Sunday, February 28, 2010

Well, thanks very much U.N.E.

So if the tension between stay-at-home mums and working Mums wasn't bad enough, that venerable institution, the University of New England has released a study that is sure to fan the flames.

They claim that mothers who work part-time have healthier children. Something about eating less junk food and watching less TV. Now, as a Mum who happens to work part-time, I'd love to accept this as universally true, but what rot! How on earth would these researchers know? Clearly these (no doubt Government funded) intellectual colossuses haven't been spending much time at my house. Since I've started working again, and especially since I've gone up to 3 days per week, GG has eaten a lot more pre-packaged or processed foods, simply because I often don't have time to cook dinner from scratch the days I work. As for TV, if it wasn't for Hi-5 DVDs, I'd never get ready in the morning!!

So now if you work full-time, outside the full time job all Mums have that is, or stay at home, you have fat, lazy kids huh? Gee, I love generalisations. And won't it be lovely to have this splashed about all over the media, we all know how they love responsible reporting, and care deeply about the feelings over Mothers all over the globe.

When are we going to realise that parenting is an individual pursuit, some are great at it, others notsomuch, but it has nothing to do with paid employment, marital status, socio-economic parameters, race, religion, creed or colour of toenail polish! Sheesh!

The sooner women stop focusing on what we are doing differently as parents, and focus on what we share, supporting each other instead of snidely judging the decisions of others to feel better about our own, the sooner we will rule the world. Or at least get paid maternity leave.


Friday, February 26, 2010

I'll C U

My Dad's in hospital tonight. Heavily sedated in the ICU, being looked after by some awesome nurses.

He would hate all the fuss, he hates the idea of going to hospital (he's worried he might get sick). I don't really know how much info to put up, he's a pretty private guy. The upshot is he's pretty sick, he has been ill for months now, but at least now he's in the best place possible to get better. We're assured he will be okay, but he has a hard road in front of him, and is likely to be in hospital for a month or so. Hopefully this will encourage him to make some healthier lifestyle decisions (like give up the 2 pack a day smoking habit) when he gets home.

I am feeling really strange about this (yes, I know it's not all about me, but this is my blog right here). Of course I am worried for my Dad, and also worried for my Mum, who's worried for my Dad. And my sister. And.. well, you know, everyone. But I am also a bit angry at him, Dad never really gives his health priority, which I know is very much A Man Thing, but still. Then of course I feel guilty for being angry at him.

Before he was admitted, we were told he was finally convinced by his Doctor to go to hospital to get some tests. I though, "Good, about bloody time!" and was quite umm, blasé, I guess, about the whole thing. So he was meant to go Wednesday morning. Wednesday night I went to see him (he was still in the ER treatment room, waiting on a bed) after work, and was pretty stunned to see how sick he was. It's not like he'd been bouncing around like the Energiser Bunny at home, he'd been quite ill actually, but he looked miserable. And sicker. Shouldn't he look better? Maybe everyone looks sicker in hospital??

Then by the time I went to see him Thursday afternoon, he was in the ICU, unconscious, tubes and wires and what-not everywhere. I was okay at the hospital, and having a quick take-away dinner with Mum afterwards, I was more trying to figure out how okay she was, then on the car trip home... I certainly didn't feel blasé. I felt, shaky, anxious, guilty for being so la-de-dah before. Being the awesome decision maker that I am, I pulled into a servo in the middle of my teary moment and bought a pack of cigarettes (GG was at my Aunt's). Yes, that's me - my Dad is in hospital mainly because of the effects of smoking, I have given up (other than alcohol-related incidents) for a few years now, and what do I do, WHAT DO I GO AND BLOODY DO?!?!?!? Anypuff, I got home, had one, felt sick and threw the pack in the top junk cupboard. Then I berated my queasy self for being so stupid (so Mum, really, you don't need to bother).

And they'd shaved his beard. My Dad has always had a big, black beard (yes, he's a biker, no, he's not a pirate) and it was weird how different he looked without it. I can see his resemblance to his Mum now. It also made him look sort of vunerable. Mum tells me he once shaved it when I was a toddler and when I saw him I screamed, I didn't recognise him... it's kinda the same now. I don't recognise this vunerable, sick man, he doesn't look like my big, burly, Dad.

I'm going to write some more about my Dad, they kind of guy he is, and the lessons he taught me as a Dad, but I need a bit of time to get my head together. He is having an operation on Tuesday, and it would be pretty nice if you could send some positive vibes out for him. Thanks.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Product Review: Good Golly Miss Molly!

Another product review today, and another addition to my online shopping addictions!

Molly Brown Desinger Girls Jewellery is a London-based online jewellery company that offers simple and stylish girls jewellery. What I really liked about it is the the ranges are suitable for girls from toddlers right up to teenagers, there is nothing twee or kitchy about them. Their website states that they are all about jewellery as keepsakes, to be kept and treasured from childhood through to adulthood, and I think they've pretty much nailed it.

Their range consists of sterling silver bracelets and necklaces which all bear their little paw-print logo tag, along with silver, enamel or gemstone charms that can be bought seperately to create personalised jewellery. Given that a Vogue magazine I flicked through recently had necklaces with multiple little charms featured heavily, I'd say they are right on the money for fashion-conscious girls (and their Mums!).

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

They also have a pearl range, called Pearly Girly...

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

C'mon, admit it, you've got your credit card out already haven't you?? No, just me then??

The website has a Pick and Mix feature, to make buying one necklace or bracelet and multiple charms easy, and they have Gift Guides, where you can select from headings like Birthdays, Bat Mitzvah, Posh Girls, Tomboys, etc. and see a range of jewellery that might suit.

You can even create a Wish List, and add your favourite items to it, and it even has space for you to leave comments (or heavily loaded hints) for family or friends.

A simple necklace with one enamel charm will cost from £40 - which works out to be about $AU68, or $US61, and onwards and upwards for different charms, until you get to the Pearly Girly necklace (£50), which with a love heart charm would cost £90 ($AU155, $US139).

Molly Brown ship worldwide, with postage costs to anywhere outside Europe at £18 ($AU31, $US28).

With these prices it is a little bit pricey for everyday, but certainly a good option for birthdays, a gift for a flower girl or a girls communion gift.

Hmmm... now who has a birthday in May, GG? :o)


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Safe as Houses

So I’m thinking of moving my family into a bomb shelter and throwing away the keys.

Honestly, it’s just getting so scary out there. First a 12 year old boy is stabbed in his schoolyard, then a little girl in Sydney is snatched from her home, horribly abused and left for dead. Then a little girl in Bundaberg is abducted and killed by a family friend. All in the last couple of weeks.

It’s a scary enough prospect keeping our children safe out there in the big wide world, but when we drop them off at school, we expect them to survive the day. When we tuck them into bed, we believe they are safe. Our homes are our sanctuary, our safe harbour in this sometimes rough sea of life, and it is a horrifying thought that this may not be so. I know of Mums who are now having their children sleep with them, just so they can be reassured that they are safe. I myself have a dog who sleeps inside, and has always been encouraged, not scolded, for barking or bringing to our attention people approaching the house. Now he is also encouraged to sleep near GG’s room. Luckily he is naturally very protective of GG, and loves being allowed to be near her. I also may or may not have re-connected GG’s baby monitor, just so I can hear what’s going on.

I have always had a tendency to worry, let my vivid imagination take off and concoct disastrous scenarios. I usually am able to shrug this off and even laugh at myself for my drama, but these recent tragedies play right into my strongest sense – maternal. There is nothing more precious to me than my child, and nothing more terrifying than the thought of her being hurt, or put in danger. It is our job to not only nurture and shape them, but protect them.

What’s scarier is trying to explain to our children why this is so. GG is only two, so I have kept her shielded from most of this, but even now, when we are out and about we have a talk that runs along the lines of, “You must stay with Mummy, so I know where you are and can keep you safe.” Safe from what is still fairly ambiguous. We have also started talking about Stranger Danger, but I sometimes struggle to find the right approach.

What about you, how much do you tell your children about the dangers in the world, and how do you say it to them?


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another dilemma...

Once again, I find myself lying awake at night, dithering and obsessing over should I or shouldn't I do something.

Here's the story. Yesterday, while I was dropping GG at her kindy, I was really disappointed in the behaviour of one of the staff members. She's not GG's direct carer, but when they are all outside playing in the common area, she would possibly be responsible for supervising her, depending on whereabouts GG chooses to play.

What I'm dithering over is whether or not to speak to or email the Centre Manager and express my concern. To dob or chill out, basically.

Here's the situation. When I dropped GG off, this girl was responsible for overseeing the area outside GG's room, it's basically an enclosed outdoor room, minus one wall, which leads out to a big yard. Under her lack of care, two or three boys, including one school aged boy there for before school care, were throwing and frisbee-ing these rubber rings around. It doesn't sound like much, but they were flinging them pretty hard around the room where lots of the littler kids were playing (and where GG wanted to play, cos that's where her friends were).

Now, this chick couldn't have seemed less concerned with what was going on around her. Not only was she trying to get them to move outside, or stop all together, she was praising them!! "Oh, that's a big throw!" etc.

As I'm standing there wondering whether or not it's my place to say something to her or the boys, sure enough, a little boy gets hit smack in the face. He bursts into tears and after initally telling him, "Oops, you're okay, hop up, la-la-la" she finally gets off her arse and comes over and takes him inside to put some ice on his eye. She catches my eye as she passes and seems a little surprised to see me looking so clearly unimpressed.

The boys go on chucking the rings with abandon and I'm getting kind of pissed off now. Just then another carer arrives to start her day and takes in the situation.

I'm not sure what do say, so I settle for, "C'mon GG, we'll go play over there, these boys are playing too rough." (Yes, I do enjoy my passive-agressiveness, very much, thank you).

Carer Mark 2 immediately tells the boys to go down the back of the yard where there are less kids if they want to keep playing the game. "But whhhyyyyyy?" whinges School Boy. The words are out of my mouth before I even think, "Because you just hit one little kid, and I don't want you to hit my little girl." This is said with a bit of a growl that I just couldn't help.

Anyhoo, that's pretty much the deal, what I'm now torn over is whether or not to leave it there, both carers will be in no doubt as to my opinion, or whether to say something to the Centre Manager about how I am disappointed that the first girl didn't manage the boy's behaviour better and prevent anyone from getting hurt in the first place.

Now, I don't want to be the Fun Police, or the Whingey-Bitch Parent type, I'm usually pretty laid-back about the inevitable bumps and knocks kids get just doing what kids do, but I do think if I say something, maybe I will stop GG being the next kid who gets hurt unnecessarily. Am I out of line here? What would you do?

It's hard enough to leave your children in care, what if you don't trust the people who may be watching over them?


Monday, February 22, 2010

I joined the Party!!!

I had a whole big deep and meaningful post I meant to write tonight, but I've binned it til tomorrow to rave about Zumba!!

I have been dithering for a little while about trying out this Latin dance based exercise class, after seeing the DVD's advertised on TV and then learning that there are classes held on the Gold Coast. I had been kinda wanting to try it, but figured it was the sort of thing you needed a friend to go along with. I had been thinking of asking my Aunt if she wanted to come along with me, but hadn't got around to it.

Then tonight she rang me while I was making dinner and asked if I wanted to come to a class with her... in an hours time.

Immediately, my mind filled with excuses... I had gotten a yucky blister on my heel walking the dog this afternoon, it was one of the only three nights in the whole week that my husband is home, GG was in a hell of a mood.. blah, blah, blah. STOP!! I heard all these excuses run through my head and I thought, "Stoppit!!! Just stop making excuses and Lose It Bitch!". So I said, "Yes".

I quickly finished dinner, threw plates in front of everyone, chucked on my gym gear and helped hubby bath a tired and clingy GG, who was not happy about her night's plans suddenly changing. Kind of understandable, she had been at kindy all day, only just get to see me, and I was flitting off again. But she took it pretty well when I told her she would get to hang out with Daddy, and waved me goodbye happily.

The class was held at a local school hall just a few minutes away, and it seemed like every woman aged 12-60 has gotten on the Zumba train. There we were, every age and shape (and, it later turned out, dancing ability). There was a bit of a buzz in the room, and some really infectious music playing.

Then the instructor jumped up on the stage. Now this lass was not a lithe little dancer type... she was a large girl with a belly built for belly-dancing, big curves and wobbly bits. Wow. This initially led me to believe I shouldn't have much trouble doing the class, despite all the warnings I had heard that it is the most intense cardio you'll ever do. I mean, tihs girl was bigger than me, I should be okay, right? I couldn't have been more wrong - this girl must be the fittest person alive!!! She had just finished a class a half an hour ago, and was back for more!! And let me tell you, I have NEVER sweated so much or had so much fun doing it!!!

She led us through a couple of basic moves and then cranked the music and off we went. I got some of the moves easily, notsomuch with others, but the energy in the room was fun, have-a-go, doesn't matter if you haven't got all the moves, just DON'T STOP MOVING BABY!!! There was lots of booty-shaking (with obilgatory whooping by the more seasoned Zumba-ers!!).

The music was so infectious, that every time I would grab a break for a drink of water or a quiet little heart attack, the music would lure me back on the floor - think Jai Ho, Push It and my favourite, Gasolina.

All up, I have never worked so hard, never sweated so much in public and am totally hooked! It didn't quite live up to the "party atmosphere" our instructor promised, what with the brightly lit school hall venue and distinct lack of margaritas, but it was fun, loud, girly and a bit like having a night out dancing, only there's no alcohol to dull your sense of how much work you're doing and there's no stopping to pash random cute boys (or was that just my clubbing days??).

Now, you'll have to excuse me... I need to go work on my Beyonce-esque booty-shaking skills...


Friday, February 19, 2010

New Kid on the Blocks

I have mentioned before how it seems every time I join a group, be it an exercise class, book group or Scientology church (kidding!), I'm clearly the only person who isn't a long-standing member. It's a gift, I know.

With a few lovely exceptions, this has usually been A Bad Thing. An exlusive, alienating, dis-heartening thing that makes my jaw ache from all the gnashing and teeth clenching.

So today, I rocked up to a new gym I've found near work for a Body Pump class. They do casual visits so I can go and get the motivation and intensity I love from a class, without having to hand over my grocery money every week. I was quite psyched about starting this new class, so much so that I forgot about my weird genetic quirk that means I will always be the New Kid. Until, that is, I arrived 5 minutes late to class, finding the room jam-packed with hard-bodied ladies all moving in perfect unison. Shit!

First, I realised I was the pudgy-est girl in the room. Always fun. Then, I realised I would have to sidle my way past about 10 people to collect the weight bar, hand weights and step bench I would need.

Then, a miracle occured! The instructor noticed me dithering in the back corner, and gave me a friendly hello, then asked, "Can we set her up girls?". Two or three of the ladies proceeded to break routine, fetch the piece of equipment nearest them and bring it over to me. One even set my step bench up for me while I grabbed a bar. They smiled at me and waved off my delighted thank you. I just about fainted from shock!

Then, throughout the workout, the instructor would check in quickly to make sure I was familiar with the moves. Luckily I was a regular Pumper back in my 20's, and it all came back to me, so I didn't disgrace myself. Actually, I kept pace and did the whole class! Of course, now I am currently typing with my nose, as all my other muscles hurt to even think about.

I don't know if it the difference between this experience and 99% of the other experiences I've had with gyms and exercise groups is just luck, but I do know that this class and my Wednesday group (remember, the Council-run Fitness Group) are of the non-trendy, don't advertise on TV or sell their own branded merchandise gym varieties, and they are both on the Gold Coast, my hometown and pretty well-known for being laid-back and friendly. Any which way, I'll take it!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Product Review: Who doesn’t love them some gorgeous shoes?

I have been looking everywhere for some nice shoes for Gorgeous Gal. She has a foot roughly the size of Texas, so it’s been a challenge! Everything is either too grown up, or the shoes I do like don’t have proper support or good soles. That’s what I get for having a two year old who is taller than some four year olds I know!! She has a great career ahead of her as a supermodel... or MPV for the Opals.

So it was with great serendipity that I found myself being offered a gig writing about kids shoes, in particular Start Rite shoes. Irritating spelling aside, they have some really lovely kids shoes, school shoes and some of the cutest little gumboots (wellies) I have ever seen – they even have some with little depth markers on the back for puddle-jumping competitions!!

You can shop online, and Start Rite even have something called Click ‘n’ Fit, where you can print out a graph and then upload a digital photo of your child’s foot on the graph to get the right size. Ihaven't tried this, but if you can get your child to stand still long enough to take a photo, it would be a good way to make sure your online purchase will fit once they arrive! Something I’ve been burned with in the past on eBay...

If online isn’t your cup of tea, you can find your local stockist through their site too. I’ve checked out their shoes in real life at my local Athlete’s Foot, and they seem very well made with good quality leather and stitching and, of course, they offer the correct support for those soft, growing feet. They didn’t have the style I wanted, though they had a good range of school shoes, so we will be ordering online.

In the interest of full disclosure, yes, I am being paid, not for this review, just for including the link, my opinions are exactly that – mine.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Is my cold, dark heart showing or...

... is it just me thinking that the near death-by-semi incident with our favourite stuntmaster Tony Abbott was just a little too convienient??

I can picture it now....

Abbott: "Righto Bob, we're about to meet the press to talk about road safety and how the Government is doing a shite job and they need me to keep them safe."

Bob the Driver: "Yes Mr Burns, I mean Mr Abbott".

Abbott: "Well, go ahead and get Ted the truckie on the walkie talkie, we need to co-ordinate it so he hits the skids right after all the journos fire up their cameras to catch us arriving".

Oh, it's a terrible burden being this jaded and cynical.. ;o)


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A shot to the heart...

"I don't like you Mummy".

I know, I know, kids do this all the time - she's only 2, and she's just rebelling against the feeling of powerlessness she feels when I tell her she has to do something she doesn't want to.

But Oh. My. Lord. I was not prepared for how much that hurt. Tears immediately pricked at my eyes and I gaped at her. My loving little girl, who usually wraps her arms around me tight and whispers, "Guess what? I LUB you!" had just uttered her first negative opinion of Mummy.

Until now, I was loved beyond reason, preferred over all others, brave, strong, wise and beautiful (yes, I asked). Now... notsomuch.

I was unsure how to proceed, I didn't want to make a big production out of it, but I did want her to know that words can have an effect on people.

"GG, it's okay to feel cranky sometimes, but when you say that, you hurt my feelings."

"You got a sore feelings? Where your feelings?"

"No, I mean what you said made me sad."

"You sad now?"

"Well, yeah, I am actually."

"Oh, you wanna cuddle?"

"Yes please."

"I sowwy Mama", she whispered as she gave me a cuddle.

She soon returned to her usual sunny self and we had a great day together. Then at dinner after GG had finished and was playing in the next room - I was telling my husband about this, in a very light manner (making fun of myself for getting upset). Obviously I was overheard, as she decided to toy with my emotions again. She appeared at my side (hmm.. where does she get that sneaky gene from?) and told me again, "I don't like you Mummy". This time delivered with a huge grin. Maybe she thought because she heard me talking about it and laughing, that it was going to be a new game between us. Uh, no thanks. I gave her a deadpan look and got up and walked away.

I hear my husband tell her, "Uh oh, that's not a very nice thing to say, what do you say to Mummy?"

"Mummy?", she calls out.

"Yes, GG?"

"Guess what?"


"I LUB YOU!!!!!!!!"


Sunday, February 14, 2010

More ads that annoy me...

So after my little rant about Meadow Lea the other day, I have decided to share some other ads currently making me grind my teeth.

Apologies to anyone outside mainland Australia, but hey, just play some elevator musak and play along...

Allie from In a Beautiful Pea Green Boat mentioned a great one in her comment last week. It's an ad for baby formula - I think it's for Wyeth's S26 formula, but I can't be sure, and my cursory internet search failed to yield a result, so I give up! It starts of with a paediatrican (we know this because her name and quals are shown at the bottom of the screen) in a hospital hallway talking about how because of her job, she knows how important it is to provide the best nutrition to young babies... then she lovingly pats a baby on the head and strolls off... the baby's mother (we know this because her name and the title Mother are shown at the bottom of the screen) then continues talking about that's why she choose this particular formula. This ad gets to me because it makes it seem that the paed has recommended the formula. This is not so. The Mum does. Certainly there is an implied endorsement by the Doctor simply by being in the ad, but it's all just a little too "sleight-of-hand" for me.

Then there are the ads that aren't necessarily dodgy, just annoying...

First is the MBF Health Insurance ad that runs along the lines of "You need health insurance because somebody waxed the floor without telling you" and shows a guy sulking in a hospital bed in traction, while a girl smiles sheepishly at him and lavishes apologies on him... it just makes me feel like saying, "Oh crack the freaking sads then! D'ya need me to let you know when I've cleaned the windows too, so you don't stick your head straight through them you great clodding, clumsy prick!!! Geez... be glad you have someone willing to clean up after your filth in the first place!" But maybe that's just me...

Then there is pretty much anything advertising a "beauty" product. I'm sorry, but if you expect me to believe that you and you alone have discovered a new enzyme, protein or Martian lizard poo that will lift sagging skin, erase wrinkles like an iron and magically turn me into a vision of youthful loveliness despite my lack of sleep, busy life and complete disregard for sun protection, then you are as deluded as the poor saps who buy it.

Oh, and don't get me started on those "shouty" ads...


Friday, February 12, 2010

When you thought I wasn't looking...

A message every adult should read because children
are watching you and doing as you do, not as you say.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you hang my
first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately
wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you feed a
stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind
to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make my
favorite cake for me, and I learned that the little
things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking I heard you say a
prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always
talk to, and I learned to trust in Him.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make a
meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I
learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you take care
of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have
to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw how you
handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't
feel good, and I learned that I would have to be
responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw tears come
from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things
hurt, but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw that you
cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be..

When you thought I wasn't looking I learned most of
life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and
productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking I looked at you and
wanted to say,'Thanks for all the things I saw when
you thought I wasn't looking.'


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oh, the unspeakable glamour of my life...

Here's two words you DON'T want to hear in the same sentence: "spilled" and "poo".

My Gorgeous Gal, who will be 3 in May, has recently started taking herself off to the toilet and can complete the whole process independently (yay!) as long as she's not wearing tricky buttoned shorts etc. This is usually A Good Thing.

Today, notsomuch.

While I was out at the clothesline earlier this afternoon, I heard a very upset GG call me in. So I head inside and ask her, "What happened?".

"I spilled some poo-poo".

I had initially been a little sun-dazzled when I walked inside, and couldn't see properly, so I thought to myself, "Oh, no worries, I'll just pick up the poo, and grab some of those nifty disinfectant floor wipes I found at the shops."

What lay before me when I rounded the corner into the bathroom will give the non-parents reading (if they made in this far, in fact) nightmares. GG had obviously eaten something that didn't agree with her, and had, being the very good girl she is, taken herself to the loo to take care of the situation. The fact she didn't quite make it is not her fault. The fact that half her digestive tract exploded all over the toilet and adjoining powder room floor is not her fault. Nonetheless, this incident scared her, and what do 2 year old little girls do when they're scared?


They run away...

Down the (carpeted) hallway.


So here's the situation before me... GG, who I can now see has runny poos running down her leg, standing in the bathroom, pointing at a sight straight out of a Steven King novel. She's also pretty upset.

I assure GG it's okay, it's not her fault, don't worry, we'll sort it out and clean it up, lickety-split. all while I am thinking "How on Earth am I going to clean this up, where do I even start? Screw it, we'll have to move."

So I pick GG up and hover-carry her into the bath, hose her off with one of those little rubber hose things, put her in the shower while I clean the bath, run a bath, put her in that to splash and play while I spot-spray the carpet, use a forest worth of paper towel wiping up the floor, door, behind the door (WTF!??! How'd it get there?), toilet bowl, behind the toilet bowl, sling the bathmat into some Napi-San, clean the carpet, disinfect the aforementioned surfaces, mop the floor and shower floor for good measure.

You know what really freaks me out?

That none of this freaked me out. I mean, isn't that just a little bit weird? Before kids, I wasn't exactly prissy - I remember being half-way through assisting a vet operating to spay a collie and asking to go to lunch when we were done - but cleaning a poo-covered room would definitely have rated on my gag-ometer. Now, nuthin'.

I have been de-sensitised by the cumulative bucketloads of bodily functions I have had thrown up on me, leaked onto me and squirted at me. They start you off with those (comparatively) innocuous newborn poos and milky vom-voms and gradually get you to the point where vomit all over your sheepskin underlay is a minor annoyance in your day (another story - beware of tummy bugs and co-sleeping).

This is obviously evolution at it's best, otherwise the forest would be full of sweet little wee ones being raised by wolves, having been abandoned by their human mummies after their first nappy explosion.


Truth in Advertising - The Follow Up

Well whadda ya know!

Seems like I'm not the only one noticing what's going on with sneaky old Meadow Lea. I just saw the series of ads I posted about last night again, only now they have two screen shots at the end saying the ad was brought to us by Goodman Fielder and the Heart Foundation.

Hmm, that, or maybe my blog gets read by more people than I realise!!! :-)

You might think the Heart Foundation thing would hold a bit of weight, but remember this is the same foundation that gave their "tick" of approval to McDonalds meals.

As for Goodman Fielder, that strong upstanding-sounding company (hell, it even has "good" in their name)... hmm, imagine that, they own Meadow Lea!!!!

Do these people think we're stupid?


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Truth in Advertising? Pfft!!!

It's hard enough to decide what to feed out kids today, deciphering nurtition panels, de-coding food additives and pronouncing tert-Butylhydroquinone.

Then along come smarmy old Meadow Lea. Sinking to a new advertising low. First of all, we see a TV advert with a cardiologist talking about how butter is evil and showing a massive pile of butter representing a year's worth of intake and talking about saturated fat..

Then said cardiologist suggests using a margarine spread instead. Oh yes, much better, plant sterols etc., etc.

Now my issue isn't even with the whole butter/margarine debate, it's about how NOWHERE on this ad is there any mention of who paid to put this ad on TV.

Because, in a startling co-incidence, every time this ad shows, two ads later, an ad for Meadow Lea is shown. What serendipity!!! They even show a remarkably similar shot of seeds sitting radiantly in the palm of a hand.

What this means is, for those not paying attention or easily mislead, they think a cardiologist has recommended Meadow Lea. Quick! Let's rush to the store and buy some!!

Now personally, I stick to the theory that the less a food has been interfered with, the better. I think a little bit of butter and other fats in a healthy, active child's diet is better than margarine, which I'm still suss on.

Never mind that margarine is usually hydrogenated and full of trans-fatty acids that raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol just like the saturated fats in butter, but have you ever tasted it? Blurgh...

I'm not saying don't eat margarine if that's your choice, I'm no dietician and plenty of people know more about nutrition than me. What I am saying is know when you are being sold to and manipulated.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm a Twit

Well, I have decided to see what all the fuss is about.

I have joined the legions of other twits (I know, I know, twitterers, but twits is so much more fun!) and joined Twitter. A few of my friends are on, and assure me it's not the vapid, shallow, self-serving and mundane drivel it appears to be.

Can you tell I'm a fan yet?

Apparently, if I play my cards right, it's the next step on my yellow brick road to super-stardom. That, or it's a way to let everybody know each and every nonsensical thought that enters my head. Oh, wait, I already have that.. you're reading it!!!

It's all in the following apparently. Obviously, if you follow Paris Hilton and her ilk, you're going to get pap, so I am stalking my friends lists and am amazed at some of the people out there. There are also some writing groups that I've joined hoping to pick up some tips. I've decided this is the year I'm going to get published, and have just submitted my very first article to a magazine. Not expecting much to come out of it, but fingers crossed x

So, follow me if you like, and I'll try to keep myself off Tweeting Too Hard.

And, let's tweet each other nicely :o)


Monday, February 8, 2010

Heaven Has a New Angel

A beautiful woman died yesterday, after a long and painful battle with that bitch cancer. She fought her off twice, but then cancer decided to fight dirty.

She faced this fight with a courage and grace (and yes, even a sense of humour) that belied her tiny, birdlike frame. She was amazing, a true inspiration, and a hero. She loved her family, her friends and her dancing. Thursday morning coffee groups will never be the same.

Wherever you are tonight, gather your loved ones close and tell them that you love them. And, if you can, give a little to cancer research.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Not a Stepford Wife...

A little while ago the stylin' Diva Misty at Six Divided by Two gave me this nifty little award.

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It was inspired by Misty's friend Julie Marie's post on her blog: Idyllhours - I Refuse to be a Stepford Wife. It's okay, go look, I'll wait...

Julie Marie celebrates her individuality and her right to be herself, and Amen to that!!!

I have often ranted spoken about the need for us all, but especially women, to celebrate our differences rather than judging each other. We are all unique... we look different and don't need to conform to any stereotype of beauty, we make different decisions based on our own personal circumstances and that's okay!!!

So thank you to the lovely Misty, and here are some lovely, unique bloggers I would like to pass it on to:

Sharni at Chronicles of Sharnia

Mari-Anne at Counting Coconuts

Caitlyn at Caitlyn Nicholas

Daffy at Batcrap Crazy

And as much as I'd love to award this to pretty much every little individual on the left of the screen there, I think that's all the linking I have in me tonight.

Have a great weekend everyone!! :o)


Friday, February 5, 2010

Kids and the Media: Danger! Danger!

Well it seems I can't stay away from the touchy subjects this week. I have tried talking myself out of writing about this topic, but it's burning to get out.

Surely I can't be the only person concerned about the amount of early sexualisation of young children we are seeing in ads and products lately? I have seen a few incidences this past week that have left me shaking my head.

Take for example the recent ad campaign in South Korea for Huggies, which attempted to emulate a raunchy David Beckham ad...

Oh, isn't it pithy and witty and a humourous parody! Umm... No. Hell No! There is nothing right with this ad. This is not what baby oil is for. Ever. I can't even start on how wrong this ad is.

Then we have the harlotwholesome Emily Grace and her BFF Noah Cyrus (sister of Miley) releasing a sexed-up range of childrens clothing, including fishnet stockings and everything of the short, tight and pluging variety. Here they are a recent red carpet appearance...

Sweet, aren't they?

Darling poppets, I can just picture them now, skipping through daisy fields, brushing each others hair, sliding up and down My First Stripper poles...

Of course, they're not the first to try and get young girls to dress like hookers. Here we have my own personal bugbear, and an entire range that is banned from my household: Bratz.

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These bloody dolls (and accessories, including a clothing range that features g-strings and padded bras for primary schoolers!!!!) are a symbol to me of everything that is wrong in marketing to children. Insidiously sexual, the graphics and marketing material make me want to gag. They're supposedly all about being fabulously sass-tastic and independent, but all they are really doing is encouraging young girls to want to grow up way to fast, and promoting the idea that sexy is okay for young girls.

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A lot of people will wonder, "What is the real harm in this? Surely they're just playing dress ups?". This is just not so. The Australian Psychological Society confirms that far from fantasy and make believe, children see these images as existing in reality and that physical beauty and sexual attractiveness are intrinsic to self esteem and are part of a successful childhood social experience. Early sexualisation and exposure to advertising and marketing encouraging this leads to the three most common mental health issues facing girls and women today: eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression. Leaving them, of course, a perfect target for grooming by a far greater danger.

As much as I would love for this to be a world so safe that it didn't matter how inappropriately young children were portrayed, it's not. The more we sexualise and eroticise young children, the more we make them a target for paedaphilia. Child sexual abuse is on the rise, and I can't help but wonder when we are going to make the connection between the increased levels of children shown as sexual beings in the media and marketing, and the increased amount of perverts abusing innocent kids.

If you would like to learn more about the dangers of early sexualisation of young children and strategies to educate your children to combat this, go to Kids Free to B Kids, The Australia Institute or Young Media Australia


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hands off my hoo-hah Tony Abbott!

So politician and Federal Heath Minister Tony Abbott has decided to jump up and down about women's health issues huh? Abortion and virginity namely.

Of course, being a middle aged male, he is eminently qualified to speak on such subjects.

We all know Tony Abbott don't we? The guy who in 2005 was re-united with his son, who had been adopted because of course Tony and teenage girlfriend didn't believe in abortion! Heavens no! The fact he was in the media for his refusal to ratify the use of the "Abortion Pill" RU-486 was just a coincidence... oh wait, that wasn't his son was it, nope it was another man's son... who worked as an ABC sound recordist in Parliment... hmmm... what a coincidence... I wonder if they ever ran into each other... Anyscam, I'm getting off topic.

So now he is commenting again on the abortion issue, and has also been banging on about how young girls should value their virginity more and not give it away so easily.

Sure he's the Health Minister, so there is some relevance, but my issue is not really even on his opinion, I happen to think we probably should be fighting teenage promiscuity, and whilst I think he should have approved RU-486, it's not like he is trying to criminilise abortion again, he just doesn't want to see more of them, and well, okay, who does really?

My issue is that yet again, some smug man is telling women what to do with their bodies. How about funding for advocacy and womens groups to actually help young girls. What about more funding for schools to educate and empower young girls? No, just bleat on about a topic and get your name in the news.

And really Tony, if you are stupid and conceited enough to jump feet first into this particular minefield, what other stupid and conceited decisions are you going to make as my elected representative? Pass, thanks.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What's my scene?

Having spent far too many hours standing in front of my wardrobe uttering those immortal words "I have nothing to wear", it dawned on my that actually I have no ONE to wear.

See, I have spent pretty much all my 20's dabbling in different looks and images, and then the last couple of years pregnant and super-sized after said pregnancy, that my wardrobe resembles that of a schizophrenic. I dress according to where I'm going, my mood, who I'll see, what's not in the dirty laundry basket...

Now, before I get started here, I am so totally not a fashionista, and I realise that I could wear a potato sack and still have a fully functioning brain and my spunky if slightly abrasive personality would remain intact. I don't bundle up my self-worth with my make up bag, but I do believe the clothes we choose and the overall "image" we project says a lot about us, who we are and what we are into.

But who am I now? Having spent my high school years slavishly wearing whatever was in Dolly magazine and I could convince my Mum to let me out of the house in, and my 20's dabbling in everything from Doc Martens in the clubs to twin sets at work, I am now a bit befuddled as to what my look is. I'm not talking about what's "in fashion" at the moment, but what genre do I fit in?

I'm pretty sure this isn't it:

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But who am I now? Preppy, Boho, Chic, Quirky, Rocky? Ballet flats, kitten heels, sneakers, Converse, friggen work boots, I don't know!! Frankly, I think there is a little bit of everything in me, a lot of different aspects to my personality.

Sure, I'm a Mum, and jeans and a tee are easy for the playground, but there is a part of me that's wants to be a little more stylish than that. I'd love to be one of those women who just "throw something on" and look put together.

Then of course, there's the matter of buying clothes on a non-existent budget, and finding clothes that fit and flatter my current (hopefully not for much longer) size. But that's just making my brain hurt.

So what are your favourite clothes? Is there a look you love?


Monday, February 1, 2010

Poor Jen - yeah right!!!

Our lunchroom at work has a whole stack of those completely detestable yet thoroughly addictive "trashy" magazines. You know the type, sensational headlines that turn out to be fluff pieces, a whole lot of "our" Princess Mary, and alarmingly photoshopped women showing off their post baby bodies. I have a whole lot of issues with these type of magazines, but one boiled over today.

One of these magazines favourite drums to beat is "Poor Jen".

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A little something for you boys, courtesy of GQ Magazine

Jennifer Aniston, to the uninitiated. Ever since her divorce from Brad Pitt, (who left her for Angelina Jolie, in case you've been living under a rock), someone high up in a media-funded ivory tower, decided that no matter how much success and happiness Jen enjoyed post-Brad, she would be forever tarred as a victim, forlornly pining for her Heathcliff Brad.

This came to a head today whilst listening to a couple of colleagues gossip about Poor Jen.

"I just don't understand why she can't get a decent fella."

"Nah, me either. Maybe no-one can compete with Brad".

"Yeah, but he cheated on her, he was no prize."

"Mmmmm... true."

"Maybe she's a real bitch underneath her nice image."

This went on until me head threatened to explode.

"Or maybe," I blurted, "she's perfectly happy with who she is and is loving her life, just doing her thing, and enjoying dating rather than settling for being married to any old guy!"

The response?


"Did you ever think, " I continue, "that none of us have ever actually met, spoken to or even glimpsed Jennifer Aniston in real life, and are only being told a STORY, the very definition of fiction, that someone has decided will sell magazines!"

Apparently not, it seems.