2006 has been an interesting year so far:
- Oscar changed schools and moved into a mainstream class.
- We were still adjusting to being a family of five with Jasper's arrival in October.
- I returned to full-time work in February.
- And Chef opened his own restaurant (Flying Fox Cafe, 2 Mona St, Mona Vale - for those who didn't know...) last week.
Then the support service we use was denied funding. The service that probably saved our marriage. The people that undoubtedly revolutionised our parenting, interactions and reactions to not only Oscar, but Felix as well. That gave us the skills and the strategies to rebuild our family unit from one under severe stress and in crisis to one where we laughed again, could relax and most importantly, had hope and forward momentum. The service that empowered us away from the isolated fringe of the community back into being a part of it. The service that made our dream for Oscar to be a part of our local community a reality. The people who were going to work with us, with Oscar, with his school this year to ensure being in a mainstream setting was one of success. Was all taken away. In one A4 letter.
Just like that.
For the first time ever, in my life as a parent, I felt powerless and hopeless. And well, no one is allowed to do that to me. When you are the parent of a child with special needs, it is one thing to adjust and adapt to a life framed by a 'living grief'. It is another thing to feel hopeless.
S, the head of the service who has been since its inception, never gave up - her resilience simply takes my breath away. "It will be all right Kim," she said.
Then another parent, S2, sent out an email to the family email list that let a little oxygen onto my almost extinguished flame. And I thought, what's a few emails?
We had a few wins. We had someone of the calibre of Australia's most powerful radio man recognise this was a good cause worth fighting for. We had common-sense on our side. There was strong grass-roots support through our local suburban papers. Our local members of Parliament stepped up to the plate.
But you know, how many parents had done this before us? How many had fought the good fight for years? There was almost a leaky tap approach - just a steady, constant, relentless drip drip drip of information, of us, by us, baring our collective soul to anyone who would listen.
Then this week my home was broken into. (All they took was my shiny new laptop I had organised through salary-sacrifice at work and owned for f.o.u.r. days and our baby bag backpack. Please note they did not take Chef's x-box or myriad games. Yes, I hear you, where is the justice?). Then I had a locksmith tell me I had "put his afternoon out" by having two additional locks needing replacing that I hadn't realised when I booked the call.
The untold psychological damage and years of therapy I bestowed on my children in the exchange that followed between he and I is not really worth dwelling on at this point in time.
It was like all of the anxiety, fuelled since having to start a momentous year like 2006 without our support network, all came to a head. And just as I was feeling that I could take no more, S2 rang on her way from Parliament House. Evening news. Announcement by the Premier. TV cameras.
So, with what has felt like a dozen "final straw"s since we found out the news in January, I have been surprised by my reaction to all the developments this week and the ULTIMATE news today.
Today - the head of the govt dept involved rang S. Money has been found. The entire amount we required to keep the service operating will immediately be made available to us. The paperwork will be signed at a meeting happening this coming week. A meeting we had been requesting for over four years. The cherry on top? That a tender will be developed for the provision of this wondrous support service and therapy services for the entire Sydney region.
Am I amazed? Yes. I said to S2 at the start, "If all I do is make a bureaucrat squirm for a day over a decision made on incorrect information and assumptions, that is victory enough." (Although I knew in my heart that wasn't quite true.)
Am I proud? Not really, we just do what we do for our children.
Am I elated? Not yet, for I know this battle to ensure the same rights are afforded our children as are automatically bestowed on any other will never be a victory in the bag, but a constant quest for what is right.
Am I grateful? More than those who have helped get this to the front page, onto the agenda, into the spotlight, and forced a hand will ever ever know. Not that any of them know about this site (GOD FORBID they ever know about my albino period) but to all of them - the producers, the journos, the staffers, the pollies and in particular to that one radio man who has been as terrier-like as us parents - from the bottom of my heart, thank you for listening. Thank you for not relegating us to "just another rabid parent/constituent" junk pile.
Thank you for acknowledging us, for portraying us and our children with dignity and respect and for helping us fight a good and just fight.
What it has done, is restore a quiet fortitude in my soul to always fight the good fight and to never give up.
And that, like the world this service enables for the families in its care, is immeasurable.
Laugh out loud
Most of you know that Amalah has God-like status for me and really, that is weird because she's only on kid #1 and anyone only on kid #1 needs to just talk to the hand, spread those legs and get breeding before I have any time for them at all. (I found her via Snarky so she was pretty much tatooed to my soul by the time I realised she was with child and more than a fly-by-nighter snark)
Where was I? Oh yes,
Today she mentioned this site and I LOVE cross-stitch and I NEEDED to just laugh out loud.
What would be the likelihood of getting both of those in the one hit.
Pretty darn unlikely I say, so I'm rockin the subversive cross-stitch.
it's late and I can tend to wax lyrical when I'm tired, but I need to get something out of my head that has been kicking around in there for some time.
I'm not sure it will come out how I want it to, and I'm certainly not one to spend any time crafting what I write because as soon as I do that I stop writing at all. So sorry if what follows seems clunky, or if my spelling is bad, grammar questionable, generalisations gratuitous and metaphors mixed. So long as you get the gist...
Firstly, this blogging thing is extraordinary. Particularly for women.
You see, many of us children of the Boomers - particularly women - were sold the ultimate pup that we could have it all. We could have a well paid, highly rewarding on all levels job as well as having a family and a life.
What a crock.
Instead, we have a cohort of women expected to have it all. And somewhere in there, that same cohort of women are just trying to get through the day, the week, the month and years without doing too much damage to anyone except probably their own liver and maybe some other internal organs.
I saw my shrink yesterday and he said I had to stop viewing my world in terms of absolutes (we talked on this particularly in regards to Oscar - that I have to give away notions of good/bad, success/failure - and instead, view him and his life as a work in progress. This was hugely liberating let me just say) and in particular, that the traditional notion of a primary breadwinner going off to work each day and a fulltime homemaker are just not applicable any more.
Life is messy.
It won't ever be perfect.
That it's always a juggle, a hodge podge if you will.
And you know what? That is alright.
Yet every day I know we all struggle with the decisions we make as parents, the relationships we have at work, the direction or lack thereof in our careers, the pressures of money - all that as all we try to do is simply matter. To make a difference in some small way each and every day.
But every day I feel like I fall so short of doing that it can bring on a desolation so vast and cavernous I am almost immobilised.
Because you see, in trying to do all that comes exhaustion and a feeling of isolation. Comes that weight-of-the-world kind of feeling that no matter how hard you shake, does not budge.
Throw into that mix a sense of the world around you and a deep deep concern for where the very fabric that makes your country what it is is at, or events in the world that can only be reacted to with despair, horror or bewilderment - and you have a pretty strung out, world weary, anxious populace.
And to me, I don't know, that just doesn't seem right.
Today I was part of something that brought about a change. That reversed a decision that was wrong. And I've been surprised by my reaction. I should be elated. I should be cheering. But instead, simply put, my stores of quiet fortitude have been restored.
But underlying that was a new friendship that was forged with another woman.
Another woman just trying to matter and make a difference.
And you see, Bec and I had a chat today that covered many things, from being a parent, to a wife, to a worker to just us.
And - as happens every now and then - I saw once more what remarkable creatures we are.
Even when we were sold a pup of being able to have it all - we still make the best of it that we can.
We beat ourselves up along the way. Badly.
We don't do enough things for ourselves to keep the engine well oiled and when we do we feel guilty for it.
But every now and then we buy the highly impractical yet gorgeous shoes. Or handbag. Or underwear. Or truffle oil.
Our hearts break at missing the school concert or not being there to pick the kids up from school or drop them off for that matter. But we lie in bed with them at night reading stories, making stories up, and singing them to sleep.
We forget that in the eyes of these children, no matter how badly we think we're doing, they just see their Mum.
And we all know the infinite comfort - safety - that comes from that.
Constantly of late I have the passage from The Great Gatsby running round in my head:
...tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further...And one fine morning -
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
Boats against the current.
And that brings me back to this blogging caper. The ultimate mothers group, even if you don't have any kids. Even if you're a bloke.
Because you see, you can have a really shitty day, a bad week, an arduous task, a heavy heart and yet, you can read a post by someone else that lifts your spirits so high suddenly all is not lost.
I know we all have friends around us. But sometimes it's hard to call upon them when you know they're fighting their own demons or simply living their own lives. For example I didn't ring anyone about getting robbed yesterday. I mean - what do you say? and why? what was I looking for? No one was going to take the pain away, I just wanted it out there.
So here I stand. In a little part of a weird world with a wonderful friend by my side. Where we write about the stupid, the heartbreaking, the inane and the beautiful. Where we can carry each other, or distract, comfort or just make laugh.
And that, it a truly wonderful thing.
That is all.
Taking Kim's mind off the locksmith: Or: On Having Girls
One of the things I love about this joint blogging arrangement is that we work out things about each other all the time.
Now something I have realised about Miss Kim tonight, thanks to the wonderful, wonderful influx of kind, caring and compassionate commenters following her horrible home robbery, is this:
Has been cultivating
Mothers Of Boys!!
There's Pea Soup, of course, and Blackbird, and Susie Sunshine, and Babelbabe, and A, and Sueeeus and others - you know who you are. (But not you, Surfie girl or you Lucinda or, wait, if I go one I'll ruin my argument!)
And let me tell you, I'm not in the least prejudiced against mothers of boys. Hey, I AM one, of one. But something from an earlier post of Kim's this week made me laugh and laugh.
You see. My mother had me and then two boys.
We moved to a town where, up 'til then, everyone played rugby league.
My mother - being that kind of woman, started a soccer club.
At first it had one team.
By the next season it had five.
By the sixth season, the rugby (mum called them 'thugby') league club members had started a smear campaign to try to stop the pestilent spread of soccer. It didn't work.
By which, I mean, it didn't stop me having to spend every Saturday from March to October traipsing from soccer field to soccer field in a diameter of about 200 kilometres.
Hours, and hours, and hours in the car to watch other people play not very good sport.
Things in Sydney today are not much different. If you have boys, and they play soccer, you travel to a different field every Saturday, and you often don't know until Thursday where that field will be.
This is what happens when you play a male dominated sport, organised along rules arranged by men. You never know where the hell you are, nor what time you're going to have to get up to be sure you'll be there.
Go on, prove I'm wrong: I dare you!
(and this is where the getting Kim's mind off her troubles part comes in because I know her well enough to know that, like me, a dare is very hard to resist!)
So. When I saw Kim's post about how grateful she was to have boys and NOT be standing on a netball court I had to laugh.
And laugh, and laugh.
You see, netball is organised by women. For girls, and women.
And do you know how it works?
Every week, you go to the same place. Unless you are foolish enough to have a sportily gifted child who plays in rep teams, you always know how far you have to travel and what time you have to be there. Always.
So I had to have a laugh.
Then I got over it.
Because I stuffed everything up by having a bet both ways - with two girls and a boy, and boy-girl twins into the bargain. So any sport we engage in on a Saturday MUST be unisex, like gymnastics, or karate.
But it's funny,
how the lens through which we view life can be coloured by such strange things as the way our children emerge from the womb.
And I was thinking all about this tonight because my big girl was allowed to stay up a bit later and watch New Inventors (favourite show, go figure) and while we watched it she brushed and plaited my hair.
And it was good.
Taking Kim's mind off the locksmith: Or: On Having
I just realised
the last post said "and other stuff" but really, I can't be bothered. Except to say, the cause I've been fighting for the last three weeks made it to the nightly news bulletin on every single free-to-air TV station this evening. And radio. And probably major metro press tomorrow.
And the P.R.E.M.I.E.R. announced that next week a tender will be announced for the provision of school aged services and therapy services (that is more than we were asking for by a lot) across all.of.Sydney (not just our region).
So on a very bad day, some very good things did happen.
The post robbery day also known as the Day of Crying...and telling someone to get the fuck out of my house and other stuff...
As I (finally) went to take boys to school this morning and get to work sometime before midday, I discovered the stupid fuckwits, also known as thieves, had taken the backpack I use as Jasper's nappy bag. In the side pocket of which is my house keys.
So there we were, couldn't leave as no keys to lock up house or get back in, nor wanting to leave because the fuckers have now been here, seen what else they could nab and have keys to make their entry (and getaway) a lot easier.
The locksmith is organised - they can come between 1 and 3. So after not being able to leave, get anyone to take my kids to school, and crying a LOT, I declare today a mental health day for all. If only it had been fun.
The locksmith arrives at 3.10. I point out that I had not realised this morning that he would also have to rekey the garage locks as they are the same as the house locks. He huffs and puffs. A lot. Then, as he walks through my house, mutters, yes MUTTERS that I have "really put his afternoon out".
I was all "excuse me?" and "you were meant to be here between 1 and 3", being an IDIOT, he didn't realise he was talking to a woman seriously on.the.edge., so persevered. "Well," he said, "it's only ten past three".
I think you can all guess what followed.
I sort of cracked. In a way I have never EVER cracked before, in public or to a stranger. "I've put your afternoon out? I've been robbed. People have been in my house and taken my possessions. These people have taken a bag with belongings in it for my baby and my housekeys that have photos of my kids on it. And I've put your afternoon out? How dare you try to make me feel guilty for not realising you would have to change two additional locks. I've had to wait for you all day so while your afternoon has been put out I could not go to work today. I could not get my kids to school and that perhaps if you'd arrived closer to one rather than after three your afternoon might not have been quite so put out?"
This was all said in that loud authoritarian but teary-edged voice I have perfected.
He was pretty scared. He tried saying sorry.
I told him to put the lock back in the door and to "get the fuck out of my house." and some more that I don't quite remember but went something like, "PUT.THE.LOCK.BACK.IN.THE.DOOR.AND.GET.OUT.OF.MY.HOUSE."
Then there was the phone call to the company. Where I basically did the same thing all over again. The guy was awesome. Asked to speak to the locksmith, to which I said, "he is not touching one more thing in my house, I have asked him to put the lock back in and leave, which he is doing." The guy on the phone didn't even try to apologise but instead simply said, "I will have someone there as soon as possible." Which he did. A guy who looked like he belonged to the Commancheros. He looked pretty darn scared when he knocked on the door.
Mum passed the first guy on her arrival home. She tried to make me feel sorry for his stupid sorry arse. That he was stuttering. And visibly upset. All I remember in talking to her was saying fuck a few more times.
I can only imagine how this will come back to bite me on the arse. Probably when Felix is suspended for telling his teacher to fuck off or some such.
When all you do is try to do the right thing.
Try to be a good parent
A good wife
A good person
You go to work
You try to right by your kids
You stay up late the night before making dinner so all your mum has to do the next night is reheat it for the kids.
You do the washing, get everyone else ready
You fight the good fight for a cause you think is worth fighting
You drag your carcass around exhausted and worn out, but sort of OK with it because it's life, we all do it and at the end of the day we have each other.
To get home at 7.30 pm and discover you've been broken into.
And that all they have taken.
The ONLY thing, belongs to you.
Your brand new, four day old, done through salary sacrifice at work laptop computer.
That was on a shelf
Looking like a book
Not even sitting out somewhere
Apparently, I am meant to be grateful
but all I can think is that it is
Confessions - Bec
Do you love this? Or is it just me? Look here: Artcubana
So, back to the confessional I go, thanks to the cathartic release provided by Kim's Confessions here and, most recently here
This week, I promise, no vermin.
Instead, my theme is hypocrisy.
- Sometimes I stay at work later than I absolutely need to, just because it is quiet.
- I grump at my husband when he does the same thing. Even though he is usually genuinely behind in work and trying to catch up.
- I often yell at my kids for yelling.
- I try very hard not to threaten a smack when they are hitting.
- I try even harder to not threaten a smack at all. When did I become this vile monster?
- I frequently mention the cost to our household of the Prof's diet coke addiction, but keep the budget for my nightly wine habit a tight secret between me and the EFTPOS machine.
That will do.
And while we're at it, my penance is coming this weekend: another bottom to clean up after.
Mondays are when:
you realise how organised you are (or aren't) and how your week will subsequently flow (or unravel).
you must acknowledge that not leaving the house until 7.46am is not a good sign of a good week to follow.
you know that ironing sucks but even though you hadn't wanted to do it on Sunday night, no matter how late it was, you still should have.
You decide that starting the week on a night of maybe 4.5hours of broken sleep is not really that nice, nor that encouraging when you're half an hour late into work, but throwing a large skim mocha in on top of that mix is just downright ugly. I think it took about three hours for the caffeine addled anxiety to wear off. Sort of.
That daylight savings being changed for MELBOURNE and SPORT is really really STUPID and SUCKVILLE. Outlook had a meltdown over it, IT sent out an explanation about what they were doing to fix it and what we needed to do that was so convoluted my brain started bleeding out my ears an then it all seemed find. Something to do with a patch which I insist on calling a badge and revealing just how little I care for how my computer works, just so long as it does.
the week stretches out before you like a long hard beach walk in soft sand.
this week Chef opened his own restaurant. Well he and two partners did. It is all VERY VERY exciting.
It has gone OFF like a frog in a sock. Imagine! A frog in a sock! And that is how much this place is JUMPIN'.
Today, they went through FIVE crates of milk. FIVE. That's like a bazillion litres. Yesterday, which was a cooler day and had a cold breeze blowing, they sold 36 KILOS of hot chips.
But that undermines the AWESOME menu MY HUSBAND has created - lots of divine salads, wraps, burgers, the best breakfast offerings anywhere (seriously, how am I meant to decide between field mushrooms, goats cheese and pesto on sourdough, corn fritters w/ fetta and rocket, pancakes or eggs with mushrooms, beans, bacon...and so on???).
The market is families or anyone with offspring or young people in their care. Them and those weird weird people who have dogs and take them walking. Weirdos. There is a massive, wonderful park right beside the cafe, with a flying fox, a massive climbing frame, loads of sand, play equipment for a range of ages and then on the far side, a bike track with wide open green space. But back at the cafe, is a creek running by that leads out onto Pittwater, one of the most gorgeous stretches of waterway in Sydney. So the outlook from the cafe is across lawn, native plants to Pittwater with boats moored and so on and so forth.
Put simply, this is breeders heaven - you can feed them, let them run off to God knows where and sit there eating good food, drinking awesome coffee (or in my case, endless pots of tea) and just hang out - everyone happy.
There is just one problem. staff. The wait staff SUCK. That is all that needs to be said at this stage. There will, apparently, be much yelling and "what the fuck?"s at a meeting tomorrow, when the head waitress is seriously quizzed on why she had NINE staff at her disposal and NO system of who was looking after what area. There will be questions why the groovy (expensive) take-away order buzzer system isn't being used, instead just yelling "chicken salad? someone order chicken salad?" eeeuughh it just makes me shudder. Anyway - at least they are aware of it and know it has to be fixed, and fixed FAST.
But as we know it is actually all about me, it dawned on me today that I am in serious single motherland for quite a few months now. And that I'm going to have to mow the lawn at some stage this week. ..
that said, I'm feeling almost ready for the week ahead. I still haven't ironed work clothes, but I've made up a few dinners that are ready in the freezer, all the boys school uniforms are washed and bags are ready for tomorrow.
Bec made mention the other day of just feeling old. I've been mulling over this concept for a few weeks now, as the last two months have been pretty darn stressful for me and ther have been days, no, actual moments of time, when I can physically feel my body ageing. I can feel my hair greying, my skin sagging, my organs slowing down. Now I know, you're all going "oh for fucks sake, get over it" but I'm serious. It is quite a surreal experience and not one I am entirely comfortable or happy about.
Kanye West is on Ellen wearing a Les Miserables sloppy joe. BLEUCH. It could only be worse if it was Usher. And Anne Hathaway is up next. I mean seriously, the girl from The Princess Diaries. PULEESE.What was it, slim-pickins week for celebrities???
In which the eyes are the window to the soul; the guppy babies emerge, and the Evil Twin lives the Life Aquatic.
This photo is so odd. The Gorgeous Boy's nose is nowhere near so large, nor his lips so beestung*. The perspective appears to be a product of his almost obsessive interest in self-portraiture.
However, in the absence of a better shot, I am going to sneak into Blackbird's Show and Tell this week with that oldie-but-goodie, the eyes are the window to the soul.
You know how some babies are old souls? Not my GB. He was brand spankin', in my expert maternal opinion. His older sister, the Pea Princess? Definitely an Old Soul. His younger (by one minute) sister is still an open case, but my side of the family is fairly convinced that she regularly channels my mother.
Who died after she was born.
Nothing surprises us about the Evil Twin.
If you look very closely here you will see baby guppies.
See that grey horizontal smudge towards the bottom of the purple filter pipe? And that pale smudge halfway between the fake shipwreck and the floating weed?
Congratulations! You're an Official Baby Guppy Spotter.
Baby guppies are a challenge, photographically.
I share them now purely because I offered to send some to Manhattan Mama and I think it only fair, before I put them in the Fed Ex envelope, that I prove they left here alive.
* Beestung is the word du jour. Last night the Evil Twin scooted into the bathroomon my directions just before bed.
She headed through the door and hit a wet patch. There was a small thump and an almighty scream. Followed by another almighty scream. And another.
At first I thought she'd broken her toe.
Something I know a bit about, having broken two of my right toes a total of seven times.
A little later, with ice applied and things a little calmer, I went back to the bathroom and wiped up the wet patch.
That's when I found the bee.
You've got to hand it to her.
She even makes falling on her bottom an extraordinary event.
You can play too!
* because JESUS, Bec is correcting me in comments again.
** and no, there is no missing question mark here.
- Glass castle::ice skating tragedy
- Preserved::Fowlers Vacula jars
- Jealousy::is a curse. Apparently.
- Territory::Something I lack.
- Coffee::stain? addict? jar? cup? machine? crema? they all came to my head at once
- Stephen::husband of a friend of mine
- Dynamic::Hepnotics*. "You've got that soul kinda feeling yeah! Moving to the beat. Da da da da daaaa"
- Daybreak::I see it each and every day.
- Dew::on the grass
sometimes its like watching the evolution of man...
now we're up to kneeling.
Things I’ve realised this week…
How much of my stress was actually for Chef and the imminent (now passed) opening of his own restaurant.
How proud I am of him as I see him in the shiny new kitchen he designed cooking food from a menu he created and seeing people (more importantly, fools like us who are breeders and therefore sacrifice a life of many nice shoes, international travel and enviable career trajectories and otherwise have no life except one with a warped focus on how many ways you can say no, bowel motions, money or lack thereof and a daily challenge of just how many things you can start and how few you can do well or hell, even come close to finishing) really enjoying themselves.
How much I love watching my t.h.r.e.e. kids just mucking around on the filthy floor and how if going back to work and not living with (and therefore trying to beat) the filth 24/7 is what it takes to make me stop and marvel at this normalcy, then so be it.
One day, soon, I will clean the inside of our car. The filth of which is something I am actually embarrassed by. I find this curious as the household crap is something I just find irritating and a great source of feeling bitter and resentful toward the universe. In the car however, the filth is just plain embarrassing.
How I’ve only been gone from work for four months and that it’s taken being back for a whole month for me to realise just how out of sync I am with it – how I haven’t got back into my work groove in terms of my thinking.
How when I’m tired, hell, even when I’m not, I mix my metaphors. Badly.
Current expressions used way too often:
Going off like a frog in a sock
Holy snapping* duckshit
* corrected from "flapping" because enough already!
that I had this post that rocked and blogger lost it. all of it. and I've watched too many Simpsons episodes and had a baby too recently to be able to remember any of it with the punchy phrases, glorious wit and expressions of love that it contained.
Bummed. Seriously bummed.
It's Wednesday: I thought it was Tuesday: Is this a plus or a minus?
So confused about time just now.
I seriously thought it was Tuesday today. All day. You know that feeling?
Of course, for some of you in the getting-up-later part of the world (yes, sorry, that includes America) it actually is still Tuesday. For that, I forgive you.
It wouldn't be so bad except I sent out a couple of releases today with "will be opened tomorrow (Wednesday 23rd March) " in them. So confused; so unwitting; so very, very confused.
None of the releases went statewide, or to metro journos, thank god. So I can count on the innate insecurity of any regional/local journos to ring me if they are confused about dates.
Sometimes it's good to have so much experience that you can predict how other people will help you cover for your fuck-ups.
Sometimes it just makes me more tired.
The thing is.
When I am doing multiple 12 and 16 hour days I expect to get confused about where I am in the week. Hell, I expect to get confused about whether I'm going to bed or just getting up --- several times a year. But the adrenaline rush makes up for that.
Just now, however, I'm not particularly over-worked, just mildly out of my comfort zone.
Between you and me: a secret? I think I'm just getting seriously old.
So, dear internets, do me a favour and keep reminding me what day it is, OK?
Preferably, in my own time zone.
But I know you'll do your best.
why Ellen is on so friggin late at night.
And why Madge is wearing that Menopausal Purple corset in her interview with Ellen. I don't care how great that 40+ year old body is compared to my 33year old one but PUT SOME FREAKIN' clothes on, ditch the flicks and just fucking get with the program of 2006.
I love Ellen. I wouldn't turn for her, but she's sort of goofy, looks comfortable in her own skin and is funny - what more can a woman strive for I ask you.
And Bec, I've commented on your confessions, but dude, you cut your own hair? Really? Wow. And I say that because you do a really good job. If I cut my own hair it would look like the boys had taken to it with a rusty hatchet in my sleep.
My turn to confess
Here I am, thanks to Kim's confessions
- a little late for Sunday but contrite all the same.
- I over-use words like vile and vexed and audacious. As a result my children come out with odd little phrases that make some adults look at them strangely. It's all my fault.
- I have a foul temper and yet frequently manipulate domestic fights to make it look as though they are not my fault. It is despicable, I know, to use superior debating skills to outwit someone I love. But I can't stop.
- I chew the skin on the sides of my thumbs. This doesn't match the vile infected cuticle confessions of others indulging in this list, but it does leave nasty torn patches of skin which go hideously well with...
- ... old patches of nail polish. What can I say? I like putting it on, I hate taking it off. Whenever I use nail polish remover my nails immediately split and crack apart so I just put up with patchy old polish that I can pick at and flake off at my leisure.
- I cut my own hair most of the time. I think this was in someone else's confession somewhere last week. I don't know why I should feel guilty about this but I know that I do. Why?
- I cut all my kids' hair too. Because. In this groovy inner Sydney part of town ALL the kids have headlice, almost ALL the time. And even when they don't have live lice they have dead eggs that (trust me, I have tried EVERYTHING) will certainly not entirely come out before the next lot of live lice come along. Guilt? You try taking that to the hairdresser without wearing sackcloth and ashes, baby.
Just some thoughts for a Monday
I love passive smoking. Sometimes, I will actively move to be downwind of a smoker to inhale my lungs away.
Ever have one of those days when you catch your reflection, or your skirt always falls down (I actually bought something too big for me - GOODNESS KNOWS how I did that), or your shirt doesn't sit right or you only had the bad bra left? and all you can comfort yourself with all day long is "at least my hair is clean".
I'm sick of whinging, of being angry, of being tired, irritable and of just saying "no" because it's easy.
I'm sick of people meaning well but not being helpful at all.
I blithely discovered today that in all my recent filibustering and noble-questing, I had put someone in a very uncomfortable and difficult situation and "ugghhh", the thought of it is just making my stomach turn. Sometimes I am so blind.
Tonight when I got home, Mum had fed the boys, done their homework and played cricket with them. In light of other "incidents" surrounding this blog of late, I'm going to go through it and systematically remove all negative references to living together. Their original existence can be our collective secret.
This is going to be the start to my weekend for the next several months. Apart from thinking that somewhere, at some stage, I signed something with the devil without even realising it, I am truly grateful I had boys and it isn't a netball court:
Badger brought up cuticles and i couldn't let it pass. I do the cuticle thing too. My boss does it as well. We compare how atrocious our hands are. We both also get this weird dry patch on the top of our head that my hairdresser once told me loads of women have - a spot of stress exczema (so nice of him to make something up rather than pointing, laughing and saying in a loud voice, "hey, this client had dandruff real bad". Chef is constantly saying "stop picking" as the sound of me picking at my own flesh drives him insane, but not in a good way. And I never stop picking until they bleed. And hurt. Yeah yeah, all aboard the freakshow bus.
Susie chose to clean her fridge over going to Church. The Church thing is a whole separate post, but it reminded me of the other night when I had to solve the weird leaking of running water out of our freezer (what the???) RIGHT NOW. Not only did it involve unscrewing coverings in our fridge (which revealed just how freakin' jibbed we all are in how much we pay for whitegoods - people, it's like two wires, some alfoil, and metal tubes back there) but a screwdriver and mallet. Man, it felt good. For some reason the little drainage hole thingy was blocked so there was all this ice that was backed up. I'm guessing the hole is filled with the cockroaches that just love living in the warm world that is our fridge engine (and again, I ask you, what is with that? Heat to make cold? Science, it's a crazy crazy world.) Apart from cutting my hands to hell on the Mork and Mindy-esque alfoil creation as I dug the chunks of ice out (seriously, it was my own little Pyscho recreation) after my last Church effort (Helping in Sunday School only to hear this really dorky kid who undoubtedly will go on to Rangers and Venturers and play loads of Dungeons and Dragons...online... say, "My Mum says all Seventh Day Adventists will go to Hell." and the reply of the Sunday School teacher, "Well yes, that's correct but..." I don't know what she said after that as my brain was bleeding out my ears), cleaning the fridge rocks.
I've had almost a full 24 hours of wallowing self-pity of the kind that involves lots of wallowing and self-pity. I'm almost over it.
So the third child
I just realised, at 10.40pm, that Jasper was 5 months old today, not tomorrow.
To try and make up for this oversight:
Jasper, 5 months to the day,
watching Felix play his first soccer match of the season.
You can play too.
- Sugar rush::furry teeth
- Suspension::of disbelief
- Dance::with me
- Heartbreak::yeah right
- Insult::so tempting
Sometimes I call out to the boys that "I'm coming" or "I'm on my way", when they're up in bed waiting for me, with absolutely no intention of ever going. Felix has cottoned on to this. And all I can think of is "drats".
I have no understanding of the share market. Whatsoever. It has been explained to me by no less than five friends. I either simply forget to listen or, when I try really hard, I can actually feel my brain dying a little. A similar experience was noted when my mentor at work tried to explain to me how you read the financials in an Annual Report. All the while I was struggling with the colour palate and choice of photos.
The realisation that true career advancement, into a land of earning capacity I need for the life I would like my family and I to have (ie unlimited funds for shoe-purchasing and overseas holidays) , would involve an MBA and understanding those numbers depressed me for a minute, then made me resolve to find another way. Lotteries of some kind or another feature heavily in Plan B.
This week a friend said to me, "you know, in this age of political correctness we don't tell the people who need to be told to "fuck off" to fuck off enough.
And man, there were quite a few people I wanted to yell "fuck off" to this week.
So mature, I know.
PS: Two days to go to the opening of the MIGHTY Flying Fox Cafe. I hope all of you reading this who are based in Sydney (from what I can tell is about four people, so you know, don't forget to book because you might not all get in if you come at once) come visit and buy Chef's divine food and drink their awesome coffee or fancy pants range of teas.
Show & Tell
Here is ours...for Blackbird:
I concur with all said by Bec re butter, butter dishes and Australian conditions.
Ours is a Denby. I love Denby. It's all very organic. I even just love saying the name. Denby. It's prohibitively expensive in Australia. I picked this up at an annual sale held nearby that no longer includes Denby in its annual sale. I suspect because everyone went for the Denby stuff and not much else. I believe this comes from the Luxor range. This doesn't match my dinner setting, which we got from various people for wedding gifts, and is Imperial Blue, but I love having mismatched settings - which I'm sure is somehow related to my obsession with Aga stoves, ramshackle cottages (except I know it's all a furphy and can only imagine the wildlife that would reside in all that clutter) and quilting.
My teacup for work comes from its Fire range, and while I don't have the saucer (which irritates me, naturally), I absolutely love the shape, how it feels in my hands, the size and pattern. It makes my restorative cup of tea taste so much better:
Blackbird wants a butterdish
My butter dish is currently in storage, but it will come out one day.
I can't take a picture of it just now but it looks just like this. Plain, white Pillivuyt.
The problem with butter dishes in Australia is that they pretty much have to live in the fridge most of the year.
This makes china slippery and prone to being dropped from great heights as you bring it to the table.
Very few fridge butter compartments can hold a normal sized butter dish.
This means the butter sits on a fridge shelf, in its dish, going rock hard.
It seems to me that Tuvaluans must have the same problem, so I wonder what Blackbird does?
The best compromise I've found is to keep the butter in the butter compartment of the fridge and cut chunks to go on the butter dish as needed.
I don't bother very often, hence the banishment of the butter dish to storage when we had to strip our kitchen down to essentials for the renovation.
The matching gravy boat and milk jug are there, too.
I wonder if they miss me?
Hi! My mum and dad once went on a holiday to Tasmania, and Mum, wanting to be a journalist and all, started a travel diary. Dad still gives her a hard time about it, because the one - and only - entry in it is, "It was a crisp summer morning and we're on our way".
But the question for us children of the new millenia is why on earth would you diarise when all you need to do is digital photalise. Or somethin'.
Day Trip March 2006
There is always a reason for a good trip away. After hours of staring at that garish floor rug Mum puts me on, it was time to make my own story. So I humped my way over to this weird contraption that was a bit wobbly and coulda fallen on my head, but that sorta made it even more exciting. There was this weird cool plasticy thing in the middle of my trip that I sucked on for while - weird taste but you know, gotta try whatever comes my way. It made a good thwacking sound though so I did that for a while too.
But you know, when you set out on a day trip, there should always be a goal, but this, THIS, exceeded my wildest dreams:
So much fun and yet, not as responsive as I'd hoped.
So off I go.
Onto much more interesting places.
Full of wonderful colours, great flavours and little little bits.
Behold, The Promised Land of Lego:
mmm, so tasty, and so easy to smoosh up into smaller bits:
I eat Lego men for breakfast.
And there is nothing better after a Lego man meal
Than chomping on
A Lego Light.
My mummy is so very afraid. So very very afraid.
It seems such a shame to bump Bec off
top billing when you just want the post that:
- discusses the merits of a p.u.b.l.i.c. toilet becoming an emergency washing machine,
- provides such a wondrous vision of your best friends walking through an office you know is very swanky, not to mention powerful (my GOD how hard is it not to come over all Doocey here) in wet pants
- involves sitting on a newspaper, like you sit on your towel coming home from the beach, but more like a puppy being toilet trained
- features sauntering. Anywhere.
to never end.
But I've got stuff to share, stuff to offload and well just crapulence in my head that I figure I might as well give to the Internet because sometimes misery (and victory) loves company.
Sunday is now officially Confessions Day. Mark it in your diaries people.
Apparently the Commonwealth Games started yesterday. Here! In Australia! Who would have known. Who on earth cares (except those irritating parents who are now mildly psychotic from all those mornings taking kids to swimming training or sitting watching abnormally thin girls do grotesque things to their body on a beam or loser-ish things with a piece of ribbon, a ball and a hoop). Snore.
Can you tell this sort of sporting showcasing just pisses me off? All that government money that should go to education, health, and programs that actually matter, instead of being siphoned off into hothousing the few freakish people who can swim or run really fast, bend really far or lift really heavy things. Grrrr. That's what fundraising is meant to be for people. That is what philanthropy is all about. Grrrr again. And again.
I'm getting to why I'm so burred up about this.
This week someone sent me a short little email to be helpful. They informed me that some stuff I wrote here had upset someone very dear to my heart (which surprisingly wasn't my mother. I expect a stroke from the broken heart I will cause her if she ever ever ever works out how to turn a computer on, get onto the Internet, find this, read the posts and work out the archives list and work her way through them. Yesiree that day will be horrendous for so many reasons. God forbid she might even find RSVP.com and find herself a man to mend that broken heart delivered by her selfish cold-hearted daughter). I've raised it with that person and we're good. The extent to which this short, well-intentioned email unraveled me revealed to me how much I'm just holding everything together at the moment on a wing and a prayer, with maybe a piece of fishing wire for extra strength. So call me the MacGyver of Mothers.
I realised this week how important this space is to me. H.e.r.e. Quite a few of you fully understand and appreciate that there is not much in my world at this point in my life which is my own, where I can just let loose and hang out and b.e. m.e. Where I can swear like a bastard, talk about my rare and unique attributes such as leaking breasts (still, with the New Recruit almost five months old) and albino periods, share the abysmal state of my sex life (which certainly does not in any way reflect on Chef's prowess in that department), wallow in self-pity, bare my soul and fears, rant and rave, be stupid, be juvenile and be no holes barred (note I just couldn't be bothered searching back for hyperlinks for those - Blogger - oh when will you let us archive by subject?). Because this space is m.i.n.e. (& Bec's of course - but only if she wears her soggy taupe pants and reenacts the flapping at every party we ever attend from here until the athritis makes it impossible to get the action right) where I don't need to set an example, I don't need to be a parent, a wife, an advocate, or put everyone else' needs before my own. At this point in my life, this is all I have that is for me - I cherish it and it is about the only thing helping me keep it together. That and red wine. So while being desperately upset I had hurt someone that I just keep bursting into spontaneous tears all friggin' day long it confirmed that yes, yes, it is necessary.
Yesterday my day started at 2am. Jasper woke up with what I have affectionately named his kennel cough. So I fed him, put him straight back down, realised I'd had 6 hours sleep because I'd fallen asleep putting Felix to bed so proofed the menus for Chef's new restaurant and wrote him one of the two media releases I promised them I'd write a week ago. I figured if I was back in bed by 4, then I'd get two more hours sleep and be good for the day. So I went back to bed at 4. Jasper woke up - as in, for the day, it's morning! kind of wake up - at 4:08am. I fed him, played for a while, put him back in bed and just lay there listening to him, until my brain bled out my ears from exhaustion at 5.45 and I asked Chef to a) wake up and b) get up and tend to said child so he wouldn't wake the others. Too late, the alarm went at 6 and off I went. To say I felt unstable yesterday was a complete and utter understatement.
Chef's new restaurant opens on Tuesday. I went for a visit today. Lots of shiny, new metal things. It is soooo.exciting. If not stressful and nerve-racking.
I think you can tell I'm running on a bit of adrenalin today (and I got sleep last night). I think I might stop talking now.
But finally - my boy, who has been bunny hopping for two weeks now, today almost mastered the art of sitting. He'll be 5 months on Sunday.
The Worst Wardrobe Malfunction of the Year (and it's only March)
This really belongs in Obgynorama.
But I'm breaking my own code.
Because this was the most extraordinary workplace moment I've had for a long long long time.
It went like this.
Creamy, taupe coloured pants.
Very bad temper for the past week.
Sitting at the desk for an hour or so and the need to arise and get coffee.
Oh my god, I'm imagining that, right?
Another gush. Now I know what waters breaking must feel like.
Wrong. Something is wrong.
Brain is very slow on catching up with the obvious.
Horrified glance down reveals - - oh crap, you know what it reveals and it's in glorious technicolour against the creamy taupe pants.
As I watch, it's calf-length.
The ladies is on the far side of the office. The far, far, far side.
Through reception, the lift foyer and about 57 miles of hallway.
I can make it.
Shit, I have to make it.
Adrenaline is kicking in: flight response.
Figuring I can make it no worse, I run.
Next time my washing machine dies I'm just going to dump some laundry powder in the cistern and use the flush as the rinse cycle.
Because toilets? In an emergency? Make an excellent washing machine.
But my building? Being fully energy efficient? Has no air dryer in the ladies loo.
So I stand. In the cubicle. Half dressed. And I flap.
Flap. Flap. Flap.
Adrenaline Sour kicks in and my hands start shaking.
This helps with the flapping.
Eventually the pants stop dripping and I figure I have no choice but to wear them wet.
I saunter back to my office. Reeeal casual-like.
Should I mention that this is the office where I'm just helping out for a few weeks and I don't know anybody terribly well?
Yep. Not a sister in sight.
I sit on a newspaper so my chair doesn't get all soggy and give me away.
Eventually, the pants dry.
Other things are contained.
I think to myself:
"Where's an albino period when you need one?"
one of these. One day. At some stage. is all I'm saying.
Be careful what you wish for...
Do you remember, just a little while ago I had this big girly whinge about how only dull people and bad spellers were googling us these days? Yes.
And do you remember how I blamed it all upon The Kim Half of Glamorouse? Yes.
The Bec Half is a Leo, you see, and Leos have a particular talent for attributing blame. More of a dark gift, according to the Saggitarian Prof, but that's the opinion of someone born much too close to Christmas and should count for nothing, of course.
My, how things can change in a week.
So, belatedly for Loretta (who already has a new list up), here's the weirdest and most wonderful from the latest 100 hits on one of our pages:
So much to say. So much better not to say it.
- boob riddles
- hate the dentist +crowns
- Miss Kim + age gap blog
- twin pregnancy + lopsided stomach when I wake up
- bocconcini pregnancy
- the urinator Fergie
- Growing Boobs
- fix flabby underarms
- sweating pre-labour+ first baby
- phantom baby kicks
- glamorous wives
- ginormous boobs
- vulval heaven
heart + wrench
K: Yes (in that short voice we all use partly because of the post below and partly for trying to get three boys into bed in timely fashion with no one getting hurt and partly because I still have work to do tonight.)
Felix: You're the most generous person I know. You know why?
K: (Just smiling and trying not to cry instantly)
Felix: because you're kind and you have enough love for everyone in this family.
what time did your day start today?
Unconscious Mutterings Too (look down,,,)
Grease monkey::John Travolta
Conquer::She Rules To...
See below for links and stuff: my browser won't let me follow links at present, but I'm sure you will get through: after all, you're special.
I am so predictable.
You can play too!
- Grease monkey::overalls
- Conquer::the world
I've started the biography of Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright and Anne Summers nd never finished any of them. The only autobiography I've ever finished was Bob Geldof's in the late 80s.
Salman Rushdie may well be writing in riddles. I just.don't.understand.any.of.it. Ever.
I subscribe to The Monthly because my GOD Australia needed an intelligent magazine of substance. It's up to Issue 10. I've never finished reading one article. Not one.
I really like Kraft Macaroni Cheese. No really.
I love Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movies. In fact, I love Tom Hanks movies - every cheesy one of them... But Michael Caine, I want to hurt Michael Caine. Badly. Add Leonardo Di Caprio to that to. Hurt.
If I had the choice of reading a book or watching tele, tele would win out every time. But I love reading books.
Today I stood out in the washing, surrounded by sheets, towels and clothes and sobbed. Sobbed a pathetic stupid sob story for the fact my life is reduced to work and cleaning. And being perpetually cranky at everything - from the peg that broke to Mum washing her sheets every second fucking Saturday to people just stacking stuff by the sink or on the bench rather than putting it in the dishwasher or putting it away to always.picking.shit.up.off.the.floor. to all the freakin' wildlife that has decided to live in our house to my hair and wobbly, droopy tummy.
I'm so addicted to reading PeaSoup, Badger, Blackbird, Susie Sunshine, Dooce, Amalah and Go Fug Yourself every single day I can't really function without doing so. I'm bereft when they don't each post every day (don't get me started about how I get through weekends) and have blog envy of every single one.
I'd like to run my own business called "allconsuming cakes and cookies. the only treats to eat." allconsuming for short. I thought it up all by myself. I would bake cakes, cookies, slices and other treats for cafes and restaurants to sell. I'd also sell them at my market stall where I'd also sell my vintage fabric shoe bags - natty little creations for those of us who love shoes but do not like bunions, so wear our Birks to work and change into our heels at our desk, but need something to carry our heels in and want something nicer than a plastic shopping bag. I know this will never ever happen. Ever.
I dream of us living on an acre or five up in the hills behind the northern beaches. This could happen if we ever win Powerball, or Chef's new restaurant is so successful we get lots of equity in it and s.l.o.w.l.y. find some level of financial security in our life.
I've never ever seen Titanic with Leonardo di Caprio and it is my goal that I never will. Ever.