Thursday, August 30

The shoes hate me....

....which is hard to believe because they look so innocent don't they? All pale pink and pearl and soft buttery leather, to all intents and purposes cute, comfy little ballet flats.

But no. They are evil. Sure, they try to fool me, I slip them on and they feel like slippers. I walk around the house experimentally to see if they are ok now. And they are, they feel great! So I keep them on a bit longer just to be sure and it's all good. I'm happy. Because the last time I wore them they shredded my heels. And the time before that. And also the time before that. But today, they feel so comfy and nice and I fall in love with them all over again.

I drive to town, get out of the car and walk to my first destination. They are starting to hurt. To cut a long story short after running a couple of errands and having a business meeting I can barely walk, my heels are raw and I am in agony. I drive home in my bare feet. I stop to fill the car with petrol and cannot bear to put my shoes back on and have them rub some more on my raw and bleeding heels.

We've been here before these shoes and I. Every time they pretend they are fixed and that they won't ever hurt me again. They lie.

I can't wear these shoes any more.

Wednesday, August 29

Helmets and headaches

Am I the only parent who was standing waiting for Kmart to open this morning so that I could buy a bicycle helmet for my child? I know I wasn't the only parent standing waiting for Kmart to open, because the other parent that was there and I commiserated with each other regarding the injustice of it all. I'm just wondering about the bicycle helmet bit. Tomorrow is 'Wheels Day' apparently and the children at Hannah's school are being encouraged to take their bikes (or scooters or whatever) with them to school. It all just gives me a headache.

I have to wonder if the school decision makers are just totally sadistic the way they create so much work for the parents of their little charges. I mean really, for many, many parents it's all we can do to get our kids to school with their lunch packed and clothes on. Lots of parents have to get those kids to school then get themselves to a job. Tomorrow I have to get mine to school then get myself to a meeting with a client, preferably without bicycle grease all over my clothes. Do I really need to be worrying about getting the damn bike to school as well? Seemingly I do. What, in the name of all that is holy, are these schools thinking???? The list is endless. If it's not a shared lunch or morning tea, it's international food (see previous post) or a costume (see other previous post). Last week it was the school's birthday, this week it is the official opening and blessing of the new buildings. I know it's not the teachers....because this morning Hannah said 'Mrs %#!& (her teacher) said it's silly to be blessing the new toilets'. Hear, hear Mrs %#!& hear hear!!

Anyway, we realised if she was going to be riding the damn bike around the school tennis courts we'd better get her a new helmet. So I went to Kmart this morning. Which brings me full circle in this post really doesn't it.

Have a great Wheels Day won't you?

Tuesday, August 28

Tuesday is the new Monday

I hate Tuesdays. Tuesday is for me what Monday is for other people. It is the day I commence my working week. It is the first day of the week that I am home alone while husband works and my children learn. I don't enjoy it. It's not that I don't like my work (or having the house to myself) - I do. I can't actually explain what it is about this day that I find difficult, it's just hard (say this in a whiny tone please (cos I'm thinking it in a whiny tone).

I was contemplating this phenomenon as I sat at my desk this morning seeing if I could balance a pencil on my nose (I can't). It just seems to take me a long time to get going on a Tuesday what with the philosophising, emailing my sisters, pencil balancing, tea drinking and general fart-arsing around. I was thinking how fortunate I am to have a 3...ok, 4...ok, ok ... 5 day weekend every week. SOOO very lucky. So why then do balk at starting some work when Tuesday comes round? Yes, it could be because I've just had a 5 day weekend and my brain has yelled 'Retirement! Woo hoo!' but really, is it? Or is it some in-built, collective consciousness belief that if it's the day to start work after a break we must feel unmotivated and listless? Maybe. Or I could just be lazy.

However I usually do eventually get going and then...... what do you know? It's time to go and pick up the girls. Hence I'm at my desk finishing off some work (no, you're right I'm blogging) while Bounty Hamster makes a hell of a racket in the background. Will I never learn?

Monday, August 27

Do you think this is what they meant?

Hannah had to take an international recipe and food to school today. It was all a bit last minute.

Shortbread counts as 'international' doesn't it?

It was either that or a packet of 2 minute noodles.

Friday, August 24

I'm better now

Ok, please excuse yesterday's little outburst and mad blog fiddling and template changing - put it down to temporary insanity. I'm feeling much better today and managed to complete several little Uni activities, one of which prompted an instant response from my tutor saying 'Caitlin you are doing GREAT!'. That was what I needed, a pat on the head and a little bit of attention. I'm high maintenance that way.

I also felt better after seeing this headline 'Queen star celebrates doctorate'. At least I haven't taken 36 years.

I really don't know what came over me because I realised today that with all the stuff that is going on in my life just now, and everything I'm trying to achieve, the one thing that I (usually) find managable is Uni. I am well within my comfort zone when pondering philosophical questions (define 'whiteness') or writing an essay. Compared to everything else I'm doing that stuff is easy - well less challenging. It makes me think... hard... and in a good way.

The only thing I can put it down to is the fact that I haven't had any chocolate this week. Or wine. This is bad. No wonder I'm experiencing melt down. Hopefully that will be remedied tonight (Tom, bring wine).

One of the courses I'm doing this semester is about e-learning and I today I learned how to do this...

Isn't that cool? And easy too. Who knew all this Uni study would actually teach me something?

Thursday, August 23


In the interest of continued procrastination I have now spent some time tidying up my blog and choosing a new template. I was a bit bored with the old one. I'm as yet undecided whether this is the final choice, I'll give it some consideration for a couple of days.

Feedback is welcome.

Bees, bin men and a craving for wine

Ladies and gentlemen, please observe the sidebar to your right and notice a little picture-y thing that moves. This is a Flickr badge. This means I have a new Flickr account. As yet there are only about 6 photos on it but it exists and is there for your perusal, more photos will be added, I just don't know when yet.

Today's blog is brought to you by the number zero (how many assignments I'm working on) and the letter 'P' for procrastination (what I'm doing instead of assignments). Yes, once again I have uni work to do and once again I am finding dozens of 'important' tasks to perform before starting the work
So far this morning I have.....

  • Dropped off the children at school and daycare
  • Had a looooong and quite unnecessary chat with our daycare provider
  • Drove home very slowly (so as to admire the scenery you understand)
  • Put petrol in the car (which I HATE doing and usually avoid until the very last minute - not today however)
  • Ate a late and time consuming breakfast
  • Waved to the rubbish bin men as they emptied our bin - nice chaps
  • Took a photo of a bee - couldn't get her to smile or even co-operate - so it's more of a bees bum really

  • Stood at the back door with a cup of tea surveying our estate and planning some changes to the garden
  • Decided what vegetables we'll put in now that spring is almost upon us
  • Sent 8 emails (mostly to my sisters - well we have different threads going!) except the complaining ones to my husband - who was unsympathetic
  • and now this blogging....

I just cannot get motivated, I have 3 months to go and I have completely lost interest. I had visions of being so keen to get it all finished that I would be forging ahead completing assignments weeks ahead of their due dates and tying it all up in double quick time. That's not happening. Why isn't that happening? It's making me whine.

Whine....sounds a bit like 'wine' doesn't it? Now there's an idea.

Tuesday, August 21

You see some funny things in our house...

...look what I found.....

A morning in my house or how to have a nervous breakdown before 7am

Like so many people I am not a morning person, although if I am allowed to just get up, drink coffee read the papers, not communicate in any way and generally laze around I can feel almost warm hearted towards the pre 9am time slot. However, rarely do I experience such luxury. No. In my house mornings are busy, I'm reasonably organised these days, but I am still busy with morning duties and it creates a kind of chaos. So you can imagine my utter delight to realise that along with the usual morning insanity today I also had to produce a costume for Aislin.

Her pre-school are having a book launch to celebrate a pile of new books recently provided by the government and children were required to dress as their favourite book character. Aislin was thrilled at the prospect and said she'd like to go as a bear from the 'The Three Bears'. Well strange as this may seem I could not, for the life of me, find a bear costume in the wardrobe! So I had a look at what I did have .... and improvised. There was a pretty sort of long, floaty dress....a pair of wings and a wand (5 wands in fact).....and that was about it. So I told her how the coolest character in the known world is the Fairy Godmother from Cinderella. Fortunately she was impressionable this morning and accepted that happily. So we started to get ready...and it was halfway through the insanity of getting ready that I yelled the unforgettable words 'has anyone seen Aislin's tiara?'. Now there's something I don't say every day. I wondered what a stray passer-by might think if they heard that question emanating from our abode.

Anyway, off she went as the Fairy Godmother, albeit tiara-less, and I waved them off, shut the door and sat down with a coffee and the paper. Now that's more like it. Oh and if anyone thinks I might have taken a photo of the Fairy Godmother in the midst of this madness you are sadly mistaken. align="justify">

Monday, August 20


Sunday, August 19

Under strict supervision

Today we went to the library. We have a good system when we go there, one of us will supervise the children in the 'kid's space' and the other can browse the books in the grown up library. Then we swap. Today I won the toss and got to escape to 'adult fiction' first (sounds saucy doesn't it). I browsed for a while, picked out a few titles I wanted and wandered back to the children's section.

When I got there the girls had chosen these books......

And were now doing this.......

While Daddy did this......

Of course he was doing it 'for the girls' and as you can see they were dying to play with it.

Thursday, August 16

My life is like an episode of Seinfeld

Today I feel like all the energy has been drained out of me. I feel tired. And edgy. And slightly irritable. Which could have been a problem because I had to visit the doctor this morning with Hannah. She has an earache and last night had a temperature so I figured it might be a good idea to let a professional check it out. I say it could have been a problem because the last time I had to take Hannah to the doctor I left feeling the doctor was just a tad obnoxious (not our usual GP you see). If that had happened today it would have been quite likely that the doctor ended up needing...well....a doctor.

However, this time it was different. Once again because it was short notice I had to take my chances with another doctor in the practice - sigh - why can't my children give me more notice of their ailments? So we arrive at the surgery in good time and take up our positions in the waiting room. The doctor (surprisingly quickly) emerges and beckons Hannah into the office. In we go, we each take a seat and the doctor says 'so Hannah, what can I do for you today?' Now this seems quite innocent doesn't it? And in any other circumstance it would be, except this doctor had a funny voice. She was one of those grown women with a baby voice. Hannah was so taken aback she couldn't reply - just stared wide-eyed at this baby/woman in shock. To save embarrassment I quickly jumped in and told her what was wrong. She examined Hannah's ear, all the while babbling away in baby, and announced that Hannah's ear was red and had some fluid behind it but it wasn't infected. Then she examined Hannah's throat and said 'but her tonsils are huge and infected'. I experienced deja vu. Because this has happened before, Hannah's tonsilitis disguises itself as other things. All this time Hannah had hardly said a word, just kept staring in amazement at the freakishly large baby with the medical degree.

Once it was all over we took our prescription and bid farewell to 'Bubzilla' and she held the door for us as we walked out of her office. I felt Hannah's little hand slip into mine and then her puzzled voice began 'Mummy....?' so I tugged her quickly away saying 'I know, I know'.

Tuesday, August 14

Take your eye off the ball for a minute and... have to run to catch up.

The party was a huge success, a good time was had by all and there was no blood on the ice. There were probably a few bruised bottoms the next day but all in all it went well. Hannah announced that it was the best birthday party ever. Major points for Mummy.

Saturday we took the girls to their usual Fairy Ballet and dance classes then we had a family lunch at Tom's brother's house which was lovely.

On Sunday I almost died and yes, I am being melodramatic. It just felt like I was dying. I woke at around 1am with stomach cramps and the next 24 hours are a blur of pain, exhaustion and a lot of time spent in the 'smallest room'. It was quite unpleasant and I won't bore (or disgust) you with the details. I didn't eat for 48 hours and I am still being very, very careful. It seems to have been 'something I ate' since no-one else has succumbed and there was some food that only I ate instead of the roast lamb that everyone else was having...because as you know I don't eat meat because it's bad for me.....yes, I'm noticing the irony too.

Anyway, I am 90% recovered and getting on with life. Which means I'm getting into some of the Uni work that has been nagging away in the back of my mind since the semester started. I decided, now that it's week 3, that it might be an idea to start the work that I'm supposed to be doing for the 5 courses I'm taking this semester. So I had to a look to see what needed to be done. When the panic attack subsided I checked again and yes, I'd missed some stuff and got a tiny, wee bit behind.....oops.

So here I sit, muttering mutinously about Uni courses while blogging about it instead of getting on with it. Typical.

Friday, August 10

We're having a party tonight!

My poor first born child has yet to 'properly' celebrate her 7th birthday. The actual date was the 18 June but if you read this blog you'll know that the late June early July period was slightly hectic, so the whole party thing was put on hold. However, a couple of weeks ago Tom and I decided we really ought to do something because really, the cost (emotionally and financially) of hosting a children's birthday party is probably less than the cost (emotionally and financially) of her future therapy if we don't.

So I began the search for a party venue that didn't involve me having to do anything met our high standards of fun and hygiene. The final decision was ice skating. Although we get pretty cold winters here, and last year half the plants in our garden died of frost bite, we don't get snow and ice. Coming from Scotland I think it's important that my children experience the torture and agony of sub zero temperatures the excitement of a winter wonderland. So ice skating it is. There is also something called 'snow play' and some sort of sled riding as well, I wasn't listening.

To keep with this party's 'Mummy is not doing a damn thing' theme I went and bought a birthday cake today. It's a nice one though, mud cake with a Happy Birthday message on it. I have been known to make birthday cakes. In fact most years I do, there have been sparkling stars, a moon, ladybirds, trains (Aislin likes trains a lot) and of course let's not forget the divorce-inducing pink fairy castle that Hannah requested for her 3rd birthday. Aislin was only 3 months old when Hannah turned 3 and at that stage I was delirious with exhaustion and the pain of mastitis so when she asked for the pink fairy castle I didn't really have the mental stability to think it through and scream 'NO!!' I was in charge of design and Tom was in charge of engineering. There were parts of this cake that required him to spend time in the shed with power tools. It was a difficult time. We have only recently started talking to each other again. However, the resulting cake looked lovely - it was so precarious you couldn't touch it and eating any of it was risky because of the splinters - but it was lovely. The saddest part is that my much loved father-in-law had to witness me on the morning of the party, attempting to decorate the cake, still in my dressing gown, leaking breast milk and saying 'fuck' a lot.

You'll understand why children's parties cause me a bit of anxiety.

Wednesday, August 8

Hi ho hi ho......

I went to work today, not the kind of work I've been doing lately that involves sitting in front of the computer writing workshops or messing with the (damn, blasted, son-of-a-bitch) website. No, this was work out there...... in the world......with 'people'. In the morning I did the first session of a 6 week course I'm running for the most fantabulous bunch of women, I love them already, and in the afternoon I spent a happy hour or so with a lovely client.

So, for the first time since I finished work (28 June) I got out of my yoga pants and put on some 'proper' clothes. Well, not really the first time, we have been to a couple of social functions where I wore something that wasn't elasticated and I also wear my PJs sometimes. Anyway, the weirdest thing has happened. My favourite smart brown bootleg pants have shrunk! I'm not quite sure how it happened, they've been hanging innocently in the wardrobe, I haven't accidently washed them or anything. Strange isn't it?

Now I know what you're thinking.....sitting at the computer for a month, not going for a walk (except yesterday) enjoying way too many Soy Lattes and Apple Cinnamon Muffins and not paying attention to the mischievous little clothes pixies that swapped my trousers for a smaller size. And of course you are absolutely right, that is what happened. Sigh.

I have come to the realisation that I am in serious danger of two terrible things happening due to the amount of time I am spending with my arse planted firmly in my fancy ergonomic office chair. First those damn clothes pixies are going to have a field day and second I am going to be wearing this chair as a permanent appendage - picture a strange Humpback of Notre Dame lookalike...except it's a chair not a hump and it's on my butt not my back... but you get the idea.

So I'm going to lay off the muffins, perhaps get some vigorous exercise and maybe even do some yoga in the yoga pants. Dammit.

Tuesday, August 7

The Great Outdoors

I went for a walk today. I mention this because I've been planning it for about 6 months. Not any kind of special walk just an 'I'll get a bit of exercise' type of walk. Honestly. 6 months. Or so. There are a number of reasons it hasn't happened sooner......

1. I'm lazy
2. I'm busy
3. My knee hurts
4. It's raining
5. I'm lazy..oh I already mentioned that didn't I?

Anyway, I went today and it was really nice (although my knee still hurts - really I do have a sore knee). So now that I've got myself some exercise I might do it again.... sometime. Maybe.

Monday, August 6

Is it me or them?

I had a weird kind of day today. I had all these plans that fell flat because....well...I didn't actually plan very well. However, the main weirdness for today happened in that bastion of all things idiotic - the supermarket.

For some reason my local (huge multinational) supermarket doesn't actually sell any food on a Monday. At least not any of the food I want to buy. You know, really way out exotic, for instance. Now that wouldn't bother me personally but my non-vegan husband and children expect to find milk in the fridge. Unreasonable I know, but yet another cross I bravely bear. Anyway. The milk shelves were empty. So were the butter shelves (notice a dairy theme?). For a moment I thought that the government had announced another 'war on....' to add to the wars on drugs, terrorism, heart disease and Barry Humphries and I was quite happy with this new War on Dairy. But no, it was just some kind of post weekend restock. Now my question is....why? These days supermarkets are open every day of the week until late in the evening (in some cases ALL NIGHT - what's that about?) so you'd think that stocking the shelves with such fundamentals as milk would be an ongoing thing...well I would, but clearly I was wrong. I couldn't get any firelighters either. Pfft.

Another other odd thing also happened at the dairy fridges. As I stood there pondering the lack of dairy goods a woman standing beside me pointed to a carton with SOUR CREAM emblazoned across it and said 'is that normal cream?'. I looked at the cream, looked at her, looked back at the cream and thought 'should I state the obvious?' and said, desperately trying to sound as if she had asked a sensible question, ', it's sour cream'. 'Oh' she said 'perhaps I'll just use natural yoghurt instead'. Huh? But wait, there's more....and I kid you not, this man stepped straight into the spot the crazy woman had just vacated, pointed to a carton of thickened cream and said in a puzzled tone....wait for it....'hmmm, thickened that normal cream?' I had to walk away. Otherwise I would have been standing there in Woolworths screaming 'who do I look like....Professor Dairy Foods????' I did wonder if it was some kind of Candid Camera lark but no-one approached me to say so, therefore I can only assume that not only had I chosen Monday which is obviously 'no food in the supermarket day' I had also accidentally stumbled upon 'let the loonies shop alone day'.

Seriously, people are fucking mental.

Wednesday, August 1

Happy Birthday Horses!

In the Southern Hemisphere August 1st is the generic 'horse's birthday'. So if you live down here and know any horses, buy them a card.

Moving on, August 1st is also my wedding anniversary. There will be some celebrating of that this weekend. The girls will be spending the weekend with their cousins so I'm guessing that for Tom and I there will be relaxing, swearing with abandon and possibly drinking too much.

July was a busy month (resulting in the distinct lack of posts) what with recovering from finishing work and Uni, 2 weeks school holidays and then back to school and Aislin at a new kindy. The last week of the month was taken up with deep immersion in the final Harry Potter. I am a shameless fan and I'm heartbroken that the series has ended. I would now love to talk about the outcomes, however I would hate to be the person to create a spoiler for anyone who stumbles on this post and hasn't finished yet. So I'll wait.

I am now quite used to the fact that I don't go out to work anymore. For the first 3 or 4 weeks it just felt like holidays. Now I feel quite confident that there will be no suprise calls from my ex-boss saying 'KIDDING!!' and telling me to get dressed and come in because I have a class starting in 15 minutes.

I don't even miss it, not the students, not the teaching, not the stroppy cow convention that was our admin office, not the money. Well, ok that's a lie, I do miss the money but not enough to make me want to go back. I LOVE not being there anymore. In fact I'm now at the stage that whenever I suddenly remember I actually feel excited and happy. I'm totally over the 'what have I done' stage and firmly in the 'yippee I'm free' stage and busy enough to totally avoid the 'bored shitless being at home' stage. It's all good