Wednesday 30 November 2011

Guessing game

It's small, cute and sometimes annoying...
Life with three kids is busy. Not as insanely busy as I imagined, but juggling between the two biggies while feeding, changing and settling the baby is time consuming. Not much time for anything else. Thankfully the bub is a laid-back little guy, cause his sisters are high maintenance.

Getting the girls ready in the morning is a constant push. A lot of 'C'mon, c'mons'. Lil-lil has always had this habit of creating every request into a guessing game and now Goosey has picked up on it too. This can be particularly frustrating when you're trying to get out the door.

It goes something like this...

"Mum, I'm hungry."

"What would you like to eat?"

"I'd like something squishy."


"No, something little and in the cupboard."

"What? Can't you just tell me?"

"It's something in a green packet."


"Yes!  You got it!"

This goes on for everything. What clothes they want to wear, toys they want to play with, everything.
To say it drives me mad is an understatement. I thought it would wear off after a while, but it's been going on for at least a year.

Monday 28 November 2011

Gabbing with grown ups

Our blooming garden.

Being a mum to small children (especially a stay-at-home mum) can send you bonkers. Over my five years of being a mum, I've discovered a few things that are essential to keeping the crazies at bay.

The number one, most important thing you must do is keep up contact with adults. Being with kids all .day.long. and not having at least a few adult interactions will melt your mind. Blogging definitely helps. As does Twitter. But it's essential to have face-to-face grown up gab too.

Last week I recognised that I was losing my mind and needed some big people time. Chatting about the finer points of Scooby Doo was doing my head in.

Fridays have become my day to catch up with friends. We have ballet and I get to see my good friend who has a life identical to mine. We, of course ,caught up with all the things we'd both done (a lot of 'me too's were said). I asked her and her girls over for lunch and then told her I had no food, so she brought a wonderful spread. I'm a great hostess like that.

In the afternoon, my oldest friend and her kids visited. We've known each other since we were 5. We grew up around the corner from each other and now we live on the other side of Sydney around the corner from each other. Our kids go to preschool together. It's always brilliant to catch up and chat with her. There's nothing more comforting than an old friend who knows you well. Who saw you throw up in a bin on your first day of big school. Who also saw you throw up at Schoolies. Who's also seen you throw up with morning sickness. That's a lifelong friend.

On Saturday, we had dinner at a good friends' place. They cooked up a truly delicious dinner. The kids had a ball. Goose stayed up bright-eyed until 11pm, partying on while her brother and sister slept. It's so nice to go out and laugh. Though I think I was a bit of a zombie. That's the problem, I find when I do see other grown ups I either talk their ear off or go into zombie mode.

On Sunday, another good friend came to visit. I haven't had a good chinwag with her for a long while, so it was really nice to catch up. Plus she brought sweet treats. What's better than that?
Blue sky! I'd forgotten what it looked like. 
The lashing rain has finally stopped and the sun finally came out. The garden now looks lush and gorgeous. It feels like holidays are approaching. Late Sunday arvo, D and I lay on the grass in our back garden and watched the wind blow through the gum trees. It was bliss. It's so much easier to enjoy and appreciate the kids when I've had time to stretch my adult mind.

I feel sane and ready to tackle another week of kid-wrangling.

Friday 25 November 2011

Mum mobile

I'm not really a car person. A car is just something to drive around in. Unless it's something vintage and cool, I don't really notice. Saying that, I've always thought (hoped) I might drive something like this:

Nice, huh? Suits me don't you think? I love me a Merc. Classic cool.

I've never been fond of big cars. Especially big Mum buses. Clunky. Awful. You see mums do that lumber into them. Just not me. Or so I thought.

I then had three children and discovered that car seats, while useful in saving my kids lives, do not fit in pretty much any car if you have three of them. It was time to suck it up and get a Mum bus.

Skip has spent months researching cars. Getting frustrated at me because every time I he asked my opinion I'd just shrug my shoulders and say 'Meh!' If it isn't a 300sl Merc, I'm really not that interested.

My only input was: "Some bloggers at the Kidspot Top 50 launch told me the Territory fits three car seats maybe we get one of those."

So now we have something like this:

I have to admit, despite my loathing of a mum bus, I quite enjoy driving it round. Lots of room for all us. No more getting my hand stuck while putting the seat belt down the side of the booster. It's kinda like driving my lounge room around. Comfy. Easy. Not cool, but well, that's life.

I have to do the mum lumber into the car and sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in the review mirror occasionally and surprise myself. Wow, I guess there's no denying I'm a mum now. What with the mum mobile and all. And the little bits of crap ground into the car - spew, bread, spilt milk. Delish.

I guess I'm going to have settle for the fact I'll be a granny driving round a 300sl. Cause I will, one day.

Have you had to succumb to a 'family' car?

Note: this post was NOT sponsored by Ford or Mercedes. But if they want to, you know, send me cars or whatever, I wouldn't say no. Or even a driver. Or some kind of teflon coating so I could hose the car out of all the kid crap. I'll just leave it up to you, should I? Thanks

Thursday 24 November 2011

Never-ending newborn

Biggest sister, little brother. Hand in hand.
The other day, a nice old lady came up and looked at Demon D and said: 'Oh what a gorgeous boy! What is he? Five? Six weeks old?'

Then came my standard reply: "He's actually 11 weeks old. He was almost 7 weeks premature so he's small."

It hit me shortly after, I often forget he's premmie. It doesn't really affect the way I treat him or think about him. I did realise though that maybe this is the fatigue that I'm feeling. I'm feeling like I've had a newborn for a really long time. In some ways I have.

He's 12 weeks now and he's only really just starting smile and respond. He's only just getting a bit of head control. He doesn't look 'freaky' as a lot of people say they think he might. He's 4.5kg so not tiny small, but definitely small for a 12-week-old baby. He looks like a large 5-week-old baby, which is what he essentially is.

Yesterday, I saw a baby that was a full-term 11-week-old and I felt a pang of sadness. Stupid really as I have nothing to be sad about. D is healthy now, doing well. I don't expect more out of him than I should, but seeing that baby made me realise how he's not a "normal" 12-week-old baby. This 11-week-old was so much more advanced than he was. I realised that this newborn phase is going to go on for a while longer. That the arsenic hour phase probably will go on for another 6 or so weeks. I've got a 'bonus' 7 weeks of newborn-ness.

I adore him and I'm enjoying him, but I feel like I'm running a marathon. Deep breath, dig deep, keep on going.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Food, fuel, fervor

I've reached a point where I want to eat better, be fitter, feel fab and look good. It's 12 weeks since I had D, I've managed to lose all the weight I put on while pregnant with him (bar 1kg) though I wanted to trim down before I had him so there's still some flab to go.  There's also the fact that while I want to lose a further 5-10kg, my body has had three children so is not the same shape it once was (and will never be). My blood pressure has gone back to normal, thank goodness. I'm now at the cross roads of how to embark on this. Make it something long-lasting, not just a quick fix.

To be honest it's all a bit confusing. I'm a strong believer in moderation. I don't believe in cutting something totally out of my diet, for me it doesn't work. There's a lot around on the internet and the media about cutting out sugar, carbs. Eating this and that. Smoothies, protein. All sorts of diets. I'm a sceptic about all of this, but I'm open to learn. I'm generally eat good, unprocessed foods. Exercise. A bit of what you fancy now and again.

My goals:

* To be healthy. To make sure my blood pressure stays down. Having extremely high blood pressure is pretty bloody scary. I want to hang around for a long time to come.

* To feel good. Having three kids, I want to have lots of energy. I want to be able to keep up with them. I want to inspire them.

* To look better.

Next step? How to achieve this...

Small step into big school

Yesterday, Lil's preschool went on an excursion to big school. There's a primary school at the back of the preschool, while most of the kids aren't going to that school they went to get a little taste of what big school is all about.

Seventeen little kids lined up at the back gate and stepped wide-eyed into the playground, like they were climbing into Narnia. Lil's big school orientation happened the day D was born, as we were a little pre-occupied and she missed out. This was her first taste of the new world she's about to enter.

We walked through the playground, the library, the hall. Sat in a classroom and watched some Kinder kids, who looked huge and, oh so, grown up. The first thing I noticed was no blackboard. It's strange to think that something so ubiquitous in my schooling experience is something that will be relegated to a museum. "In the olden days you had blackboards? Wow, just like in the movies!" I can hear them saying.

We had lunch in the playground and then stepped back through the gate to the small world of preschool.

Lil-lil is SO excited now. It's starting to feel real to her and she's ready to go.

Me? Well, I just can't believe that my tiny little bundle is off to school. I swear it was just a minute ago we brought her home from the hospital wondering what the hell we were going to do with her. Just a minute ago that she rocked our world more than we ever imagined she would. A second ago that we sent her off to preschool. It's just crazy fast.

Thankfully I have all of December and January to prepare myself, I think I'm going to need it.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Eating truffles and watching soaps

So, what do you do all day? With all your free time?

This morning, I managed to pack the preschool lunch, eat breakfast, drop the husband at work, clean the bathroom, make beds, instruct the big kids to dress themselves, re-dress them when they came out in inappropriate clothes, put a load of washing on and wash the dishes all before 8am. Some days I'd be lucky to do all of this before 5pm. Today is a very good day.

For the rest of the day? I shall drop eldest at preschool, do the grocery shopping, hang out the washing, supervise at a preschool excursion, take kids to swimming lessons, be late as I'll be mesmerised by a baby smile for a moment, tidy up, cook the dinner, bath the kids and then collapse. Of course through out this I'll need to feed the baby which takes about an hour each time, change nappies, wipe bums, oh and feed Goose too. Maybe I'll get to eat too. Despite this the house will look like a bomb hit it.

Whilst I'm driving to and fro, I'll be answering questions from the back seat , reaching back to put a dummy in and dreaming about being able to drop it all and escape, just for an hour or two. Perhaps catch up with friends and laugh over a couple of drinks. Dream about curling up in bed and reading a book. Catching a movie. Having an adult conversation without being interrupted every 30 seconds with: "MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM!"

The other day, someone asked what I did and I told them I ate truffles and watched daytime soaps. They just nodded and said 'Ahhh.'

Monday 21 November 2011

The witching hour(s)

Demon D is going through a delightful stage at the moment. He has a routine where he's quite happy and sleepy through the day until about 4pm. Anyone who sees him at this time comments on what a 'dream' baby he is, so happy, so good. Then at the stroke of four he enters the witching hour, or should I say hours.

From 4pm until about 7.30pm he screams and cries and whinges. Anyone who sees him at this time thinks he's a complete nightmare. Nothing consoles him, nothing makes him happy. 'Is he hungry?' they ask. 'Tired, perhaps?' I shrug my shoulders. Silently wondering how much he'd fetch on eBay.

It makes dinner, bath and bedtime for the girls all the more challenging. He just cries for the hell of it. For some reason unknown to us.

On Saturday, it was just him and me during this time and it felt so much worse as there was no distraction. Just me and the crying baby who could not be settled. The crying seems so much louder.

The strange this is, I'm not too bothered cause I know this will end. My girls did it (well Lil-lil did it all day/night long). One day the fussiness will get shorter and it will become a mere memory.

Did/do you experience the witching hours with your babies?

Saturday 19 November 2011

Sick of the sound of my voice

I haven't written for a while, well because quite honestly, I'm sick of the sound of my own voice.

Truly, I just hear this screechy whiny whinging. I read back over what I've written lately and it just seems annoying.

Life is hectic at the moment. Life is busy. Life is tiring. Life is trying. But it's also wonderful, funny and joyful. Some times it's helpful to write. I feel like I'm getting something out of it and possibly giving something to someone else. But at the moment, it feels negative.

I've spent the past couple of days just relishing in the kids and their meltdowns and their crying and their moments. And soon, I'll have something to write and share. For now I'm just going to live life in all its glory for a while.

Thursday 17 November 2011

Just a moment

Sleep. It's a wonderful thing. I never knew I could survive on such a little amount. Seriously, the idiot who wrote: "Sleep like a baby" must have been the biggest moron to walk the earth.

It's amazing though that a little extra sleep has made me a little less loco. Last night I got more than I had in days. Snatches of 40 min sleep really is the stuff of nightmares. Anyway, the point is, I'm feeling better. Goosey's better too. We survived our little rough patch, bring on the next!

A while ago, Skip and I went to Tassie and had just the best time. When I'm in the middle of a whirlwind of crying baby, kids tugging on my sleeve wanting something and general chaos I go back there. To those moments of peace:

Then I can deal with and appreciate the chaos. And when I'm faced with this:

Or this:

Or this:

I know it's just a moment, it will pass. There will be another moment.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Closing a chapter, surviving and a pity party for 1

This week is all about survival. In a few different ways.

Yesterday, I strutted off to the hospital yet again (well, it was more dragging my arse but we'll pretend I was strutting). I got the good park out the front, a nurse offered to watch the kids while I wee'd in a cup (instead of juggling them in the bathroom while carrying my file which is the size of a volume of the encyclopedia Britannica like I normally do) and I got called in to see the doctor just moments after sitting in the waiting room. After 11 weeks of hospital visits and taking tons of medication, it was finally decided that I was OK enough to stop meds and stop visiting the hospital. This whole preeclampsia thing can be put behind me! Hoorah.

I was super happy as the meds were starting to have some odd and annoying side effects - swollen ankles, hot, burning knees. Also, visiting the hospital was a drag, especially when everyone else there is pregnant and there I was with an almost 3 month old! It was a bit of a surprise as things were taking so long to calm down I was worried that they wouldn't, the doctor speculated that I could be on medication long-term too, so to be rid of it is fab. Though, it's only a trial at the moment, so my BP better behave itself. In any case, I'm declaring that I've survived preeclampsia and I'm closing that whole chapter!


Goose is still sick. Nights have been fairly hellish as she's been moaning and crying through the night, feeling rotten. Sleep is being got in small snatches. I'm just surviving at the moment. Between looking after her and a newborn all night, I'm tired. At the moment, I'm just managing the basics like keeping us fed and clothed and clean (sort of), there is nothing else being achieved. Skip is being a good help and doing what he can, which I'm very thankful for.

There was a time though where nights like these were standard. The girls being awful sleepers meant that waking all night was my reality. It sucked. I must have been an awful person during those times. Just a shell of a person, really.

D is a fairly good sleeper at night, waking twice to feed and going straight back to sleep. Even so, I'm still at that newborn stage where you just survive. Tied to feeds, less available, baby-focused. Feeling isolated. Feeling like the world is moving on without you. Lucky he's a gorgeous boy! I don't resent it, he's only a baby for a short time.

The part I hate is just surviving. It frustrates the hell out of me. I want to be more. I want to be a better mother to the girls - more engaged, more available, less snappy. I want to be a better wife - more available, less tired, more present. I want to be a better friend. I want to be better to myself. I have all these things in my head that I want to do that never get done.

At the moment, I keep doing stupid things. Including:

A few weeks ago, I crashed our car. So stupid and expensive and time consuming - it puts pressure on our family, at a time of year with Christmas and holidays approaching, that you just don't need it. I'm so, so annoyed and angry at myself for that.

Losing shoes. I've had three pairs of shoes mysteriously disappear in the last couple of months. I'm no Imelda Marcos either. I really, really wish I could find them.

Being surrounding by chaos. No matter how hard I try, I'm losing the war with chaos. Each day, there is crap all around me. I tidy, I organise. Then the next day it's back.

Losing patience. I'm usually a very patient person and at the moment, it's gone. My patience is nowhere to be found.


Got all that out now, so it's time to get back to the crying baby and moaning kids, all while dreaming about a long cool drink somewhere nice.

Monday 14 November 2011


Monday morning arrived and I didn't feel good. Sleep last night was a distant idea. Poor Goosey was ill. Feverish, shivering and burning to the touch. Demon D was pretty good, but between him waking twice to be fed and Goosey unwell, it was a rough night.

We dropped Lil off at preschool and despite the sun blazing down Goose insisted on wearing her winter coat as she was 'coooooooooold'.

Today will be spent curled up on the couch under the fan. Snoozing and resting. (Praying that the rest of the family don't come down with it.... yeah right.)

Young kids apparently get 10 infections a year on average. We've been pretty lucky this year and have had nowhere near that many illnesses, so I can't complain too much.

How are you spending your Monday?

ErgoPouch giveaway winner

Hope you all had an ace weekend:

The winner of the ErgoPouch wrap is AmberB. Please get in touch with me by Friday with your details.


Saturday 12 November 2011

Wedded bliss

Oh what a night! The wedding was fabulous! A stunning bride. A smiling groom. A room full of love. I could write lots, it was such a good night. Instead, I'll sum it up


* Seeing my beautiful girls walk down the aisle towards their handsome dad.
* Hearing that during the ceremony Goosey told a bridesmaid she was hungry and could she have some chips.
* A simple yet lovely ceremony
* A gorgeous venue
* Laughing and telling stories with old friends
* Getting to know new friends better
* Seeing a new generation, babies being carried and then asleep in lined up prams.
* Dancing like a fool and being transported back 16 years
* Laughter, joy and sentimental tears

It was really terrific night. I went home feeling tired, but happy. Lucky to have a great bunch of people to call friends. Sad that we don't all get together that much anymore. Thrilled that the tangled  web of lovely people hold so many treasured memories. Blessed to have a beautiful family.

Friday 11 November 2011

Wedding belles

It's a busy day in the Daze house today. We've got a wedding on. Skip's a groomsman and the girls are flowergirls and my god they are going to look cute. We had a casual dinner and drinks with the couple, their families and bridal party last night and the girls were in their  element, soaking up the attention. Little D cried, as always!

Today it will be a blur of getting ready and sorting out bub.

I love a wedding. It's even more special when the couple are important people in your life. I have known the groom and his family since I was five, he's also one of Skip's best mates. He's marrying a gorgeous girl, who I can honestly say is one of the nicest, loveliest people you'll ever meet. My girls think she's 'beautiful' which she is.

Andrew & Kym, I hope today is truly wonderful. I hope that you have the most magical life together.

Stayed tuned for some pix.....

Thursday 10 November 2011

Sticky summer

It's arrived! Finally. I'm a summer girl. I love balmy evenings and warm summer days. I love the smell in the air that summer brings. I love that it means Christmas and holidays are just around the corner.

This year, summer has taken its sweet time in arriving, but I think I can confidently say we're almost there.

Yesterday (and last night) was a stinker! After I picked up Lil-lil from preschool there was nothing for it, we had to celebrate the warm weather by buying ice blocks and sitting in the backyard making a sweet, sticky mess.

Yep, it's my favourite time of year. When is yours?

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Sleep tight - plus a giveaway

A few months ago, when I was pregnant, I received an email about a baby product that had won a bunch of awards called an Ergo Pouch. Now, I'm not one for 'miracle' baby products, when I was pregnant with Lil-lil, I went out and bought all the obligatory baby stuff, set up a room for her and all the other things I thought necessary. When she arrived she wouldn't sit in the pram, didn't sleep in her room (or bassinett or cot for the first three months). I discovered that babies don't actually need all that we think they do (or told they do), really they only need some clothes, some nappies, somewhere to sleep  (for Lil that place was my chest) and something to eat. Most of the stuff I bought sat and collected dust and made the baby store rich.

The only other thing I think is a neccesity is wraps. My bubs wouldn't sleep unless wrapped tightly. After the girls I became an experts at wrapping them so they couldn't escape, the only problem was that Skip and other people who were around weren't great at the wrapping thing. When I read about the Ergo Pouch I was keen to give it a try with baby D.

The Ergo Pouch cocoon is a little pouch that zips up and keeps bub snug and secure. No need for tricky origami type wrapping. Plus it's soft, cozy and comes in different thicknesses for warmth. The double zip means that you can change nappies or put them in a car seat without having to wake or completely undo them. I was sold!

I emailed and asked if I'd be able to try one out.

It arrived and D arrived tiny, too small for the newborn size. I put it away until he got bigger. I then tried it a few weeks later and well, it didn't live up to my expectations. I was thinking I'd have to skip reviewing it (as I'm not going to put any product on here that I don't like), I then tried it again and I think D was finally at the right weight for it. It was easy to put on him, he didn't escape and it kept him cozy. He can also move his hands to get comfy, but controls the startle reflex and still keeps him snug. While he's not settled at the moment, he does seem to love his little pouch once I do get him to sleep.

D modelling the Ergo Pouch cocoon (although it has slipped around  a little).
ErgoPouch is the brainchild of a clever Aussie mum! She's created a range of swaddles, wraps, sleeping bags and PJs too.  Check them out here.

ErgoPouch have been kind enough to give one of my readers one of their gorgeous Buba Gum Bamboo Wraps, which is a super stretchy, comfy and colourful wrap. It would be perfect for a new baby gift.

To win, simply tell me about your favourite baby product or which product you've pinned your hopes on. Open to Aussie residents only. Giveaway closes 8pm, Saturday, November 12. Winner will be announced on Sunday.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Here we go again...

I said on Friday that I wasn't going to write about unsettled babies, truth is if I don't then I won't have anything to write about.

My easygoing baby has vanished. The baby who happily self-settled, the baby who was content has been replaced with a squirmy, squally, unhappy bubba.

I can't tell you how much the distresses me. I've been here before. Loooooong days of crying. Looong days of rocking, patting. Looooong days of thinking; "what the hell have I done?"

I was hoping I may have dodged a bullet this time. I thought perhaps I'd gotten a settled, easy baby. I deserved one after all. All babies have their moments, I know, but this moment has lasted 10 days and is fast becoming more than 'a moment'.

You know I even felt a little guilty that I had such an easy baby for the first 8 or so weeks. Ridiculous.

Last night as he screamed and screamed and screamed, I thought: "What is it I do to my babies to make them like this?"

I know he has reflux. I've heard the gulping, spluttering, the rattly breathing and then the high pitched scream that follows. Being premmie and having a family history, he didn't stand a chance, poor mite.

It's stressful, exhausting and plain horrible. I did months of it with my firstborn.

I know it will get better, it's just surviving at the moment, getting past this time. It feels like an eternity when you're in the middle of it,  but it will pass. I hate that, yet again, I don't get to enjoy this. It's a shame there are so many nice things going on at the moment that are being dampened by the crying.

Friday 4 November 2011

The unsettled baby

The only thing more boring than talking about sleep (or lack of it) is unsettled babies.

D has been unsettled all week. But, you know, that's boring. So I'm not going to write about it.

Instead, my head has been imagining it's here:

And here:

Happy Friday!

Thursday 3 November 2011

Time sucker

Babies - the ultimate time suckers. I'd forgotten. Hours spent feeding, changing, settling - rinse and repeat. Then there's the time spent just staring at them. Babies are completely hypnotic.

I also have two larger, bigger time suckers. Ones that want me to watch them dance, draw, sing. Ones that demand tickling, toast and water. Ones that take complete advantage of the fact that often I'm glued to the couch feeding.

Yesterday's effort. 
These three beings suck every minute out of the day. The basics get done (barely) and then the extra bits (like sheets that have been drawn on or play dough spread in tiny pieces across the back yard).

I know I'm not super woman. I'm not trying for perfection here. I'm not even trying to juggle work and home or be chairman of the board. It would just be nice to brush my hair occasionally, put more than five minutes into my appearance. Have a home that doesn't have crusty bits in the corner or piles of clean washing needing to be put away. But these things all get put to the bottom of the priorties. At least we're clean and fed. There are things I can do one-handed while feeding - blogging, story reading, drawing, nose wiping.

Don't get me wrong, it's chaotic and it's fun, I don't hate it at all, it's just that I'm going to have to lower my expectations for a little while. At least until I'm not spending 8 hours a day feeding the baby.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Friends, bloggers, countrymen

Back in the olden days, when we lived in communities, villages, towns, whatever. Mothers would talk to each other over the back fence, in the street, the town square, wherever and share their tales. In knitting groups, reading groups, church groups. They'd get advice, comfort, joy, shed tears.

These days life is different. Women go out to work. We live more insular lives. Still mothers and women like to share. Need to share. That's why I think blogging is so popular amongst mothers. Blogging creates those connections and provides a place for us to tell our stories. Except we may be making connections a world away, instead of over the back fence.

I've been lucky enough to share my stories and have people read and react. I've been lucky enough to make friends. Good solid friendships. People who check up on me if they're concerned. People who laugh and cry with me. People who I've spent time with in person. People like Beth from BabyMac, Pink Patent Mary Janes. People who I'm yet to meet but who I chat to each day and send me care packages, like Eleanor from Shopping the Closet (who was kind enough to write about me today).

Then there's the people who read and comment. Every. single. day. Thank you for making my world that little bit bigger and brighter.  I really, truly appreciate it.

I have a great circle of friends and family who I share my life with, but blogging provides another dimension. It makes the stay-at-home job easier. I kind of think of it like having friends in the workplace. People to chat with over the water cooler.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

A pumpkin, a cup and being un-Australian

Yesterday was Halloween. I have to admit I was surprised at the anti-Halloween sentiment on the webs. A lot of chat about being Americanised, etc. Having spent time overseas in my younger years and trick-or-treating, I quite like Halloween. I personally think the American influence is far, far stronger in other parts of our daily culture that no-one bats an eyelid at, but whatever, Halloween seems to hit a nerve with some.

Each year on Halloween, our neighbours hold a big picnic in the park across from our home. Kids and parents dress up, share food and generally run amok. Then the kids split up in groups and call on the houses with decorations. Everyone is out on the street laughing and chatting. Most households were standing at their front gates with bowls of lollies. We just went to the homes around our house. The girls scared our neighbours and they oohed and aahed at their costumes. Everyone happy.

Spooky witches

Today is Melbourne Cup day, the day that everyone becomes a punter. The day where Skip's phone starts beeping early as everyone wants tips. What am I doing today? Well, when the race is on we're supposed to be at swimming lessons, but I think we may chuck a sickie. It's the Cup after all. 

I read in the Sunday paper, that some employers were telling staff they could only take 3 minutes and 20 seconds away from their desks for the race, anymore then they'd have to take annual leave. What?! To me, thats un-Australian (god, I hate that term). For 151 years, the race has been part of our culture. My mum said they used to have sweeps at school and listen to the race (she went to a Catholic school). If you had to work Cup day it meant a long lunch and a glass of champagne with workmates, sweeps and fun. It was the one day of the years where you could let your hair down a bit. I think it's good for morale.
I think employers should factor it in, a boost for their staff and bit of fun, even if it's just for half an hour. I think its mean-spirited to crack the whip and force them back to their desks. 

What do you think? How did you spend Halloween? What are you doing for the Cup?
Is Halloween un-Australian? Is not watching the Cup un-Australian? Is hating the term un-Australian, un-Australian?
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