Powered by Blogger

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

*Cue the tissues* or Keira's first day at preschool

Well, it doesn't really count yet. This was only orientation and she can't begin 3 year old preschool by law until April, but we're getting closer by the day and it's scary. It's scary enough it's almost February.

She was very excited. Once we got there, she was running all over, checking out all the little 'areas'. Boy, I would've had fun too. Adam was working from home today and came along too and I think was hoping on getting 'brownie' points for being a lone dad, but there was another dad there, so sorry mate.

Riley loved it as much as Keira. Given his obsession with toilets and bathrooms at the moment, he was in heaven with all the minature toilets and clothes hooks and taps etc. He was even licking the floor. Ewwww! Gee, I wonder why he's just gotten sick? I wonder why he doesn't get sick more often.

Most of the other mothers there knew each other from playgroups and so the kids knew each other already. Keira was happy playing on her own, so that didn't matter. I kind of felt left out when I heard all the other mother's talk about their pelvic floor muscles. Part of me thought: "Oh, come on, can't you think of anything else to talk about?" the other part of me thought: "Please ask me about my pelvic floor muscles! Please!"

All in all a successful day. It will be different once she's there alone for a session and the shine has rubbed off.

But she will get to create more masterpieces like this: her first preschool painting.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Graduation Time

*Twirling around in her metaphoric new sundress*

Look at my new threads! I'd like to thank Goofy Girl for designing my new site. In some respects, I feel like I'm graduating from primary school - where I was King, in my own little sense - to big, scary High School. I've set myself up to look good; I better be even better! (If that makes sense). A little extra self-imposed pressure might be good for me.

What do you all think of Miscellaneous Mum's new look?


The sucky part of being a parent

Yesterday, when we were down the street for a walk, I was leading Keira by the hand over the pedestrian crossing, pushing Riley in the pram, when this woman tore around the corner in her little white Barina and barrelled through, without even slowing down. Luckily, Keira and I had almost stepped off it, so were out of harm's way, but if we were even three seconds slower, it might've been a different, tragic story.

I think the woman sensed she'd done something wrong because once she'd crossed, she put the brakes on her car (a bit late). This, or, perhaps she heard the "F--king Hell!" which escaped my lips and also brought us to the attention of fellow walkers-by. So, I turned around and gave her the scowling of a lifetime. She scampered off to a nearby car park and I had to turn my attention to Keira who'd decided that "F--king Hell" was a perfectly acceptable conversational starter and was practising with gusto.

So, we make it home, me with my jelly legs and I open the mailbox. And we have a letter from our health insurance offering us (with lots of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!) that did we know we could get Kids Accidental Cover!!! and would we like to sign up?!!! Spooky timing.

Then I looked over the brochure. It was sobering, if I already wasn't (which I was). If your child were to become a quadriplegic, you'd receive $100,000. Paraplegia, $50,000. Many other tragic conditions with many zeros.

What caught my eye? "Loss of or permanent and total loss of use of thumb" = $500. Now $500 doesn't sound like much to me to lose arguably your most important digit. Which might explain why there seems to be no coverage for any other loss of the remaining fingers. You lose your middle one? Sorry, nothing. To add to the indignity, you can't even flip the bird anymore. Scandalous.

I jest, but gee, after my near miss I don't know what to do! I'm tempted to sign up.

If it wasn't so damned expensive.

Like everything else in the world.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Reliving our youth, two dimensional style

Adam loves Keira's etch-a-sketch more than she does. Last night he doodled this:

Me: Oh, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Which one is this?
Adam: Uh... (thinks)...I can't remember.
Me: It's Raphael.
Adam: No, I don't think so...
Us simultaneously: Well, it can't be Michelangelo, because he had nunchuks and he is everybody's favourite, so that one's easy.
Adam: I think it was Leonardo.
Me: But he had a sword!
Adam: No, he had two swords!
Me: No he didn't.

(Five minutes later; after perusing Wikipedia)

Me: OK, he had two. But this picture doesn't show the bottom of the weapon. It could be either of them.

(We later agreed that it was more likely to be the dignified blue leader rather than Mr. smarmy red.)

Ah, TMNT. An oldie, but a goodie. We taped the movie off the TV and watched it endlessly when we were kids. I think part of the attraction for me was the hope of one day seeing Krang (The brain thing) getting squashed royally under someone's (preferably Michelangelo's) foot.

What cartoons do you still think about? Or make doodles of for that matter?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Results of the cupcake making

They look nice, don't they? Except in making these I remembered why I don't like packet mixes and would rather cook food from scratch. The icing sachet, when it came to making that part, was white, which I thought odd, as it was pink on the packet. So I mixed in the teaspoon of water and butter and before my eyes the colour changed! A chemical metamorphosis was taking place! Lord knows what was happening on a molecular level; and I don't think I want to know.

While we're on a food subject: the other week I made a lamb stir fry. Gee it was nice. From SCRATCH, all the garlic, vegetables, ginger etc. Then, about half an hour after tea, I got that...yucky...feeling I get from MSG. Headaches. A second bout of hunger. So I got out my condiments. And yes, there it was on the oyster sauce bottle: flavour enhancer (621). My old nemesis.

So this week, I bought fish sauce to replace it. At least that's just fish and water and salt. Salt enough to preserve an elephant, yes, but I'd take that any day.

Because if I don't feel sorry for me, no-one else will....except you. Maybe

"I'm sitting here eating a bowl of premium choc-chip icecream, which I don't especially want, but it temporarily distracts me from the distresing fact that I've just heard Riley cry himself to sleep for the sixth night in a row. He is slowly - very slowly - getting better, but his night time going to sleep is atrocious and sometimes I want to push a fast forward button, even just six month, because then, surely, he'll be better at sleeping. Sickness or no sickness.

It just drags me down and when it's a reasonably early hour - oh, it's 7.52pm - and I could bounce back up again and do some work, some cleaning or, shock of shocks, hop on the treadmill; instead I cuddle my icecream.

But it is a devilishly nice icecream. I might have another scoop.

See, there I go again!"

I wrote that last night and decided not to post it because boy do I sound hot - not. And, really, I had nothing to complain about because it's 5.49am here now and I've been up for an hour with a baby who's HAD ENOUGH SLEEP!

I am going to find all the good things about this....well, fill you in on what's been happening so far.

5.00am - Turned on TV to discover evangelical church-y business. No thanks. NBC's Today show is on however. Goody.

5.20am - I eat breakfast and turn the empty plate and spoon over to Riley, hence buying myself this time to write this and....

Read my blog stuff for the day, amongst which:

I see Melissa's had her TV interview (which, you'd never guess, they've just advertised is coming up next on the Today show I'm watching now!! That is so spooky)

I read with a tear in my eye that I was not nominated for a 2007 bloggie. I will now lower my voice to a gravely baritone and mutter, "Next year, gadget!"

And that pretty much brings us back up to now. It's after 6.00am and the TV show I sometimes catch because Keira's woken up has come on and I see it's as inane at the beginning as it is at the end. The sky has begun to lighten up outside.

I need a drink. And a nap.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Happy Australia Day

Ah, yes our national day. The day when we gather and throw meat collectively on the BBQ and bitch about the government (moving on from Christmas when the bitching is usually family orientated).

What are our family doing to commemorate the day?

We're making fairy cupcakes...

I bet you didn't see THAT one coming!

For my bit, however, I'm throwing out a link for a local guy. Sick of being insulted and spat on for using his own saved grey water to water his garden (you think I jest) he's developed this business. His first run print of 10,000 is predicted to sell out shortly. Demand could be as high as 500,000. Water is becoming very, very serious business ('serious' both in graveness and big-bucks).

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 25, 2007

This is what misery looks like

My poor baby. Note: my skeletor veins running through my hands and arms. Yes, they're disgusting. I've always looked like this. You should see me when I'm pregnant. They almost turn blue.

That's also a nice piece of carbon on my ring finger too. I mention that because I can.

That's Mommy off the Record, in the background. In case you're squinting to read it. Oh, who am I kidding - of course you were...

"Dear Me" Project - Anonymous (May 1997)

Dear Me (May 1997),

Clearly, middle school is awesome. At least for now. That feeling will fade quickly, and the acceptance you're feeling right about now will wane when you fall back into your old insecurities. Before you say anything, you're not ugly, you're not anorexic and you're not weird because you couldn't cross the playground in the first grade for fear of the tilted playground macadam. This is normal kid behavior.

Pretty soon you'll realize that childhood is over. You'll jump the gun and try to be a woman right away and in about two years your desire to be accepted and feel wanted and beautiful will you lead in the very opposite direction. Nothing too serious in the scheme of things, but enough to make you disgusted with yourself for years to come.

You'll swear off dating for awhile, left to wade through celibacy and lesbian jokes that aren't really funny. You'll get a little mean, but try to hold onto your kindness because you'll need it once you realize being mean is just a defensive measure.

Things will get better. High school, for one, will generally be better for you than this place. You'll cement some lasting friendships and make a few mistakes in that department as well. The good news is you're surprisingly good at willing yourself to forget. You'll make it to college with a clear idea of what you want to be and from there it's really smooth sailing. With a few bumps you'll waste some years on men who know nothing about you, fall in and out of love and accidentally end up dating your friend. My crystal ball's a little foggy here. He's not without his issues, but he's kind and gentle and he loves you. That much you can be sure of, even when it starts to get rough.

I know I won't change what you're about to do. You're a little cocky and rebellious and I know you won't listen. But it'll be okay in the end. You'll find your place. You'll try to run from it. You'll get sucked back in when the fear that you suck and no one's noticed yet subsides. And, somehow, chanting "I'm ok" will get you through the tears and the altogether bad days. Don't ask me how this works, I just know when you believe it, it tends to happen.

Oh, and sometime (I'm not sure when) you'll realize that kindness is the best way to get along with people and squash your enemies. You'll use that to your advantage everywhere and suddenly it will feel like you're almost popular without having to compromise your dignity. That's what you want now, right? You'll get it. You'll see.

For now, be tough. Keep telling them you'll emasculate them if they're not careful. And hang in there baby.

It's good to be you,
Me (2007)

Now, instead of a fever you get...

Riley's fever finally broke yesterday - after four straight days. I'd had a doctor's appointment for this morning but decided to keep it anyway, just in case.

So, this morning, as I'm dressing Riley I notice a bad rash around his ears and neck. I thought it was excema rearing its ugly head again.

At the doctor's, he does all the usual poking and prodding, and declares that although the worst's past becuase the fever's down, the rash means one of two things:

1) Something called ECHO virus
2) German Measles

My heart wilted quicker than the balloon Keira was feebly trying to blow up behind me. The doctor assured me that because both were virus's that nothing could be done except "waiting it out". Right. Riiiigghhhttt.

Could I be medicated instead? Please? Oh, go on.

"Dear Me" Project - Anonymous (June 1994)

Dear Me (June 1994),

Hey, congratulations on graduating high school. I suppose there wasn't really any doubt, but it seemed touch and go there for a while in junior high school (Attempted suicide at 14? Ahead of the curve a little, wouldn't you say?). And now it's on to college, or as some call it, "the best five or six years of your life." And after the sounds of the last graduation party have faded, and the spent cups and plates have been dropped into a Hefty cinch sack, the only advice I have to offer you is this: don't go.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you to never go to college; just delay the dive, put it off for a few years. You know why? 'Cause all that anger, fear and depression that you somehow managed to bottle up will come uncorked once you're on campus. And you know the laws of physics: energy compressed will always release with an exponentially greater payload. And my friend, you have kept it all so compressed, you'll be lucky to survive. Of course, after the smoke has cleared, and the rubble has shifted, you'll wish at times that you hadn't. What you should do, instead, is focus on therapy. Yeah, yeah, you've been in therapy since your eighteenth birthday, but your first therapist didn't work out, and you've pretty much been spoon-feeding your second one--nice guy that he is--exactly what he wants to hear. And believe you me, that ain't gonna help a thing. Point of fact, it'll come back to bite you directly in the ass in a few years, right around the time you meet a gorgeous redhead, and you suddenly find yourself in a relationship that actually has the potential for greatness, except for one thing: you're a mess. You're a walking Cubist painting, everything askew. And man, you're gonna wish you'd gotten all your baggage checked and properly stowed by then, 'cause it's gonna make things ten times more complicated than it needs to be. But, to the redhead's credit, she's tough, and she sticks through it, Lord knows how or why. No, my boy, what you need to do right now is knuckle down, go to the therapist, and explore all the messy, ugly corners of your head. You need to be knee-deep in the muck, three or four times a week, not once a week, which is what'll happen once you get to college, with its myriad distractions that come not weekly, but with every passing minute.

And by the way, when you get to college, and someone offers you that first drink, you tell 'em thanks, but no thanks. Alcoholism runs deep on both sides of your family, and let me assure you right now that it's one rip tide you're not going to outswim. And it's going to get ugly, and it's going to strip you down to the barest of bones, leaving you with little dignity, and fewer friends. And the only thing that's going to get you off the sauce will be a three-day bender of vomiting and diarrhea, thanks to the trio of peptic ulcers festering in your stomach. And you and I both know how much you hate vomiting. It'll be ugly, and there will be DTs (that you never mention to your family, 'cause they don't see it as a drinking problem. Everyone in the family drinks; no problem), but you'll come clean, with only one relapse. But that'll be five years of your life where you think you recall what happened, but you'll never be quite sure, though you'll remember acutely the shame and mortification.

So why don't you wait a while? You're young; college will be there when you're ready. Because as much as this is going to chagrin you, you're not ready. Hell, you're barely ready to handle life in its most diluted form, let alone the sudden freedom and directionless existence that collegiate life offers you. Hey, there's no shame in that. Scores of folks take time off to do the proverbial soul-searching. You just need to do a little more maintenance work than most. Because there will be things worth living for, no matter what you may think to yourself when no one is looking. And you're going to want to be as present and accounted for as you can be when you find them, trust me on this one. The older you get, the more your resolve deteriorates, and the harder it is to fight the depression and mania. And before you know it, suddenly, suicide will sound like a mighty tasty selection compared to the agony you wrestle with every moment. You need to get your opening salvos in the air sooner, rather than later, when they can do maximum damage. The enemy is devious, and firmly entrenched, and does not give ground easily. Trust me on this one, too. Just breathe, and take your time.

My best, Anonymous (2007)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Standing on the outside, looking in

This has been written for the "Dear Me" project

Dear Me (Early October 1996),

I’m sorry to be writing at such an inconvenient time. You are in the middle of your final exams and are still grieving over Tim and probably want to go and hide in a dark closet for the next five years. I don’t blame you, even now. Why am I writing? Because I know you will never get this letter and I really wouldn't want you too; just in case Michael J Fox comes plummeting down your driveway in a Delorean and that squeaky voice of his, babbling about the space/time continuum or whatever. If it were possible, though, I'd give you a heads up on what's about to come your way.

This month, perhaps next -I forget -you will get your first kiss. It comes at the pathetically late age of seventeen, but the reason for this might be apparent when you consider that instead of hitting the party circuit, you’re usually in bed by 8.30pm (yes, Chronic fatigue Syndrome sucks). This kiss’s quality was wretched, but in fairness to it’s deliverer you were new at the exercise and it came as a complete shock. You fobbed him off; you said you’d talk to him later. You even supposed that as he’d had the audacity to kiss you, this must mean that you were now a couple. This was galling because you didn’t actually like him back. It took a number of weeks of unanswered knocks at the door and avoiding eye contact for him to realize he was barking up the wrong tree. You always felt bad about this; that you’d never had the chance to apologise since, but since he’s gone on to get married, you can feel better he’s found happiness.

In two months, you will start your downward spiral into an eating disorder. It begins ‘innocently’: if by innocently you mean that your brain discovers it can split into two distinct patterns of reasoning. That vomiting can be SO EASY/ that it is BAD too, but can be stopped at ANY TIME. (so you thought). You remember the first time you deliberately rejected calories. Your cousin offered you a taste of some fan dangled new lolly. You took the sweet into your mouth, pushed it around with your tongue, pretended to swallow, then turned the corner of your grandparent’s house and spat it out onto the geraniums. It was simple: you could get the taste of it, but not the guilts. I won’t go into further details at this stage. You’ll have to experience the loss of hair, the constant toothaches, and the teeth indentations on your fingers as you pry your index finger down your esophagus. Soon enough, people begin to notice. But ‘notice’ doesn’t mean ‘intervene’. Don’t be angry at those you feel should’ve stepped in for your health’s sake. Sickness makes cowards out of those who love you most.

In a little over four months, you will begin university. The stress of this exacerbates your eating disorder. It also exacerbates your college psychologist, once you decide to go seek some help, who was probably sick of seeing umpteen girls parade into her office on a daily basis with nothing more than self esteem issues, nothing ‘serious’, for her to work on. You only see her three times before her rolling of her eyes (yes, you see that!) make you go on your recovery alone. This will be hard because there will be their fair share of horny, drunken, egomaniacal, cast-loose lot of latter-age teenage boys who, in their struggle to come to their own sense of selves, stamp on other’s. One boy in particular will be nasty. He will call you ‘slut’ in front of dorm mates. He calls you this because you turn him away from your door in the middle of the night. He may not have gone on to find his happiness. This news does not distress you.

But, there will be a light. I won’t say his name, but you will go on to marry him. He will be sweet. He will be shy in front of your family and you in front of his. He will buy you Jack Daniels, even though he can’t afford spirits. You can tell he is lovely because his friends are lovely. Though you still have several years ahead of you until you are fully ‘recovered’, he will be your stalwart. It will be good. It will all be good.

I’ve left stuff out. I can’t go into it all now, and I want you to have some surprises. I might write something else later. Like when you walked down a busy street with a towel wrapped around your head. I might even mention you've done that several times.

The kids you’ve always wanted? They come. And they’re sublime.

Take Care, Kiddo.

Karen (2007).

The "Dear Me" Project

The "Dear Me," Project

Have you ever wished you could go back in time? That if you could, you'd warn yourself not to date that man, or wear that outfit or hairstyle? To look after yourself better? To be kinder to yourself or others? What did you learn from these experiences? What can others learn?

Or would you like to gush about your wedding day? A party? Your children? Spoil the surprise, naturally, but celebrate what's to come.

Well, here's your chance!

I am issuing an invitation for anyone to enter the "Dear Me" Project. Spill the beans to us all and maybe even learn about yourself in the process.

What to do

It's simple, really. Link back to this original post (and feel free to use the above button if you wish) and then confess what you will in an open letter to yourself.

To keep the time differentiation clear, it might be best to address yourself "Dear Me (year of time of reference)" and signed "Love Me (2007). See my story for an example if unclear.

It is my hope to compile a list of participants below, so that we may share, laugh, cry, and nod our heads sagely at our past bloopers and triumphs. So please, email me your post's permalink and title, plus your name, to miscmum@gmail.com and wha-la! Instant therapy. I will add you accordingly and send you karmic good vibes for giving it a go.

It will be 'open' for an indefinite period of time, so don't feel like you need to rush. If you would like to join, but wish to remain anonymous, email me the letter and I can post it here instead.
Any comments, thoughts, on the "Dear Me" Project most welcome.


Miscellaneous Mum's Standing on the outside, looking in

Dear Me (June 1994)

Dear Me (May 1997)

Crazy Trace's
Maybe, just..rebel a bit...

Dear Me (Feb 1990)

The Brave's
Dear Me (August 1988)

To the girl who almost lost a digit back in '85

Dear Me (1987, Oshawa Ontario)

Dear Me (February 14 1990, Hartland WI)

Dear Me (September, 1986)

Mad Hatter at 41- February 23, 2007 *Huh? You'll think. Trust me, it works*

Dear Me (September 1, 1989)

Catherine McNeil's
An open letter to myself

Cordially, Future Dwight

Cinnamon Gurl's
Dear Katie (January 1992)

Dear Me in 1983

And They're All Made Out of Ticky-Tacky, Still They're Not All Just the Same

Dear Me (April 23rd 2003)

Dear 2003 Me

Feb 26th (2006) Dear the Me Of a Year Ago

Dear Golden Shining Little Girl, 1973

A Mother's Life For Me
Dear Me January 1991

Dear 2005 Me

Dear 2001 Me

Dear Me (Circa 1987)

Dear Me (Feb 21, 2005)

Mommy, the human napkin's
It's not always going to be about the big hair, New Kids On The Block, and popularity

Dear Me (early 1980's)

Dear Me (1996)

Dear Me (May 1987)

Musings of a Housewife's
Dear Me (August 4, 1995)

Rocks in my Dryer's
Dear Me (1987)

Tracey's Dear Me, 1997

Dear Me 1982

Dear Me 1990

Dear Me 1991

Dear Me 2003

Dear Me 1992

Dear Me 2003

Mercy's Maid Dear Me 1990-ish

Farmer's Wife
Dear Me Circa 1997

Dear Me 1991

Dear Me

Tessa's Dear Tessa in 1997

Dear Me (April 2002)

Dear Me 1992

Girls' Gone Wild
Dear GGW of 1987

Barbara's Dear Me in 1973

Life and Time of Leish's
Dear Me Summer 1993

Beth's Dear 1995 Me

Jellyjules' Dear 1987 J

Dear Me 1997

Generation Xhausted's Letter to myself, June 1983

Starshine's Dear 1985 Me

Sarantium's Dear Me 1998

Kim Wilson's
The present seeing the past looking to the future

Jennifer's Dear 1997 Me

Riley's "New" Room

We cleaned out Riley's room on the weekend. By cleaning it out, I mean actually 'giving' it to him in a sense because he, and Keira before, when she was a baby, has been sharing his space with our double bed/come spare room.

Before now, this arrangement has worked well. On bad nights, when he's permanently attached to my breast, I just snuggle down in the bed and doze. I dress him on the bed. It was all good.

Except there was barely any room to move in there. Claustrophobia looms for my little guy, methinks.

So we decided to pack up the bed and make the room his properly. Our ulterior motive (aha! you're not the altruistic parents you claim to be, you say. No, of course not. You're probably not either! NER...) was to free up the toy crap that's invaded our lounge room.

Riley's face was a treat once the area was clear was priceless. You could see his mind working: The scary amount of dead flies and dust bunnies have, at last disappeared! I don't have to be oh, so ironic! by quoting Hamlet's line "I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space" anymore!

He'll enjoy it once he's better. He's just puked on me for the third time this morning. You can probably inhale the vomit fumes from where you're reading?


Lucky you.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, January 22, 2007

Worst. Night. Ever

Remember when I said that Adam and I these days rarely have an intelligible conversation? Well, last night we did. At 3am. Then 4am. And at other times too many to mention. Riley got worse, and his fever was making him a very unhappy chappy. So, in between screams, Adam and I held hands in bed and shot the breeze.

I mean, what else can you do at such times?!

In the end, he gave up and caught the 4.48am train into work and I dragged Riley into our bed where, after numerous changed positions, Riley feel asleep in my arms with the satisfied smile on his face which plainly meant, "This is what I wanted all along, woman!"

Ech. I'm tired.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

When caffeine is not your friend

This morning we went to McDonalds because we were bored and, frankly, have no lives. It was still early and both kids had the impetuous energy of dogs who hadn't been walked yet. It was, as ever, immensely satisfying to walk in to see other families in the same situation as ours.

Kids who threw strops because it wasn't Happy Meal time yet; because we wouldn't buy yet another useless toy, because he was hungry and just HAD to have his babycinno then and there; and then mum was displeased when said babycinno was 90% milk and the froth that was present quickly dissolved into nothingness.

Wait. That might just've been us.

I asked Adam to get me a coffee as I took Keira to the toilet. When I returned there was - I swear - an URN of the stuff in front of me which I proceeded to down and spent the rest of the day regretting.

Caffeine and I have a loving, if precarious, relationship. On a good day we afford each other good tidings and congratulations on making my life happier. On bad days, and I've had too much of my lover, I am jittery and my hands become palsied. Which does nothing for my typing skills, unless I'm trying to write in some WW11 code which I doubt even the Enigma machine could crack. I overeat to compensate in the hopes extra food will sop up the excess, which is redundant because by then its in my bloodstream.

Spare a thought too for Riley. He gets it through the breast milk. Although I have as yet to see any affect* it has on him, if he grows up to be a IT genius, programmer-come-rogue hacker, with a Jolt Cola or coffee cup permanently glued to his hands, we'll know who to thank, won't we?

Wait, there might've been an affect. The poor boy had come down with a bit of a fever this afternoon and had not been a happy chappy. Dang.

*Or is that 'effect'. Please, enlighten me.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Because I need to feel loved...you know, more than I already do

The 2007 Australian Blog Award Nominations are open (and good thing I just found out!) over here.

Disclaimer: I have no real idea how this process works. I do know, however, that I am a VICTORIAN. This is a PERSONAL blog and it's shiny and NEW. (Those pointed hints may help you discern what category I belong in)

Hey, the nominations officially closed a few weeks ago, from what I can gather. Who cares?! Some nominations have still been trickling in.

It can't hurt.

Thank you. That would make me feel very happy. Note the small writing: I am not begging. Really, I'm not. But if you come back and tell me you nominated me, I will lavish virtual kisses upon your sweet face.

Apologies and Questions

I've just re-read the entries of the past week and I apologise. Content? Meagre. Length? The usual brevity - which, I normally prefer, but I've been falling on the ugly side of par lately.

I was going to rectify this by recounting the surreal day I had yesterday which I've already mentioned in passing, but after giving it some deep consideration have discovered it might have some real legs for an article or something. So to cover any future copyrighted butt I have, I won't go into details but I do have a question I'm hoping some of you can answer.

I dream a lot. Dreams that can blacken the toenails and re-code your DNA. Stuff that makes you question your life and your motives and your soul. Stuff that Edvard Munch would seize upon gleefully and turn into a masterpiece. You think I'm referring to nightmares though? No, not entirely-- although my nocturnal witnessing of Eddie McGuire singing "Doe Re Mi" dressed as a nun from "The Sound of Music" was anything but pleasant.

My question? Do you ever dream of people (namely celebrities) and visualise their life and wake up and feel yours is totally inadequate in comparison? Or have even wondered it whilst completely conscious?

I'd be interested to know.

Friday, January 19, 2007

You really love me!

After a surreal day (more of which later) I've just come in to check my stats to see some people have checked in many times today, positively rabid - it seems - to discover what's going on in our household.

Which is very nice, I must say, if not a little intimidating!

So, I hope these few words will get you by...

Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Uh, kids? Helloooo?

Kids, it's 7.35am. You're usually up by now. Even if Riley's not, Keira has usually materialised at my bedside long before now, inches from my face, saying (loudly) "Mum, Keira's awake!"

She speaks of herself in the 3rd person still. It's still cute, although I'm starting to wonder when she'll start sounding like "The Todd" from Scrubs.

So, I'm sitting here, showered, dressed, breakfasted, have managed to read all my blogs of the day (all 50-odd of them). You know, I'm even considering cleaning the kitchen.

Normally, I wouldn't be fussed, but today is the first day back at playgroup. Yes! I finally get to have some adult interaction!

So, hurry up kids! It's starting soon!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Reporting to you live from the world's current furnace

Photo taken from The Age. It shows the court temperature in Fahrenheit from the Australian Open yesterday. Almost off the charts!

Did I say yesterday was hot? It only got worse. There have only been a few times in my life when I have literally wanted to drop to my knees and kiss God's feet in gratitude:

  • When the pain finally subsided from a burst ovarian cyst.
  • When the door finally opened in a malfunctioning carnival ride, after I had been stuck inside in the dark for about 15 minutes, barely keeping hold of my sanity. Gee I wonder why I'm a tad claustrophobic?!

But we may have another example. Yesterday, approximately 1/3 of Victoria lost its power when the bushfires affected the energy grid. On a 40 degree day, that is one thing I could not have handled. Ours, blessedly, stayed on. Thank you, thank you, thank you, sweet Jesus! What would I have done with the kids? I couldn't even had put them in the kiddie pool outside - we're not allowed to fill it! And if the power was out, I doubt a trip to the supermarket or mall would've been effective either. Either they were out too - or the masses would have converged.

Last night didn't improve. Despite the air cooler, Riley's room stayed at a hot 27 degrees, 3 higher than what his little thermometer deemed "comfortable". Damn right. Poor Keira's room was no better. I got up this morning to learn the temperature outside never dipped below 30 degrees.
And we still have at least 2 more days of this ahead!

"Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change..."

Also, spare a thought for the poor pregnant woman, Adam told me, who was stuck in a lift with 10 other people when the power went out. If that'd been me, I'd have chewed my way through the steel with superhuman strength for my liberty!


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Heat wave of a Hadean ilk

I often complain of the heat. Today, though, I think I'm allowed. God, don't know how the tennis players can put up with it (I guess that's why they get big bucks).

Nonetheless, it's a great opportunity to do the washing. And I have oodles of it today. Keira wet through her sheets last night; ours have been on our bed so long I can trace out stains with my finger; and our bedspread has tiny, little footprints all over it.

So hopefully, if I don't burn my feet on the decking timber because, yes, it's THAT hot, I can fry some brightness and crispness back into my linen. It's positively screaming to me, all 500+ thread count of it, "You bought me; now you're abusing me. Wench."

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 15, 2007

From these lemons you get...well, lemons, but a different tasting variety

Who needs Goals? Most of us, it would seem. It is a word I often use, but, honestly, ‘goal’ is such an arbitrary word, often abused in the attempt to sound driven and energetic. For example, it was my goal this morning to write this piece out on my back deck, with Keira to play happily beside me with her bucket of water, whilst Riley has his morning nap inside. Doesn’t that sound delightfully bacchanalian for Keira and restorative for Riley?

The reality? Keira has had a miniature tantrum because I will not let her change clothes for the tenth time because, yet again, SHE HAS SPILLED WATER ON HERSELF AND IT’S ICKY. And Riley? He is still in there crying as I type, as he settles himself off to sleep. Why is he crying? Who knows? Should I go in there? I am bombarded with these kinds of domestic questions instead of being able to concentrate. I realize my plans (read: goals) are headed down the plughole and that everyday circumstances often thwart best intentions. We languish in the land of ‘if onlys’.

I’m the worst for letting this become an excuse for, then, not doing things. Surrendering to malaise. For example, if I didn’t get a chance for research during the day, come night time, and I can, I mostly opt for bed, where I can stretch out with a book for a blessed amount of brief time before sleep beckons. Then the next day I curse myself for not being productive. I should even spare a thought for Adam who may – but likely not – have had an intelligible conversation with me: not one that includes somewhere in its midst the words, ‘poo’, ‘wee’, ‘discipline’, ‘bedtime’ or any other that comes as a toddler’s parent.

This is when I wonder if perhaps I can re-define a ‘goal’ to be a certain kind of compromise. For say if I do go to bed, I could take the laptop with me and tap away. I could then sleep with a reasonable amount of satisfaction and this satisfaction could, hopefully, reset my whacked out REM patterns of late.

Wow – maybe unmet goals aren’t as bad as we think. Maybe their just karma's way of offering a different perspective because, wouldn’t you know it, Riley’s gone to sleep as I’ve been writing this and Keira is now happily sitting beside me, eating a plate of cheese and biscuits. And I’ve finished here.

Mission accomplished.

What ‘goals’ of yours have been getting you down because you think they’re too hard? Can they be redefined instead?

This has been written for Scribbit's Write Away Contest

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Keira, artiste extraordinaire

Yesterday, Keira was drawing on her etch-a-sketch. She drew this*:

Me: What's that?

Her: An eye.

I was impressed by her wanting to draw an eye, but wondered its oversized nature. Where was the second one to go? If, indeed, she was wanting a conventional look. Who know, she may be an impressionist.

Then, she added this:

Her: Now, there are two eyes.

Of course! It was a face to start with!

All it needed was some embellishments** and it was complete!
Please note, this alien is not giving you the finger, as Adam first believed. He is, in fact, making a peace sign. Upon reflection, perhaps this is why many of the wars of the world have been waged: due to an insufficient ability to recognise the simplest of hand signals.

*This drawing is a reenactment. I did it myself. Rest assured, her's was much better.
**Embellishments also done by me; these time originals.

Labels: ,

YouTube Time

Remember Biff from "Back to the future"? Well, he's pretty funny, who'd've thunk it. This video would suit those around at the time when the movies were big; before they were consigned to filler spots if the cricket gets rained out, for example. I actually saw BTTF III at the movies, which means I guess I'm starting to show my age!

Video found thanks to Adam, who's become a YouTube junkie.

Friday, January 12, 2007

My site is about our family: me (Karen), my husband (Adam) and our two children Keira (3) and Riley (1).

I was born and raised in Kempsey, a small town on the NSW mid-north coast. Like most youth who lived there, I could not wait to grow up and get out. Now though, I like being able to tell people I grew up in the country. Go figure.

I was raised a pretty strict Catholic. Now I suppose I'm what they call "lapsed" but I still believe in God. I think. I don't like talking about religion, if you haven't guessed already. Let’s just say I believe in trying to be a good person. Some need doctrine and rules to do that; others don’t.

I went to university. I enjoyed academic life: so much so I had a Master’s degree in Literature by the time I was twenty-one and realised that I really should get out into the workforce at some point because poverty sucks. Like most youth, I drank too much. I quickly realised that this self-destructive behaviour was not for me. My liver and other organs thank me.

I am essentially a boring person, although a few crappy things have happened to me to round me out a little as an individual. I used to have an eating disorder. I have a mild form of anxiety. I've had a few illnesses which are too boring to mention here, but are in their own way still relevant.

Food and I have a great relationship now--except when I ate a $1 meat pie bought from the supermarket. I got what I deserved.

I have worked crap jobs (McDonalds; service attendant at a Shell Petrol station) and 'decent' white-collar jobs (publishing assistant; event co-ordinator). Working is good, although people do treat you differently at each. At least its money.

I have quite pedestrian political views--but that doesn't mean I don't care what our governments do with our taxes. Becoming a mother has opened my eyes a lot.

I spend far too much time on the computer.

I am a writer. “Oh God, another writer” you say. I try not to be too pretentious about my writing. I don’t pretend to be a genius, but give me a novel to analyse or deconstruct and I am a bull terrier. I can turn a mean sentence when I try to. While I make light here, let me stress that there's nothing like the thrill of seeing your own words in print. Your take on life, or your attempt to reinterpret it, has been authenticated.

I get a little tired of Keira fondling my breasts.

Same with Riley.

Same with Adam.

I wish Keira would stop patting my stomach and saying "Baby in there?" Darling, whether it’s wishful thinking on your part, or desperate reassurance that it’s NOT going to happen, it kind-of hurts mum’s feelings. It's not THAT big.

I used to look like this
(yes, this is one of those wanky glamour shots)

Now, for the most part, I look like this. Or in a similar capacity.

About Miscellaneous Mum

It's about what interests me. Although I am a mum, I'm not 'just' a mum. If I want anyone to take away something with them from here, it's that thought.

So, you may find gossip, trivia, media reviews, shopping ideas, recipes, family anecdotes, links, pictures and anything else that takes my fancy. Chances are, we probably have a fair bit in common.

I accept the following: comments, praise, money, blog-topic suggestions, food parcels, money, jewelry, and anything else that's likely to make it into the yuppie inserts that come in the Saturday newspapers. I like to live vicariously.

I do NOT accept: spam, hate-mail, unwarranted abuse, or invitations to join any or all political parties or religious groups. I'm thinking of starting my own.If I get any of the above, I reserve the right to do with them as I see fit.

Clouds with silver linings do exist

I've been struggling this week. For some reason, I've been suffering a bit of insomnia - not like me at all - and when you factor that in with Riley's usual tricks of waking every 2.5 hours in the night, plus the heat, plus Keira's usual exuberance and, well, I'm spent. Normally I can count on Adam a bit to pick up my slack, but he's been working late nights. Last night alone he did not get home until 10.30pm.

When I get sleep deprived to this degree, that's when the little anxiety gremlins in my mind start busting out of their little dormant cocoons. For example, for the past few days three sex offenders have been loose in the city, after escaping from a high security facility (well, supposedly high security. They let themselves out with a key). So, naturally, every time I hear the house settle, or there's a noise out the front, I freeze and prepare myself for an immanent house invasion. Thank God they were caught this morning, but you get the picture.

Now, to make this story a bit brighter. This morning I logged onto the computer and checked my emails and found a message from the researchers of this, telling me they'd heard of my interest and to personally encourage me to try and get something together, if I can. I can't express just how much that has helped my...emotional buoyancy, I guess you'd call it.

So thanks Shana and May. I will try.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Decision Made!

Thanks to all who gave me advice here (or just scroll down the screen a bit!). I just bought online some nice (and cheap!) labels and I let Keira pick out the colours and design herself, so she felt all important. I think that makes everyone happy.

Cheers, again

Beach re-cap #3

This was taken at the headland at South West Rocks, in the afternoon when the lengthening shadows really bring out the reds, oranges and browns of the rocks. Where the land inlets to the left is a bay called Horseshoe Bay, which is a safe swimming beach and where the last re-cap picture of Riley was taken. It strikes me as a great place to have wedding photos taken. Wait a moment!.........

What a great idea!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Advice Wanted

Don't sweat, nothing too deep and meaningful.

Keira starts her orientation at preschool in a few weeks and of course I have to send her along with all her materials marked "THIS IS MINE!" (otherwise, I'm sure her name will be just as appropriate).

When I read all the kiddie magazines, I see lovely, elaborate personalised stickers I can send away for, or buy the machine thing to do it myself. The machine would be quite naffy, as I could then go around the house and, say, put "fridge" on the fridge, or "toothbrush" on Adam's toothbrush and really piss him off. But I digress...

Or, we could go the "just use a black marker pen" route, which is what Adam is gunning for.

"Black texta was perfectly good for us, it'll do for her" he says, which is true, sure, but I'm not 100% convinced.

As Keira has not been in care (other than those three disastrous weeks, and even there it wasn't required. I don't think) I'm still a novice at such matters.
What do you all think? Thanks :)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A visit to the library pays off

Today, on one of our bi-weekly trips to the library, we got the motherload of all books. Keira alone scored 24. Well, I say 24, but it's really 20, because two were DVDs and two were CDs. But still, impressive. This was because - or perhaps in spite of - it being holiday time, when most kids are in fact outside playing or away with their families, or have better things to do with their time.

(Scrap "better things to do". I should say "alternative things to do")

Out of this haul I should be able to put together another "What we're reading list" because although it's a bit of trouble to compile, it's also fun.

That's about all. Keira has had a fall in the driveway and skinned her elbows and kness and is nursing her injury by watching one of the new DVDs we got today - Hi-5, naturally. Never mind Christmas is acutally over!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Here we go with bling again

Keira's best buddy is coming around soon for a play. Since learning this, she has been running around, finding tiara's, necklaces, bracelets, (clip on) earings etc to adorn herself.

This friend is a BOY. I am fairly certain if I'd've said a GIRL was coming, she wouldn't have gone to as much trouble.

I am certain that at this age, this eagerness to please and impress is innocent and harmless. I would cringe a little if she is doing the same thing in twenty years time. Or shouldn't I? What's wrong with looking nice, especially for a friend?

Maybe I've been schlubbing around too long.

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Panic systems are go!

Scene: Loaded up and driving into the city, about a half hour drive away, going into see an old friend who's in town at the moment from Japan. Kids in back, DVD on. All's fine.

Me: Did you put Keira in a nappy? (Keira's almost one week in underpants has gone really well. But we decided to safeguard today)
Adam: No! I thought you were going to
Me: No, I just reminded you that she was, I never put my hand up to do it.

Take note, now we're on the Freeway and can't stop, so we both look back fearfully into the backseat and at Keira, frightened, because suddenly her bladder's contents are as volatile as nitroglycerin and could blow at any moment...

Adam: There's a service station on Hoddle St. We'll pull in there.

Luckily, instead of a saturated back seat, I find it hand strokingly dry and I kissed Keira's head for her holding on, because as soon as I put her on that toilet she did a great big wee.

That's all for today. I am a tad unwell. My vertigo has returned and so I'm walking around feeling as if though I'm on a boat rocking in the midst of the Perfect Storm

Labels: ,

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A new dimension of domestic happiness

This year, for the first time ever, Adam and I have signed up for a newspaper delivery service. For four days out of the week our paper will be thrown out of some local's car window towards, roughly, hopefully, the direction of our letterbox.

Big deal, may say some of you. Not me! I feel like now I'm in a whole new world; each morning, I can amble out in my nightgown, lean over and grunt as I pick up the news of the world, stand back up again and couch the small of my back in my hand and wish I wasn't feeling so old; just like I see on any number of American (or for that matter, Australian) television shows. If I'm really lucky, I'll see a neighbour and wave and say "Mornin'!" brightly. I may appraise the weather and decide what clothes will be appropriate to wear that day. I may even take a deep breath and take a moment to enjoy this new day of life I've been blessed to be given.

That, or, I may have to bring along my toddler - nay, almost preschooler- who insists on coming and unwrapping the plastic, as if it's a present, in between wanting to run out in the traffic: or, I can bounce a 10kg+ (20+ pound) baby on my hip and realise again just why my spine is dangerously unaligned. All this whilst trying to keep my dressing-gown tied up. I don't think the neighbours would appreciate a streaker. Or maybe they would?

Conclusion: if all continues well, I may be one step off warm fuzzy slippers, or embark on a quest to perfect a home-made martini, or some other symbol of 1950's glamour.

Or not.


Friday, January 05, 2007

Your typical morning in the family household

Well, it's 8.30am, and already Keira is out the back watering the garden (in reserved bathwater from last night - may I add. Don't want to get into trouble with the water police). Did I mention she was nude? No? Sorry, I thought that was a given as these days she is stripping nude quicker than...well, any metaphor you can think to insert here. I'm letting her do this because a) it must already be 25 degrees outside so b)she'll be cooped up later.

And Riley? Well, he's lost his appetite these past few days, so isn't eating much breakfast. To keep his interest in sitting in the high chair, i give him a second teaspoon to play with, but he's discovered if he holds it up defensively he can halt the procession of food to his mouth and so we end up looking like a pair of duelling swordsmen out of an Errol Flynn movie and so eventually I give up.

What's going on where you live?

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Darling, does the word 'plagiarism' mean anything to you?

This morning I got an email from ####, our airline from last week, apologising for our lost luggage again (not a personal email, no, yet another "this is an automated message" and we were warned not to reply to it as they would not receive it. Ha.). I found this odd as I had not sent them an email. I scrolled down to the original message and it was my blog entry from last week, cut and paste in its entirity!!!

Adam dear, next time you rage against 'da man', how's about letting me know first? Then next time I can really put together something to make 'em quiver and, hopefully, break down into tears and beg for us to take a complimentary round the world trip, or something?

Labels: , ,

A mish-mash day

I couldn't sleep last night (ironic, as Riley slept better for a change) but then from about 4am onward I had vivid dreams, one including my old dream-pal James Spader, so needless to say I've woken up this morning a little befuddled and not in the least bit sorry he visited me nocturnally ;)

I don't have much news today, other than it's hot, hot and once again I think we'll be confined indoors from lunchtime onwards.

But I did want to refer you all to this awesome site of Jason's

Thanks to him I've discovered some great stuff out there. Like, I have a brain that is neither male or female (like him). Or, if you know my love of maps, I was very excited to find a site devoted to strange maps. Our sci-fi or comic fans amongst us will enjoy seeing a map of Gotham City, or Tatooine. Plus, he uploads stuff all the time.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Something for me to mull over

I caught the below listing first at A Mama's Rant. The text is taken from here


Demeter Press is seeking submissions for the edited collection
Mothering and Blogging: Practice and Theory

Deadline for Abstracts: March 1, 2007
Publication Date: Spring 2008
Editors: May Friedman, Shana L. Calixte

Critical mothering and writing about motherhood have, in the last few years, begun to engage with a new form of communication. All over the Internet, mommy bloggers are commenting on the radical act of being mothers and women within a world hostile to both of these identities. What are some of the questions posed by this new context for motherhood? What are the implications for sites of marginalization and diversity within the blogosphere? This new book by Demeter Press will seek to interrogate some of the complexities of the mamasphere through both creative and scholarly submissions. We encourage applicants from a range of experiences, in both community and academic contexts.

Abstracts/Proposals (250-300 words) due March 1, 2007
Acceptances will be made by May 1, 2007
Accepted submissions due September 1, 2007

Completed papers should not exceed fifteen pages (3750 words) and should be formatted according to MLA guidelines.

Please send inquiries and abstracts/proposals to:
May Friedman and Shana L. Calixte
mayf@yorku.ca, shana@yorku.ca
Graduate Programme in Women's Studies
York University
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON
M3J 1P3


Now, I find this subject both intellectually plausible and interesting. I'd love to get something together, but I'm not sure what to write about. And even if I came up with an idea, to crank my brain back up into academic jargon-land will be hard.

Still, the word count is extremely doable.

What do you all think?


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Another year has begun in earnest

It could be my imagination, but I'm sure Adam positively skipped back off to work this morning. Although he claims to hate the drudgery of work -him, and the rest of mankind- he also enjoys seeing his work buddies, so they can all talk about their computer gaming over their so-called "team meetings" and "coffee".

Whereas I have to brace myself for another year of full-time 'mummydom' with all it's highs and lows.

Today's high:

Walking back home from the bank, Keira suddenly stops and theatrically rubs her brow.

"Mum" she said. "I need a coffee"

Of course, for her, a trip to the coffee shop = strawberry milkshake, but sheesh, I'm glad no-one else heard!


Monday, January 01, 2007

2007 - Greetings!

(I'm sick of reading "Happy New Year, I thought I'd try something different in my title)

How was everyone's New Year's Eve? Mine? Well, as usual, I was in bed at 10pm, but was probably up with Riley at Midnight-ish anyway, so I'm going to count that as 'seeing it in'.

This morning, typically, I turned on the TV to see all the morning talk shows devoted to the theme - "How to keep your New Year's Resolutions". I enjoy (no - enjoy is the wrong word) I take advantage of this time and I do make what I suppose is a 'resolution' (s), but I prefer to think of them as goals.

What I find sad is how so many people make resolutions (I'm talking good ones here- the 'I will not eat chocolate' ones never stick) and don't see them through. I am one of those people, sometimes, too. And sometimes our intentions are thwarted by external factors. For example, for the past few years it's been my goal to keep in touch with friends/family better. So I do the usual email update thing and think that's it, good job. Then I get really frustrated, dare I say upset, when these communicados are not reciprocated and I think "Bugger this" and stop. So who's fault is it then when I end the year and not have a clue what some of my nearest and dearest have been thinking/feeling/doing/trying? Not sure. Perhaps I am approaching the resolution in the wrong spirit, or the wrong direction.

OK, enough philosophising. I know you're wanting some sort of list, so here's what I wish I could do in 2007. But because I am hardly a time-leisured person, I know they'll never happen. Maybe. Who knows? We might win the lottery (actually, we did on the weekend, but I hardly think 5th division counts).

In 2007 I wish I could:

1) Learn more about the arts. I love galleries and such, but am sick of wandering around feeling like a philistine. It's not enough for me to just point at a picture and say 'I like that'. I want to know why its good.
2) Learn more about photography. Same reasons as above.
3) Not be so scared to plan activities just in case "it interferes with the kid's naps". I know why I'm afraid if Riley doesn't get his daily quota now (you should just see him have a sleep-deprived meltdown) but hopefully as the year goes on and he gets older, it won't play as much of a factor.
4) Get fitter. Ha!! you say, everyone says that. Well, yes and no. Most people say they want to lost weight. I have pretty much lost all my baby fat. No, I want to get fitter. I want to be able to spontaneously get up and dance if a Wiggles song comes on TV. I can do that now, but usually regret it later with a torn muscle.
5) Get more work done. My writing work. Have I said I feel like Holly Hunter in The Piano much lately?

I'd better scooch off my butt here. I hope you're all nursing hangovers this morning, because you know what they say, 'bad day after means great night before'.

Labels: , ,