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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Random Thoughts....on Hi-5

It isn't any secret to those of us in Australia - who read the tabloids - that Kellie and Nathan are engaged to be married. At Christmas-time when their "exclusive" interview was published, I read it eagerly, to find out any juicy gossip. Not that there was much, but they did admit they've been together pretty much since Hi-5 began.

Naturally, since then, when I'm forced to watch watching avidly, I pay especial attention to those two off-camera love-birds, and I have noticed something: they are rarely in the same scene, and when they are, they don't have much to do with each other. It's as if the producers are worried about their sexual chemistry rubbing off on to the psyches of innocent children. Would there be any other reason? Kellie is mostly seen with Tim and Nathan is mostly seen with Kathleen, and, well, the less said about that gadfly Charli the better*.

I feel like starting a chant "Let Kellie and Nathan be free to express their love!!!"

I wonder also if they're frustrated? Do they feel like Romeo and Juliet, doomed for separation by forces more powerful than themselves? Perhaps they're relieved: I mean, how many times can you goof off professionally before your loved one before you start to worry if you're making a bad impression?

Hang on......goofing off professionally? That's what I DO everyday.

Good luck to 'em.

*I am jealous because she's everybody's favourite.

Friday, March 30, 2007

My life is a Jim Steinman song

Every now and then I get a little bit lonely*......

Riley is sick this week and we've been sequestered in the house, venturing out only to the chemist or the mail box.

Every now and then I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound of my tears...

Well, his tears, as he's crying 50% of the time he's awake. The other 50% he's on the breast.

Every now and then I get a little bit angry and I know I've got to get out and cry...

On Sunday, I had the house in a pristine state. By Tuesday morning it looked like London during the blitz and nothing, nothing I tried to do could fix it. I've had no sleep. Excess caffeine is making me ill, but it's the only thing making me operate. I'm eating six sandwiches in a sitting, I'm so hungry from all of Riley's breastfeeding. "It has to stop soon" I say to myself, and then I want to weep because I'm not sure I'm ready.

Then I see Keira staring at us from the couch with reproachful eyes, and I know she's suffering too, from Riley's constant irritability.

Every now and then I know you'll always be the only boy who wanted me the way that I am...

Yet for all my frustration, his cries move me. He scrabbles for my legs and will not let go. His angry gums radiate pain; he is a bundle of raw nerves. His fever burns my skin; I can barely imagine how he feels. He doesn't want me to; he just wants to be held.

Every now and then I know there's no one in the universe as magical and wondrous as you ....

My poor, beautiful boy. Get better soon. Please.

Every now and then I know there's nothing any better and there's nothing I just wouldn't do ...

Amen Bonnie. Sing it to me loud. You'll have to at the moment: who needs a wind machine in this house when you've got Riley passing it straight from a Dantean circle of hell?

*Total Eclipse of the Heart, Jim Steinman. The man knows how to write a power ballad.

Edited to add: I wrote this two days ago. We turned a corner yesterday afternoon and he is happier now. Well, at least he slept better through the night, which is always a good sign.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thirteen Things Happening in Our Household This Week

  1. Projectile Vomit - Riley did his first projectile vomit on Sunday. Adam was mesmerised. Unfortunately, we were in a busy cafe at the time and felt the scorn of other patrons burning through our skulls as they sucked down their soft eggs.
  2. Sick - Consequently, Riley has been ill this week. More on that tomorrow.
  3. Keira's New Bike - is going great guns. She can make it move under her own propulsion now
  4. Keira's talking - a neighbour mentioned in passing she thought Keira has a little lisp. If she does, it would be from the thumb-sucking. What do you reckon, family? Next time you're here, listen carefully for me and tell me what you think.
  5. Picture Book Story Draft #2 - is complete and nearing as close as I think possible to being 'done'.
  6. Daylight savings - has ended, making the kids irritable with time readjustment. And mum and dad.
  7. Keira's faces - as per yesterday's photo, she's taken to mugging for the camera. We've got an actress on our hands.
  8. I'm getting Tummy Rolls - I need to start exercising again. Bad.
  9. Keira's preschool wrote - and set a date for her to start properly. Oxygen masks for mum on standby.
  10. Reading Anne of Green Gables - It's not on the 1001 Books challenge, but everybody's talking about it lately. While I've watched the 1980's mini-series a hundred times, I've never actually read the books - that's if you don't count me frantically thumbing through the latter ones in the desperate search to see Anne and Gilbert 'getting it on' because, yes, that's the kind of depraved person I am.
  11. Finished Nick Hornby's The Complete Polysyllabic Spree . Great food for thought on books and reading. I've taken notes and may, sometime this milennia, post them up.
  12. The Biggest Loser - thank God Bob and Jillian are back because the show undoubtedly has more pep when they're around. Who's going to win?
  13. Happy Birthday to my sister for Friday! Twenty- Six! Positively old!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Because my family are begging for photos....

....just not perhaps this one

Caption: for some reason, Adam and I are reminded of Different Strokes:

"Wha'cha talkin' 'bout, Willis?"

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

1001 Books Challenge- The Monk by Matthew Lewis

My first book choice to review is not a random one. It's not even the best, by a long shot. However, The Monk has a special place in my heart because it is the novel my Masters of Literature thesis was about. If anyone ever stumbles upon "Some Freudian interpretations of Matthew Lewis' The Monk", caress its spine and give it a big kiss for me.

One of the most famous novels to come out of the Gothic era, The Monk is a tale of the pride and downfall of an arrogant Monk and the terrible consequences of his acts upon others.

The setting is medieval Spain, where castles and monasteries hide troves of terrible secrets; but the largest sin belongs to the Capuchin abbot, Ambrosio. His initiation into the sexual world eventually results in rape and murder to satisfy his depraved urges. As the climax builds, when the separate subplots come to mix with his, the reader cannot help but be struck by the novel’s power, complexity and even claustrophobic qualities. None of the characters will go unpunished; but who will have the happy ending? Will any of them?

Matthew Lewis was only nineteen at the time of its writing and reportedly completed it in ten weeks (and boy am I jealous). A four hundred-page tome of sex, witchcraft and incest, The Monk is guaranteed to add spice to your reading pleasure.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

I have various feelings about books of this sort. One is deep cynicism ('Great Books' and there are apparently only FOUR Australians?! You've got to be kidding) and it would be easier to debate the omissions rather than the inclusions. Then the morbid part of me questions whether, once you're dead, you're really going to care if you've read one or all 1001 anyway.

If not, I'm sure God will fill you in on all the grey areas you missed. I'm sure he's amenable in that respect.

They're the quibbles.

On the other hand, the competitive, knowledge-thirsty part of me wants to tackle the challenge. I doubt I will ever, ever, finish them all because I have already begun many of the titles only to put them down for various reasons: boredom being the most prevalent. Yes, OK, 'Art' should be celebrated, but most titles have greater meanings and destinies than to find a place in my humble little soul. Besides, (my) life's too short for books that aren't engaging.

So my goal is to review books from the list that I believe ought to be there. This is my version of this particularly detailed meme (examples of which may be found here and here) that is currently doing the rounds and make my eyes crust over with the obvious labour of compilation.

I will make this a continuing project, and put it on the sidebar so those of you who are interested can chart my progress. Or put in your own two-cents worth. Or do your own. Here, I'll make it easy for you. Here is the complete list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.

How many have you read? You may be surprised.

Read: The Monk, Dracula, Wide Sargasso Sea, The end of the affair, Rebecca, Jane Eyre, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lolita, Great Expectations, To Kill a Mockingbird , What Maisie Knew, King Solomon's Mines, The Secret Agent, Middlesex

Abandoned: Fear of Flying and Captain Corelli's Mandolin

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bicycles and Laughs

We picked up Keira's birthday present early yesterday. We've gotten her a pushbike with training wheels and a steer bar at the top, both of which are detachable for when she learns to ride properly. And because we pander to her pink-fantasies, this bike is said colour, with tassles coming off the handlebars and a little basket on the front, pretty much big enough to carry one single cherry-sized cherry. She also got a new helmet. We were going to get her a unisex Wiggles one, because we are cheap, and at least Riley would get wear out of it once she grows out of it, but no, we caved as soon as we saw her eyes clap upon the PINK one with FAIRIES on it.

Because we live just around the corner from the bike shop, we let her 'ride' (read: Adam push) home. Passersby were treated to screams of "I love my new bike!" "Look at my new helmet - fairies!"

Then, because it had been a nice day, and because we were in a spendy mood, instead of renting "Little Miss Sunshine" from the video store, we bought it at Coles. It was worth it too; I haven't laughed like that in a long time.

Today marks the end of daylight savings here in Australia. So, I have an extra hour today. Which I would normally be rapturous about, but today only means I have no excuse NOT to clean this house.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Just call us 'Castle el Diablo'

Adam: "What's that stench in the lounge room and out the front of the house?"
Me: "I know, I smelt that too"
Adam: "Smells like dead rat to me"
Me: "That's my thought. At least the pest man did his job properly"

Unfortunately, the innocent visitor to our abode will over the next few days be walking up to our doorstep and be boxed up the nose by parfume-de-abattoir.

We had thirty-plus (Celsius, I have to keep reminding people...) degree heat yesterday, so that probably accelerated the decomposition*, but now its raining hard and cooler so we're going to have to put pegs over our noses. Maybe. Let's hope not.

*I can't believe I'm talking about this.

Friday, March 23, 2007

What 'Real Mothers' Do

Gingajoy tagged me for the meme, which spawned here I believe. I haven't been able to devote the brain cells I would've liked to it this week, but if I don't post something now, I never will. This is my version of what 'Real Mothers' do/are.

Real mothers serve dinner up for themselves last, but have no qualms about licking the cake bowl first - before the kids step in.

Real Mothers know when to complain aloud and when just to smile sheepishly in irony.

Real Mothers don't remember what 'normal' sleeping hours mean.

Real Mothers will have umpteen kinds of kids medicine in the cupboard, but run out of panadol for their headaches.

Real Mothers don't have time to take medicine for headaches.

Real Mothers fuss over pregnant women because they know what they're in for.

Real Mothers can think of about a dozen games to play with balls - after they're able to locate the ball to play with.

Real Mother just keep moving, working, loving, disciplining, living, hurting because that's what they do.

Real mothers can shoot rolled up socks into the washing machine from clear the other side of the house.

Real mothers can do the clothes sorting pretty much in their sleep, and allocate the laundry properly every time.

Real mothers will admit they do not do their laundry as often as they pretend to.

Phew, I'm spent!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thirteen Things Happening in Our Household This Week

  1. Thank You - to those of you kind enough to comment on my little 'panic' attack yesterday (for want of a better word).
  2. My new Nick Hornby book The Complete Polysyllabic Spree finally came in at the library! Right at the wrong time too, because I've just picked up again...
  3. ...Margaret George's Cleopatra and am right into it again. I enjoy her work.
  4. Rats Update - oh yeah, they're still there. I am lulled to sleep now by their convivial squealing and scurryings (not). Exterminators arrive TOMORROW!
  5. Book Draft Finished! This should have been first, probably. 800 words of children's picture book done! Now to whittle it down to 500-odd.
  6. Riley's Sleeping? Still shite.
  7. Rain. It rained nicely at the beginning of the week. Now, its back to 30-plus degree heat. That's March for you.
  8. Keira's new favourite saying is, "What's This?" She hasn't hit the "Why?" phase yet, but this other one's got to be as exasperating.
  9. Dentist. After my TT of two or three weeks ago when I talked about my senstitive teeth, I went in to maintenance overload. I had an appointment appointment the other night and got a clean report! Woo Hoo!
  10. Rejection stinks....I had a magazine article proposal rejected this week (as I suspected) but...
  11. I re-submitted it to another because it's good, dammit.
  12. Darren announced last week his list of guest contributors for while he's in the USA, and the more astute reader might have picked out my humble little name among the crowd. I am still floored and not a little nervous about my appearance, which will be mid-April. If you read Problogger that day, a nice comment for me would make me happy :)
  13. Um, I think point 12 is worth saying again!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

....Just taking a moment........

I am quite upset. This will not do my mental health much good, but I'm going to talk about this in a brief, rational way, even if my insides are churning with disgust.

I am also going to be deliberately vague, but you'll be able to piece the story together.

When our family is sick we go to a local clinic, where about a half dozen doctors practice together. Just like anywhere in the world. Then I open the paper today to discover one of these doctor's (NOT my favourite, trusted one, thank the Lord) has been charged with sexual offences. These include, but I do not know if are limited to, minors. These apparently date back over the past forty years.

I have been to this doctor once or twice, but did not really 'gel' with him. I would only go to him as a last resort. Neither of the kids have ever seen him.

I rang the clinic immediately to have the news confirmed, perhaps 'if' there were two doctors of this name in the area. Alas, no.

Again, I am rocked by fear and knee-jerk paranoia. Now, as in other periods in my life, I'll be thinking twice about anybody who comes up to me, wondering what their agenda 'might' be. Yes, of course, this feeling does pass after a few hours/day. This is just my hyper-sensitivity (or 'anxiety', as my doctor would say) running riot.

People wonder why I don't leave my kids (very often) with others, not even in day-care. I would love to, LOVE to, but shit ('scuse language) like this happens and I feel like holing myself up in the house and barring the doors.

There is no 'appropriate' response to this, I guess. I am wondering though -- how would YOU react if you were in a similar position to mine?

Hearth is where the heart is

Some of the world's best food has come off this stove. My nan has never used a conventional oven. Her fuels are wood and a great sense of timing. Yummo.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ten Things I Thought Would be Fun - But Then They Weren't

An idea from the great mind of Schmutzie

1) Buying wine from the dining car on the train to Sydney when I was 15 years old, heading down to a religious retreat. By Gosford, I was one sick girl. You think the messes made in public restrooms are from incontinent old, dirty men? No, sir.

2) Going down one of the mega-chute slides at Wet'n'Wild. Atomic wedgies and you're farting water for the next two hours. Disgusting, but true.

3) Drinking an almost entire bottle of Jim Beam in one evening. Sure, it was fun for part of the evening.

4) Eating an entire bottle of Golden Syrup at once.

5) Deciding I could ride a motorbike without a single lesson. I was wrong.

6) Riding too big a pushbike for me over BMX speedway-style jumps. Ouch

7) Deciding that a Citrus-only diet would be a surefire way of curing a hangover. I was mopping up pulp for a day in the bathroom.

8) Thinking I could saddle a horse on my own when little, when I didn't have the strength to do it properly. Lucky I (and the horse) weren't seriously harmed.

9) Going on that Avalanche simulator thing at Universal Studios (or was it Disneyland). I had to put my head between my knees from being ill.

10) Deciding I just HAD to eat lamb spare ribs when pregnant with Riley. I cooked them and were halfway through eating them when I realised they were still half raw. I have only recently been able to stomach the smell and taste of lamb again.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Thirty years old going on.....eighty

It's a Sunday afternoon. Both the kids are in bed, asleep at the same time, meaning mum and dad have a few hours of blessed peace. So what do mum and dad do? Head for bed themselves....for a nap. It's a blessed luxury, when you can get it.

Except when we're hopping into bed, Adam starts to unbuckle the belt on his jeans.

"Whoa, whoa!" I said. "That was NOT on the agenda for today. Nap ONLY."
"I am," said Adam, stripping from the waist down. "I'm just changing into my napping pants."
"Napping pants?!?!"
"Jeans are too scratchy. I have to be comfortable."
So he pulls on his boxer shorts and dives under the covers, asleep within minutes.

This is the man who introduced me to the pleasures of a knee pillow when you're sleeping. You know, a knee pillow? So your poor delicate knees don't accidentally rub together whilst asleep, causing dangerous abrasions and possible ingrown hairs. You should give it a try.

Happy Thirtieth Birthday, my love. At least I know what you'll be like when you're eighty. Cantankerous to a fault, but dammit you know how to sleep.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

I watched a new release DVD the other night; shock upon shock. Not one I'd incidentally come across on the TV-- no an honest to God I-am-making-the-time-to-sit-and-watch-this-end-to-end. The last one was The World's Fastest Indian. This one was An Inconvenient Truth.

The statistics were frightening. By the end, I was truly anxious about what the hell was happening to our planet. I went to sleep and dreamed of disintegrating glaciers and the thinning arctic shelf and the fact that I will be living up to my knees in water if the polar caps melt. Al Gore doesn't want us to be fearful, because fear is paralysing. This may be so, but my Richter scale of sensitivity jumps higher than others, perhaps.

I remember when I was a child, learning about space and physics. Just the basics: how we are a speck in the solar system and were it not for gravity we'd all be floating off into nothingness. I would go to bed of a nighttime and grip the mattress for dear life. I would pray God to please, please keep sucking us back onto the ground like we were on the end of a great big straw, pretty please. Even to this day, when I try to fathom just how large the universe is, and what has come before us, and what will continue after us, I am filled with an existential nausea.

Hamlet said, "There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy". Damn straight. I suppose my brain gives up before it really tries to comprehend because perhaps I enjoy just feeling the wonder of life and don't always want it shoved in my face. In books, yes, OK, because that is 'fiction'.

Fact? It scares me. I am a coward.

So I don't know how Al Gore can go around talking about it. Kudos, though.

Have you seen the movie? What do you think?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mothers 'Paying it Forward' Update #2

Us mothers are making (tiny) ripples in the community. A few weeks ago, our local paper came to take photos and do a profile of our playgroup and our project. I deliberately didn't say anything before now because I know sometimes there is a yawning gap between what one is told will go to print and what actually does.

However, I opened up the paper the other morning and lo! and behold, there we were! As usual, when I get my photo in the newspaper (there's been a few times, I must post them, for a laugh), the shot is taken with me in mid-breath, or mid-conversation. This results in either:

a) my jaw is wide open and I look like that mummy in...well....The Mummy...when he tries to swallow Brendan Fraser in the little airplane and yes my mouth is that wide in real life and boy....wow....rant much? *calm down**big breaths*

or b) my cheeks are puffed out and I look like a chipmunk.

Luckily, this time, it was only result (B).

Upshot: We're awesome. Don't ever say local media isn't read, either. We've (Keira was in the shot too) even been 'recognised'. Yesterday at Kindamusik, Keira's teacher saw us and declared "I saw you in the paper!" Let's see if the idea itself takes root in others. *Insert smiley face*

*End of annoying asterisk parentheticals*

Friday, March 16, 2007

News Flash!

Edited: Am I being too sarcastic? Perhaps the times have changed....

Just heard on my local radio station:

Some schools require children to aquire diving licenses before participating in their annual swimming carnivals due to current OH&S (Occupational Health and Safety) regulations.

Can't be too careful when they're diving in to compete, can we, like kids have done for, oh, generations before them. You have got to be joking. They'll be forced to swim with floaties over their arms soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mother Blogger Interview - Wendy Piersall (eMom)

I am very excited to present the next mother blogger interview. I stumbled across Wendy and her inspirational blog pretty much the same week I first began mine, and have since taken pleasure in the motivation she inspires and her support for all others.

I doubt she needs any further introduction to many of you, so now I will hand it over to her!

When did you first begin blogging? End of April 2006

What interested you in beginning your Blog? Why a Blog over other methods of 'traditional' journaling (like a private diary)?

I was interested in the social aspect of blogging, and the potential for driving traffic to a site. I had no idea it would take on a life of it’s own, though!!

What do you think of the term 'mommy blogger'?

Frankly, I don’t identify with it, because I really don’t write about mom stuff. That being said, since mommy bloggers are my “target audience” I love them a whole bunch! I think the term, though, has been used in a degrading fashion, which really ticks me off sometimes…

Does writing a Blog give you a voice that you otherwise feel you don't have? If yes, what factors contribute to this lack of voice that you feel you have?

No, I feel like the real me comes through online and in real life. My friends who know me say the same thing.

What you are writing, if you let it, becomes public knowledge. Truthfully, does writing for a wider audience matter? Why/why not?

Yes, I believe so, because I started my blogs to help people. A wider audience only means I’m helping more people!

What inspires you to keep blogging? This question may be especially pertinent for those of you who are blogging semi-professionally, or professionally.

The readers of the blog and my own dreams I want to fulfill. In that order.

As mothers, how do you address the issue of Internet security on your blog? What rules have you self-imposed about what you say about your family/children?

I have never named my children, though I would guess that if some creep was really determined, they could find our info, as with anyone. I don’t talk a lot about my family except in the context of work-life balance, mostly because they aren’t really on-topic for my blog. But I do use kids’ photos, as a part of my brand (and because I like to show them off!!).

If you could estimate a percentage, how much of your blog is unembellished, straight recount of what's been happening in your life? (Or, to rephrase the question, do you ever doctor your tales to seem more 'dramatic' or 'funny')? Why/why not?

Funny, yes, but still pretty straight accounts of life. My life and business are pretty dang amusing most of the time. ;)

Do you think that blogging – at all – insinuates a certain social standing on behalf of the blogger herself? For example, many poorer women, who themselves may want to express themselves, may not have computer or Internet access. Do you feel that as a consequence many important stories are 'lost'?

Yes. I give a percentage of my advertising revenue to Kiva.org each month, but I wish I knew more ways to reach out beyond the wealthy, tech-savvy users that I mostly know.

How important has blogging become to you?

HUGELY important. I keep trying to do a different business, and my blog keeps taking them all over and swallowing them up!

How important are the trappings (or decoration/design) of your blog? For example, if you have heavily modified an existing wordpress/blogger/typepad template – or done your own – how would you feel if suddenly you were reverted back to a basic one? Would it matter?

Very important again – but it’s part of a business branding experience. Visual cues tell readers things that words can’t, so I do believe that a template can either enhance or diminish the conversation on a blog.

If your family is aware of your blogging and are regular readers, how do you censor any personal or 'delicate' topics they may have a problem with? Or do you? (To paraphrase – do you compromise your writer's voice?) If so, how does this make you feel?

Haven’t really come across this situation.

How important is the social networking aspect of blogging to you?

It’s the most enjoyable and addicting part. J But it also drives the most traffic!

Which other bloggers do you admire? For any particular reason(s)?

Darren Rowse, Liz Strauss, Robyn Tippins, many, many others. The common thread is that they really focus on adding value, both on their blogs and in real life.

In your experience, do you find bloggers or certain blogging communities to be cliquey, as they sometimes are accused of?

Oh, yes…. Yes, yes yes! Myself included, sometimes!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Oh Noooooooooooooooooo!!

The rodent(s) (oh please, let's hope there's no need for the plural) have set up house now in the roof right above our computer desk in the lounge room!!!!


Let's hope Adam plugged up all the holes this afternoon, and they starve enough to eat the baits. I don't mind listening to death-knells of rats. It's curiously satisfying, like frying ants under a magnifying glass or squeezing someone else's pimples.

In honour of our upcoming elections

This photo was taken during the campaign for our last Federal election - and also whilst the film "Alien vs Predator" was in general release. The Howard (liberal) and Latham (labour) refer to the politicians who were in contest to become our next Prime Minister. It still makes me laugh, because it's so true.

You could really substitute anyone in there, that's the beauty....and the sad irony.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The one bad thing about this time of year

I won't lie: this is going to be one cranky post.

March is in my opinion undoubtedly the best month to enjoy Melbourne. Summer's rage has almost all but passed and we enjoy lovely climes until Winter's touch comes again mid-April. However, as I've mentioned in passing already recently, it also signals one other thing: possum mating season.

And, worse, with the possums come....the rats.

Those of my friends who are familiar with my adventures with these two particular creatures will be well aware how much I despise both, because year after year, despite frantic plugging, each find their way into our roof to make a cozy little den for themselves.

The last time we had this particular problem was a year ago. Riley was still sleeping in our room as a newborn when I went to our neighbours in tears, begging them to stop feeding their chickens food scraps left on the ground because it was acting like the pied piper for all the rats in the neighbourhood. Tired from their journeying, they would all then shack up for the night in our walls and roof until the next night....and anyone familiar with the scratching and the high pitched squeals you get with said company will fully understand me when I say that at that time I wished I owned a shotgun. I would've used it.

Now, they're back again.

Forget for a moment I have NO IDEA how they've gotten in. Forget for a moment that we've got enough baits remaining up there for New York City. Forget that that ball of anxiety I've only recently been able to dislodge from my belly is back again and it's so tired. Just remember that while I'm listening to rodent frolicking is the time I should be sleeping when I don't get much of that anyway.

I love where we live. I love our house. But it's times like these when I just...despair. Poor Adam too, he's the one who lugs himself up into the roof to assess the damage each time....


...but I really don't know what to do anymore.

Monday, March 12, 2007

...And because we need a laugh too

To explain: this is a REAL song. Like most heavy metal though, the words are virtually incomprehensible. So, this guy decided to (jokingly) decipher the lyrics for you. It's funny.


Mothers 'Paying it Forward' Update

It's been a while coming. Sorry, I've been distracted.

Well, our night was full of the usual giddiness and hilarity that comes when normally time-lax and child-encumbered mothers come together solo. Together we raised well over 100 dollars, which will be divided between Doctors For Iraq and an Australian children's charity we're not 100% sure which one yet.

100 dollars is a start. Not astronomical, but what if dozens and dozens of groups; mothers, familial, church, friendly, whatever, did the same?

Personally, I'm pleased and proud to have made a small contribution.

Because they love kicking us when we're down

I just about give up then..............


Sunday, March 11, 2007

A book meme to finish off the weekend

I've done one of these before, but this one has more detailed questions. Plus I can't resist talking about my favourite subject! With thanks to Rocks in my Dryer.

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback? Paperbacks are easier to read, but Hardback's are 'nobler' aren't they?

Amazon or brick and mortar? Definitely Bricks and Mortar. One of my favourite (former) occupations was to while away an afternoon at Borders.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? Borders. We don't have Barnes and Noble in AUS!

Bookmark or dogear? Dogear. I know, it's sacrilegious.

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random? Ha! I remember I tried this once to alphabetize by author. Then Adam got narked because my 'arty' books got mixed up with his 'cool' ones.

Keep, throw away, or sell? Keep the good ones. We used to keep everything, but together Adam and I own over 1000 books (most in storage). We had to start culling. I've sold crappyish ones that are still in good condition.

Keep dustjacket or toss it? I try to keep it.

Read with dustjacket or remove it? Hmm....try to keep it on.

Short story or novel? Mostly novels, though short stories are underrated. I enjoy them when I'm in the mood.

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)? Anthologies that are themed, preferably. To have an anthology by an author can be dicey at times (spotty quality)

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? Harry. But I haven't tried Lemony to be honest. I will one day.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
Oh, such a contentious point in our house. I can put a book down in the middle of a sentence. Adam HAS to wait for a chapter break.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
"Dark and Stormy" because that appeals to my Gothic-specialist roots.

Buy or Borrow? Both! Who care so long as you get the book you want!

New or used? Used. I love their character! Cheaper too.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? I used to write book reviews, so naturally I have a critics bias here..... :) Occasionally I'll pick something up and give it a go, just for the heck of it.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger? It depends on the story, doesn't it? Whatever fits best, use it.

Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading? Afternoon, actually, now I think of it. Never been asked that before!!

Stand-alone or series?
Stand alone, usually.

Favorite series? Harry Potter. Or Tolkein. When I was a kid, it was the Babysitters Club (oh, dear). Anne of Green Gables because I was named (middle name) for Anne. "Being smart is better than being good looking" is something I've taken through all my life. (or however that quote goes)

Favorite children's book? When I was a child? Fairy Tales, generally. Especially Sleeping Beauty (odd, when you consider my rants on it now!!)

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? "Tirra Lirra by the River" by Jessica Anderson. 114 mere pages of brilliance.

Favorite books read last year? I can't remember last year but in recent years it's been "A Farewell to Arms" (Hemingway) and "All Quiet on the Western Front"

Favorite books of all time? Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) and Dracula (Bram Stoker). Perhaps Dracula more, because it inspired my love of all things gothic in nature.

Least favorite book you finished last year? Ah, pfffff, that book "The Historian" by E. Kostova, I think was her name. What was all the fuss about? I didn't finish it. Life's too short for bad books.

What are you reading right now?
Right now? A book about writing picture books for children, actually.

What are you reading next? About to start "Captain Courageous" by Kipling.

Housekeeping Issues

  • I have re-written my "About Me" page. It was bugging me. It still does, but to a lesser degree.
  • So you've all had a few days to digest my new looking format. What do you all think? Personally, I'm wondering if the font size is a bit small. Would you like it a bit bigger? Also, I'm not sure if I like the font itself. It seems a bit 'formal'. (I haven't even checked which one it is!) I might have to play around. Sure I can change it automatically when I post anyway, but I'd like to defaulted to begin with because you can be sure I'll forget.

That's about it for today. We're off to a birthday party later. Bracing myself for hyperactivity!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Quip of the week

"Mum, what are you eating?"

Mum has walked by, forgetting to hide the sheet of fresh filo pastry she's swiped from the fridge and stuffing in her mouth. Filo pastry, you ask?!?! Hey, don't judge me.

"Uh - I'm eating pastry."

Keira gives me a look.

"I know, I know we have to go shopping. Here, give it a try."

I break off a piece of the frail veil that's not yet globbed by saliva. Keira puts it in her mouth.

She swallows, albeit reluctantly. "Yuk. Toilet Paper."

Well said, dearest.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Riley's Birth Story

The day begins at 6am. We're up, ready, to drive into the hospital in the city. I am calm and nervous. No, not in pain, because I am to be induced. After three long months of painful Braxton Hicks', my uterus refuses to give up my son, so eight days after my due date, they're "going in after him".

After a near car accident at a local roundabout (at which time Adam decides he'd better put on his night driving glasses, after I said "You want to kill us?!) we arrive at the hospital car park and line up behind a snake's trail of other cars: nurses waiting to park, for the 7am shift was about to begin. I thought to myself "one of these might be the midwife who helps deliver Riley". The thought made my stomach tumble with apprehension.

We went upstairs to the delivery suites. We checked in. It was all very civilised. The ward had been busy overnight, apparently, but was currently at a lull. The nurses all stood around, talking. I went to 'my' room, the one next door to where I had Keira. I ate my bagel and had my coffee, waiting for my Doctor (let's call him Dr. Ob). My stomach is churning and whirling and I suddenly need to go to the bathroom, where I proceeded to expunge diarrhoea.

"Oh!" I thought. "Maybe it's not too late. Isn't that a natural sign of impending labour! Maybe this is a sign I don't need inducing". I am in there a while, until I am absolutely sure its safe to leave.

Dr. Ob arrives and produces from a covered surgical tray the most fearful looking pair of scissors I have ever seen in my life. A bit like gigantic pinking shears. They are dreadful because I know exactly where he's about to shove them.

"OK, I'm going to break your waters now," he declares, and I lie on the bed, staring up at the thread trackers on the curtains surrounding the bed, trying not to cry. He's working - and it's work, there's tugging and scraping - and it's not going well. "I think they're broken," he said, pulling out from my legs. "I bumped baby, however. He's going to come out with a dint". Oh, great.

"If you don't feel any trickling soon, we're going to have to try again. Let's see if that gets any contractions happening."

By now, I am weeping quietly, and because he is a good doctor, a great one (handsome, to boot) he says as he's leaving, "Don't worry, this will be a good baby, a good labour. I've seen bad ones, trust me." This depresses me more, and frankly I'm relieved when he goes.

So, to wait. Diarrhoea hits me again, and I head for the bathroom. My waters do start trickling out, and they stink, the whole place stinks, I stink. The midwife stands outside my door impatiently, wanting to see how 'much water is coming'. I'm told to walk around. I buy a magazine I have no intention of reading. The newspaper headlines irritate me. I can't help but think THE WHOLE WORLD SHOULD BE STOPPING BECAUSE I"M ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY AND NO-ONE SEEMS TO GIVE A SHIT. Except my adoring husband, who already is looking ill at what's about to come.

Nothing happens. I'm told they have to put the drip in. They do - they pump it up, 60, 80, 100. Contractions start, but they're inconclusive and not nearly intense enough for the midwives to be happy about. I go on my TENS machine. I am hooked up to so many buttons and monitors it's insane and I'm so MAD, so very very mad I'm so large and immobile to labour in the way I wanted to.

At midday, the "Ellen" show comes on, and I'd never seen it before and in my early-labour temper tantrum I declare, "Why is she dancing? Why? It's not funny, it's crap. It's all crap. Turn it off. No, leave it on." (In subsequent months, I did watch the show more, and came to appreciate the whole 'dancing thing' that goes on). Adam's lunch arrives, pampered darling, and he rubs my back almost-convincingly in between bites of his hot meal. It's at this time, when the induction drugs are starting to make me sick, that 'showtime' pain begins. Dr. Ob. comes back to check on me.

"You're 5cm dilated," he says.

"ONLY FIVE???!!!" I shout.

He laughed. He actually laughed. "Don't worry, it's really going to happen quickly now."

And he was right.

1pm - Oprah comes on (you see, I compartmentalise my labour experience to what was happening on the television) but I have no recollection of what it was about.

2pm - 'Ready, Steady, Cook' comes on and by now I'm sucking down that sweet, sweet, sweet, gas and I'm mellowing and oh! look it's that little Irish chef on, doesn't he look like a leprechaun and words like 'sugar' just roll off the tongue and boy I'm feeling OK, l'm on top of this labour malarkey.

Not for long.

At 3pm, I positively shout to the midwife, "GO GET ME PETHIDINE NOW". And she runs out the door. To cope with the pain, I've taken to swinging on the metal triangle hanging above my bed, to give me some sort of 'leverage' over the pain, because I'm prostrate on my back and it's really uncomfortable.

"Careful," says Adam thoughtfully."You'll break it"

"Don't worry about it," says another midwife, "that thing could handle a woman three times your size".

My cervix is creaking open like a stubborn nut. It is yawning with the pressure of Riley's head and I'm about to split open. I need to push. Right then, Dr Ob. busts through the doors.

"You're a bit early?" I felt like thinking, but apparently he'd been paged a little while ago because, like he said, it was going quickly.

They take me off the drip. They prise the gas dispenser out of my mouth. "NO GIVE IT BACK YOU BASTARDS!" I thought (ah, just like Keira's birth)

They say it's pushing time. But I'm spent. I have nothing, and as soon as they turn off the drip, my contractions stop dead.

"I've got nothing to work with!" I said. "Contractions are gone!"

"Just DO IT!"

And so with the bearing down; I grunt and cry and Dr. Ob almost slaps me: "Keep quiet! You waste energy by making all that racket. Focus!"


The head crowns. The stinging is unmerciful. The head comes through! One hurdle down.....but there is no rush of wet after. The body is stuck. I look like an inverted turtle. One last contraction...a bit of further poking....and it is done. The body follows. It's 4.21pm.

"He's a big one!" says Dr. Ob.


Because I have my priorities all in order I shout to Adam, "Get the camera!".

Dr Ob takes Riley to get him looked over and calls over his shoulder there might be an issue with his lungs and after they give him some oxygen, they might have to take him to the nursery (luckily, they don't). They explain the haemotoma Riley has on his head (from being 'stuck', for that little while).

Right, all business done, Riley's out getting weighed, Adam's out there supervising, Dr. Ob comes back to look at me.

OH GREAT, I groan on the inside, STITCHES TIME.

He looks between my legs and says, "Nope, you'll be fine."

Yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!! The only damn thing gone my way.

The placenta is delivered. It comes out, large, grey, and dissolves almost immediately into a pile of slush. Like an overworked donkey who finally falls into the dust, dead. I felt like that donkey.

I call my mother, temporarily euphoric. "Catch a cab, come in, bring Keira!"

They finally give me my little baby boy. He is perfect, just like his sister. My first thought: Oh, he's so blonde! Hurray!


That is technically the end. Sadly, it doesn't go so well for mum. I do not leave the delivery suite for another two hours. I get quite ill. My blood pressure remains high and I vomit. They put it down to all the induction drugs. They have to wheel me upstairs in a wheelchair and that makes me nauseous. They take the IV drip out and blood spurts everywhere, like a slasher movie. But my boy remains asleep throughout, at peace, and perfect. Six weeks later, at my check-up, Dr. Ob tells me he had to 'go in after' Riley.

Huh? I said.

"I had to stick my hand all the way up to dislodge his shoulders. He's lucky I didn't break it."

No, no broken shoulder. But just as the Dr. guessed, he had a cut on his head for two months from where he got jabbed, in-utero. Shaped like the end of a pair of pinking shears.

Happy First Birthday for tomorrow, my love.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thirteen Things Happening in Our Household This Week

1) Fat feet - I've gone to get Riley's feet measured now he's walking and it is as I suspected. He has fat feet, which explains why none of his 'regular' shoes fit. $50 later and he has a pair that fits at least. And a hole in mum's pocket.

2) Dressing challenges - Keira has decided she no longer likes jeans. Only DRESSES and SKIRTS that have to be PINK.

3) Finished Po Bronson's Why Do I Love These People? Good, although it sags a bit at the end. I will watch out for his other books though.

4) Gave up on Anne Tyler's Back When We Were Grownups. Sorry, you didn't suck me in this time, Anne. Although you are fabulous.

5) Re-Borrowed Stephanie Dowricks' Choosing Happiness . I really get a lot out of it, even if it's 'self-help'. Maybe because that's why!

6) I'm reading lots of online reviews of The Time Traveller's Wife, which came out almost two years ago (given to me by a friend). I really enjoyed it, for the record.

7) What do you get at 30 year old for his b'day? Especially when he's your husband??

8) Eating - Riley has again decided he will eat this week. Hurrah!

9) Rain! - It rained finally last night!

10) Saving Babies - A new show on TV, about (mostly) premature and sick babies in a Sydney Hospital. Weepy stuff. Except it scares Keira, so I'm not allowed to watch it

11) The Biggest Loser - I love big, bulky, hulky Damian. Go Damian!

12) It's a long weekend in this state this weekend, so I'm looking forward to that...if only too..

13)...maybe give control crying a go again. But Riley has been slightly better this week anyhow, so we'll see....

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My very own time to shine at TopMomma

Please go here and vote for me. I have no real idea what it means, but I love a popularity contest - maybe because I've never been in one before and I'd like to know what it feels like before I die.

Please, make my dreams come true ;) **

**Don't worry, my self-esteem isn't invested too much if you don't vote for me.

Updated: With thanks to Jeanie's comment, I should give you an idea on what my picture looks like, for those of you not familiar with my blogger profile. It's a black and white "glamour puss" shot, also seen on my 'About Me' page.

Happy Birthday for this week, little man

Riley's first ever photo. Poor fella came out a bit battered....almost too big for momma!
Edited to add: 3.997kgs born (or 8pd12oz)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

First memories

Remember this? Well, when my mother was down, I wrote the draft to my piece of the family story. It's not perfect, but it's a start. I've pasted the first section below, partly because I'd like feedback and partly because I want to enter Scribbit's Write Away contest for March because I am a competitive sado-masochist.

Note: it is about my grandparents and where they live. I have strong feelings for family and oral histories. Some families are 'chatty' they talk about themselves and past adventures endlessly. Adam's family are like this, and I love them for it. Our family? Not so much. Which is why I'm looking forward to reading the family history - once it comes together.

OK, here it is:

Memory and truth are rarely the same: but here is my first memory of the farm and I hold it to be true.

It was early in the morning. The dairy was still operating, and the cows hadn’t yet been let out after milking. It was cold; possibly winter, and the fog hovered close to the ground. You could barely see the cows in the holding paddock, except for the odd horn here, a foot stomping there. The drawn out bellow of a cow calling to her calf is responded to by another cow, in sympathy perhaps, or looking for her own charge.

But my attention is called away here; I am looking at the scene through the kitchen window and pop has just come into the kitchen, ready for a day’s work at the council. Nan has packed him lunch and is about to send him off with it––thermos of tea, naturally, included. I remember the lunchbox to be made of battered grey enamel, with a black plastic handle. I don’t know why those details have remained with me. Perhaps I am getting mixed up with a overlarge pot of Nan’s which I am certain is a bit battered looking and has a lid with a black plastic knob. She uses it to cook pumpkin.

I think.

The important part to this story is the question––how the hell after all these years do I recollect such detail? and Why? The answer, as far as I can make of it, is pretty simple––because it matters.

Housekeeping Issues

Update: I can't count now how many I've added! LOTS!

  1. I've added eight (!) new entries to the "Dear Me" project this morning.
  2. I've fallen behind in replying to my comments, I'm sorry. But I do want to say I embrace all of them into my bosom, with love, thankee.
  3. I hope to be around later today to post something with a bit more depth.
  4. My blog is about to get another design re-jig this week, so don't be too surprised to come back and see a 'new look'. Once you do, tell me about it, what you think.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Drowning in stationery

UPDATED: I FOUND IT! I have ten files named "Karen's work". It was in the 10th one. Naturally.

I love writing paper. I love office supplies stores. I love cracking open a spiral bound writing pad and just going for it - whether it be note taking, brainstorming, journaling, 'proper' writing/drafting, to-do lists, anything.

Unfortunately, I start a new one before the old one is half finished. I start a new one for a new project - and as I've usually got something 'cooking' I end up with a plethora of papers and disorganisation.

Which bothers me today, because in one exercise book tucked away somewhere I THOUGHT I knew where, is Riley's birth story, which I was going to type up for the end of the week. But I can't find it anywhere. I did see it a while ago when I was searching for something else...

Then I thought to myself, "Hey, didn't I type it up anyway?" A comprehensive search of all ten* of our hard drives proved that, alas, I had not. Unlike Keira's, which I had typed up within days of bringing her home from the hospital.

Grrr! Cross fingers I can find it because if nothing else this will really peeve me off on a day when I don't need it.

Why? Here's how my night last night went:

Riley up at: 10pm, 11pm, 12.30am, 2.30am.

At the last one, I'd had it. I picked him up and held him. This time he didn't even root for the boob. He just stared around at the room, bored. I swear, if he'd had a watch on, he'd have looked at it pointedly ("Come on woman, put me back asleep, time's a-wastin'"). I have succumbed to a minor cold, so was not in the mood for this, so put him down in the cot, and left him at it. Once he discovered I was NOT coming back, he proceeded to scream for the next 45 minutes flat. Then slept until 8.30am this morning. A miracle.

Summary: Mission to locate certain notebook and sort out non-sleeping child still operational. Outlook: hopeful.

*An exaggeration. We only have about five

It's a party -yeah! - you're all invited!! **

I have hopped on the party bandwagon. I can't help myself.

For those not in the know, the point of the party is to get to know other bloggers, 'put yourself out there', and have fun. Well, why not.

A quote from 5minutesformom: "This Blog Party is all about meeting people – so put out some food, turn up the music and tell us a bit about yourself."

Now, that is a toughie as I have pretty much put all there is about me in my "About Me" page, but to bring you up to speed, here's what's currently happening in our little world:

1) My son is about to turn one and swaps between total fasting and being permanently attached to my breast. He is an adorable strawberry blonde, but with the temper of a full-blown redhead.

2) My daughter is turning three next month. She wishes she was a fairy. No, she wishes she was a fairy-butterfly because that's even better. She is a far cry from the tomboy I supposedly was when I was a toddler. Secretly though, I think I am more like her than I let on.

3) My husband is about to turn thirty. A milestone he (seemingly) is blase' about, but then he is blase' about most things. Except computers. He would lick them if was socially acceptable to do so. Secretly, he probably does anyway.

Anyway, that's us. Stick around. For my regular readers, OK, I'll stop this disgusting display of self-promotion right. NOW.

**Another gratuitous Hi-5 quotation. Honestly, I need to stop.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Last night was our Mother's Group dinner *see sidebar*. I'll do a better write up on it later, but suffice to say at this point it was a great night and I begrudgingly left at 11pm like I said I would, because I knew by then, if not before, Riley would be WANTING MUM'S BOOBS PRONTO!

So I pull into the driveway with the hope that maybe once, just once, that's not the way it's going to play out.

I walk into the house to a symphony of screaming.

Adam walks by me, throwing up his hands. "He's been crying for over an hour. I go in to settle him and he just wants me standing over his cot, watching him. I give up."

Me too, mate. Me too.

I walk into Riley's room and when he finally registers it's me and not dad, I don't even get that look of relief "Oh, it's you!". This time it's "Get over here, bitch".

Oh, little boy. These times are a-changin' soon.

Perhaps he thinks he'll be able to get away with double-trouble this week because it's his birthday week. Maybe. Maybe not. We'll see.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

When a fight you're losing suddenly gets turned around

Me: Stand up straight, you're getting an old man paunch.

Adam: Well, if I am it's all your fault.

Me (incredulous): How is that?

Adam: Because I work hard all week and come home and don't even get a massage. So, my back stays sore and I slouch and it's your fault.

Me: OK, so if you get colon cancer it'll be my fault because I didn't stop you eating a serve of red meat every day.

Adam: Yep.

Me: But what about all the good stuff I do, like serve up your vegetables. Shouldn't I then deserve the credit for extending your lifespan by whatever increment I am?

Adam: No, because I made the choice to eat said vegetables.

Me (desperate for a point): Then I won't cook them anymore then.

Adam (putting his hand behind his head, in the manner of the self-satisfied): (smugly) Fine by me then.

Me: I thought we were talking about your back.

Adam: No, you were.

Me: Just forget it.

Adam: Can I have that massage now?

Me: No.

Adam: Please?

Ha! Check-and-mate!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Random Thoughts

  • I sneezed yesterday. Big Time. It felt great. Which prompted the thought: "Gee when was the last time I actually remember sneezing?" It's been a while. Obviously, the weather is starting to turn.
  • As you can see from my above point, my thought meter is almost expired for the week. TGIF (Thank God It's Friday).
  • I taped the Oscars at the beginning of the week. I haven't even watched 1/3 of it yet. Shows how my life has evolved. In the 'olden days' I would've had that baby watched, dissected, analysed and my own speech refined (again) for that point in the future when I would myself be stepping onto that stage to accept the Best Original Screenplay award. And hopefully snog ('kiss') Clive Owen on my way up. Just because....well...that would be cool.
  • Clive Owen would then fall in love with me (in this fantasy neither of us would be married, naturally) and then I would have the lamentable problem of juggling a writing career AND being the partner of someone famous. I would feel like Arthur Miller. So, it probably wouldn't work, sorry Clive.
  • You can see how much time I've devoted to this daydream already. And I have kids standing beside me with their Oliver Twist looks on their faces, "Mum, can we please be fed?". No, go away children. Mummy's having fun.
  • Oh, boo. They're not moving. OK, OK, I'm off.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thirteen Things that have been going on around here and the world this week

  1. Oscars hypocrisy. First, granted, Al Gore deserved to win. But it sickens me to see all these people congratulating themselves for a "eco-friendly" Oscars broadcast when the rich people in the audience are dripped in diamonds and general gaudiness, when half of the money they put into their appearance could be put to better use. Sure, most of what they wear is borrowed but still....
  2. My hypocrisy. Above rant noted, I am still one of the millions who plonk themselves down to watch all the pretty dresses. This year? No real stand outs, although Helen Mirren looked simply lovely. Gwyneth Paltrow looked like she'd borrowed Gary Oldman's muscle-toned flesh armour from Bram Stoker's Dracula, though.
  3. Autumn - It's Autumn! Cooler weather. Yay! I can't believe its March already.
  4. Autumn = possum mating season. Uughhh. Not looking forward to the randy march of male possums across my roof...all night long.
  5. Christening Talk. We had a meeting with our local church to discuss Riley's impending Christening.
  6. Teeth. I have become obsessed with my teeth. They ache. Do I have holes needing filling again??! Am I deficient in vitamins?
  7. Walking. Riley's walking cannot be stopped! He is a little dynamo. It is so cute to hear Keira shriek, "RILEY"S WALKING!"
  8. Pimples. I have discovered a tiny pimple or two on my face. This annoys me. This could be a signal my oestrogen levels are coming back up. Which may mean my periods may return soon. Boo.
  9. Smells. There is an unidentifiable smell coming somewhere from the kitchen. This both annoys and terrifies me. I feel like Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom at the prospect of prising my fingers into mysterious holes to find the source.
  10. Shade. Our roof on our deck is complete and we're loving it.
  11. Writing. I've begun finally writing the children's book I've had the idea for for over a year now. I've also had another pitch accepted by a HUGE A-List blogging site, which I'm now terrified about. What was I thinking?!
  12. Publication. I'm still waiting on the editor of a magazine on my latest article's submission. Fingers crossed.
  13. Paying It Forward. Our mother's dinner is coming up! I'm excited.

I'm posting this on the off chance TT will be operational today