I already had it, I still am very chuffed and appreciative.

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In further laziness, a few weeks ago the fun-tabulous Dual Mum over at We’re at Dad’s That Week gave me the Over the Top Award.

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For this award I'm supposed to answer a huge list of questions, so here goes:

1. Where is your cell phone? Broken. This is a fate that regularly befalls any technology that spends time in my company.

2. Your hair? On my head, dufus, where else?

3. Your mother? Amazing, inspirational and appreciated.

4. Your father? Tough, but taught good lessons.

5. Your favourite food? Anything I didn’t have to cook!! Probably seafood, or Italian – hmm... pasta marinara maybe??

6. Your dream last night? Weird. I have very bizarre, very vivid dreams. I also (apparently) talk in my sleep, which hubby finds endlessly enlightening and amusing. This is because (apparently) I will respond to questions and am bluntly truthful and without artifice when sleep-talking!

7. Your favourite drink? I’d love to say something cool, alcoholic and trendy, but it’s really a good cup of tea.

8. Your dream/goal? To be a published writer, and to teach primary school. And to raise happy, healthy children. And have an awesome marriage. And possibly be a rock star.

9. What room are you in? Lounge room.

10. Your hobby? Blogging!! Duh!!!! Recently discovered gardening. Would love to get back into horse-riding, but too expensive and all-consuming. I have an addictive personality.

11. Your fear? Many, but the only thing I’m truly terrified of is something harming my family, especially my child.

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Happy.

13. Where were you last night? At home, doped up on Sudafed and chocolate.

14. Something you aren’t? Famous. Yet.

15. Muffins? Apple and raspberry.

16. Wish list item? Hmm... there’s nothing I really need in my life. Oh! A new vacuum, a Dyson preferably! Oh my God, how mundane and Suzie Homemaker my life is... or possibly it’s full of everything I need already, yeah, that’s better - I’m going with that!

17. Where did you grow up? Gold Coast Hinterland, roaming the hills on horseback, playing in the creek with my friends, going to the beach as I got older. Pretty fricken perfect actually!

18. Last thing you did? Cleaned up the playroom.

19. What are you wearing? What are you, some kind of perv??!!

20. Your TV? On, playing NCIS on DVD. I tend to turn the TV on for company, to fill up a room, not to actually watch it. Though I do love me some NCIS...

21. Your pets? Asleep at my feet. Actually, asleep ON my feet. Warm. Nice.

22. Your friends? Diverse and beloved.

23. Your life? Not nearly as boring and mumsy-ish as this list makes it sound!!

24. Your mood? Recovering from a head cold, but happy.

25. Missing someone? My grandparents. Also my best friend, but it’s only distance that separates us, not the hereafter!

26. Vehicle? A black Mazda 6, usually driven too fast.

27. Something you’re not wearing? Shoes.

28. Your favourite store? A few years ago, I would’ve named some fancy boutique, but these days, I do most of my shopping at Target. I am surprisingly impressed.

29. Your favourite colour? Blue.

30. When was the last time you laughed? A few minutes ago.

31. Last time you cried? A few days ago.

32. Your best friend? Awesome!

33. One place that I go to over and over? Umm, work?

34. One person who emails me regularly? Some charming bloke in Nigeria, he has this dandy set-up where I’m gunna be rich!!

35. Favourite place to eat? Well, you can bet it’s not in the car, madly doing the kindy drop before work!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Marriage and the Tribe

I recently read an excerpt of Committed, the new book by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love) on how a laughing Hmong grandmother made her question her expectation of marriage and its ability to single-handedly fulfil you and offer you everything you need in life.

I liked it very much, but I’m not going to quote her verbatim (because now I can’t find the damn thing!!). Basically, whilst contemplating her second marriage, she asked other women about their marriages. She just happened to be in a Hmong village in northern Vietnam, where life is lived in pretty much the same tribal fashion as thousands of years ago. You know, the way our brains are still programmed to think.

So she began questioning a group of women, particularly a lovely grandmother, on their marriages, and when they knew that their husbands were the love of their life. As they were laughing their heads off at her, Elizabeth had an epiphany. Perhaps, whilst their marriages were an important part of their lives, these women relied on more than just one relationship for happiness. Marriages in this part of the world are far more practical than romantic. Maybe they had their need for connection, fulfilment, support, commiseration, empathy, and child-rearing assistance met in other ways... by each other perhaps. By their tribe.

I am a big believer in this. Whilst I love my husband, and he is a great partner, father, provider etc., I don’t rely on him to fulfil every facet of my life. My happiness is not solely his burden. Apart from the responsibility we must take for ourselves to be happy, I do think human connections are essential for happiness, at least for me. But how can we possibly rely on one person, no matter how wonderful (and usually of a different gender no less), to single-handedly raise us up? So I have a wide circle of family and friends who all offer their gifts. Don't get me wrong, my marriage is very important to me, but it's not the sole source of my happiness.

Then I read Thea’s latest post at Do I Really Wanna Blog about friendships and the different styles of friendship different people have to offer. This too resonated with me. The individuals in my group of friends, not to mention my family, differ wildly. There are introverts, extroverts, religious, spiritual, atheist, drinkers, teetotallers, parents, smug married, singles, real, imaginary, 2-D , old, young, in-between, country, city, gay, straight, bubbly, melancholy, optimist, pessimist and everything else you could think of.

Each have something different to offer to me and their other friends. Different styles of friendship as Thea puts it. The thoughtful, always-calls type, the do-anything-you-need type, the fun-to-go-get-loaded-with type, the wise one you take your problems to, the ones who inspire you, hell, even the ones who kick your butt and get you back on track. All different, all just as valuable as the others.

I think it’s like this – people need a tribe; a big group of people around you, partner if you have one, family, friends and especially girlfriends to give you all the aspects you need – you don’t expect your husband to spend hours trawling the shops and drooling over the men of Desperate Housewives do you??


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Me 1 : Telstra 0

Bwah ha ha!!! I am on a victory high tonight!!

Yes, after 8 months, countless mind-warping phone calls, approximately 13 hours spent on hold, and a very lovely lass from the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman, I have wrestled this national phone carrier to the ground and twisted their proverbial arm til they cried, "Uncle, Uncle, for goodness sake you invincible woman... WE GIVE!!!".

I say again, BAH HA HA!!!!!!

This all started back in June last year, when I got a $778 bill from Telstra, seperate from our normal home phone/broadband account.

When I got up from the floor, I rang this esteemed establishment to question the manner in which they arrived at this figure. I spoke to a charming man whom had no idea what the hell I was saying. Sigh.

After doing the Hold Please Hokey Pokey, I was still none the wiser. No one I spoke to could even tell me what the charge related to. Oh, yeah sure, I'll pay your Mystery Bill, hold on while I get my credit card.

Much to their consternation, I told them I would not, under any circumstances be paying this bill.

They said they'd "look into it" and get back to me.

Much to my consternation, apparently they looked into it, decided I could be walked all over and sent it to a Debt Recovery firm.

Big mistake.

I informed said Debt Recovery firm I would not be paying bill. They countered by threatening me with all sorts of litigation and never-to-be-erased-for-all-eternity credit badness.

I countered by calling in the Industry Ombudsman. I have no idea what this person/organisation is, but I can't help thinking of some wise man in robes, perched atop an inaccessible mountain... only with a mobile phone and laptop.

Anyhoo, a lovely girl there (not the mountaintop, I assume) said essentially, "What!! Girl, I gotcha back, hold up."

Today, a very contrite girl from Telstra rang and informed me they were wiping the debt, cancelling any credit reporting activity and calling off their debt recovery dogs.

It is a massive testamant to my intrinsic class that I simply said, "Awesome, thank you", and not "HA HA BEEE-ATCH!!!! PWND!!!!(or however the coolkids say it), YOU WILL BOW DOWN AND GROVEL BEFORE ME!!! REAP THE WHIRLWIND SUUUUCCCKKKAAAAAASSSS!!!". Yep, massive class here.

It does make me wonder however, how many poor innocents have been scared into paying bills that were basically imaginary. Or what about people who have their bills direct-debited?? It's all very well simply being obstinate and refusing to pay, but once the money has been taken out of your account, imagine how fun it would be trying to get it back??


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Australia Day Everyone!!

Today is Australia Day, for those not playing at home, it's the day we celebrate becoming an independent nation, and reflect on what it means to be Australian. I am going to share one of my favoutite poems; it's a little sappy, but I lvoe this country, and I think I am lucky to live in the best country in the world!!

Oh, a side note: I happen to love our flag, just as it is. Men fought and died under that flag to protect our way of life. Leave it alone. Fuck off Ray Martin.

Oh, and also? If you and your redneck bogan mates want to drape yourself in said flag, using it as an excuse to go forth and spread hate, just stay home and get pissed instead. Not that you can afford to lose the brain cells of course, but I'd rather you didn't ruin everything Australia Day means to me with your stupid ignorance.

OK, I'm done. Enter Dorothea Mackellar:

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die-
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold-
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land-
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand-
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

Dorothea Mackellar


Sunday, January 24, 2010

George Clooney has the right idea!

Why does everyone assume there is something wrong with George Clooney, simply because he remains a bachelor?

What? D’you think he sat down one day and said, “Well now, I’m gorgeous, intelligent, successful, famous, talented and principled, how can I make it look like I truly am miserable?”

“I know! I’ll date a string of beautiful women, and when it all gets real and hard and complicated, instead of buckling under the pressure and marrying her so she can bitch at me for a few years until I divorce her and give her half my millions, I’ll send the lass packing (with a suitcase full of very expensive presents no doubt), retire to my luxurious mansion on Lake Como, tool around on my motorcycle, swim in my money Scrooge McDuck style, call my mate Brad and listen to him bitch that he’s married to the world’s most beautiful woman who is a FUCKING HEADCASE, then start dating another beautiful woman.”

Oh yes, what a life of abject misery he must lead. Where do I sign up for such an intolerable life?


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Conversations with my Daughter

These are actual, honest-to-God conversations I have had with my two-and-a-half year old, Gorgeous Gal (GG).

GG: "I love you Mummy."
Me: "Awww.. I love you too."
GG: "Why?"
Me: "Cos you're sweet and adorable and beautiful."
GG: "I not Dora!!! I GG!"

Driving in the car, apropos of nothing...
GG: "I going to SeaWorld for my birfday."
Me: "Yeah, that's right, you are!"
GG: "Mummy come?"
Me: "Yes, I'll come."
Continues to list every single family member, and whether or not they are coming...
GG: "That man come?"
Me: "What man?"
GG: "That man, what his name?"
Me: "Uh, I don't know GG, who do you mean?"
GG: "He do the elephant walk."
Me: "Wait, are you talking about the guy from Play School?" (She watched it earlier that day)
GG: "Yeah, that man... he come to SeaWorld?"
Me: "Um... no GG, I don't think Rhys from Play School will be coming to SeaWorld with us." (More's the pity...)

GG: "It's windy outside today!"
Me: "Sure is, kiddo."
GG: "Why?"
Me: "Ummmm...."
GG: "???"
Me: "Well, there's umm.. air pressure? And it moves the air and stuff???"
GG: "... "
Me: "It's windy cos the clouds are dancing."
GG: "Oh, of course!! I lub dancing!" Dances off across the yard...
Me: "Sigh"

Me: "Do you love Mummy?"
GG: "Uh huh."
Me: "Why do you love Mummy?" (Thank you, I do enjoy shamelessly fishing for compliments from a child)
GG: "Cos you're squishy for cuddles!"
Me: "Oh..." (That'll teach me)


Friday, January 22, 2010

The Anti-Bucket List

Now, we all know what a Bucket List is, don't we children? Good then. I'll be doing one of those shortly, but this here is the anti-bucket list... The list of things I will never, NEVER do (or do again, as the case may be)!

BTW, I did see this idea on someone else's blog, but forget who and can't find them in my reader. If you are the party concerned, good for you! And please feel free to comment and claim credit!

Bungee Jump - not only do I have a silly fear of being up very high, but I also have a silly fear of hurtling toward the earth at a fantastic rate of knots, and crashing into said earth and becoming a mere stain on the ground. And don't bother saying I could do it over water, my principle stands.

Jump out of a perfectly good airplane - of course, if it's crashing, all bets are off, you'll have to fight me for the parachute.

Wake up in someone's house, and have no idea how I got there - I can neither confirm nor deny that this may have happened in the past. I can also neither confirm nor deny margaritas may have been involved.

Live a self-centred life - I may have been guilty of this in the past, but it's pretty much the first thing parenthood slaps out of you, and thank God for that.

Act against my moral compass - I will never (again) do what I know to be wrong, or do something that makes me feel... less.

Gee... I'm kinda running out of things...

ummmm.. oh got one! oh, no... that could happen...

Give up - on my loved ones, on my marriage, on my principles or on a fight I've picked because I'm feeling narky and need to vent!!

Stop learning.

Actually, when I started this list, I thought it would be a doddle, I am one of those people that have very clear ideas on what I do and don't like, therefore this should be easy! Not so, it turns out, there's a lot of things I am prepared to leave myself open for, and really will never say never!

I'd love to hear what you swear you will, or will never do...


Hot Enough for Ya?

I’m going to shoot and kill the next person who looks at me, wipes their brow and asks “Hot enough for you?”

What do they want to hear?

“Why no, I was born on the sun so I enjoy temperatures that make my skin melt off my body.”

Image from here

“Actually, I am an alien and have been implanted with a device that will render senseless anyone I lock in my gaze and make me Supreme High Ruler of the World, I just need 2 more degrees and it will activate.”

Image from here

“Yes thanks, that’ll about do it – could you turn the sun off now?”

Image from here



Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Growing Up

As started by 5 Minutes for Mum, welcome to Wordless Wednesday... And yes, I am aware these are words - shut up.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Seven Stages of Sleep Training a Toddler

1. Disbelief - I don't believe this! I just fixed you!

2. Denial - No! This is not happening! I just fixed you!!!

3. Bargaining - OK, I tell you what. Start going to bed and staying there all night, and Mummy will buy you a present! Hooray!! Anything you like... Barbie doll, Princess dress, special light-up nighttime teddy, Ferrari Testarossa...

4. Guilt - Oh God, this is my fault, isn't it. Oh, my poor child, I've ruined you forever. Oh the shame, I'll be patting your back and singing Puff the Magic Dragon on your bloody wedding night, won't I!!!! How could I have let this happen? I just fixed you!!!

5. Anger - Grrr!!! This is everyone else's fault! Why didn't the Absurdly Happy Little Sears and Ferber Baby Book warn me I would be constantly re-training you? Every development stage, after an illness, after a holiday, getting a tooth, again and again - well screw them, and the horse they rode in on!!!

6. Depression - Abandon all hope, all is lost. Every single other child on earth sleeps, except mine. Where's the wine?

7. Acceptance - You know what? I love you kiddo, and if you need my help for a little while longer, that's okay. And if you need to snuggle up in Mummy's bed and let me breath in your delicious smell and feel your warm little hand on my neck, well, that's okay too.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Memoir Monday: How I developed my life-long fear of Kombie vans.

If you happened to be driving past PBC High School in April of 1991, you may have noticed a stain on the road, not too big, a dark rust-coloured stain.

That stain was my DNA, smeared all over the road.

As part of Memoir Monday, as started by Travis at I Like to Fish, let me explain how this stain, a kombie van and a pack of cigarettes all relate to the day I nearly died.

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Can you believe I've actually forgotten the exact date? I nearly died, but can't remember the date.

April sometime, 1991, I'm 14 and wasting time with my mates before high school, hanging out in a park next to the school. Being the bad-ass that I am, I have started hanging around with "the bad element" and have picked up smoking as a way to prove I'm cool to the cute older boys in the group. :oP (Hey, I never claimed to be a brain surgeon.)

So today I have decided to use my lunch money to buy a pack of cigarettes. Yes, thank you, that is excellent decision making, isn't it?

I borrow a pushbike off a girlfriend, and start heading down toward the corner store, where they have a decidedly loose policy on checking ID to by cigarettes. I'm pretty sure I could've bought a nuclear warhead from this store. I'm heading back, when I hear another friend call out from across the road. Of course, I turn my head to look at her as I answer.

Here was my big problem. I was a very occasional bike rider. I did, however, ride a horse at least once a day for a few hours a day. One of the basic principles of riding a horse is that where you look, you tilt your body, and steer your horse. Problem: bikes work kinda like that too. As I look across the road, my body unconsciously leans in that direction, and steers me out onto the road.

I realise what is happening almost immediately, and correct myself, snapping my head round to check what's coming.

And make eye contact with the headlight of an orange kombie van... I can see the headlight through the black bars of the bullbar on the front. It seems impossibly close, that can't be right.

I realise this kombie is in fact that close, and it's going to hit me. Strangely, I'm not scared. I remember thinking "Oh, this is going to hurt."

Funnily enough, it didn't. Oh sure, I got a sore head (where the back of my head smashed the windscreen. The helmet? Safely hanging from the handlebars, thanks for asking), but I didn't actually feel much pain at this stage. Charming stuff, adrenaline.

I remember feeling the breath whoosh out of me, and the hard jolt and scrape of hitting the bitumen. The kombie had hit me on my right side, and I was all tangled up in the bike. I remember trying to push myself off the bike, but nothing responding like it's supposed to.

Then two friends are there, pulling me clear of the bike and laying me on the footpath. One is a senior guy I sort of know, and another is a good friend of mine. He's sitting with my head on his lap, sussing me out while the older boy is doing something to my leg. I can't feel it. A girlfriend is holding my hand, and I see my other friend running across the park toward the school, for help I presume. I am mortified. I have spend my entire school career trying not to be noticed or singled out, and then I go and create a spectacle like this! The friend with my head on his lap won't let me up, he keeps his arms crossed across my chest and my shoulders pressed into his legs. He's talking at me, but I'm not really paying attention.

I struggle to sit up, he presses me down. I get upset and struggle harder. Realising he's dealing with emotion and not logic, he lets me sit up.




My right leg is a mushy red mess. Now, suddenly, I'm in pain. A lot. It's like my brain needed a bit of prompting to react. Is she really hurt? Not sure, check with the eyes. Oh yeah, she's fucked up. Ow.

Now, I see the school principle striding across the park towards us. Remarkably, I have the presence of mind to slip the cigarette pack out of my sweater sleeve where I hid them earlier, and palm them to a friend. I don't want to get in trouble, after all.

By this stage, the driver of the van is here, babbling apologies. She was a Mum, on her way back from dropping her kids at school. Poor woman, I jump out in front of her, and she feels responsible. She is holding my hand, and my whole arm is shaking. I remember thinking very clearly, "Oh, I'm shaking, I'm probably going into shock. Someone should get me a blanket." Interestingly, I keep this information to myself.

About the same time, a paramedic turns up. Where'd he come from? Oh, it appears an ambulance has turned up. I have no idea when, I didn't notice it.

When the driver of the van is convinced to let go of my hand, I am barely trembling. Turns out it was her shaking, so hard it made my whole arm shake. She needs oxygen. I remember feeling sorry for her.

The paramedics give me a delightful green whistle. This contains pain killers, the dope-you-out-of-your-head kind. They put my mushy leg in a temporary splint and do other very efficient, in-charge kind of stuff. I'm vaguely impressed.

I don't remember much about the ambulance trip, but according to my friend who came in the ambulance with me, I am hilarious when on morphine.

In the end, I have a horribly broken right shin, go into surgery to and end up with external traction (bolts sticking out of my shin, with scaffolding over the top holding it all together). I will spend pretty much the rest of the year graduating from this, to a thigh cast, to a walking cast, to a limp. Other than some cuts to the back of my head, the rest of me is unscathed.

Some days, I can't believe how lucky I am.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Mish Mash

Tonight's post is a bit of bunch of odds and ends. Little scraps I've been meaning to post, but not worth a title all of their own.


Firstly, thank you all so much to everyone who commented on my Smug/Crap list post. It's so lovely to get such bloggy-love,and see such support from Mums - no bitchy judgement here girls! I'm glad to see a few Mums who have decided to post their own lists, I really look forward to reading your posts, and hearing about your proud achievements (and commiserating over the stuff that didn't go exactly to plan!).


I went to see the movie Bran Nue Dae today. I really enjoyed it... sure it has a very convenient ending, heavy on the cheese factor, but it has a joyful, exuberant feeling, some catchy songs and Geoffrey Rush. It also stars Jessica Mauboy (Australian Idol), Ernie Dingo and Missy Higgins, along with a guy called Rocky McKenzie as the main lead. It's nice to see an Australian movie in mainstream cinemas, and it's also nice to see a mainly indigenous cast. Yeah, and it neatly glosses over a lot of the negative history of European treatment of Aborigines, but it touches a little on that treatment via the catchy main recurring song (which I'm still singing) and also alludes to the magic and power that comes from an ancient culture. What it doesn't contain is an explanation for the appaling spelling of the title.


Whilst I was writing the above, a caught a 'sneak peek' of one of the new shows showing on Channel 9 this year... V.

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Is it just me, or does anyone else remember a TV show back in the '80's called this, with an alien race that looked exactly like humans, til they peeled their skin off and they were serpentine and scaly? Yes? No? Maybe the TV exec's think we have a short memory when they market this as a brand new show?

Image from here


Oh! I got a lovely award today from Dual Mom, unfortunately, she didn't tell me what it's called... but here it is!


According to the Rules, I have to name 10 Things That Make Me Happy, then pass the award on to 10 bloggers. As I have blathered on at length on a similar vein before, I have decided to keep my answers to one-word responses:
  • Giggles
  • Moscato
  • Books
  • Cuddles
  • Fishies
  • Grins
  • Chocolate
  • Sleep
  • Endorphins
  • Comments

So I'd like to pass this award onto the following people, all sweet, with varying levels of spice added!

Sharni at Chronicles of Sharnia - a blogging dynamo, future face of NRL and nemisis of Jon Stevens :o)

Caitlyn Nicholas, my muse for all things cooky, chooky and booky.

Katherine Jenkins from Lessons from the Monk I Married - she is who I want to be when I grow up.

Daffy from Batcrap Crazy - she's who I want to be til I grow up. :o)

Alex at Whoa Mumma - one of my first followers, and still keeping me laughing.

Adrienzgirl at Think Tank Momma - sassy, smart and full of useless trivia.

LiLu at LivIt LuvIt - the inventor of TMI Thursday, which I keep meaning to do... hmm.. must get on that train...

Mari-Anne at Counting Coconuts - my inspiration for great playtime activites and Montessori Mumma!

Alliecat at In a Beautiful Pea Green Boat - lovely blogger, and very crafty too!

Cat at Wouldn't it be Loverly - reminding me to make my surroundings beautiful, and showing me some great stuff to do so!

Phew! Done!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Smug/Crap List

Having just about finished reading Mia Freedman's book, Mama Mia (and having very little on my mind for once that's blog-worthy), I have decided to directly steal an idea from her. I'm sure she won't mind, as she says (about the magazine and TV industry): 'There are no new ideas, only recycled ones'.

The concept of the Smug List and Crap list is that every mother has an internal list in her head, where she judges herself on what she feels she has done well as a mother, and what she feels guilty about.

I was so impressed with Mia's honesty throughout her book, but especially in regards to this. It's really our most vunerable self, admitting what we feel we have failed at within motherhood. I wish more women would be brave enough to admit they feel insecure, and maybe even guilty, over certain aspects of their parenting, instead of engaging in Competitive Mothering and trying to out-do each other with their perfect babies who only eat organic, home-made meals, sleep all night and have learned baby-signing by 3 weeks of age. We should be REAL, talk about the things we are having trouble with, and instead of feeling shamed or inadequate, be supported and encouraged within the tribe.

So in the spirit of bravery and sharing Mia has inspired, here is my Smug / Crap List.

I feel Smug about... you know, I don't like the word smug, I'm going to call it Proud... I feel Proud that:
  • I am an engaged Mum, often found sitting on floor, deeply entrenched in whatever game GG and I have cooked up.
  • GG has lovely manners, is bright, funny, cheeky, charming and happy (mostly). I'm choosing to take credit for this.
  • I breastfed GG for 10 months, through inverted nipples, intense pain, cracked and bleeding nipples the whole 10 months and 3 bouts of mastitis.
  • I home-made GG's food with organic vegies for the first year of her life. She still has mainly home-made, nutritious food, with the occasional McDonalds fries or sweet treat to keep life interesting.
  • I am imaginative and playful, making up silly songs, stories and games to play with GG (or get her to brush her teeth).
  • We moved back to the Gold Coast mainly for GG, so she could grow up in a big, close, loving family, with lots of access to her grandparents, aunts and cousins. The fact that we love it here is a bonus.
  • GG is very helpful, something I have developed and encouraged, even though it meant taking 45 mins to empty a dishwasher, endless re-folding of laundry GG has 'helped' me put away and entire mornings spent hanging out one load of laundry. It's paying off nicely now though :o)
  • I am patient (mostly)(with GG, not other members of humanity), and it actually takes a fair bit for me to get cranky or yell at GG.
  • I have encouraged GG to have a love of reading and books, like every woman in my family.

I feel Crap that:

  • I allowed myself to be scared into a caesarian I now think I probably didn't need. I still feel like I never really 'earned my stripes' by having a 'proper labour'. Actually, I've never experienced labour and I feel like I've missed out on something.
  • Despite several attempts and short-lived successes, GG is a terrible sleeper, and she has taken to coming into our bed again, and I am too tired and disheartened to stop her.
  • Despite promising when I started blogging that I would only do it when GG was asleep, I now blog when she is awake and we could be playing together. I actually keep an old laptop under the TV cabinet for GG to play on, whilst I play on my computer.
  • I wish I listened to my instinct more and refused to believe that GG's screaming as a baby was 'just colic', even when the Doctors told me so. I feel bad that she was 6 months old when she was finally diagnosed with a wheat intolerance, all that pain needlessly inflicted on her.
  • There are days when GG has had cereal for dinner.
  • I (like Mia) actually like that GG has a tan. I think she looks so cute and outdoorsy and Aussie with it. Others will point out the potential skin damage.
  • I pretty much constantly have the TV on in the background. GG doesn't watch a whole lot now, but I'm betting she'll be a TV addict too when she grows up.
  • Even though I know she has an awesome time, and is gaining great knowledge there, I still feel awful whenever GG cries when I leave her at kindy.
So there you have it folks, my innermost feelings about my most important job. I would love for any other Mums to share something they are especially proud of (or a bit guilty about), but there are rules for any commenters - NO JUDGING!!!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cuckoo Parenting

def: Abandoning the responsibility of caring for your own child in public places, instead relying on strangers to do it for you. Named for the cuckoo bird's habit of laying her eggs in the nest of a bird of another species, leaving it to raise her chick.

I have been privy to a few incidents of cuckoo parenting lately, and geez this pisses me off.

Like the Mum at our local pool the other day. GG and I were in the little kiddy pool, about knee-deep, with fibro rocks to climb on, little slides from one area to another, waterfall mushrooms and squirty things and floaty crocodiles to play on. There was plenty of squirting and splashing and squealing in a high-pitched, excited manner. GG had fun too.

At this point, we were the only two in the kiddy area. Then along comes Cuckoo Mumma. I noticed her because she's wearing jeans FFS! It's 30+ degress celcius and she's wearing jeans to a pool. (Note: not all Mums wear swimmers just to go to the kiddy pool, you can wear shorts or a dress or something and not get them wet. But really? Jeans?? No.) Then I am further intrigued when I noticed her child is maybe 10-12 months old. Like, can't even walk properly yet.

"What the hell is she gunna do?", I thought, "Let him dangle his feet in?" Wrong. Apparently, what she was going do to was plop him in the water, smile at me, go to a bench on the side fence and start READING A BOOK!!!!! Of course, Junior promptly fell over, face first into the water. And couldn't get up. Even as I lunged for him, the thought crossed my mind, "How long would I have to pretend to ignore him for her to get off her ass and save him?"

After having picked him up and got him on his feet, holding onto the edge, I look over at Cuckoo Mumma - still reading her book and pointedly ignoring me.

I try breathing... I try imagining a valid reason for her behaviour... hey, maybe she's got five other screaming kids at home, and just needs a break. Umm, noooo, you don't go to a pool to zone out. (You go to the shopping centre and dump them in the kiddy-zoo).

Maybe she just got devastating news, maybe her husband just told her he is leaving her for her transvestite sister. Nope, still can't see the logic here.

Maybe she has a mental problem...

Maybe she's a rude, ignorant bitch, happy to rely on the fact no-one is going to let her child drown to prove a point.

This is getting me nowhere. Now I'm not only watching GG, helping her negotiate the trickier climbs and slides, engaging and playing with her, but now I'm also watching Cuckoo's Chickadee, happily and fearlessly splashing in the shallows, regularly tipping over. I'm also regularly throwing filthy looks at Cuckoo Mumma. All wasted, she hasn't looked up once.

OK, enough of this. I should have just marched straight up to her and given her what for, but I settle for passive agressive instead. I say to GG, loudly, "Hold on darling, stay there, Mummy just has to go help the little boy because HIS MOTHER CLEARLY CAN'T BE BOTHERED!!!!".

GG gives me a look like "Issues much, Mumma?" and Cuckoo Mumma finally looks up, whereupon I make the universally recognised 'WTF' gesture (quizzical expression, hands out, palms up, small shake of the disbelieving head). "You wanna look after your own kid now, sunshine?" I say. She says nothing, sheepishly grabs Chickadee and hightails it out the gate.

Here's the kicker. A minute or so after she leaves, GG needs a potty break. The toilets are all the way over the other side of the complex, so I grab our shoes and bag, and we head off. When we come back, a swimming class has just finished, and about 5 or so kids (and their Mums) are there, delaying having to go out in the heat of the day just a bit longer. Now get this... CUCKOO MUMMA IS BACK! Yup, she had obviously loitered somewhere, saw us grab our gear and head out, thought we had left and come back in to abandon her child again. That's right, Chickadee is now being looked after by another Mum, and Cuckoo Mumma is back on the bench reading her book.

One of the things I love about being a Mum is that sense of camaraderie that sometimes happens within a group of Mums. We had all stationed ourselves around the pool, helping not only our own kids, but whoever was around and needed help over obstacles etc. And yes, we all looked after Chickadee. We all gave each other pointed looks and smirks in Cuckoo Mummas direction, but no one actually said anything.

Why didn't I have another go? Because, frankly, I was having an awesome time with GG, playing with her and talking with a super funny Mum with a little girl her age, and watching them play together. I just didn't want to ruin it by getting all het up and cranky with this stupid bitch, because I'm pretty sure the only person who would be getting upset would be me. Or GG. Given that she had actually waited til I left (so she thought) and come back, this is clearly not a case of "Oh Golly, I didn't realise, how could I have been so silly, a thousand pardons", but Cuckoo Mumma's 'modus operandi' for getting a break from looking after her child.

Now I totally get that being a Mum is hard, mentally draining, relentless, and monotonous work, and sometimes you just want 5 freakin minutes to space out and not pay attention to anything. But c'mon people!! Do it the responsible way - dump your kids at your Mum's house!!!

Just kidding I love you Mum and would never take you for granted you are the best and I am eternally grateful for all you do you are awesome and wonderful and sainted and hey do want to take GG for the night this weekend?


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday: Stick it!!

So today is Post It Note Tuesday, hosted by the delicious SupahMommy. If you wanna join the fun, head on over to here, then go visit her blog and link up for sticky fun times!

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Monday, January 11, 2010

Memoir Monday: My Brush with Fame

There have been far too many stories of encounters with celebrities (I'm looking at you, Alex) for me not to share my little tale.

I'm doing this as part of Memoir Monday, as started by Travis at I Like to Fish. If you want to join the fun, head on over, grab the button and get gabbin'!

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So this story is set way back in time, during my... ahem, more party-girl kinda days, circa 1996/97. My two girlfriends and I are at one of our usual haunts, Shooters Bar in Surfers Paradise. Classy, oh yes! This kind of faux-Western establishment was famous back in this day for hosting Melrose Place night, where you could get smashed on margaritas whilst sitting in a bean-bag watching what that crazy Kimberley was up to now. That, and they had a sunken bar so all the cute bartenders looked like Munchkins (and were right at eye-to-boob-level).

So we are kicking along, my two girlfriends are taken, and I'm fresh from a break up and right smack in the middle of the "all men are bastards" phase, so we are just out for girly-bonding time, no man-hunting on this particular evening.

Then, not too far into the night, up bounces this scruffy little surfer dude, eager as a puppy at the park. He first zooms right in on Girlfriend Number One, our token hot friend, but when she demonstrates in a very clear and precise manner how not interested she is, he zones in on us mere mortals. We feel a little bit sorry for him, plus he really does have a very cute smile, so we chat a little bit. This sounds like we're being quite nice to the poor guy doesn't it? Not so. See, this kid looks about 12, and has an eager earnestness that is quite out of place in this bar full of guys trying to look cool and bored. This results in us smirking into our drinks, and I'm not denying we may have asked him if his Mother knew he was out this late.

He took our ribbing with good humour, saying the guys on his TV crew ribbed him about the same thing. Far from impressing us, this led to more eye-rolling and smirking. You see, ever since MovieWorld opened up on the Gold Coast, and started filming TV shows and movies on location, this had been a favourite pick-up tactic for guys on the make on the Gold Coast. I can't tell you the amount of "actors" I met out clubbing, trying to convince me that if I went home with them, I could "pop by the set" one day. Yeah, sure sunshine, just let me send the butler home to my castle to feed my corgis.

He assured us he was on the level, in fact he was here celebrating the wrap of a new TV series. We remained unconvinced, and went on our merry little way.

A week or so later, I was hanging out at Girlfriend Number Two's house, nursing a hangover and vegetating in front of the TV. I'm idly flicking through channels when she pipes up, "Hey, there's that guy from Shooters".

"Wha? Black Shirt Guy?" (a recent rebound flirtation)

"No! That kid that tried to pick up Trish."

"Oh, Smiley Scruffy Guy, right".

"Looks like he really did do a TV show."

"Huh, well there you go. Pass me the Berocca thanks."

Yes, the scruffy little surfer guy with the very cute smile actually did have a TV show. Some medieval thing where he wore a lot of leather. We occasionally watched scruffy surfer guy's show, and joked about imagine him becoming a huge movie star, and us the dunces that dissed him.

Turns out scruffy surfer guy did make a movie, then another, then a few more. Most notably, The Patriot, Monster's Ball and eventually, Brokeback Mountain. Yep, Heath Ledger.


In our defence, he did look VERY young.