Sunday, October 31, 2010

HOW FASCINATING - MELBOURNE CUP HAT COMPETITION




This year, #twittercup (See previous post) also has another competition being overseen by the lovely Kate.  You can get the goods on the awesome Kate Hunter HERE.

1st Prize

Moroccan Oil for your luscious hair that will be in need of some lovin after Cup Day

2nd Prize

Marita (@leechbabe) has donated this mighty drop


3rd Prize

Denyse (@Denwise1) has donated this fabulous scrapbooking starter kit

I'll hand it over to Kate now to explain the DEETS:







Only two sleeps until Cup Day and guess what your milliner’s going to say if you call tonight to tell him you haven’t got your lid sorted yet? He’s going to say, ‘Get stuffed,’ isn’t he?  The poor boy is up to his perfectly shaped eyebrows in feathers and felt and has been that way since Easter.




But don’t despair! If you are joining the fun of #twittercup, all you need do is pop a hat on your avatar. You can do this ‘in camera,’




Or, if you are clever clogs like me, you can fashion a hat digitally. This is apparently simple if you have a PC (use the Paint app to embellish your jpeg). If you have a Mac, my understanding is you need Photoshop or similar. I’ve been able to achieve an excellent result using iDoodle on iPhone as you can see here.




I guess we need a prize for the hat competition, so if anyone has anything to donate, let us know. If not, the sheer glory and joy of participation should be enough.(Prizes now sorted)

Friday, October 29, 2010

STWEEP






Twitter Sweep.

Are you in? Want to win some great prizes?

To quickly recap, this is a Melbourne Cup Sweep. If you want in, you just have to donate $5 to your favourite charity and then leave a comment below letting me know you've done so. I won't be going all Inspector Clouseau on your arse and checking you so I trust you to do the right thing.

If you don't have a favourite charity, can I suggest Young Care? Currently more than 6,500 young Australians (under the age of 65) with full-time care needs are living in aged care simply because there are few alternatives. These guys are committed to finding and funding a better solution. Their website can be found HERE.




So, a usual sweep consists of people contributing money and said money being divided up into prizes.   As we are giving our money to a worthy charity (remember peoples, anything over $2 is a tax deduction) we are lucky enough to have prizes donated to give away instead.

So far, this is what we have :

$30 BWS Gift Card


Kylie Ladd's Audio Book of After The Fall.  An AWESOME book.



An autographed copy of Kate Hunters fabulous book.  She was on the Gruen Transfer YOU KNOW!!!


Sarah (@Maya_Abeille) has donated this luffley YSL makeup brush kit.




So, the lovely Sarah at @SeraphimSp has donated this awesome Napoleon Booty.



MsKymOG has donated 2 tickets for a XXX brewery tour


A copy of How To Train Your Dragon on DVD from the lovely Sarah (@sassbee)



@Annieb25 has donated this DVD and the CDS below (1 Prize)



Two CDS that accompany above DVD in this prize, Andrew Lloyd Webber & David Campbell Below

One more CD - David Campell on Broadway

2 Tickets to See Red Hill on the 22nd Of November at BCC Myer Centre (Thanks Bronnie @maidinaustralia)


The gorgeous Alison (@Melbourne_Mumma) has donated this on BlueRay (for the rich people)
Dee at http://socketagency.com/ has donated an ad for someone- either tv, radio or print (but if it's print, it will just be headline and copy
Gorgeous pack of post card from Cat (Thanks)



 Last place will be receiving this:

That's right people, I've raided my 3rd draw down of shit and found all of the above.  It includes a Cheesecake Shop Cutter/Server, a Number two candle, half a can of pink hairspray, a Nokia battery, a screw and an unidentified metal object.  No need to thank me.


I will conduct the prize draw assisted by my lovely assistant Phil (See picture below) 

The 3yo will NOT be assisting.


on the Tuesday of the race (the 2nd of November)  Of course any horse that gets scratched after the draw is basically tough titties but you will go to bed that night comfortable in the knowledge you donated at least $5 to someone in need.

So.  Are we off and racing then?  


UPDATE: HERE IS YOUR DRAW:  As we've had so many entries, we've had to do more than one sweep.  The prizes will be allocated like this.  1st, 2nd and 3rd (Last in all sweeps will all received some sunshiny goodness of the 3rd drawer down of shit)  1st of the 1st sweep will get to choose first, 1st of 2nd sweep next etc etc. Okey Dokey.  Will Philbo supervising here are your horses


SWEEP 1


LUCY -  Linton (22)
SARAH (SeraphimSP) - Descarado (11)
ELE - Precedence (20)
CATE P - Red Ruler (21)
Denyse - Campanologist (2)
ChonnyM - Buccellati (10)
Maximum Light - Maluckyday (24)
Jane Moharich - Mr Medici (6)
Kristen Coggan - Holberg (19)
Ali (Mummahh) - Shoot Out (7)
Terry Hands - Americain (8)
Thea - Zipping (4)
Bronnie - So You Think (3)
Kate Hunter - Manighar (13)
Nomie - Illustrious Blue (5)
Kylie L - Shocking (1)
Elaine (Theas MIL) - Zavite (17)
Jaime - Bauer (18)
Macsnorky  - Master O'Reilly (14)
Tiff - Harris Tweed (12)
Stretchy Princess - Tokai Trick (9)
Annieb - Profound Beauty (16)
Marita - Once Were Wild (23)
Tracy (Ruddygood) - Monaco Consul (15)


SWEEP NUMBER 2


Sarina P (Annieb's MIL) - Buccellati (10)
Sass - So You Think (3)
Bugalugx - Tokai Trick (9)
Nat Peck - Maluckyday (24)
MsKymOG - Shoot Out (7)
Carol D - Once Were Wild (23)
Sarah (Maya_Abeille) - Campanologist (2)
Being Me - Linton (22)
Judi - Holberg (19)
Carly Findlay - Precedence (20)
Jodie A - Master O'Reilly (14)
Kallie - Harris Tweed (12)
Bigwords - Illustrious Blue (5)
Cat - Manighar (13)
Michelle - Zavite (17)
KJ - Descardo (11)
DeeMadigan - Bauer (18)
Jodesmac - Profound Beauty (16)
NickyLavigne - Zipping (4)
Indydreaming - Mr Medici (6)
Linda - Americain (8)
MotorbikeNut - Red Ruler (21)
SarWah - Monaco Consul (15)

And because the last spot was taken at exactly the same time - the two last ladies will have the same horse, but enough prizes to go round so:


Melbourne Mumma - Shocking (1)
Allison Triffett - Shocking (1)




Good LUCK!!






RESULTS

1st - Americain
2nd - Maluckyday
3rd - So You Think
4th - Zipping
5th - Harris Tweed
LAST - Zavite 


So in order of win & sweep draw, the prizes will be picked and eliminated like this:

1. Terry Hands - BWS Voucher
2. Linda - Napoleon Makeup Kit
3. Maximum Light - How to Train your Dragon DVD
4. Nat Peck - Mosquito Advertising Book
5. Bronnie - Advertising from Dee
6. Sass - YSL Makeup brush
7. Thea - Project Runway DVD, DC CD and Andrew Lloyd Webber CD
8. Nicky Lavigne - Kylie Ladds Audio Book
9. Tiff - Postcards
10. Kallie
11. Elaine (Theas MIL)
12. Michelle


I will put up next to each name what they have picked so you know what's left :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

LOSING THE BOOMBAH



I remember loving myself sick Step Reeboking my way around the Gold Coast in a g-stringed unitard back in the early 90’s.  I would ride my bike to the gym before school, come home, eat a can of peas, ride to school and go back to the gym again at night.  Then I’d come home and eat a can of corn.  Was I thin?  Fucking A.  Did I know it? Nope.  Was I little insane at that point?  More than likely.

See on the flipside of all that, I would gorge myself on Mum’s lasagne and rocket my way through a packet of Macadamia Nut Biscuits for no good reason.  And no, I didn’t then go acquaint myself with the porcelain bowl in the bathroom.  To be honest it just never crossed my mind.  Clearly I preferred to self loathe and screw up my metabolism instead. 

It took years for my body to find its natural adjustment.   To get to the body shape I was meant to have but had completely screwed with.  I put that down to finding a partner I was comfortable with.  Who genuinely loved me for me. Who didn’t have friends who were arseholes and would make comments about my unusually large arse.

I vividly remember going to a dinner with my then boyfriends, Boss.  He was an A-grade arsehole.  A tiler who forgot he was meant to show even a hint of decorum around women.  He actually grabbed my arse and said in front of about 15 people, “Jesus girl, might be time to lay off the hot chips”.  I was 17 and I looked like this: 




Looking back, I can pinpoint that moment as the one where I started to go a little bit nuts.

I didn’t become anorexic.  I was far too ill disciplined for that.  I just fluctuated.  A lot.  And again, meeting Phil, loving him, loving life and not obsessing, pretty much just gave me something else to do with my time.

I’ve had three babies since then and ironically enough, was probably at my skinniest after number 3.  Breastfeeding might feel like you are slicing your nipples apart to start with, but man it works wonders at stripping the weight.

But now, well now I’m spreading left, right and centre and it’s not pretty.  Often it’s when I spot myself in an unexpected mirror and think “Who the fuck is that?” and then realise, oh shit, it’s me, that it starts to hit home.    Or when someone posts a photo on facebook and I get an unadulterated, unedited body shot of myself that I realise I ain't 21 anymore.... 

Thankfully I’m a little more mature these days and know there is a way to change this and it does not involve starving or Reebok sliding myself to death.

Eating healthily and exercising.  Or put another way, move more, eat less.   Absolute rocket science, I know, but sometimes I have a Mensa moment or two.
 
But like all good intentions, mine are often thrown off course due to a lack of self-discipline and an adoration for thick buttered toast.

So, first of all is to put it out there.  Done. Secondly, get support.  That’s where these guys come in: Annie & Di at The Boombah Club.  It's simply an on-line blog where anyone who’s keen can join.  There are tips, encouragement and the ability to access other people’s experiences.  

So here are my intentions:


  • To not drink during the week.  A given for a lot of people, but I've been McLovin my "come home from work beer" a bit too much.
     
  • Exercise (run/walk/zumba/Wii fit) 3 times a week
     
  • Eat good food. 
     
  • Drop a dress size or two.  Preferably the latter.
     
  •  Be healthy and live to a ripe old age.  Preferably one where my children have to change my lady nappies once or twice as payback.

Wish me luck. Or at least wish me some willpower.


Monday, October 25, 2010

ORGASMIC BIRTH. OOOOOHHH YEAH BABY.




So, here’s something that I completely forgot to do when I gave birth – have an orgasm. 

I happened across this when we went to the library the other day.  We go down there every two to three weeks or when we get the official council letter in the mail telling us we have overdue books and movies.  Whichever comes first.

Thankfully they are a forgiving bunch and don’t even charge late fees.  Oh, except for that time I returned a book with an unidentified yellow liquid on the side of the book.  They pinned it to me because it was a new release and I was the first to borrow.  I am now, $23.85 later, the proud owner of a stained copy of Parenting for Dummies.   I’m only half kidding.

Anyway, back to my latest quest to the library which of course was mainly for Sam.  Sam is currently obsessed with Blimps and Hot Air Balloons.  Sam: “Hey Mum, for Christmas, could I please have a remote controlled blimp”.  Me:  “Well you’re going to have to write and ask Santa mate”. Pan back to me, frantically searching the shit out of the internet trying to track down a remote controlled Blimp. I wonder if this is how Balloon Boys parents started out.

Right, still digressing, still not explaining myself very well and let’s face it, you’ve all come here for the Orgasmic birth bit.  I’m getting there.  Apparently patience is a something, something, something, so hang in there.

Right, so there I was vigilantly hunting down Myth Busters and in between “Pigeon Racing – Secrets of Champions” and “An Impromptu Introduction to Non-Violent Communication”, I stumbled across this: ORGASMIC BIRTH, THE BEST KEPT SECRET.  Um hello, it certainly is the worlds best kept secret because of the three times I have given birth, the only thing I have come close to is ripping my ladybits apart and swearing off sex for good. 

So of course, in the interest of all the faithful readers out there, I decided it was my duty to loan this out and let you all in on the secret. 

Straight up – No one hit the Big O.  False Advertising at it’s finest.

There are about 11 different stories on the DVD, all of which follow different couples and the “orgasmic” births of their babies.   Basically though it came down to them wanting to change peoples views on childbirth.  To let them be aware that it can be peaceful.  It can be beautiful and that we are all equipped with natural endorphins and oxytocin to help us through the experience.     Basically they want the scare factor to be taken out of the equation.  Not such a bad thing.

The first couple started with some fairly passionate kissing out in the back bush.   Next he was pouring water down her back and gyrating against her. Then he tenderly squeezed her boob.  I was just waiting for them to start squashing strawberries into each others mouths and re-enact 9 and ½ weeks.  The less sexy version. 


Quite frankly, if Phil had dared touched my boobs during childbirth, he would have been the one to get ripped a new arsehole and not vice versa.   You’ve got to feel sorry for the guys.  Our boobs look the greatest they’ve ever been in our lives about two days after we’ve given birth and the irony of that of course is, all they can do is admire from the distance.  And sometimes even that hurts. 

So she gave birth and they lay out on the deck and waited for the extended family to arrive.   Orgasm OVER.

Next are Bill and Tammy.  Bill and Tammy too like to do stuff outside, in fact they confess that their baby was conceived in the garden.  Tammy is on her yoga ball bouncing around.  Clearly she is not in full blown labour yet.    3 hours later, after Bill has basically been dry humping her from behind and Tammy, although not swearing, has clearly had enough of Bill trying to get it on mid-labour, gives birth to a beautiful baby. 

There were about 5 more variations of this before I decided I’d had enough ecstasy for one evening. 

My experiences however, brought about very little pleasure.  Although having what I guess would be considered "textbook" labours, I did inadvertently nearly rip my husbands fingers off and scar him for life with things that innocent eyes are just not meant to see.  Jack, number three, was my best birth.  I just got on with it and pushed that sucker out with no stitches.  He was also my largest which I guess just makes me a completely loose goose.

I think Shelley summed it up perfectly for me this morning on twitter:  @MyShoeboxLife Oh please.. I didn't even have an orgasmic conception!

Love to hear your thoughts. Is it possible?  Did you have an actual Orgasm during child birth?  Was it just really enjoyable? 



Thursday, October 21, 2010

EAT PRAY LOVE









Let’s just say I didn’t expect to like this movie.   I had attempted to read the book.  I tried, I really did, but I just couldn’t do it.  To be honest, I didn’t give it a red hot go because it just didn’t appeal to me at the time.   I’ve found the people who  swear by Eat, Pray Love and would just about take a bullet for Liz Gilbert the author, have recently gone through a life struggle of some kind themselves.  That doesn’t mean the non-fiction, best seller isn’t fantastic, it’s just that for me, I didn’t identify with it at the time.

And let’s face it, when reading something that mirrors our own experience, it’s fair to say, it’s a lot more interesting for the person doing the reading, than say something that doesn't. So when Elizabeth Gilbert penned her story, which in short, is about her being bored with life, uneasy with her marriage and over her seemingly fantastic career, she resonated with many people.  


The movie, from what I understand, omits a lot of the book as often happens when a book gets adapted to screen.  Because of this, some of the feelings, the apprehension and the crisis that is supposedly affecting Liz, played by Julia Roberts, aren’t all that obvious in the film.

The movie, like the book, centres around Elizabeth Gilbert, a writer who, again this is how the movie portrays her, seems to have a pretty sweet life traveling from exotic destination to exotic destination penning columns for a magazine.  She also has “another book” coming out in the near future.  Her professional life is going great.  She’s married to an affable guy who hasn’t quite pinned down his chosen career and who is thinking of going back to University to study.  Presumably on her dime.  He longs for children. She doesn’t. 

It’s about this time; Liz interviews an Indonesian medicine man in Bali who tells her 3 things.


She will have two marriages. One long.  One short.  She will lose all her money.  But she will make it back again.  And she will come back and visit him again.   At this point I wondered if she kind of made the prophecy come true.  Like when you see a psychic and she tells you will sell your house, even though it’s the furtherest thing from your mind.  Suddenly, something unexpected happens, you see a "sign" and it's time to sell the house.  Did he just plant the seed and she watered the garden?

So Liz chucks it all in.  Essentially she runs away from her husband, breaks his heart, hooks up with a guy very much her junior within a relatively short period of time and lives with him.  That too, although poorly represented in the movie, goes to hell in a hand basket with Liz finding it is not working.  She is not happy and she needs to “find herself”. 

At total odds with her situation, she plans a year that takes in Italy, where she eats, India, where she prays and Bali, where she finds love.  The fact that Liz meets a collective bunch of friends and acquaintances along the way, certainly helps her journey of self-discovery.  I wonder what her outcome would have been, had she not met the people she did.  Very different I Imagine.  Loneliness makes your heart break a little more.

So, did it work?  Yeah, it was watchable.  The scenery was glorious and made me, a fairly unseasoned traveler; want to investigate the chances of one day seeing some of these beautiful spots, especially Rome.   Did it make me want to chuck in my day job, nick off to Italy to feed my face until I burst my jean buttons?  No.  It made me appreciate that I am happy with my everyday life.  But she wasn’t happy with that, and that’s why she did what she did.  And no one should judge another when it comes to one’s own personal happiness. 

Julia Roberts is well, Julia Roberts.  She could lie down in cow dung and make pig noises and she’d still have loyal followers and people to love her.  For me, it was all I could see.  Julia Roberts.  A different actor would have made this movie so different in my honest opinion.

So should you drop a twenty and go see it?  Yes and no.  If you want a night out with the girls where you get all philosophical on yourselves after wards - YES.  If you really don’t have the twenty to waste - NO.   Oh, but the soundtrack – a definite YES.





There are over 403 Liz Gilbert Quotes.  That’s a lot of self help.  For my money, I still think all you need in life is the Sunscreen Song:


Everybody's Free
(to wear sunscreen)


Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '97...
wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are NOT as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; 
live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will 
philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.



from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
music from the House of Iona, Something For Everybody



Monday, October 18, 2010

THERE’S THE PASSION. AND THEN THERE’S THE POP



Remember the alco-pop tax? Remember how it was meant to deter young people from drinking pre-mixed drinks by making it too expensive and thus prevent them from writing themselves off?

Clearly the boffins forgot two words. Sorry three. PASSION FUCKING POP

We went down to the beach yesterday because a) the sky was full of unfamiliar blue stuff and b) full blown cabin fever had set in after three solid weeks of shite weather.

We got out of the car, directed all three kids to the grassed area while we extracted the myriad of beach paraphernalia (none of which got used) and then heard Jack screaming this: “Mum!! Mum!! Look! Someone has left a beer bottle here!” We walked around to where they were huddled, to see this:



The offending "beer" bottle




To be honest, I’m not sure if I should be relieved that Jack doesn’t recognise a bottle of Passion Pop or be horrified that he thinks a normal beer comes in a 750ml brown bottle.

There, lying on the ground was the lonely, discarded empty bottle of passion pop. Clearly it’s usefulness over, it was thrown down on the way back from a beach rendezvous. Back up, that sounds a little too classy for a Passion Pop fueled beach soirĂ©e. More than likely, it was chucked there after three or four 15 year olds, unable to believe their luck at securing the six buck chuck, skivved off down the beach, skulled it, had a pash and then got picked up at 10pm by Mum and Dad who were still under the impression their children had been having a coffee at Max Brenners.

I like the fact that nothing much changes. Well, it does, but it doesn't if you know what I mean. Instead of a Matthew & Luke Goss, they’ve got a Justin Bieber, instead wearing Choose Life, they are wearing I love Edward. The one constant is the cheap drink of choice: Passion Pop. 

Bros were the bomb.  No really, they were. There was another guy, but no one remembers him.


Justin Bieber - doing it for the girls of today.  Until his voice breaks.

 
 
My girlfriends and I were talking about this today and we calculated we were 14, maybe 15 when we started sneaking off somewhere dark and seedy to down a bottle of cheap plonk. It wasn’t like we did it often. My mother was a party Nazi and I rarely got the green light to go out. I only got let out for legit reasons, like the High school Carnival. This was held at night because our Principal was a rocket scientist and couldn’t predict the full scale riot that a combination of unlit basketball courts, lust filled teenagers and booze would create. I think that was my first dangerous liason with Passion Pop. Luckily I was staying over at a friends that night.

By the time I was in grade 11, there was a terrible incident on a beach near where we lived, where a highschool couple were bludgeoned to death at night by a random psychopath. That was enough to put a stop to top-secret interludes at dark beaches for a long, long time. Well, until the night I officially met Phil. But that’s a story for another time and hey, before you judge, remember, we’ve been together over 15 years . Something to be said for copious amounts of vodka and dancing like a chicken.

Anyway, I’ll be sure to keep a close eye on Maddison, but even I know, there will come the requests to attend parties. And saying no certainly didn’t stop me so I’ll just have to go with my gut when the time arises. One thing is for sure, she will, at one point in her life, get a taste of Passion Pop.



 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

IN HIS SHOES



My husband is terribly computer illiterate.  He’s the first one to admit it.  He’s a stellar plumber, can unplug your bog and change over your cooktop in brilliant fashion.  Google Tits?  Sure.  Email through his timesheet each week?  Not so much.    

Hey, I don’t mind, I can’t install a shower or hook up a gas hot water system so I figure we’re square.

But the brilliant Yvette over at Happy Child suggested I write a blog about the day in the life of my husband. So I started to think about it.  About how it being 2010 and all, he’s not a father in name only.   How, because I work 4 days a week, we have pretty much equal care and responsibility of our three children and all the duties that come along with that.

So, what I really need to do here is put myself in his shoes.  Something I feel will be a big eye-opener for me.

Phil get’s up at 4:30am each morning.  He starts work at 7:30am.  Why so early?  Well, he works across the border at Tweed Heads. They are an hour ahead of us for 6 months of the year with Day Light Savings.  Plus, we live an hour away from the border.  On top of that, he’s just a super early bird and he really likes watching Benny Hinn.  Kidding, he just detests being late. 

So already, I’ve got 2 more hours sleep up my sleeve than him.  I’m still dreaming when he kisses me on the nose and closes the door quietly behind him. 

The next 8 or so hours of his day are like that of anyone else’s who works.  He goes, he works, he clocks off.  So far, so standard.

From there, he goes back up Bottleneck Alley, aka, the M1 and picks up Sam from afterschool care.  Then across the road to the kindy, and grabs Jack.   From there, he travels a good 11 or so Km’s and picks up Maddison from afterschool care. (Yes, we have three children at three different places of education, smart I know)   By the time he gets through the front door, it’s around 4:30pm. 

The kids of course, are feral.  They are hungry. They want a million things.  I of course, am still at work.

Yet, 4 afternoons out of 5, I return home, and there are three squeaky clean children sitting around the dinner table patiently waiting for Mum to walk through the door to share and eat the dinner prepared or obtained by their dad.   

And we do.  Jack of course, will refuse to eat his dinner. And Maddison will polish off the lot. And Sam will be coerced into eating two more big mouthfuls of peas and meat. 

Phil then prepares the lunches while I wash up and help Sam with his homework.   He'll put on a load of washing, I'll clean out he kitty litter.  He'll tidy, I'll hang out the washing.

Then we duke it out over who puts Jack to bed.    Putting Jack to bed is easier than it sounds, but it also fraught with many exasperating returns to his room.  To give him a drink of water. To wipe his bum.  To clean up water from his floor.  To hear about his day, one more time.  To retrieve skelegton from his wedged position from the side of his bed. You name it, he will find the reason to haul us back in. 

Phil will then sit on the couch or stretch on the yoga ball or sometimes he’ll play tennis with some mates. 

So, yeah, that’s his day.  I look at that and recognise the fact he does a lot.  This is how we work.  We’ve got to otherwise we,as a family, will stop.  It's taken ten years to get to a point where this is "natural" for us and please don't get me wrong, it's by no means a perfect situation.

Part of me is constantly wondering when he’ll simply call bullshit on me.  The other part is now realising I need to appreciate that we’ve found our groove, we are equally responsible and we just need to go with it. 

So how do you juggle?



Monday, October 11, 2010

IT'S MY PARTY AND I'LL EAT CHEESE TOAST IF I WANT TO



Yesterday, at the request of Maddison, who turns 11 on Wednesday, we went to Sizzler for lunch.  The plan was to take down Seaworld but since the weather has been all shades of shit, we let her choose the (indoor) destination of her choice, as a replacement.

Now, I’m not sure if you know this, but we live on the Gold Coast, one of the largest and most well known tourist destinations in the world, so it kind of hurt my brain that we ended up shivering and waiting in a line at the Logan Sizzler  which is about a 60 km round trip from our house.  Yep, you can take your umpteen million dollar indoor entertainment venue and politely shove it up your arse, because it appears  that the all you can eat dessert bar trumps all.

So after making it inside the restaurant, and negotiating where the inside line started, we stood and we waited.  And we waited. And we waited.  Well, it was 12pm on one of the wettest Sundays of the year in Logan where the most fun thing to do, is in fact, wait in line at Sizzler.  So we waited.

To their credit, the waitress brought around cheese toast for the waiting patrons.  After two pieces I was quite happy to cut and run.  I mean, let’s face it, that’s all I was there for.   I tried to coerce Maddie with offers to eat at any of the other nearby establishments or fast food joints.  Nope.  She wanted potato skins and was prepared to wait.  Shit.

So we made it to the end.   Over a hundred bucks later we were seated.  It felt so, so right to order and down a West Coast Cooler at that point, so I did.   And then I sat back and watched. 

We had the obligatory table of fresh bogans finishing up to our right. The ones who never once made an attempt to remove their toddler from the direct path that the waiters and patrons were treading their way back and forth to the salad bar.  Oh, sorry, they did, when an old duck with a walker-pusher nearly took the kids head off, they went ballistic at the old girl and then got off of their arses and moved said child.  

Then there are the manners and spacial awareness that seem to go astray the minute some people step foot into these kinds of restaurants.  They are just on the biggest fucking mission to get more wedges/pasta/chorizo salad and/or ice-cream that the basic common courtesy of waiting their turn or staying out of someones personal space, goes completely awol.

The thing is, after a while, we figured, if we couldn’t beat em, we should just join them.  We let all three kids go nuts on fanta spiders and then, just for kicks, let them play build Mt Everest with icecream and smarties in their dessert bowls.  

It took until about 9pm last night for them to come down from their kiddy crack high.

Meanwhile, I sat there and consumed my bodyweight in cheese toast and found I could barely move.  So much so, I realised we had upgraded to feral bogan status ourselves as we didn’t even make a move on Jack, when he ended up here, under the table, eying off the old chewy.


Towards the end of our dining experience, a table of 21 young cult members sat down.    One looked like this


 
that’s how I knew they were in some kind of weird robot jumper cult.  Kidding, I don’t know what the hell they were there for, but it was clear they were judging our empty West Coast Cooler laden table and children catching jellybeans in their mouths and made the exact same assumption we had about Toddler family.  Oh Em Gee, this place turns even the most normal people into lazy, greedy, space invading pigs. 
 



In all seriousness though, it’s a great place to eat some very yummy food, not be too PC about the children, have a white wine spritzer without disapproving looks and best of all, know someone else has to wash up.    Thank god we live 30 km’s away though, we can’t afford to be dropping hundred dollar bills on postmix pepsi and potato bake every weekend.  

Happy Birthday for Wednesday beautiful girl.