Tuesday, September 25

Action packed....

...is what our day was yesterday.....

I started my day by poking myself in the eye with a bristle hairbrush, not intentionally you understand, it was one of those freak accidents. How I managed to get the bristle brush, my head and my eye in perfect alignment for the jab is a mystery, but somehow I did and the result was, and is, excrutiating. It wasn't a good day to do that because I had a lot to do (includng seeing a client) and as I already have a miserable head cold I didn't need the added pressure of getting around with one eye scrunched shut and streaming. It certainly gave me a certain pirate-like charm but one I could happily have done without thank you very much. But I struggled through the day, unfortunately with not a noggin of rum to be had.

Now if it had happened last Wednesday I could have gotten away with it because everyone would just have thought I enthusiastically participating in International Talk like a Pirate Day, I could even have worn an eye patch and been right up to the minute.

On top of that it was the first day of Tom's holidays and he had to go into work, where he stayed until 10pm. Apparently there was some kind of tree emergency he hadn't managed to deal with on Friday. I'm hoping that was the reason and he wasn't just avoiding the challenge of being around a pirate all day without laughing.

Anyway, I won't bore you with the details of my hectic, swashbuckling day, I'm just glad it's over. Today, my eye still hurts (a lot) my cold is worse and so I'm going to have a rest. Tom is now really on holiday and has volunteered to do the school runs (in fact he's doing the drop off now) and I am going back to bed to nurse my injury, cough a lot and probably use a whole box of tissues.

So that's it for today.....me hearties......

Sunday, September 23

Sunday morning

This morning I got up at 9.08am instead of the usual 6.30am, Tom made a pot of coffee and brought me cup as I lounged, cat in my lap, reading the papers. Then I drank more coffee, had a leisurely breakfast and stared out of the window for 10 minutes. Tom decided to go back to bed for an hour and I sat and listened to the silent house.

You've guessed haven't you? The kids aren't here. No, we didn't sell them or even donate them to charity, they are at their cousins' house for the weekend. I've mentioned previously that we have a kind of 'month about' arrangement with Tom's brother and his wife, we have all 4 kids for a weekend one month, they have them the next. Which means every two months we get a child free weekend...and so do my brother and sister-inlaw. The kids get to spend a weekend a month with their cousins, which they love doing. Everybody wins. When I dropped the girls off on Friday afternoon my brother-in-law said to me 'we're so clever doing this'. He's so right.

Yesterday we sat down with a glass of wine to watch a DVD at 4.30 in the afternoon!!!! We managed to watch 2 DVDs yesterday.... uninterrupted. And no-one ate my Jersey Caramels (I ate them all myself which admittedly left me feeling slightly nauseous but that's the price you pay).

When we pick the girls up this afternoon, Tom will take Aislin to a birthday party and I am going to take Hannah to the Butterfly Exhibition at the museum. Our peace will be shattered as we leave the world of the childless couple and get right back into family mode. Tonight I'll be packing the school bags, making packed lunches and ironing school uniforms. The weird thing is I'm really happy about that. I love these weekends but no matter how much we're enjoying ourselves there is something missing. Of course it's great for Tom and I to have some time alone and be able to have conversations that aren't punctuated by children's requests, arguments or accidents, but that's not normal life anymore. We did some shopping yesterday and not once did I have to tell Tom to 'put that back' or 'don't touch that'. He's quite well behaved in shops - unlike his offspring, but it felt a bit strange.

So at approximately 1.30pm Central Standard Time we will step back into the parallel universe of parenthood. Can't wait.

Saturday, September 22

Well it's official

I can proudly wear the title 'geek'...in fact I am apparently a cool history/lit geek. Check it out 86% geek in history/literature category. I can't really complain since 'cool' is now in my title. I'm not often considered cool. I'm deliberately not making reference to my 47% sci fi/comic score - heh.

NerdTests.com says I'm a Cool History / Lit Geek.  What are you?  Click here!

Go on, do the nerd test, you know you want to.....

Lonely as a cloud

So this was what old Wordsworth was on about....there was just this and massive expanse of blue, blue sky.

Thursday, September 20

Hug your babies

I have posted previously about my sleep problems and I think I may also have mentioned at some point that Aislin is not a 'good sleeper'. We co-slept with both the girls as babies and even when Aislin was in with us she woke up a lot. Since she was 12 months old she has even more regularly woken up in the night and made sure we woke up too. I'm not sure if she has inherited my sleep issues or if she has sleep issues all her own, but hers, interestingly, coincided with being weaned, so clearly I should still be breastfeeding this child. But I'm not.

A couple of weeks ago she was waking up more than usual, wanting one of us in beside her, Tom gave in a couple of times and it became a 'thing'. I'm not criticising Tom here, I regularly give in too, it's just easier and we all need our sleep. Usually once either of us in in there we fall asleep too and spend the rest of the night uncomfortably squished in her single bed with her - it's not ideal and really sets you up for the next day I can tell you. Anyway, this went on for a week and we finally managed to stop it with a sticker reward for sleeping all night alone and she was fine and very happy and excited about that - the girl loves stickers. Things settled down again.

Last night she woke up at 1.20am and called out to me, I went through and sat on the bed and spoke to her, gave her a cuddle and told her it was time to go back to sleep. She said she wanted me to get in beside her, I explained that I wasn’t going to do that because I was tired and wanted to go back to my own bed (I just didn’t want to start all that again). Anyway, she had a bit of a whine about that and said ‘I just want someone to come into bed and cuddle me’ but I stuck to my guns, gave her another cuddle but said 'no, I'm going back to bed'..... and she starts to whine louder. So then I said she has two choices, she can have another hug and go back to sleep or she can get up and go sit in the lounge room so she’s not waking everyone else up (clever eh?). Would you believe the little madam says she’ll get up? Hmmm, foiled again. So I let her go through and I stand in the hallway (freezing) listening for a while. She’s kind of complaining, but not crying, and I'm thinking I’ve got to be 'strong' with this, so after a while I go and get back into my bed and lie there wide awake listening for her. She’s all quiet. So I wait a bit longer (if anyone reading this is thinking what a cruel bitch I am, I'm ashamed to say you're absolutely right). After 9 minutes (stubborn little besom) I hear her come through and get into her bed. Am I feeling good about this? Do I feel that I 'won'? Am I proud of my ability to bully a 4 year old child into compliance? Absolutely not.

During that 9 minutes my mind went into overdrive (as only a mind can at 1.30am) and I started to think about Madeleine McCann and Pumpkin and how fragile it all is in a world where children can be abandoned or abducted. I thought about all the parents that have lost children in one way or another I realised that if she wasn’t here I would sell my soul for the opportunity to get into bed and give her a cuddle just one more time. And when she’s 16 and doesn’t want me cuddling her all the time I’ll miss the days she did want me. It’s such a short time we'll be ‘inconvenienced’ in this way and really, battling her to sleep alone just wakes everyone up and worst of all it makes her sad. It usually only takes a few minutes for her to get back to sleep but if we fight about it everyone is up, she's upset and I’m awake for hours.

So with my thoughts on all the lost children I got out of bed, went through and climbed in beside her, she snuggled up to me, grabbed my arm and started feeling my ‘cold’ and was happily asleep in minutes. I watched her for a while feeling so grateful for my good fortune, kissed her one more time and went back to bed. Sometimes the rules we make and pressure we put on our children is so stupid and pointless and hurtful to them and us. In the grand scheme of things does it really matter if we sleep in beside them once in a while, or if they won't eat their brocolli or if they don't put their toys away every time or if they eat a bloody rice cracker? No. It doesn't.

Of course because I’d disrupted myself so much I was awake until 4.30am – d’oh - but she slept happily the rest of the night and that is all that matters.

Wednesday, September 19

Whinging Wednesday

Ok so I'm about to bitch (and curse) a bit so if you're not in the mood for it or don't like swear words stop reading........here!

So, today I picked up Aislin from kindy and noticed that once again, she hadn't eaten her snack and as soon as she got into the car she's madly opening her lunchbox and asking if she can please eat her cheese and crackers now. Of course I say yes and she starts to eat ravenously. I have noticed a bit of a pattern with this, she quite often doesn't eat her cheese and crackers at kindy but then wants them in the car and seems pretty hungry. So today I asked her why she isn't eating her cheese and crackers (I have asked before and not received a straight answer - that's 4 year olds for you) and she says 'because the teacher says we're not allowed to eat chips' (crisps). I say 'I beg your pardon?' and she repeats it. I tell her that they are not chips they are rice crackers and she says 'I know but the teacher saw me eating them one day and said we weren't allowed to bring chips to kindy'. Excuse me here...curse alert.....what.... the..... fuck?????

I have two problems with this, firstly I spend a great deal of time and effort to ensure that both of my children have healthy balanced lunches, wholegrain sandwich, 2 fruits and cheese and veggie sticks and a couple of plain, no salt, rice crackers or some variation on that. I am extremely pissed off that my child is going hungry because the teacher (mistakenly) decided that the snack was not appropriate, I am equally pissed off that she told the child not one of the parents.

Secondly, who the hell is paying for this educational experience...my bank balance indicates it's me, so if I want to give my child a bar of cadburys and 500g bag of crinkle cuts for lunch I fucking will (ok I won't but I hope you take my point) and they can shut the hell up about it.

I am getting very tired of schools and kindergartens making all the rules. As previously mentioned I'm paying for this, and trust me, it ain't cheap. As well as that I have also previously mentioned the amount of work it is to send your child to school or kindy these days with the homework and the events and the costumes and the shared lunches and the services and the raffles and the working bees and ....need I go on? Because seriously I could, it's endless.... It just seems to me that as parents we are expected to do more than ever before while haivng less say than ever before in how our chidlren are educated or even fed! I'm sick of the snide little memos that come home about ensuring the children have water to drink and make sure they have healthy snacks. I ALWAYS do both of those things and if some other parents aren't (and it bothers you that much) tell THEM not me!!!

Don't get me wrong, I fully appreciate that there are children who do not eat a balanced meal ever and that child abuse in all it's forms is rife in this world we live in. And of course I understand and share the concern of teachers over this, but please, give me break over the rice crackers.

Oh and if any helpful person feels the temptation to let me know about the downfalls of ricecrackers or how many rice grains die to make a rice cracker. I'm warning you, don't even think about it.

Monday, September 17

A week? Seriously?

Has it really been nearly a week since my last post? Holy crap what is with this time thing? I've already blogged this month about my time issues and it isn't getting any better.

So what has happened since last I posted? Well, I completed 3 uni assignments in just about as many days - assignment marathon that was, which probably explains why I lost time again this week.

In more exciting news I got two parcels today. One from my sister in the US with an Anya Hindmarch 'I'm not a plastic bag' shopping bag, compliments of my fabulous brother-in-law (thanks B). It's the fashion accessory du jour in greengrocers around the world. Here it is......check out those handles.

The other parcel was from my parents in-law who are currently galavanting all over the globe in a manner unbecoming in people of their advanced years (that's a joke - they're youthful, gorgeous and I love them both). Anyway, they sent some things they've been buying us. I got ('cos it's all about me) a beautiful silk blend pashmina and I wish this was a touch n' feel blog because you'd just love it's silky softness......

I also got this necklace which I totally LOVE. I took this photo in the bathroom and the light was terrible so you can't appreciate the colours which are truly lovely.

Tom and the girls got presents too but I'm exhausted now from all the photographing and downloading shenanigans so I'll post the lovely enamel bracelet photos tomorrow (they were for the girls not Tom - he's not an enamel bracelet kind of guy).

Tuesday, September 11


Be patient my pretty.....one day you will be mine.....

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep..

...as Fran Lebowitz said....apparently. I know this to be true because sleep is something I have trouble with. Well, I don't have trouble with sleeping when I can do it. In fact when I can do it I just LOVE it. It's the times that I can't do it that creates the problem. And right now is one of those times.

Like so many little babies, I'm not a good sleeper. Except you kind of expect that from a little baby. Sleep for me has always been a fragile commodity, I'm a light sleeper and when something wakes me up I find it really hard to get back to sleep. It's not unusual for me to be prowling the house in the wee small hours, drinking 'soothing' hot drinks (no I don't mean I put a martini in the microwave) and thinking longingly of what it must be like for those who enjoy deep undisturbed sleep. Back in bed I stare across at my slumbering husband and want to stick pins in his soundly asleep face. Of course I don't do that. Because that would be wrong.

I do get things done though. I wrote a meditation brochure one night last week at about 3am and a few of these blog posts have been written through an exhausted blur in the middle of the night (which will explain a lot I suppose).

So after having a few sleep disturbed nights already this week, last night I went to bed early and fell asleep immediately. Then Aislin woke up at 11pm and wanted me to come in beside her 'for a minute'. So I did and she soon went back to sleep. I stumbled back to bed and lay there wide awake for two hours. She woke again at 3am. This time Tom went through, but she whined and complained so loudly I was soon wide awake and sure enough began to watch the minutes, then hours tick past - ok, it's a digital clock it doesn't tick but you get the picture don't you?

And today I tried to write an essay. I am half insane through lack of sleep and I seriously have to finish two assignments by Friday.

Will it happen? Will it hell.

Sunday, September 9

Pachelbel Bedtime

This guy must have been spying on us...

Thursday, September 6

Timey wimey stuff...

For fans of Dr Who you will recognise the title of this post as an accurate scientific term - if you're not fans of Dr Who then I'm sorry I can't help you.

Well, there appears to be a tear in the space and time continuum because I went to bed on Monday night and the next thing I knew it was Thursday morning. I have no idea how this happened (no, I wasn't drunk) but it's happening a lot lately. Right now I cannot keep up with the speed at which time is passing. I note, with increasing panic, that it is only 3 weeks until the next school holidays. Which has to be impossible because we only had the last school holidays what seems like 4 days ago and frankly if you hit me with more school holidays right now I may implode. I say implode rather than explode because exploding sounds decidedly messy and let's face it, it will be me cleaning it up so we'll stick to imploding thanks.

I really do try to stay positive and upbeat about this 'time flying' thing - you know saying things like...'woo hoo, it's nearly Christmas' (eeeek!) but all I can see hurtling towards me are school holidays, Uni assignments and yes, Christmas - and I'm not a fan of Christmas.

I can't believe I was babbling on about hippies and hommous a few days ago when my life is disappearing before my very eyes!! What to do, what to do. I guess there's not much I can do, just brace myself and hold on in the sure and certain knowledge that Christmas is coming and on that day time will come to a standstill for 24 hours and I'll be doing some more imploding.

Monday, September 3

Hommous, hippies & hemp

I surprised myself today by making Hommous. I used this recipe and it is really good.

Admittedly hers looks much more professional and smooth than mine, but as mine won't be around long enough to impress anyone I'm not too bothered.

Since I finished work I've gone back to making bread. We used to make bread all the time but life got busy and it was really just easier to go to Coles. So what with the home made hommous and the baking bread I'm feeling pretty much the 'hippy earth mother' today. To top that off Tom is coming home to make a big pot of his fabulous Dahl (this is seriously good dahl) so all we need is a Volkswagon Combi in the drive and a couple of hemp Kaftans and we'll complete the picture. And then we can move here and do this.....

Until the police come and do this....

How cool would that be...because I've always kind of regretted that I've never been arrested for a cause.

Credit for the photos is here www.nimbinweb.com.au - thanks for the loan Nimbin Web - I know I didn't actually ask permission but somehow I suspect you guys will be cool with that.

.....oh and if you think my imagination has run riot just because I made some hommous. You'd be right......

Saturday, September 1

Alexander, the Ouch Bishop and a bunch of nuns

Yesterday my daughter's school held a prayer service to bless and officially open their new buildings. I did briefly whine about this in a previous post but really, I didn't mind attending it, these things are important. Ahem.

Being a Catholic school it was all done with maximum fuss and holy water. The festivities were kicked off by a welcoming speech by my favourite RE teacher, the aptly named and fabulously bossy Mr Priest. But what really deserves a mention here is the calibre of the guests attending this thing.

For a bit of background this is a very small, Dominican school of 160 students in a (very beautiful) small town. So I was impressed to discover that the prayer service was being conducted by no less than the Archbishop himself (or 'Ouch-bishop' as Aislin calls him). The unveiling of the plaque and official opening was done by the tiny 'Sister Joan' who was last Dominican principal before they introduced Lay teachers and principals in the 70s. Guests of honour included people like the Director of Catholic Education, the school's board of directors, the local Mayor and some other Dominican sisters (ex teachers and principals). Oh and a couple of politicians. Because all schools should have politicians hanging around their events.

Now I try to avoid getting political on this blog. Except for the occasional snide comment about people like Tony Blair I keep my political leanings to myself. However, for the purposes of this particular post I am going to break that rule just a little bit. You see one of the politicians attending this service at the school was a Federal MP, not just any Federal MP - it was our Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer. The school is certainly in his constituency but I was pretty surprised to see him there. I mean, he's the Foreign Minister.....as much as I dislike him, his party and his politics I concede that his job probably keeps him pretty busy. So why, I have to ask myself, is he at this tiny school's function. Admittedly it's an election year, but even if the government don't get back in it's unlikely he'd lose his seat and he wouldn't have to try to win many votes among the parents at our school (it's that kind of area). His wife has some connection to the school, maybe she made him come. I don't know, but I've decided to consider that he did it because he was invited and maybe, just maybe, he thought it would be a good thing to do. I'm trying really hard not to be cynical here.

Anyway, he sat across the aisle from me and I am very proud of my restraint in managing to sit through the entire service without once lobbing a spitball at him.....which was my greatest desire.

So Mr Downer, whatever your reasons for attending I think it meant a lot to a lot of people, including the children, that you came. So I will grudgingly say 'you did a good thing' but you're still not getting my vote - you big prat.

Oh and if you're reading this ASIO, calm down, I mean him no harm.