Thursday, 31 March 2011

Real estate vs Goosey's bum

At the moment, my life is a swirl of real estate agents. I have to tell you that real estate agents make me antsy. I feel like they're never quite telling me the truth, that they have a secret agenda. One agent comes through and I feel like I'm in the midst of a decorating show. "We'll move this here and that there. We'll put a big vase of lilies up there." Another comes through and it's all about how they going to squeeze every last cent out of a buyer with tricks and techniques.

I hate the feeling of these people traipsing through my house, the place Skip and the kids have lived the longest, judging and assessing it. Tallying up our lives in the real estate formula. At the same time, I feel dread that we won't sell. That no-one will like our house like we do and then we'll be stuck here. (I know that last sentence doesn't make sense...)

Then there's the buying part. Finding something that ticks all the boxes, that we love, that won't put us in financial stress for the next 30 or so years. So much fun.

Goosey has a funny relationship with these agents. She hears a knock at the door, runs to greet them and promptly takes all her clothes off. I guess it's better than me taking my clothes off. The thing is she then dances in front of them, caresses their legs as they try and talk to me and, in one truly embarrassing situation, rubs her bum on their designer duds. Yes, you read that right. The young agent who received the bum rub assured me it was fine, "She's just playing," but she had a look on her face that said,"Ewww will 2-year-old bum juice come off my Charlie Brown dress?"

Thankfully, Goosey will not be attending any of the open houses. One of the agents thought we may be able to put Goosey's bed in storage to make the room look neater. I suggested: "Perhaps we can also put Goosey in storage for the campaign too?" The agent gave a look that thought this may be a good idea.

What are the chances that someone will knock on our door and offer us a million bucks for the place? So we don't have to go through this real estate hell. Anyone? Anyone?

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Loving letters

Yesterday, I arrived home in the afternoon a little worn out. I flung the letter box open, ready to grab a fistful of bills and junk mail. Instead I was delighted to find a letter. A real, actual letter. Name and address handwritten.

Excited, I ripped it open to find a lovely letter from some friends living overseas, updating us on what they're up to. Included were a few beautiful snap shots of where they live. Instantly I felt uplifted.

I'd forgotten about the thrill of receiving a letter. Touching the paper a loved one has carefully written on. The excitement of reading about what a friend has been up to. Passing it round the table at dinner time and sharing its contents. Lovingly folding it back up and putting it somewhere safe to read again later.

Receiving a letter these days is even more special. It's so much more personal than an email quickly rattled off and shot into the ether. Someone taking the time and the effort to sit down and write, then stamping and posting an envelope, makes you feel important and cared for. I immediately wanted to sit down and write back, dinner and bedtime got in the way, but I'm determined to do it this week.

So, go on. Sit down and write a letter to someone and make their day.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Grateful for the right to vote

If you're in NSW, you'll know it's election day. A day that's felt long overdue for a lot of people in this state.

As we went to vote this morning Lil-lil asked: "What's voting?"
I told her it's how we get choose the boss of NSW. "I'd like to be the boss of NSW," she replied.
When asked what she'd do if she was the boss, she said: "I'd stand up and tell everyone what I want to do. Like how I have to stand up to my little sister and tell her I'm the big sister and I do what I want to do."

I wish I could have voted for Lil-lil today, she seems more together than the politicians.

Even though I voted half-heartedly this morning, which is not like me at all, I'm still grateful for the right to vote. So many people, women, in this world don't have that right.

What are you grateful for? Play along with Maxabella Loves....
Have a good one!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Racy frocks

I have the ultimate white, self-indulged, first world problem. I'm going to my first race day of the Sydney Carnival tomorrow and I don't have a new frock. Tragic, I know.

I do, in fact, have a cupboard full of race frocks, so won't be going nude. It's just the first carnival in ages that I haven't splashed out on a new frock (or two). Keep in mind that the only time I tend to splash out on clothes is for the races, so a couple of frocks a year isn't too extravagant. This year, though, there's a lot of other stuff going on and it seems a little silly to buy a new dress.

If I was going to buy a new outfit I think I should like something like this:

Or this:

Or this:

Or perhaps this for Derby Day:

All these dresses are from my favourite racewear designer Thu Nguyen who owns a boutique near my home (and where I've spent plenty of cash). Her gorgeous dresses are vintage inspired and often made from the most gorgeous silk. If you have a race day or wedding, I'd recommend checking out Elise Silk 
(and keep my secret local thriving).

Have a fantastic weekend, whatever you're doing (especially if you're at the races). If you're in NSW, don't forget to vote and enjoy the sausage sizzle. See you on the flipside. 

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The girl with the violet eyes

Growing up I used to love watching old movies. I loved nothing better than curling up and watching Bill Collins' Golden Years of Hollywood. I have so many good memories of being whisked away with James Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Fontaine, Bette Davis, Clarke Gable.

There was no one more beautiful though than Elizabeth Taylor. As a girl, I adored her in Jane EyreNational Velvet and Little Women. I wanted to be her in Giant. I was shocked by Suddenly, Last Summer.

I love reading about her intriguing personal life, many loves and the diamonds, oh my, the diamonds! So, I was saddened to awake to the news that she had passed away.

Farewell, Liz. 

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Having it all, being it all, throwing it all away

If you ask someone what they've been up to, generally the answer is "Busy, just so busy." Every bloody magazine article you read talks about our 'busy lives'. It seems like if you're not busy you're not succeeding or achieving. You're just wasting time, not being busy.

I don't think that being busy is new. I think people since the dawn of time have been busy. I'm sure the caveman was busy clubbing wooly mammoths. I doubt he was sitting round in the cave staring at his toes. Fast forward a few million years and I think of my great grandmother. Keeping a tribe of kids, no electricity, washing clothes in a copper, looking after a farm. I'm sure she was pretty busy.

I think the thing these days is not that we're busy, but that we're complicated. We have such big expectations on ourselves that we have to do it all, be it all. Not just women, but everyone.

We need to have a job, a career, that defines us, that we need to work hard at. A job that fulfills and satisfies us. A job that pays well. We need that job to pay for our homes and lifestyles.

We need relationships. Not just any old relationships. We have to have deep relationships, satisfying relationships. We have to make sure all our relationships tick all the boxes. Our wives and husbands are supposed to fulfill us mentally, emotionally, physically. Our friends should also be strong, deep connections. Are we spending enough time as a family, one-on-one with our kids, one-on-one with our spouse, time on our own?

We have children that we have to raise well. Make sure they attend the right school. Make sure they take part in the right activities. Make sure they develop all the right skills - gross motor, fine motor, are both sides of their brains being 'activated', etc, etc. Are they emotionally balanced? Do they associate in the right circles? Are they being exposed to the right kind of music, literature. Are we giving them too much freedom? Not enough? Are we their parent or their friend? Are we authoritarians or should they be able to speak openly to us?

Do we have a healthy life. Do we exercise? Are we doing weight-bearing exercise, cardio, stretching? Are we exercising at the right time of day? Are we eating healthily? Are we eating too much fat? Is it saturated fats? Trans fats? Good or bad cholesterol? Are we eating enough vegetables? Are they organic? Have the been grown overseas? Locally? More than 100km from our homes?
Are we mindful when we eat? Do we make sure we enjoy every mouthful? What if I have a bit of chocolate? Is it Fair Trade chocolate? Is it dark chocolate filled with antioxidants? Will it expand my muffin top?

Do you make sure you keep up with current affairs, but not the trashy current affairs. Do you make sure you read about all the human tragedies not just the glossy popular ones. Are you reading good literature to expand your mind. Do you go to an art gallery. Listen to good music. Do you make sure you go and hear the important people speak or the lesser known performers?

Do you ensure your spiritual life is kept in check? Of course, you just can't go to the local church or follow the faith your parents did. We need to explore, research, meditate, look deep inside ourselves for answers. Don't even think of relying on the word of a priest, nun, rabbi, monk. You have to read and study for yourself. Find your own special spirituality.

Now, that house you've been working so hard for, is it filled with beautiful objects and the latest gadgets? Everyone has them, so you should too. Of course, you can't live without the new iPad and iPhone. A TV? The biggest of course. Just don't spend too much time watching it. Also make sure not too much water or energy was used to produce them. Or that it has a large carbon footprint. Or that it was made in a factory in China where the employees are mistreated.

Feeling a bit tired? Time for a holiday. Overseas or somewhere exotic and make sure you're doing something or learning something or helping someone. Don't do something touristy, go off the beaten track.

Your clothes must be up-to-date with the right labels. They have to suit you, suit the situation. You must have the right hair, the right make up and the right body (yes, even the guys).

Are you saving money? Are you putting enough into your super? Do you spend too much? Do you spend on the right things? Are you investing? What about insurance? Planning? Tax minimisation?

Ridiculous? Complicated? Yes, without doubt. Though we put pressure on ourselves to do all these things, be all these things, worry about all these things. There is so much pressure to 'be happy'. Improve yourself. Improve your life. So much pressure that if we don't feel we achieve this we're failures. If we don't have a perfect job, a perfect relationship, a perfect family, we're not good enough. Self-help, self-improvement, it's exhausting. You can't open a newspaper or magazine without being told how to improve ourselves, our lives and find happiness.

The irony is we're more stressed, more anxious, more depressed, committing suicide more often than ever before.

Is it failure to accept and be happy with the imperfect? Or do we simply have too much time on our hands?

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Freddo – A Man for All Seasons

They say a good man is hard to find. I don't know about this. There's always been a man in my life who's made me happy, never disappointed me, helped me out with the kids and generally put a smile on my face. Best of all, he'll fit in your handbag or you glove box, so perfect he's the right person in emergencies.

Freddo. How good is he? 

Sure, he's over 80 years old, but he comes in a range of sizes and flavours - Strawberry, Peppermint, Crispy, Milk Top. A man for every occasion. 

I haven't been as good to Freddo as he has been to me. I have been known to cheat on my beloved Freddo with his good mate Caramello:

But Freddo is such a top bloke, he always welcomes me back. No questions asked. 

Around Easter Show time, I have been known to flirt with his rival Bertie Beetle. But again, Bertie is no contest for Freddo.

Freddo is also great with the kids. I just have to mention his name and my girls turn into angels, hopeful of seeing their favourite frog once more. 

If you're looking for me today, I'm spending some quality time with my main man. Please don't interrupt us. Freddo. Sigh. You are perfection. 

Note: I wasn't paid for this post, this is just an outpouring of my adoration of a truly wonderful man. If, however, Cadbury wished to pay in cash or product, I certainly wouldn't be hanging up the phone. Just saying....

Monday, 21 March 2011

Random thoughts on a random Monday

When I feel like things are spinning out of control or that I'm useless or a just a hindrance I tend to shut down. Which is a really bad way to be.

Instead of letting all the words that are building up with volcanic force in my brain spew out, I clam up. It's like I'm physically unable to release what I need to say.

I think those around me believe I don't care. Am unfeeling. Am turning a blind eye. I'm not.

Being like this makes things spin out of control more, makes me feel more useless, more of a hindrance. A gurgling pool of inadequacy, worry.

I wish I was able to be the person who had all the answers. Who knew the right thing to say. Who could solve and smooth problems. I yearn to be someone who knows the right thing to do and say. I wish I wasn't such a scaredy cat. I wish I wasn't the wrong person for the job.

Does anyone have a jackhammer to break open the concrete in my mouth?


Last Thursday, I was at the chemist with my kids when Lil-lil spotted a bottle of hair-styling product. It's from her favourite TV ad where the woman uses the product and turns into a rock star.

Lil-lil told me very solemnly: "I'm buying you this for Christmas, Mum. Just so you can become a rock star. You should be a rock star."

I love the thought behind it. If it were only that easy, kiddo. 


On Saturday, I went to the Australian Bloggers Conference, it was great to meet lots of my fave bloggers, learn a little more and just be in a room of like-minded souls. One of the highlights for me was to hear the gorgeous and rock star-like Eden from Edenland. She read out this post. I don't know how she does it, she's brilliant. Make sure you go and have a read.


Yesterday, I had to take Goosey to the doctor. After ringing every medical centre in a 10km radius to find one that didn't have a 2 hour wait, we sat and we waited. Finally Goose's name was called. I stood up and took Goose off my lap. I smelt something. I couldn't believe it. She'd pooed all over me. My toilet-trained, never-had-an-accident daughter pooed on me. She was crappy. I stank. The doctor was standing there staring at both of us. Good times. 


Just when I think I'm cruising in a certain direction, life seems to have a habit of jolting me to the exact opposite direction. Yet again, I'm feeling disoriented and unsure. Bobbing around, trying to catch my breath and catch up with the tide. 

Friday, 18 March 2011

Flashback 1990

About 1.30am I was roused by a little person climbing into bed with me. I don't know if it was sparked by something I was dreaming or what, but as I  lay awake  unable to go back to sleep, my mind took me back to 1990.

I was 14 and I was going to my first ever concert. I was so sophisticated – wearing a red crushed velvet skirt, a white shirt with embroidered red flowers knotted at the waist and a pair of fake Doc Martins, think E-Street chic. To top off the hottest look ever, I'd recently been to Paddy's Market and bought some clear mascara and a bottle of James Dean Eau de Toilette. I'm not sure what made it James Dean other than his picture on the bottle, but as far as I was concerned it was the biz. I don't quite know what the point of clear mascara is either, but man I thought it was good.

Together with my good friend, we set off to AusMusic 90. A music festival-like thing celebrating Australian music. From memory there were concerts in each state and then they were linked up on TV. We were at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and saw Crowded House, Ice House, Kate Cebrano and a few others that I can't remember now. Besides looking incredible in my hot new outfit, the concert was one of the best things I'd ever been to. I was blown away by the crowd, the music and just being a part of it. I'd never felt so grown up before. I had arrived. Me and my red skirt. I was teenager.

It's funny so many events and so many outfits in my life, but that memory is locked solid in my brain. If I close my eyes and try hard enough I can almost get a whiff of Eau de James Dean.

And, of course, everything is on You Tube. So here's a taste of that concert. Can you see me up in the nosebleed section?

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Keeping up the chatter

When you have a baby, you dream about that magic moment when they start talking. Every mum hopes that 'Mama! will be the first utterance out of their little mouths.

Then they start talking. And talking. And talking. And talking. And never shut the hell up. And you think: "If I hear 'MUM!' one more time I may just scream."

My Lil-lil loves to talk. She loves to talk loudly. In fact, she loves to do everything loudly. Sing. Stomp. She even skips loudly. When we're out I never lose her cause I can always hear her. I can often hear her from blocks away. The three days she's at preschool and it's just me and little Goose, it's just so quiet and peaceful. We can even hear the thundering planes on the flight path as  they aren't drowned out by Lil-lil's chatter. Don't get me wrong, I love her joie de vivre, but sometimes it gets, well, a little much.

She's driving me completely bonkers at the moment because before she tells me anything she has to say 'Mum' at least five times before getting to the point. A conversation goes something like this:

"Mum!", "Yes?", "Ah Mum!" "Yes?", "Mum, I need to tell you something, Mum.", " What is it?", "Um Mum!", "WHAT IS IT????", "Mum, can I have chips for dinner?", "No."

We can have seven or eight of these conversations as I'm trying to escape her room at bedtime. So I can hear 'mum' 40 odd times in just a few minutes. After about eight of these convos it usually ends up like this as I'm walking out of the room:
"Mum!", "Good night!", "Mum!", "Sleep time now!", "But Mum, I need to tell you something.", "Go to sleep!", "Mum!", "Shush!" "Muuuuum", "I've gone now."

I know this stage will pass, but until then I might invest in some ear plugs.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Conference time

This Saturday, I'm going to the Aussie Bloggers Conference. Wow. When I bought my ticket many months ago, it seemed like a way off dream, now it's suddenly here. Skip thinks I'm mad as I'm missing the first day of the Autumn Carnival. I haven't prepared in any way (though I did get some business cards, go me) and I don't really know if I have to. Tell me, do I?

I'm not really sure what to expect, will I be lost in a sea of bloggers? Will I actually meet and talk to people? Or will I simply stare at my shoes hoping to fade into the background?

I've been reading a lot about people buying new outfits, getting new dos, etc. I'll just be pulling something out of the cupboard and pulling a brush through my hair (I may even wash it).

Mostly, I've been wondering what I'm going to get out of it. How it will impact my blog. If I'll feel part of the blogging community or an outsider. I guess I'll find out on Saturday.

If you're going, please come and say hello. I'm quite friendly, though quiet. I'll be the blonde in the corner looking a bit lost.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Disaster daze

At the end of last year, I remember thinking to myself: "There hasn't been a catastrophe for quite a while, we must be due something big." Little did I know!

If you live in my corner of the globe it certainly feels like we've had more than our fair share of that 'something big'. "It feels like the end of the world," you hear people muttering as yet another disaster is played out on our TV screens 24/7. Massive floods, powerful cyclones, enormous seismic aftershocks, huge earthquake and tsunami. Not to mention the uprisings in the Middle East.

On Friday night, as the kids were tucked up safely in bed and Skip was out having fun with his mates, I sat on the lounge and was bombarded with terrible images of Japan. As the enormity of the earthquake and tsunami sank in and reports that Australia was on 'tsunami watch', I sighed and did the only thing that felt right in that moment – I changed the channel.

What a privilege that was. I did not have to worry about the safety of my home, my community or my family. I had a fridge full of food. I had taps with running water. I had a roof over my head. I had electricity to light my home and power my fan on that humid night. I had a choice of chocolate or vanilla ice cream. I then could watch some mindless trash and push the devastation that others were facing out my mind.

It was hard though. One thought kept creeping into my mind as I watched Tori & Dean: "Those people woke up this morning, got dressed, ate breakfast, probably yelled at their kids, maybe cursed their spouse, wondered how they were going to pay a certain bill, what they were going to do on the weekend." Then in a few moments their world was turned upside down, wiped out. How do you recover from that? How do you start again? How do you regain that preciousness of the mundane? The sad fact is for the entire communities that were washed away, you don't.

Disaster after catastrophe after calamity, for me it's almost starting to feel a little surreal. Like the news channels have become some kind of disaster reality show. You know, should we watch Law & Order, Miami Ink or the latest catastrophe coverage – cause if you watch Foxtel this is what's always on.

I hope I don't become numb or disconnected. I hope I don't become overly fearful. I pray that I'm lucky enough to be always be able to change the channel.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Blurring the lines

When I started this blog, all of nobody read it. I really didn't mind as I didn't start it because I wanted readers. Somewhere along the way, I picked up a bunch of readers. A whole bunch of readers. Which is wonderful as it's opened up a whole new world to me and that completely took me by surprise.

As I picked up readers of the anonymous variety, more and more of the people I know in real life started reading, which feels odd. I'm not sure why, as I've always said I wouldn't write things that I wouldn't share openly with those around me. This has never been an anonymous vent hole. I do find though, as  more and more people from the real world start to read it regularly, my writing has changed. There are some things I'm hesitant to write about, lest they get taken the wrong way or more is read into it than should be. Or it makes life uncomfortable for Skip or the kids.

This space has also changed for me and I'm not really sure what I want it to be anymore. Or even if it needs to be 'something', other than a random collection of my thoughts.  I'm guessing it doesn't, but I feel like I'm finding my feet again. Finding that comfy groove where the words just pour out of my fingertips.

So, please, bear with me as I find my comfy spot again.

The other odd thing about people from the real world reading here regularly is the catch-ups when they see you for the first time in a few weeks and know most of what you've been up and so the conversation dies. I feel like I'm telling them a story for the first time, but they've already read it here. Then there's the awkward : "Yeah, I know. I read it on your blog." Or worse, they pretend that they're hearing it for the first time. I think this sentence alone has probably set up a few awkward conversations in my future!

If you're a blogger, do you find weird 'moments' of cross-overs from real life/blogger worlds? Do you hold yourself back because you know a 'certain' someone?

PS - Daniel, does this post count as a mention?

Friday, 11 March 2011

Playdates and Band-Aids

Lil-lil has thrown herself into preschool life head first. She loves it. She loves having friends. She loves having a bit of independence away from me, away from her sister. At the moment, the thing she loves best of all is a playdate. Every single afternoon it's: "Can so-and-so come over and play? Puhleeeeeeeeeease?"

It's the first time in her life that she's got to pick her own friends. Not being told: "Hey, look at this kid, he/she is your friend." It's lovely to see her building up all those little friendship groups and negotiating all the social parts of friendship.

This whole playdate thing has opened up a whole new world for me though. Having to spend time with the mums who are essentially strangers. Getting to know them. Navigating a minefield of expectations, rules, etiquette. So far, it hasn't been bad.

The one person who's not too happy about playdates is Goosey. She doesn't like having to share her big sis and the big girls are too 'cool' to play with a two-year-old, so poor old Goose is left with the younger brother. Put out that she's been banned from the big games, she now has to deal with some boy touching her stuff. Let's just say, she's not happy. The last playdate involved me and the other mum pulling the two littlies' brawl apart. There was blood. I was upset and embarrassed.

Thankfully, Lil-lil has chosen friends with really nice parents. There are a couple of mums I hide from during drop-off and pick-up. You know the type who smile sickly at you and call you by the wrong name and 'Oh did you get the latest committee email, Karen? You've been a little quiet haven't you??' Thankfully their kids don't seem to appeal to Lil-lil either.

Best be off, got another playdate to prepare. I'll pack the band-aids this time.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

On a jet plane

Is there anything more exciting than boarding a plane and taking off to the skies? It doesn't matter where you're going, cause when you're on a plane you're going somewhere. The smell of the jet fuel, the overpriced stale sandwiches, the to-ing and fro-ing of people departing and arriving. I love the buzz of the airport.

It's been waaaay too long since I've been overseas. My honeymoon, in fact, was the last time I left our shores. Almost six long years ago. So much has happened in that time too.

We've just booked some flights. Not overseas. Barely out of the state actually. But flights nonetheless. We are going somewhere. A long Easter escape, I can't wait! A week at the beach, dining at my favourite restaurant, playing on the sand with the girls, long lazy days. Making the most of the last few warm days before the weather turns. I'm making sure Skip leaves the Blackberry at home, or else it might end up in the drink.

We were hoping to take a big trip overseas this year, but flights to Europe for four people are expensive! Plus, with Skip's new position this holiday will be the last for a while. Oh well, this little escape will certainly hold me over to the next holiday.

Now, just six weeks to go....

Are you jetting off somewhere soon?

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Housewife woes

Last night, I was inspired to write a post about Annabel Crabb's wonderful column for International Women's Day yesterday about career women needing a wife more than quotas on boards. I had so much I was going to write, it was going to be insightful and witty and thought-provoking. You would have been nodding your head along with my words.

Today arrived and I'm feeling a bit meh. I don't think I can add too much to Annabel's column other than it's definitely true and applies very much to our life. Go on, go take a read of it. Let me know your thoughts.

Today, the only things that are getting me really riled up are my neighbours putting their bins in the street all day to 'bags' their car spot when they get home at night and the fact my home doesn't have a yum cha cart doing rounds of my lounge room. Which is really quite sad. I'm lacking passion and enthusiasm today.

Seriously, if my neighbours could realise that it's seriously selfish to mind a car spot in a busy inner-west street and a cart from Sea Treasure laden with dumplings, squid and lobster could appear in my lounge room, life would be pretty damn good.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The waiting game sucks, let's play Hungry Hippo

I'm generally a patient person.  I don't usually fret or get too anxious about things. Everything will happen in good time. I'm happy to just go with the flow.

There are times in life when being patient and having to wait can just plain suck. When you want to speed everything up or just take a peek at what the outcome is going to be so you can relax (or prepare). You know, take a peek at the last page of a novel just to make sure your favourite character doesn't cark it.

As a family, we've got a lot of balls up in the air at the moment. The prospect of moving house, which will entail finding a new area we can live and be happy in. Finding a new home that we love, as well as selling this house and all that stress. Skip starting a new position at work, which will mean adjustment for him, extra stress and more travel, but will hopefully make his day more enjoyable and rewarding.

It's going to be an exciting year, but my mind keeps wandering to the all the negative possibilities. I hate feeling this way. I wish I could just take a peek at the last page and know how it all ends, so I can stop worrying.

One of my favourite quotes from The Simpsons sums up how I feel today, as Homer says: 'The waiting game sucks, let's play Hungry, Hungry Hippo.'

Monday, 7 March 2011

Walking wounded

Monday, monday. It's been a weekend of blood, pus and kissing ouchies. My two kids were walking accidents, tripping, falling, scraping, every step of the way.

It started on Friday, when the girls seemed to spend their whole day being scraped off the footpath. Their legs were a zig-zag of cuts and scrapes. Then there was a hair pulling incident that ended with Lil-lil having a rather large scratch across her face. Friday afternoon involved stripping off clothes and rolling in a mud puddle (as you do). Despite an intense scrubbing in the bath, we still ended up at the doctors on Saturday morning to have an infected toe tended to. The nurse scraped half of the park out of Goosey's toe and we headed home with a prescription under our arm.

Sunday morning, Lil-lil went for a fly over the concrete and ended up with a badly scraped knee, elbow, hip and tummy. After a lot of tears and Princess band-aids (Thank you Mrs Woog) the warrior was  back and ready to go again.

We spent the afternoon lazing and eating at my dad's place and decided a mid-afternoon trip on the boat would cap off a lovely day. It did until Goosey's uninjured big toe ended up under an anchor. A river of tears and a black toenail later, we decided it might be time to head home.

At home, we had two little girls lying on the couch crying about their injuries. Lashings of Dettol and a few Princess band-aids and a dose of antibiotics later the patients were finally quiet and asleep. Here we are ready for another week battered and bruised (me on the inside). I think we've seen enough blood around here for now.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Playground pick-ups

My Lil-lil is a social butterfly. She loves nothing more than having a playmate, someone to skip with, someone to join her in her imaginary world, someone to giggle with. Being such an outgoing lass she rarely has trouble to get someone to join in her fun. Goosey, on the other hand, is not fussed, she's happy to play by herself or join in when she feels like it.

Lil-lil's efforts to pick-up a friend do make me chuckle though. Watching her can sometimes remind me of a desperate guy in a nightclub, she prowls and pick her target and then uses one of her tried and true pick-up methods. Yesterday, there was just one other little girl at the park who definitely wasn't looking for a playmate, but that wasn't going to deter our Lil-lil.

Her first tactic was to casually play near the other girl and then look up surprised: "Oh hello! Do you want to play with me?" The other girl scurried away.

Not to be deterred Lil-lil ran up and introduced herself and said 'Let's play!' The girl ran away again.

Lil-lil started to look confused. Like, is she crazy, how could she not want to play?!

This time she sat next to the girl and said: "I don't have anyone to play with". Yet again, the girl ran away.

So, Lil-lil pulled out the big guns and circled the girl and cried loudly: "I'm so sad, I don't have anyone to play with" repeatedly. Nope, no response again.

Lil-lil ran back to me and slumped on the ground. "No-one wants to play with me." She truly can't understand that someone won't fall under her spell. I had to explain that sometimes there are going to be people who won't want to play, they just want to be by themselves. She looked at me like I was insane.

At that moment, one of her mates arrived and she was off in a bubble of giggles. The playground pick-up attempt all forgotten.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Polly Dolly goes to the Oscars

Being so grumpy today, I thought I better do something to cheer myself up. So I joined in Danimezza's Thursday's Polly Dolly. The theme this week is Red Carpet Recreation. I loved Michelle Williams' look at the Oscars, I thought she was so luminous and different from everyone else. Plus I just love her.

Here's my take on her Oscar look, not one that I'd be able to pull off, but one I love nonetheless.

A post not about rainbows, sunshine or any of that crap

I have awoken in a bad mood. I wanted to write about cheery things, nice things, but the cranky pants are firmly on and don't look like they're coming off anytime soon.

It's only just past 7am, and already I've yelled, I've snapped, I've ranted.

The cold I had recovered from last week seems to have made a reappearance, waking me all through the night with its scratchy throat. Then little children came in at different hours demanding things. In other words, I'm sitting here tired, grumpy and feeling sorry for myself.

Today, is swimming lesson day. I hate swimming lessons. I hate the dressing and undressing. The cranky mothers in the car park. Having to take Goosey in the water while Lil-lil has her lesson. Stinking of chlorine for the rest of the day. Wrangling the kids in the change room in different stages of undress. Seriously, if it wasn't for it life-saving purposes I'd chuck it in and do something else.

We punished the kids for bad behaviour by banning TV this morning, that seems like a really bad idea now as they bicker and throw wooden blocks at each other's heads.

At least the tea I made this morning was perfection. Lil-lil has already done an impression of my bad mood. Only 12 more hours until bed time.....

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

At the movies

Watching the Oscars this week reminded me of how much I love movies. For me, there's nothing better than settling down in a seat in a theatre, filled with promise. Escaping reality for 90 or more minutes. Being absorbed in another world, time or place. Laughing, crying, feeling fear and love.

I especially love going to the movies by myself. I know this sounds strange to a lot of people, but I love being able to throw myself into a film wholeheartedly. Not being distracted by the person next to me or having to dissect the movie once it's finished. Though seeing the right kind of flick with a friend can be a lot of fun too. I love taking my kids to movies and watching their little faces as their drawn into the screen.

Watching a movie curled up on the couch on a Friday night or a Sunday afternoon is the next best thing.

Once upon a lifetime ago, I studied film at Uni, with the intention of working in the film industry. I'm not really quite sure what happened to that dream, I guess life got in the way. My first job in journalism though was writing movie reviews and synopses. I couldn't believe I was being paid to watch movies and write about them.

These days I don't go to the movies so much and tend to fall asleep during most films at home. Still, there's nothing better than that feeling of anticipation as the title credits begin to roll.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Weekend wonderland

I couldn't not blog about the weekend catch up, could I? Beth did a great wrap with her post and pictures yesterday, but here's my take on the weekend.

After a quick trip down the motorway (the time fly by with lots of chat with PPMJ) we stopped off in to pick up some essentials – you know Veuve, Moet and apple tarts (essential, I tell you). Then before we knew it we were pulling into Beth's gorgeous gravel driveway and was pleased to see her country abode is even more beautiful in real life.

There were scones, champagne, a trip to the most picturesque pub, play with her delightful girls and then dinner. Oh my lord, the pork was sensational and about two-thirds of the way through I thought I'd be able to finish it easily, but I suddenly hit the wall. Big. Time.

We retired to the lounge to unbutton our pants and chat some more. Let's just say there was a lot of giggling. I then had the most blissful sleep – dark, silent, no little people to wake me, cool weather = perfect sleeping conditions.

Scrumptious bacon, eggs and coffee in the morning and then it was time to hit the motorway again (with a quick stop at a fabulous antique shop on the way).

It was a truly fun weekend. Beth was the most fabulous hostess, being in her picture-perfect home with her gracious hospitality had me feeling like I was staying in a boutique hotel. If you ever get an invite to her home, make sure you say 'YES!'.

I can not wait to do it again soon.

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