Thursday, March 31, 2011

AND LET THE SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION - BEGIN





Because I have no shame, I will now tell you, really quickly, about a Blogging Competition I have been nominated for:

It's this:


Aussie Mummy Bloggers with the X-Factor Awards.  

 

It's being run by Home Loan Finder and, get this, should I win, I'll take home an iPad 2.  Oh Yeah baby.  

Above is a caricature they have designed for me and  whoever the artist is, I want to thank them.  I will be eternally grateful for them leaving out the forehead lines.


Considering the sum of my Apple Products is an iPod shuffle, that my 8yo pilfered,  I think I'm pretty ready for the real deal.  Sam begs me to get babysat so he can use the babysitters iPhones to play the "paper toss" game.  Me, I just want to see what all the fuss about these angry birds is all about.


But seriously, there are only 23 of us so if you can find the time and you're on Facebook, could you like me?  You can do it by going HERE 

 


Also, because I was en-route to Sydney the day this went up on Mamamia, I didn't really get a chance to shamelessly plug it here, on my own blog.  


Along with my lovely friend,  Kate Hunter, we shared our Work/Life Balance tips, in our own special way.  To be asked to contribute to Mamamia was absolutely massive to me, so if you feel like it, check it out HERE


OK, I think I've whored myself around for one night. Thanks for reading.  x

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE






We’ve all been there.  For some godforsaken reason we’ve been awake at 2am and gotten sucked into an Infomercial.    You might have been up feeding a baby, which was my personal introduction to late night television shopping, or perhaps you’ve just come home from a massive night out on the booze and thought, oh fuck yeah, I needs me one of those ladders that bends 357 different ways.   Maybe, just maybe, you don’t even have the late night lobotomy excuse.  Perhaps, like my husband, you only needed to walk past the television once during Kerri-Anne on a rained out Wednesday and BAM, your household suddenly has a Tower 200 in its possession.

 

Have you heard of the Tower 200?   Body by Jake?  Got a door, then you’ve got a Gym? Is this ringing any bells at all?  No?  Well, let me explain.  I’ve been on a little bit of a fitness kick.  I’ve lost maybe 10kgs in the last 3 months.  I’ve done this through a combination of three things. Firstly, I got a spectacular kindy induced virus from the four year old.    Being literally knocked out for 24 hours, not being able to keep anything down and then not being able to eat for a week, left me a dress size down.  Bingo.   Secondly, I stopped eating anything that was fried. That was my rule.  Because, prior to that, I would eat junk for breakfast, lunch and dinner and then proceed to sit on my ever expanding arse for about 8 hours straight. Thirdly, I’ve started running.  Nearly every day.  And this, really, was more so I could escape the mayhem for 30 solid minutes listening to some quality music, but now I actually can say I enjoy it.  I’m guessing it will work even better when I stop having a beer before I set out.

 

So, Phil, although appreciative that we can now share the same two seater couch, is starting to feel like he needs to get moving also.  Hence, the Tower 200.  Basically this thing is just a pulley resistance system, with some hyperactive dude showing you how to use it on a DVD.  Please note, this just arrived on our door one day. Seems Phil struggles to find the toilet paper in Coles, but has no problem finding his way around the Danoz Direct store.

 

This is Phil.  Or it might not be.  Yet.
 


I give it three weeks. Tops.  Then, like all of our brilliant purchases that have come before the Tower 200, it will get shoved, firstly, under the study bench. Then under our bed. After that, into the shed. And then, one day, I imagine like he has in the past, David Copperfield will magically swoop in and it will disappear forever. That or we’ll just turf it at the tip.

 

I have precedents to base this on.  The magic bullet.  Jesus this seemed like a good idea at the time.  I had a child who would eat nothing. Suddenly there was this dead easy machine that would only take up the space of a coffee cup on my kitchen bench top and then magically whisk concoctions into fool proof vegetable purees.  Bullshit.  It came with a about a thousand pieces, none of which made any sense.  It lived happily and basically virginal, under the sink until early this year when I needed some cupboard space.  Some poor sucker at Lifeline just had their day made.

 

Apparently there was some confusion. This is NOT the Magic Bullet I had. Ahem



Oh and of course, there was the Snuggie.  Yep.  I was one of those who ended up wearing one of these blankets with sleeves.  Admittedly I wasn’t the one who purchased them, they were gifts, but they clearly had Bernadette Morley all over them, hence me being the recipient of such classy gifts. And hey, here on the Gold Coast, it really doesn’t get all that cold so as tempting as it was to move around the house in my leopard print slanket, it never really got a good go.

 

What's not the love?  It's a blanket with sleeves. 


There have been vacuum bags.  There’s been the Ab Roller and my favourite that was purchased by my mother, the electronic bug repellent.  Plug it in and “apparently” it emits a noise that only bugs can hear.  Or suckers.  Granted, rarely did I see a Rhinoceros beetle at mums, but there was never any shortage of mosquitoes.  I call bullshit on the Bug Repeller.

 

Through their almost Chinese Water Torture style of advertising, Proactive nearly had me convinced I needed some although I’d barely had a zit in 20 years.  Thin Lizzy, or Thun Luzzy also had me grabbing the phone.  But then, luckily I got a grip.


So what about you?  Have you succumbed to a product you just never knew you needed until they threw in a free set of steak knives?  Has it been a success of ultimate fail?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

THREE STRIKES YOU'RE OUT






We’ve been attempting to make it to the Gallery of Modern Art or, GOMA for short, for over three months.  It was something we had on our list of stuff to do over the never ending Christmas holidays.  It ticked all the boxes for a great school holiday activity. It was free and, oh yeah, it was free. 


And then,  well, Brisbane kind of had a bit of a crisis.  You know, just one of those one in a hundred year catastrophes, the 2011 Flood. So we gave it a miss.  Actually, we pretty much gave everything a miss due to the weather.  It was cabin fever central at Chez Morley with only so many games of Wii Bowling one can endure.  I digress...


So, today, finally, with Maddie off to a birthday party at Dreamworld, we thought it was a good day to tackle GOMA with the two boys. 


It was great.  Oh except we nearly got kicked out.  Three times. 


See, the kids are kind of lulled into a false sense of security when they enter the Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art.  It’s very interactive at first.  There is a table a mile long solely laden with only white Lego.  They are not only allowed to play with the milky white bricks, they are actively encouraged to make a twenty storey skyscraper.


Lego A go go..


Next was the wall of wishes, kind of my fave.  Thousands of wishes printed on ribbons hang from the wall. You are allowed to take one in return for your wish written on a piece of paper and stuffed back into the ribbon vacating hole.  Some wishes were heartbreaking.  “I wish I had a friend at school”  “I wish I would live long enough to see grandchildren” and “I wish somebody loved me”.  I can’t tell you my wish.  If I did, it won’t come true.

The wish wall


 
So, off we went to the giant slides 



Which both boys promptly chickened out of the minute they got to top. 


So we wandered off, kind of just letting the kids run in a manner not okay with cultural centres of excellence.  Phil and I kind of got engrossed in this:


Rashid Rana | Pakistan b.1968 | Off shore accounts – II


In fact, so much so, we were standing in the “No Stand” zone and taking a very close look.  This was when Jack took a running jump and kicked Sam, who then, in turn fell into Rashid Rana’s photograph. Strike One. We were told we needed to leave the area - stat.


I won’t tell you about the sneaky pinch I gave Jack or the gritted teeth threat of being banished to his room for the rest of his life as we were leaving.  No, I won’t get the chance to because before we could even get through the door, he tripped and fell on to the sperm Elephant. The massive wooden elephant, which on close inspection, is painted in sperm.  Strike Two.

Sperm Elephant. Trust me on this one.


It's also notable to mention at this time, that I was wearing only one shoe.  See, as much as I tell my son to walk in a straight line, he finds this physcially impossible and in turn, kicked my thong and broke it.  I do recognise that we were, by this point, the most feral family in the vicinity.  So, we chose to leave and take our chaotic children with us to safer waters, The Plough in at South Bank.  But not before I got told off for using flash photography, trying to get this photo of the devil child.

Perhaps the horns aren't visible, but believe me, they are there


We did take in the normal museum and this little exhibition in particular moved me:


I remember lying in bed hearing the Premier say this. And then crying.


The 2011 floods will forever live in Brisbane’s history.  But I’ve got to tell you, South Bank is pumping.  The markets were on, the restaurants were packed and they could teach the Gold Coast a thing or two about design.  Seriously, get back to Brisbane people, it is stunning. 


The pool area of course is still out of action, but this time next year, wow, standing room only.



We finished our day with a lovely lunch at the Plough Inn with this guy for company




I think only one thing topped off our day. When Jack raised his glass of lemonade and yelled “Cheers Bitchears”.  Yeah.  Perfect.






Monday, March 21, 2011

ABSENCE AND THE HEART. AND ALL THAT.








Where to start?

Let’s start at the very beginning.  Because we all know, that’s a very good place to start.  Or so Maria once said.  Sorry to all those people who have never watched the Sound of Music, you must be wondering if I’ve been eating the mushrooms that grow in the front lawn again.  Let me start again. 


 

So I’ve been in Sydney at the Aussie Bloggers Conference. 

 

But what is a bloggers conference?  Well, put simply, it’s a place where all bloggers, amateur and professional, get together to discuss, well, their blogs.   There were panel discussions about the sense of community you find when you find like minded people through blogs, when you find your tribe.  And I know there are a lot of people who undermine a blog.  They believe a lot of us are simply wanna be writers or creative types.  Sure, say what you want but the fact is, to find a passion for blogging is as exhilarating as finding a penchant for adrenalin sports.  Starting one certainly doesn’t mean you aren’t going to fall flat on your face, but at least you’ve found something that gets you going.  Makes you feel alive again.  So yeah, say what you want, but this is my little piece of the cyber world and because of it, I got to meet, drink, eat and inappropriately dance with 180 people I never would have gotten to with otherwise.  And it was tops.

 

To be honest, when the idea of an Australian based Bloggers conference was in its infancy, I was a little bit meh, yeah, probably won’t be for me.  But then I got thinking about the added bonus of crisp white sheets and sleep-ins in a hotel and my attitude shifted.    Ironically, as it turns out, I spent so little time between those crisp white sheets and so MUCH more time getting to know the other bloggers and learning that I feel ashamed to say I didn’t initially give it the credit it deserved.

 

Not being a massive traveller, I did learn a few things this time around though -
  • If you talk when the Air Hostess is giving her Emergency Evacuation Procedures Demonstration, you will get shushed.  Note:  I wasn’t the one talking. For once.


  • After watching a full hour of Channel V on the flight, I can safely say that Taylor Swift looks exactly like a young Nancy Sinatra.


  • A 187ml bottle of white wine purchased on an aircraft will cost the same as a decent 750ml one.

  • Control Tower issues are code for settle in baby, you are about to be majorly delayed.


  • Last but not least, I have learnt that wearing thongs gives the cab driver the heads up that you are total tourist and will take you the longest and most expensive way possible to your hotel room.

The most delightful thing I found was how much I adored Sydney.  I’ve precious little to do with the city and found having it to myself, to wander around with no plan, was quite wonderful.  I went running on the second morning in the drizzle and stumbled across the harbour bridge and Opera House completely by accident  I’m surprised you didn’t see the neon flashing light shouting TOURIST from wherever you are stationed in Australia.  You are invisible in a big city.  I kind of like it.

 

We were lucky enough to be invited to pre-conference drinks with GKS  the night before the conference. They had sponsored Kristen Brumm to come out to Australia for the event.  They also provided male masseuses (tick) Ribena jelly cups (tick) and free cocktails and champagne (tick and tick). This is where I made my mistake.  Instead of hooking into the copious amounts of food that were on offer, I ate two deep fried rice and cheese balls and then had a thousand champagnes.   That could be the reason I went on, later in the night to spray shampoo under my armpits and apparently propose to a DJ that is Gay.  Hey at least I wasn’t wearing undies on my head, like some *cough* Kerri Sackville.  Adam, Kent, Rick Lana and Kerri, I had a ball.  Thanks Rick, for escorting me and my rather large Yoga Mat home.  You are a total gentleman.

Me, Mrs Woog and Kristen

Things are about to get messy.  Lana, Rick, Kerri and I

 

I believe 5 hours of sleep were had and by some absolute miracle, I woke in time to shove 15 hash browns into me and be ready, as I’d volunteered for, to sign in the bloggers as they arrived.  Clearly I hadn’t thought this through.  I mean who in their right mind goes out on a Friday night and thinks they will legitimately be able to back up and be awake by 6:30am?   I struggled and to my credit, did not curl up in a ball in the corner half way through the day, no matter how tempted I was.  I read out my blog post as had been arranged and then hightailed it to Maccas to grab the biggest, fattest, greasiest cheeseburger I could find. 

 

The highlight for me was the “My Blog, My Story” readings by some spectacular bloggers.  They were heartfelt, raw and so amazing to see in action.  Carly Findlay who you can find here at Tune Into Radio Carly was wonderful and such a pleasure to meet in real life.  Special mention of course has to go to Mark McCann who, being one of only 5 men in the room, managed to leave in one piece after at one stage, it appeared that the ladies were going to pin him to the nearest wall and have their way with him.  Married or no.    

Carly and I
 

 

I also want to point out that I got to meet the TheNDM from blog, Not Drowning Mothering.  Hers was the very first blog I ever started reading and still read religiously.  She is one of the funniest people I have ever read, and now, after this weekend, can safely say, ever known.  Please check her out  HERE if you already don't; she’s kind of my blogging idol.


The NDM and I.  So Hot Right Now.
  
 

After the serious stuff was over, came the dinner dance which again, at first I wasn’t too sure of.  Dinner Dance always reminds me of the accounting ones I’ve been a part of.  Bunch of old guys sitting around talking capital gains tax and propositioning the hot waitresses.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Someone literally lost their undies from dancing too hard.   And I learnt more than I ever thought I would about strap on dildos.  Oh yeah, this was no accounting convention.  That really does sum it up for me.  Sadly I was too piss poor to back it up and drink hard core and I did miss The NDM and Rick get married (later annulled due to his refusal to consummate the marriage due to you know, him being gay and all) 

 

The next day, we woke to a lot of sore heads, a lot of great anecdotes and a bit of sadness that the whole thing was over.  To be dead honest, even though we learnt a lot about the technical part of blogging, it was the "social" part of the social media that we all seemed to nail. 

 

The Good news is, it will return again in 2012. Bigger, better and in Melbourne.  The Not Drowning Mother has kindly offered those struggling to find accommodation her trampoline in her backyard.  I Shotgun the mat that covers the springs.

 

I guess though, on returning late last night to the Coolangatta airport where my three children ran and kissed and hugged me while my husband lingered in the background holding onto a bunch of flowers was the best moment.  There is no place like home.

 

I genuinely had a ball. Thanks everyone for making it so. 


There were so, so many I want to mention and when I get the chance, will update with links to them.  Dic, Jo, Sarah, Jayne, Annie, Chris, Bronwyn, Benison, Kim, Mrs Woog, Lori, Brenda, Veronica, Dorothy, Bianca, Yvette, Alison, Meaghan are just some to start with.   I did this on the fly, I'll make sure it's updated later.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ahhh, KISS ME






It’s started.  Boys.


Maddison, aged 11, has been invited to attend a theme park with a 13 year old boy for his birthday.  Now this boy isn’t her boyfriend.  He’s her best friend’s boyfriend who has also been invited.   No, it’s the other two boys going that are also 13 that worry me a tad. 


To be honest, 13 is the alarm bell age for me. It might be the whole “teen” element but I think it's because I'm still young enough to remember that this is when shit started to get real at high school.  But Maddie isn’t at High School. Neither are these boys.  They've barely started year 7.   
 

Now I’ve met these kids. They’ve got their hair so sharp it would cut you if you got too close.  Honest to God, they’d be using more Final Net than me in 1988, to keep those razor sharp 'dos' so helmet like.  They seem respectful, calling me Mrs Morley and looking me in the eye.  And granted, these are great signs, but I just don’t know if it’s a goer. 


If I say no, I will be being my own mother who basically held the chastity belt key until I finished High School.  Bad move.  I went wild for a little bit there as a result but I remember only too well, this is the age of the first kiss.


My first kiss was revolting.  Re. Volt. Ing.  Some guy called David at a freaking barn dance.  What’s more telling,  the fact that of my own free will I was at a Barn Dance or that I was kissing a random stranger behind a shed?  He smelled like wet dog and his buck teeth hit my nose before making it to my mouth.  I was holding my breath, more than likely trying to block out the off cheese smell that was coming from his mouth. 


When it was over, all I remember thinking was “thank God I’ve done it.  I’ve kissed a boy”.  So what he was jerk and told me my check shirt made me look like farmer (der dickhead, it’s a BARN DANCE), I’d locked lips, it could only get better.


I can happily say I and it, got better over time.  Not that I was a prolific pasher, but once I realised what all the fuss was about, David Cheesebreath became a thing of the past.


Funnily enough, the little guy that digs Maddie is also called David.  He’s the one that bought her a fake velvet rose and Ferrero Rochers on Valentine’s Day.  He’s also the one who’s started ignoring her in the past week.  Dead giveaway he’s into her. 


So, I haven’t said yay or nay as yet.  It’s proving to be quite the discipline goldmine with many “If you don’t stop with the attitude, you won’t be going to Lachies birthday”.  Empty threats are my speciality.  But if this is going to be a first kiss situation, I'd really better think this through. 


But to be honest, I'm 90% sure she's going to be able to go.  Doesn’t mean I'm not going to dress up as Kenny Koala and inconspicuously follow her around all day...



Stick to the puppy dogs honey




First kiss, tell me about yours.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

SYDNEY BABY







So in just over a week, I will be in Sydney for the Aussie Bloggers Conference.  And I am super excited.  Excited on a few levels.  One, I get to meet, in real life, the many magical people I have met on the interwebs through this Blog and twitter. Secondly, it will be 4 days entirely on my own.  No seriously, on my total lonesome.  Well except for the catch ups that are being arranged, but on a whole, there will be no demands for Milo, lost DVD pilgrimages or any breaking up of impromptu UFC smack downs in the lounge room.  And I just KNOW I will appreciate all of these AFTER I’ve had 4 days away alone.  I just know it.




I have been away once, with my two best friends to Melbourne.  That was 5 years ago.  I did a bit of this








And a lot of this:










The one thing I have not got sorted yet though, is my attire.  I know, total 1st world problem, but forgive me father, it's been 5 years since my last holiday alone and I want to look pretty.


We have a dinner/dance on the Saturday night, plus this Saturday I have cocktail dress inspired 40th to attend.  So I need a kickarse dress.  And I've tried, lord how I’ve tried to find something exactly right.  I’ve been to every major shopping centre here on the Coast; admittedly a little distracted by the 4yo trying to expose me to the world whilst trying on outfits, but nothing has caught my attention.  


Well, nothing did, until, last Saturday when I was sitting on the couch and out came Shelley Craft on Australia’s Funniest Home Videos.  Sure, judge me how you see fit because a) I was home on a Saturday night and b) I was happily gearing up for an hour of people stacking it in unfortunate circumstances, but if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have seen Shelley wearing this: 









I know it's a shock, but this is not me or Shelley




She looked amazing.  Immediately I was trying to work out where she had gotten it and, through the power of twitter, Channel 9 advised me of the designer.  Snap.  Oh except that when I got to the website, this dress is apparently “beach wear”.  Oh and it’s a Kaftan.  Two things that do not scream dinner dance and/or Cocktail Wear. Then again, I’m coming from the Gold Coast; surely anything other than a leopard print unitard will be a given the AOK?



Either way, the dress was $180.00 and well, let’s face it, I’m tight, so I am still dress less...




Luckily, I have been emailed a few suggestions this week, which I am still trying to manouvere my way around.






Don't be a hater, I can totally pull this off.








Should I choose to bring the fam.


High Class (some would say Hooker, I am refraining)




I've heard the weather  can be unpredictable


Ling Ling




Red shorts.  Black singlet.  Happening hair.  I think I've found it.





See you in Sydney ;)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

INAPPROPRIATE MUCH?








The very first record I ever bought was Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”.  My mother accompanied me to McDonnell & East and didn’t bat an eyelid when I took my hot piece of Vinyl up to the counter and paid for it with my hard earned pocket money.   I played that sucker on repeat in the lounge room on the record player repeatedly.   The following is just a snipped of the lyrics I would sing as loud as possible at any given time.  Yeah, I was 9.




Like a Virgin ooh, ooh
Like a Virgin
Feels so good inside
When you hold me, when your heart beats, and you love me.

 

Oh yeah, inappropriate much??
 


Clearly I didn’t know what a virgin was.  Or what something feeling so good inside was.  But my mother did and she was either choosing to ignore me or was just not paying attention.  Or both.

 

But I, well I am a prolific lyric knower (technical term).  I love them.  I love knowing what a song is about.  Although to this day, no matter how much I love them, I still don’t know what the fuck Crowded House were on about.  Apparently if you can work that out, the meaning of life is yours.   


And, I still remember the days of pressing play on my double tape deck, listening, pressing pause, writing the song line down and repeating the process through the entire way through the song.   Imagine how many misheard lyrics were going down.  Although even with all the goodness that is Google available to my 11yo, she still sings “Like a G6” as “Like a Cheesestick”.  Just for shits and giggles I don’t correct her. 



 

But now, now that I’m a Mum and I do give a shit what my children are listening to, I get panicky when I hear the following come out of Maddisons mouth when she’s beside me in the car seat on the way to school:




Blindfold, feather bed,
tickle me, slippery,
G spot,nasty pose,
in a video,
love machine, by myself,
climax,hot wax


Keep in mind, this song is played by most every major Radio Station in the country.   A song about dirty talking.  Now Mads doesn’t know what the heck this chick is singing about, much the same as me ala Madonna and her cherry popping, but man, it feels all kinds of wrong to hear your little girl singing about Legs up on the bar in the backseat of your car.  All kinds.




 


Rhianna is another one.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually really enjoy most of her songs, it’s just that when you hear this from the off-key eleven year old kicking around beside you in Woolies on a Saturday, shit gets kinda real:






Cause I may be bad, but I'm perfectly good at it
Sex in the air, I don't care, I love the smell of it
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But chains and whips excite me

 


Let’s just say that and a few other choice songs have recently been erased from her iPod.

 

But is that what I should be doing? Ban them from listening to the radio?  Certain songs?  The thing is, even when it’s not completely obvious the lyrics can be sly.  Remember Lady GaGa and her disco Stick?  Well Maddie questioned her school principal whether they would be selling any at her school Disco last year.  I believe his response was “No” with a very quick retreat.   What about Kelis bringing all the boys to the yard with her milkshake?  My kids loved singing that song with Sam even hoping it was “a chocolate milkshake” she was bringing because “he loves them the most”.  Don’t think about that too much.

 

Am I just being ridiculous or is this getting a little out of control?  Any other songs out there you find inappropriate, or were when you were a kid?  More to the point, how many people are going to land on my blog now after I've mentioned climax and G-Spot in one post?