Monday, 31 October 2011

Driven to a song

I love singing when I'm driving. Like seriously one of my most favourite things to do. Nothing better than cruising down the City-West Link onto the Anzac bridge crooning a fab tune. On a rare quiet moment the other day in the car, Goosey said to me: "Why aren't you singing, Mum?"

The other day when I went to pick up Goose from preschool we were a little late as I had to finish singing the song on the radio before we went in (House of Fun, Madness), Lil-lil happily joined in.

As I was belting our the final bars, I started thinking, "What is the best song to sing while driving?"
I don't think it's a song that's necessarily a favourite. It's not something you'd put on at a dinner party. It's something that just feels great to belt out.

To find out  what is the best song, I decided to ask some bloggers, some friends and some family to find out. Interestingly, the 80s came up trumps, though that may just be the demographic I asked.

Julie from Mama of Two Boys said: "I LOVE singing in the car and there are oodles of songs I enjoy shouting out. Probably my faves would be anything by The Killers... maybe Mr Brightside or Powderfinger... maybe Footprints or This Life."

Pink Patent Mary Janes revealed: "Don't You Want Me, Human League or Barry Manilow's Copacabana (Yes, I am that daggy!"

Eden from Edenland said: "At the moment it's GunsNRoses' Get In The Ring. Downloaded it last week and can sing EVERY word." (Eden, I think Skip will want to divorce to and marry you after reading this)

Cherie from A Baby Called Max said: "Hands down, To Her Door by Paul Kelly.  For some reason, it's one I feel an intemse need to sing at the top of my lungs."

Eleanor from Shopping the Closet said: "It's got to be Don't Stop Believing by Journey. A classic meant only for belting out in the shower or car.Or if you are drunk at a wedding."

Beth from BabyMac chose another classic: "Sister Christian by Night Ranger."

Maxabella Loves... revealed: "In the privacy of the car where no one but the kids can hear me scream? Oh, that would have to be Tammy Wynette:  Stand By Your Man!"

My good mate Michele from Tiny Trappings (who only recently got her licence at 34 years old) said: "It has to be The Police! I am a sucker for a little '80s rock... doo doo doo da da da da, Message in a Bottle, Walking on the Moon... Ahhh they are all classic car songs!"

Skip, husband extraordinaire, said: "Either Gomez or Coldplay. Probably Gomez' Get Myself Arrested."

Daniel, a friend who likes singing loudly anywhere, occassionally sings with his own band and appeared on this blog driving minis, said: "The Shock of the Lightning, Oasis."

Goosey said: "Just a spoon full of sugar!"

Lil-lil said: "Wonderfully Pretty!" (Love Cats by The Cure)

Now, my thoughts.... Well it has to be something you can really belt, one that makes you feel like an awesome singer. My first thought was something Motown, but that's just cliched. My second thought was Footloose cause when isn't Kenny Loggins awesome to sing in the car? 

But then I realised, it was this song. Perfect. Especially if you can get some back up singers in the back seat...

What's your favourite song to sing while driving??

Friday, 28 October 2011

My new focus on blogging

I love this blog, but most of the time I feel like I'm just writing crap on the internet (and let's face it, I am). I'm surprised when I discover people actually read it.

You can imagine my surprise when recently Ford gave me a brand-new Focus to drive for a week. That's right, they dropped off a brand-new car at my front door, gave me the keys and said 'Here you are, enjoy!'. All just for writing my thoughts on the webs. I thought that was quite brave of them. I thought they might have changed their mind when they saw a floor to ceiling tower of toilet paper in my hallway, but I assured them I wasn't a crazy toilet-paper hoarding lady, I'd just won a year's supply from the lovely Bianca (see the interwebs just keeps on giving).

The car was a bright and shiny, I'm no Jeremy Clarkson so I won't tell you about horse power or whatever, but it was a lovely shade of blue.

The kids kept asking why we had this new car, I told them I wasn't quite sure, but as we opened the door we all became high on the new car smell. 

The downside of the Focus (or possibly upside) is that it wouldn't fit our three car seats across the back. This means we won't be going out and purchasing one any time soon. What it did mean was that both Skip and I were eager to go out and run errands we would normally fob off to the other. "Oh I'll run out pick up that BBQ chook." "I'm happy to go to Bunnings and get those screws." "Let me go and fetch the coffees."

Driving it was a pleasure - great stereo, comfy ride, it will even park itself. Though living in the inner west of Sydney I pride myself on my ability to reverse park in the tightest of spots, so I don't know that I'd use this feature, though it is cool
One thing I found was if I put my foot down not much would happen for a second then  BAM! You're off! Speedy Gonzales.

Biggest con of the Focus? The vision, I found even with my mirrors the vision wasn't great and I never felt 100% confident.

Biggest plus of the Focus? Fuel economy. We drove and drove and the gauge barely went down, which was a delight after our gas-guzzling car. Something that I really love in a car, cause I hate filling up the car.

Biggest surprise of the Focus? The attention it got. Not being a car person, I barely notice cars, but the Focus raised a lot of comments. A friend who came for a BBQ said 'Did you see that new Focus out on the street?'. A neighbour came over impressed and quoted all the features to us. No-one ever comments on our current car.

Did I just write a car review? Maybe I can become Jeremy Clarkson after all. If nothing else Skip was impressed and now thinks this blogging caper is all right after all. 

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Small joy

My boy in the NICU
If you're a reader of The Daze of My Life, you'll know that my little boy was born 6.5 weeks premature just two months ago. His early arrival opened my eyes to the world of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and the stress and worry a premature baby can bring.

November is Prematurity Awareness Month. Did you know that a premature baby is born every 12 minutes in Australia? Prematurity is the leading cause of death in newborns? Some premature babies can spend months in NICU and special care nurseries, this can be a completely overwhelming and stressful time for parents.

There are support groups and parent groups that are trying to help parents as well as give back to the NICUs that helped them.

Life's Little Treasures is a national charity that provides support  and information to parents of premmies.
On Novmber 4, they will hold the "Walk for Prems" fun run/walk to raise much-needed funds. Walks are being held in Melbourne, Shepparton, Sydney, Perth, Hobart & Adelaide. Click here for details on how to join in.

A group close to my heart is Little Wonder which is a fundraising and support committee for RPA's Newborn Care Unit. The group's president Jody Beddoes says: “The birth of a premature baby is an overwhelming and traumatic experience. In those first few days, virtually every agonising minute of every hour is spent watching your baby struggle for life.”

Jody decided to start Little Wonder to give back to the incredible carers and services of the Newborn Care Unit that supported her. I can vouch that the staff and the work they do is simply amazing and it's something really worthwhile to get behind. The unit relies on support from the community to ensure they continue the work that they do,

Little Wonder also support and offer friendship to parents whose babies are being cared for. Father's Day fell during our time in the unit, we were delighted to find a gift and card next to D's crib on that Sunday - it was a lovely book and card to Skip with D's footprint stamped on it. Little Wonder provided both.  It was a bright moment in otherwise difficult time and it really can make a difference.

If you'd like to support Little Wonder they have a seminar  by Leanne Cooper for expectant and new parents on what to feed your baby. It's on Monday October 31 from 10am - 12pm at Petersham Town Hall. Tickets are $20 at the door or $18 online at

Another way to help is purchase Christmas cards, which is what my family and friends will be receiving this year. Packs of 10 are just $6.50, email to place an order. Or visit their Facebook page (click on shop at the side of their page).

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Stand corrected

About 10 days before D was born, I wrote a post  about being vigilant when undertaking medical care, standing up and speaking out when your instincts tell you to. I still agree with a lot that I said, though what I didn't know at the time was how incredible that medical system can be too.

When I had my girls, I went through the private system. Whilst I had no complaints, I never really felt that I received exceptional care, especially for the money I was paying. When I fell pregnant with D, I decided to go public - my pregnancies and births had always been straight forward and easy so I decided to go public. Who knew that this pregnancy was going to be vastly different?!

I have to say the care I received was phenomenal. I saw top specialists and the care and compassion I received from every midwife, nurse, resident, registrar was top notch. I'm still an outpatient and each week this care continues, I always feel that my concerns are important. The treatment D received in the neonatal unit was amazing. He received the best of everything available. I haven't had to open my wallet once.

We are so blessed in this country to have free health care of such a high standard available to everyone. It is something to treasure and protect.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Preschool, pimples and other torture

Doing the preschool drop-off for Lil-lil should be an Olympic sport. It takes skill and endurance. It's often gruelling, only difference is you don't get a shiny medal at the end.

Preschool at 9am, there's parents, teachers, kids and siblings. Bags, water bottles and lunchboxes flying around. Some kids are crying, others are throwing things. It's chaos at its finest.

There are two kids at Lil-lil's preschool who have assigned themselves to making my job tougher (don't they realise I already have 3 who do a stunning at job?). They see me, glue themselves to my side and trip me up with their chubby feet and curly questions as I try to wave goodbye to Lil.

"Corinne, how old is the baby?" The same kid has been asking me this everyday since I was six months pregnant.

"How did the baby get out? Did it hurt?"

"Why does the baby eat your boobs? Can he eat an apple?"

"Does Lil have head lice?"

"What is that big red thing on your forehead? It looks sore."

"Your tummy is really big, do you have another baby in there? Are you sure? I think you might."

Then while dodging questions about my adult acne and oversized girth (which, believe me, is always a pleasure), I'm trying to stop snotty-nosed kids from smothering D with their crusty fingers. All while gathering up Goosey before she tips a puzzle all over over the floor (that I'll struggle to put back together) and say goodbye to Lil.

It must be something about five year olds, as dropping Goosey off is a pleasure in comparison. One thing for sure, I'm not cut out to be a preschool teacher!

Have you had other people's kids ask you 'interesting' questions?

Monday, 24 October 2011

48-hour party people

Well what a weekend that was!

WE started on Friday, with Lil-lil's birthday. After ballet class, some lovely friends packed a picnic and set up in our backyard for the first celebration. With the sun shining, we ate and chatted and sang happy birthday before I had to dash to Coles and prepare for the evening festivities.

Lil-lil's family and godparents came and had a sausage sizzle (seriously, is there anything better than a snag sanga??). Both girls were spoilt rotten with presents and cake. The weather was finally warm and sunny and I think it was just one of many BBQs to happen in our yard this season.

Once the girls were in bed, it was time for a glass of wine and to pack the party bags. Some chat and laughs with my sister-in-law, Lil's godfather and Skip made the job easier.

Saturday arrived and it was time for birthday celebration phase 2. I  got started on the cake while Skip and the girls set up. It was time for me to shine in my role as dodgy kids' cake maker. A unicorn was requested and Lil declared that the end result looked like a camel. You be the judge....

Dodgy cake, made with love.

Twelve preschool mates descended on our house. There was colouring, trampoline jumping, dancing, pin-the-horn on the unicorn, same cake eating and then it was all over for another year. Phew!

A quick change of clothes, girls off to Grandma's and Skip, D and I headed to a friend's 40th. It was held in their home, the most beautiful family home I've ever been in. There was some serious house envy going on. Home again, by the time I fed D it was past 1am and I collapsed into bed.

Sunday morning with just the baby, Skip and I pretended we only had one child and pushed the pram up the street for a quiet cafe brekky. We stopped and chatted to friends and neighbours we bumped into along the way. Soaked up the sun. Enjoyed the peace.

Before long, the peace was broken and the girls arrived home hyped up from a weekend of fun.

Now it's Monday morning, once again. Another week to tackle.

How was your weekend?

Friday, 21 October 2011

So wonderfully pretty

"So wonderfully, wonderfully, wonderfully, wonderfully pretty. 
You know that I'd do anything for you."

Today, my big girl turns five. Five! Five! It feels like minutes ago she was a baby, but like she's been here forever.

What a girl she's grown into it. Kind, funny, clever. Long and lean. 

This is the year she started preschool and learnt so much. Lil-lil is always eager to learn about and discover the world. She loves to sing and dance. She's curious about everything. She knows so much already and is much cleverer than I was at her age.

She's met friends and become so social. She adores her family and loves nothing more than a family get-together. Having friends and family over for a party is her idea of bliss. She's well-loved and well-liked.

She's become a big sister again and thinks her baby brother is simply the best.

She's always worried about her little sister, but loves her to bits.

She worries too much for someone her age, but is always so thoughtful about those around her. She's a thinker. She can be loud and then so quiet.

She loves tuna, sushi, dumplings. She loves The Cure, Scooby-Doo and anything a little bit 'spooky'. 

She wants to visit Egypt, Russia and Paris. She wants to see snow 'at the bottom of Australia'.

She wants to be a vet when she grows up. 

She has her dad wrapped around her little finger.

She's my first-born baby.

She's light, love and pure joy. 

Happy birthday, Lil-lil! We're so blessed to have you in our lives.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Life wasn't meant to be easy - my 600th post!

I came in here to write a post about how life is a constant road of ups and downs, then as I clicked in I noticed that this was my 600th post. Wowsers, that's a lot of crap I've written on the internet.

For me, life often feels like a lot of stops and starts. You'll be cruising along, enjoying the ride, happy that you've got a good run, then BANG. Something jumps out at you forcing you to hit the brakes or the the traffic builds or often both and the ride suddenly feels annoying, tough and frustrating. You think, why didn't I take that turn-off? Why didn't I go another way?

The smooth ride and the wonderful momentum is gone and you're left cursing whatever is in your way. Cursing yourself for thinking this good run was going to last longer.

That's me this week. I've done some silly things and life's thrown in some obstacles. Nothing terrible, just things that make life annoying and you've got to navigate your way through them again. It feels like two steps forward, one step back.

A friend and I were chatting recently that it often feels like you're the only one struggling and that everyone else seems to be doing it easy. In fact, everyone has their own stuff to wade through, even when they say otherwise.

Life is never easy. It would be boring if it was. You wouldn't get to enjoy those good runs when they do happen.

Blogging has been an outlet for all this 'stuff' – 600 posts worth in fact! Here's to 600 more.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Everybody's talkin' at me

I had planned to write a bit of political piece today. Being at home with kids all day, sometimes I want to stretch my brain a little past the antics of Scooby-Doo. But I couldn't do it this morning, I was interrupted with too much chat.

My girls can talk. A lot. Non-stop, in fact. One of the things I like about D is that he doesn't talk, even if he could he wouldn't get a word in. Everywhere we go, they stop and talk to everyone. Long involved conversations. Some of the conversations are cute, some funny, some just plain odd. It often feels like I'm living in a Monty Python sketch. Here are some samples from the past couple of days:

Goosey was watching me take some tablets and asked: "What are you doing, Mum?"
"Taking all my tablets, Goose"
"Why did you take all the tablets? There won't be any left for any of the other mums. But that's OK, the doctor can make some more, can't he? It was just an accident, wasn't it?"
"Ummmm OK. Yeah."

Lil-lil: "Mum, can I stay with you forever?"
Me: "Sure, if you want to."
Lil-lil: "I do. I'll stay with you until I'm 10. Then when I'm 11 I'll move out."


Lil-lil: "I don't like pocket money, I liked it better when Dad and you just bought me whatever I wanted."


Me: "What did you do at preschool today?"
Lil-lil: "I don't want to talk about it."  (That last about 15 seconds before I get a detailed response)

Goose: "Mum, I think I have too many pairs of undies on."
Me: "Why? I only gave you one pair to put on."
I then check and discover that earlier in the day she put on five pairs of undies. As you do.

Lil-lil: "Mum, when my kids grow up you'll be dead."


Goose: "Mum, I'm in love with Oliver. We're going get to married."


Lil: "I've changed D's middle name, it's now Cuddles."


Goose: "I want a museli bar."
Me: "Sorry, we've run out."
Goose: "Dad better work some more so we can buy some."

Goose: "You're going to make D sick just giving him milk. He needs some proper food."


Lil-lil telling our neighbours: "It's really not fair, D keeps my mum up all night always wanting to be fed. It's really not nice."

Edited to add one from this morning: Goose: "Mum, that's the shop where you get the germs that go inside you and make you sick."

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Nothing to fear but unsettled babes

Yesterday was one of those crap days. I was tired - no sleep will do that to you.

We got to preschool an hour late.

D decided not to sleep. He just wanted to cry. All. Day. Long.

Nothing jangles your nerves like no sleep and a crying, unsettled baby.

Panic seeped in. Oh god, here we go again. My easy-going textbook boy was going to turn into my girls and become a non-sleeping screamer. The thought had me quaking in my boots. I tried to remain calm, but the memories of unsettled girls were too raw.

He was unsettled until about 9pm when he finally collapsed with exhaustion, me following soon after.

Today is a better day. He has gone back to his easy-going self. I feel less crazy. I can cope on broken sleep. Give me a couple of hours of zzzs and I'm OK. I cope with unsettledness as long as it's not constant. On no sleep and a lot of crying, I withdraw and start to become a crazy lady.  I know, I've been there.

Who knows what tomorrow brings. I won't stop fearing until he's about 15!

Monday, 17 October 2011

The good, the bad and the truly ugly

Monday, monday can't trust that day. A massive week ahead. At least we don't have to worry about a Rugby World Cup final now (some sort of upside from the Wallabies losing last night??). I'm starting the week on the back foot. Bloody tired. So I need something.

The sun finally came out this weekend and it even felt warm. Skip and I pottered round the house, doing things that needed doing. Lil-lil went to a birthday party, which seems to have become a weekend fixture now.

We had a really nice catch up with friends on Saturday night. The kids (and baby) behaved and gave us a chance to relax with friends in the backyard. We chatted, ate, laughed. A really good night with some fabulous people (and I'm not just saying that cause I know they're reading). There's nothing better than a catch up with old friends and it's even better to see them so happy and in good places in their life. Skip and I went to bed content Saturday night and feeling lucky to have good mates.

I was happy too as it was the first night I didn't have to wake D to feed, I could let him sleep if he wanted to (and he did).

Sunday rolled around and it was another day of odd jobs around the house. Skip went out to get lunch on Sunday, Goosey yelled that she could hear him outside so we went to greet him. It wasn't Skip it was our neighbour who's been away for two months. We caught up on all the gossip and she said she couldn't wait to meet D. I was telling her that he was asleep when I turned around and there was Goosey - with D in her arms. My 3 year-old had gone inside got him out of his bassinette and carried him outside. I almost collapsed with a hear attack then and there. All the things that could have happened....

Last night I didn't have to wake D. He decided to stay awake all. night. long. And not in a good Lionel Ritchie way. First Goose wet the bed, so there were sheets and PJs to deal with. Then about 11.30 D woke and didn't go back to sleep until 4am. Then woke at 6am. I'm stuffed.

But there's preschool drop offs to do. House to tidy. Washing to hang. Goosey to entertain. Baby to settle.

Yes, I really do live the glamourous life.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Due date

Today is little D's due date. It's quite odd to think that if things had been the way they were meant to be, he'd only just be making his way into the world.

Instead, he's already been with us for 6.5 weeks. Already has grown out of clothes. Already been places and met people. Had cuddles. Been smothered by his big sisters. Shed tears and caused tears.

Instead of being a new creature, he's already sealed his place in our home and lives.

Instead of October 15 being a big day in our lives, it will just be another day. It will just mark six sleeps to Lil-lil's birthday.

It makes me realise how little you can actually control or plan life. We're all just along for the ride.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Secret Mother's Business

Friday is ballet day, the day where I drive far too far for Lil-lil to do her class. She loves it and one of my good friends also takes her daughter so I persist.

The five mums are stuck outside the class and we chat and gossip for the 45-minute duration. With two of the mums pregnant and one with a newbie (me), the topics tend to centre round pregnancy, birth and babies.

The conversation today went something like this:
"Why don't people tell you how crap and hard it is before you have kids."

"I don't know, why is that?"

"Because no-one would believe it."

Nods from all round. "Yeah, you're right. How can you explain it?"

"You can't."

"I'd really love another though. Like really."

"You can have one of mine."

Thursday, 13 October 2011

TV fuel

When you have a newborn you spend so much of your day (and night) feeding. Glued to the couch as they suck the life from you.

With each child I've found TV show that I become obsessed with. That fills in those feeding hours. It has to be an hour-long program as that's how long they usually feed for.

With Lil-lil it was Law & Order. They'd have double episodes and then a marathon on Friday which worked brilliantly as she too a long time to settle. Lenny and the gang always bring the goods.

With Goosey, it was ER. Lil-lil would have a nap the ER team would come on and I'd be happy as.
It's funny I haven't watched it since, it was just the feeding show,

Now with little D, it's Louis Theroux. I discovered his docos a few years ago, well actually Skip did, and we'd watch it occasionally on the weekend while the girls were napping. Now it's come back to our house in a big way. If you've never watched any of his shows - go now, run, they are brilliant. He's a British journalist who goes and discovers people, places, sub cultures, from all over the world. From jails, to the streets of Johannesburg, to twins, to Nazis, to psychics - you name it he's probably done it. He has this uncanny ability to get all sorts of people to trust him and speak to him. He immerses himself in their lives. I'm amazed he doesn't get seriously hurt as he does push the envelope quite a bit. He's nerdy and unassuming, so gets away with it. It's enthralling viewing.

Skip last night asked what his background was. I didn't know, the only Theroux I knew was American novelist Paul Theroux, so I was surprised when I Googled and discovered Louis was his British-raised son.

Louis Theroux is on BBC Discovery and ABC2, go check it out. You won't be disappointed. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Racing away

We're a horse racing family. No, we're not the Waterhouses, the Cummings or the Inghams (I wish!) We're just average Joe Blows who like to go to  the races. Most Saturdays we're either at the races or the races are on the telly or the radio.

The influence is all Skip, it's his passion. For as long as I've known him, it's horses that have brought him joy. If he hadn't been 6f 3i, he would've been a jockey. His brain is filled with so much knowledge on the subject that I often think it's a waste that he doesn't use it professionally.

Anyhoo, he's past that interest on to me. No I'm not an avid fan like him, but I do enjoy it. Our little boy is even named after a jockey. Embarrassingly, I even got a little teary because one of my favourite horses died during track work a few weeks ago (I blame tiredness and hormones for that!).

The Spring Carnival is in full swing, but sadly I don't think I'll be getting to any meets. I'd happily take D along, but I just don't think it's going to happen. So the frocks will stay hanging in the cupboard and the fascinators on the shelf.

For a lot of people racing is just about gambling or swilling champagne. There is a lot more to it. For Skip, it's sport and form and spectacle and history (though a win that pays for a meal out doesn't disappoint either). For me, it's social and fun. It's a great day out to share with friends and we've met interesting people through racing. There's nothing quite like the sound of a field of horses as the approach the winning post. I love that it's an event where the Queen and you're average working person could attend and enjoy with the same enthusiasm. How often does that happen?

It makes me smile when I see Skip and the girls cheer on a race together. D has even sat with his dad watching the races. I'm sure it's something we'll continue to love and share as a family for years to come.

Does your family have a shared passion or hobby?

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Six weeks

I went back to the hospital today as I do every Tuesday to have a check up. When I went today and saw all the familiar faces it felt weird. Some people nodded, some smiled and said hi, others walked past not noticing me. Which is weird when someone has cared for you in such an intimate way, but hey, they see and care for hundreds of people.

It's six weeks today since I was admitted to hospital and six weeks tomorrow since D arrived unwillingly in the world. For the first few weeks, my mind could not stop going over and over and over the events of those few days. Trying to absorb and process it all. It was such a shock. It didn't feel real. It felt like maybe I had over-dramatised in my head, maybe it hadn't really happened. Slowly I've begun to stop the thoughts from whirling in my mind.

Slowly my body has healed from the trauma. Just until a few days ago, the soreness of my stomach was still there lingering, the headaches from the high blood pressure were too. Now, I'm feeling stronger. I look at D and he's getting bigger and chubbier. I can barely think of him as that tiny being on a ventilator.

I've begun to block out that whole month. Like it never existed. It's weird.

On the weekend I kept saying things like 'Oh when such and such happened a couple of weeks ago." And then realising that it was actually a couple of months ago. It's like now normalcy is starting to return, those few horrible hard weeks are being erased. Maybe it's just my mind healing too.

When you have a baby, they tell you it takes about six weeks to recover. I'm amazed that it's true.

Monday, 10 October 2011

The people in your neighbourhood

Lil-lil arrived into our lives just a few weeks after we moved into our house. The one thing I loved about our house was that it was a couple of minute's walk to a major strip - cafes, restaurants, gift and fashion shops, a cinema, a supermarket, butcher, two good book shops. It meant when life felt suffocating and lonely at home I could throw bub into the Baby Bjorn and walk up the road and be part of the world. If everything went to hell and bub started screaming I could be home in  flash.

Over the years, we've spent a great deal of time wandering back and forth. Recently though we haven't. I don't know why.

This arvo Goosey, DD and I went up the road. Our mission to get Goosey a pair of shoes.

We had a ball. We caught up with all the shops owners on the strip with cries of "You've got another one! Look at him!" "Look at Goosey, she's so big and her hair is so long." "Corinne, I've missed you" ( the last one from the owner of my favourite dress shop, is it bad she knows me by name?)

I'd forgotten how nice it was to go and 'visit' so close to home. No big shopping centre. How we could kill a few hours happily in our 'hood. Run into friends and neighbours. Shopkeepers and locals. We're pretty lucky really. The shops are great, but it's the sense of feeling part of something and having good people around us that is special.

In  a flash my companion had finished her drink and was off chatting to the cafe owner.

"Mum, I want that cake for my birthday" 
Trying on shoes is a serious business.

New shoes!

Winners are grinners


Just announcing the winners of the Butterfly Essence prizes are:

Permanently twenty three
Mama of 2 boys

Please email me your details so I can send out your prize.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Finding my way

Each time I have a new baby, I feel trapped in a land of limbo. Stuck in the baby bubble, where it's so easy to feed and stare at your bub and let the rest of the world go to hell. At the same time, longing to get out and amongst it again

Each time I feel a little isolated, like the world is moving forward and I'm not sure how to get on board too. This time I know it will just take a little time before I swept up in it all again. Time for me to get used to being this child's mama. For him to get used to being in the world.

Each time, I feel like I'm watching the world from behind a glass wall. I miss my husband and my other kids. My friends. Even though they're right here. I don't quite understanding why I feel that way.

It's a time where days have no start and no end. No day and no night. It's just feed, burb, settle. Feed, burp, settle. Stuff everything else - life, eating, bathing, sleeping - into the snatches in between.

At the same time, this will soon be a memory. The days will become longer, nights shorter. Life will swallow us up again

Friday, 7 October 2011

Feeling uncomfortable

It's been an interesting 24 hours in cyberland and media world. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, the news sites have been a buzz (in Australia) with two topics - the death of Apple's Steve Jobs and the screening of The Slap.

Both have provoked an uncomfortable reaction in me.

Over the past few years, the Apple adulation has sat a little uneasily with me. The obsession over what Apple will do next, throwing one iProduct out for the next not really knowing why they need it (only that they need it) and when stepping into an Apple store I've often left feeling like they'll be handing out the Kool-Aid soon. If you say a bad word about Apple to an ''Apple person" it's like you've said something against their religion. I remember asking someone a couple of years ago why they had to get the updated iPhone the moment it came out and they said: "Well, it's got a compass in it."

Skip and I have often joked about the cult of Steve Jobs.

Before I go any further, let me say I'm an Apple fan. The first computer I used was a Macintosh, creating complicated programs to draw a square. Pretty much ever since I've only ever used Apple products – at work, at home. I'm writing this on a MacBook, I have an iPhone, I have an iPod. I would never even consider using anything else to be honest, but for me it's a product not a way of life. I also love my Foxtel IQ and my fridge and my car.

I guess it's the feeling that it's being put on a pedalstal above all else that doesn't sit right with me. Then again, maybe technology is the new religion. Maybe people are so glued to their smart phones, tablets, laptops that it is the meaning of their life. I probably seem a bit of a luddite writing this and I probably am.

I was saddened (though not surprised) to hear about Steve Jobs' death. It's always sad to hear about the untimely loss of a successful and talented person. Though the attention it got yesterday felt like we had lost something more than someone who ran a hugely successful company.

I have probably offended people (and even my family) writing this and I'm sure most out there don't agree, but the immense reaction sat uncomfortably with me.

Last night, The Slap aired on ABC1. It's a tele-drama based on the highly acclaimed novel of the same name by Christos Tsiolkas. I read the novel a few years ago, while I thought it was well written and I could not put it down, I didn't love it like a lot of people did. The characters are all fairly nasty, unlikable people and it left me feeling a bit down about the world.

Despite that I was really looking forward to seeing the series. A well-written Australian novel, being made into a well-acted Australian drama is something to support. I actually enjoy watchinglast night's show more than reading the novel.

Seeing the Twitter stream I see that it  made a lot of people uncomfortable. Watching Skip watch it, he was more than a little uncomfortable. Which is the point. Feeling uncomfortable, raising issues that provoke reaction, talking about issues we might not otherwise talk about. Disagreeing with each other. Seeing other points of view.

Sometimes feeling uncomfortable isn't such a bad thing. Feeling uncomfortable has got my mind whirring again and the cobwebs shaken out.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

The butterfly effect - a giveaway

If you read this blog for more than five minutes, you'll know my girls have always been fairly crap sleepers. Over the years, I've been desperate and tried many, many things to get them to sleep. Once upon a time, I bought a lavender bubble bath that promised to promote deep, restful sleep. Yeah, I know, I was desperate. It may not have made them sleep but it sure smelt nice and then the girls smelt sweet too, even if they were awake.

Recently, I was sent some gorgeous baby bath products to celebrate baby D's birth. The Butterfly Essence range is all organic, no nasties and is made in Australia.

The Lavender & Chamomile bubble bath produces lots of lovely bubbles and smells divine. The girls absolutely love it and have started asking for it at every bath. Baby D just screams when I bath him, but I'm sure he likes it on the inside.

The powder is all natural, talc-free and made from Australian white clay and essential oils. I have to confess I've been using this after my shower, it reminds me of my grandma who used to smother me in lavender talcum powder when I stayed with her.

The shampoo smells as good as the other products. The girls like it on their hair and have not fought off the usual hair washing. Baby D has basically no hair so has no opinion. I like that my hands smell nice afterwards and the girls go off to bed in a lavender haze.

I have three packs each featuring these three Butterfly Essence products to give away to three lucky readers. Each pack is worth A$45.85.

To enter, just comment below and tell me your most desperate attempt to get a child to do something (or if you don't have a child, someone else). Open to Australian residents only.

Entries close 8pm (AEST), Sunday 9 October, 2011. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Kids these days don't know what they're missing

The school holidays are upon us and I'm sure the kids of Sydney must be bored and it's no wonder, they're deprived of good old family fun. These fabulous family entertainment establishments no longer exist in Sydney.  Why not?? They were fantastic, plus they had the best ads. Ever. I dare you to get the Old Sydney Town jingle out of your head. I dare you.

Check 'em out:

My personal favourite:

The perfect storm

The October Monday public holiday 2001 won't be one that I'll want to reminisce about. There won't be holiday snaps in the album with smiling, happy faces.

Have you ever had one of those days, when all the forces of nature come together to create the perfect storm? A day so crap you thought it couldn't really exist? I'm sure you have. For me, that was yesterday.

The storm began to brew on Sunday, when I suddenly discovered I was out of one of my blood pressure medications. I was due to finish it up on Monday anyhow, so I decided a day early wouldn't make any difference. By late Sunday I had a headache brewing, Sunday night Demon D decided to partay.

Monday morning came, my headache was beginning to build and I was tired and cranky. Skip had to go to work, so it was like a normal old Monday morning. As the weather wasn't great, I decided the girls and I would make a cake and they could decorate it however foully they would like - pink and purple icing, millions of sprinkles. That killed about half an hour.

The headache grew and grew. I started to feel really unwell. I felt so agitated and the headache made me think my head would explode. I thought I might have to make a trip to the hospital. Instead I called the doctor (who had given me his mobile number and said to call him if I was worried), when I told him I stopped that tablet, he said "Well, that was stupid. What do you expect me to do over the phone?" I don't think he appreciated his public holiday golf game or yacht trip being interrupted some how. He told me to take some of my other tablets and we'd sort it out on Tuesday.

My mum appeared at the door and took one look at me and said: "Get some rest, I'll take the girls to the park" Bless her.

I lay down but could not sleep. I ended up looking on Dr Google about the tablet I'd stopped. It said: "Do not stop suddenly. It could cause: nervousness (tick), agitation (tick), headache (tick), severe or life-threatening hypertension or even fatal stroke (Oh. Awesome)."

By the afternoon, I felt better and the end of the day was in sight. Skip would be home soon, the girls would be in bed with D following soon after and I could call it a day. Oh how wrong I was.

My mum went home with me assuring her I'd be fine, it would be smooth sailing for the rest of the day. Skip called shortly after saying he'd have to stay on at work for a few more hours and was I OK? I assured him I was fine and the kids would all be fed and in bed and it would all be honky dory.

Then little D decided he didn't want to sleep, just I was doing the dinner. Then he decided he was going to scream. And scream he did for the next three hours, which went really well with my headache. I bathed the girls and he screamed. The girls dressed themselves and he screamed. I told them they'd be no story tonight and they screamed. Goosey tried to sing him to sleep and then got angry when it didn't work and said over and over: "It's really worse having a baby. Let's get rid of him."

Finally the girls went to sleep and D stopped screaming. Though he wouldn't sleep. He just lay in my arms and stared, eyes wide open. Skip came home to find me sitting on the lounge crying. He jumped into action and helped me. Finally at 10pm, D went to sleep. I half-expected him to scream the night away. Thankfully he didn't.

I don't think Skip got much sleep as he was worried and kept checking I was OK.

Surprise, surprise the old blood pressure was high today. So back on the tablets I go. High ho. High ho.

Yes, I should really take my health a little more seriously. Like I said I would in my last post. I come from a long line of people who utter 'Oh it's just a flesh wound"about their health issues. Seems I've inherited that gene too.

Anyhoo, today is a new day.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Mums united

Every day, my inbox receives a lot press releases and emails about products and events. A lot of it doesn't interest me, but then occasionally something catches my eye.

The Heart Foundation recently sent me an email asking if I'd like to be involved in their Mums United campaign. Being very interested in heart health, I was.

There is a strong history of heart disease in my family and so it's something that I have to be very thoughtful about. Also, with my recent encounter with pre-eclampsia, my risk of developing chronic high blood pressure is also a concern. But I'm not the only one who should be concerned about heart disease.

Did you know that heart disease is leading cause of death in Australian women? Sixty per cent of Australians are overweight, and with increased weight brings the risk of heart disease.

As mums, we're the ones who often guide our families in eating and exercise. It can be hard to know what is the right way to go with nutrition and being active. I know I get confused. The Heart Foundation have set up a Mums United website that offers free recipes, gives advice and has fun ways to get active. It will help show you how to look after the health of your family's hearts  and why it's important.

I'm planning to get healthier for my heart and my family. I want to hang around for a while longer and be active with my kids.

So, go on, go check it out. I've placed a button on the side of my blog, click on it and get a healthier waistline and heart for your family.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Silvertails, champagne and hair cuts

This weekend is starting out well, with Skip taking the girls and Demon D visiting so I can catch a few hours to myself. Yay, Skip.

For the rest of the weekend:

* Then the girls are going to visit Grandma this afternoon. So it will be feeding and settling while eating and watching the races and the AFL.

* Tomorrow Lil-lil has a birthday party, so Goosey and Demon and I will hang together.

*Skip is going to the NRL grand final to watch my team trounce those fellas from across the ditch.
Skip is cheering on the other team. That's OK, he's used to losing with Manly knocking his team (Broncos) out of the comp last week. ;)
Unfortunately my other team, the Jets, didn't make the grand final in the NSW cup.

* It's Skip and my 14 year anniversary this weekend (since we got together, not married). We'll have a glass of champagne to celebrate.

* I finally got my hair cut and I'm loving it. Nothing like a new 'do to make you feel good. Like cutting away the heaviness of pregnancy and being unwell and moving on.

What are you up to this weekend?
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