Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A recap, or things that haven't changed.

Some things have changed in the last 6 months. We have less money. We have more bills. I have a new job. I drive 60 kilometres to and from my job each day, so I now have 2 less hours in my day. I also have a second job. So Wednesday nights I work at a beautiful arts centre, facilitating a kids club and doing general admin stuff. I am happier than ever, but sometimes I get much sadder than ever before.

I was reading through my blog at work tonight, and I realise that some things havent changed at all. I just forgot about them. So, here it is: A recap of cool things I have discovered and said on this blog.

From when Ava was 2. Oh, I thought I knew what pain was then...
"Surely God is laughing, watching me deal with the most willful, impetuous and single minded toddler on the planet."

Poo. This doesn't change!
"Poo. Parents and non-parents divide over this seemingly simple by product of the digestive system, and the divide is large.

To non-parents: A topic that is not brought up in polite conversation, a minorly inconvenient but thoroughly neccessary and sometimes relieving, almost mildly enjoyable dayly event. (time can change. Depends how much fibre is in your diet.)
To parents: The yard stick for measurement of infant/toddler/child health and development. A safe topic of conversation with other parents. A way of determining allergies, intolerances, worms, viral infections, too much liquorice (black) too much corn (ahhhhh, lotsa corn basically) or whether you child has chewed their food adequately. Whole raisins that look like they could be rinsed off and used again is an indication that food chewing needs to be taught again. Best not to rinse them off and use the same raisins though.

People who don't have children cannot fully understand how much can be gleaned from a single poo. It's colour, it's form, the smell, the consistancy, the watery liquid that can accompany a really nasty one...

Poo and how it relates to your child becomes the cornerstone of the parenting existence."

More poo?

"So, to take the pressure off, we stripped off to our singlet and ran around the back yard in the buff. Wee on the patio? Don't care. Wee on the lemon tree? Yes, if you can. No, oh well, we will get there some day! And so this cranky, crazy Mummy and her bare-bottomed, wet, happy, loving toddler ran about the backyard screaming and laughing until it got dark and cold. A perfect end to a less than perfect day."

"All the experiences that this stupid mother missed out on: First tooth. Eating solids. Being called Mummy. Happy gurgles. Sleepless nights. Cleaning up all kinds of bodily fluids. Warm sleepy cuddles. Pretending to be mermaids. Hearing "I love you". Everything that makes up my everything. I hope her virtual corn that she virtually grew and virtually sold for some virtual money made her virtually fucking happy."

And, the post that still defines me to this day: The Warrior Mother.

"Ava had awakened in me a love so intense, and so complete that I would literally go aganst my nature to protect it. And I will, over and over."

Over and over and over.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Musical Theatre is Evil....

Parents! Beware!

I have discovered something that many parents will not have realised yet. Musical Theatre is categorically BAD for children. It causes rebellion and out right rude behaviour. It may actually cause your child to argue back......... in SONG!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Toddlers and food, pt 2.

I have caved. We are having bangers and mash for dinner. The kids win, I am forfeiting this round.

Most of the time, my cooking is a bit ad hoc. I make things up on the spot. I invent a new recipes to use up things in the pantry. I don't use recipe books. So most of the time, my cooking is a massive jumbalaya, full of random ingredients, saucy, spicy and filling. Sometimes we have wraps, sometimes we have pasta, sometimes we have rice, but there are always vegetables and lots of them. It's cheap, economical, healthy and yummy.

Also, I think I have been blessed with a daughter who will try and eat everything. Until recently, I also attributed this to my amazing parenting. Who wouldn't? But now I know I have been blessed. Ava eats sushi, fruit, vegetables, sandwiches, lasagne, meat, chickpeas and lentils. She has eaten more cuisines in 3 years than I ate before my 21st birthday. There are actually only 2 things I am aware that she genuinely doesn't like, and that is tinned tuna and salad.

However, His Majesty's daughter, despite being equally well parented, will not even entertain the thought of eating something she doesn't recognise. The things she WILL eat, I can probably count on one hand. Bangers, Mash, Broccoli, Cake. Yep, one hand.

So, nights have been a battle of wills. Cutting it into fancy shapes? Nope. Yogo sitting right in front of her plate? Nope. The threat of her being hungry? Nothing will sway her, she will not eat it.

And, so I give in, I do not want to play this game tonight, I don't want the stress, I don't want the aggravation, I am sick of tears (mostly mine) and I am sick of feeling like I am failing.

Yet again, I have been brought down off my high horse, and to all the parents who have served bangers and mash because it is easy, and it will be eaten, and you know that you will have a full, content child, rather than a stubborn, hungry and angry child, I am sorry.

I guess the biggest surprise about my parenting has been how parenting challenges my preconceived notions about parenting, or something like that. In many ways, I am not the parent I envisaged before I had Ava. I yell too much. I have snapped and smacked my daughter, hard. I have had moments that I am not proud of, where I haven't been bigger, stronger, wiser or kinder.

However, I will never shun or be afraid of showing and telling my family members that they are loved, no matter who is watching or what they think. I will always tell the truth, and I respect my daughter and His Majesty's daughter and who they are as individuals. And tonight, I am fully aware that the last few nights dinners have been stressful, and not fun at all.

So tonight, I am serving Bangers and Mash with Broccoli and Garlic Bread, we are having a nice warm bath and then we are going into the play room to build the biggest cubby house out of every pillow, blanket and chair I can find.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Knit one, purl one...

I have been a bit knitting crazy lately.

I first started knitting at 19, when I performed in my first community theatre show. The green room was a shonky little room, tacked on besides the stage, no sound proofing or even a divider between the green room and the stage. You literally went around a corner and were in the wings. So, to avoid making heaps of noise backstage, the cast employed various methods to entertain themselves quietly backstage. This was an era before smart phones, and "Snake" gets boring after a while, so I got a book on knitting out of the library and taught myself to knit. Normal for a 19 year old? Not really, but normal people are boring, and I have never claimed to be normal.

I knitted the most amazing scarf, about 1.2 meters long, over $100 worth of beautiful, fluffy merino mohair blend yarn and even though it took nearly 2 years to complete, I wore it like a badge of honour. Ever seen a normal person wearing a massive, fluffy scarf in summer?

Unfortunately, in the last 5 years, it has been lost in one of the many moves. Innaloo, Green Head, Leeman, South Perth, Japan, Roleystone, Armadale and now Kelmscott, during one of those shifts, my precious scarf has been lost somewhere. Awwww, Sad face.

These last few months I have been involved in a pantomime. I auditioned for the role, with the full knowledge that I would be the leading lady, but that it probably would be a production with a few hiccups. (Oh no it wouldn't! Oh yes it would! Oh..... Oh bah hum bug, you get the picture.) Being a cast full of first timers and children, it has been a little bit of an exercise in diplomacy and patience.

At least I got to be a princess.

So, again, I took up knitting, in order to keep myself sane. First, it was a tunic dress for Ava.

Then a rainbow dress for His Majesty's daughter.

Pants for Mackenzie:

And I just kinda kept going!

I have been told that I am different and strange, and that people walked on eggshells around me. To be completely honest, I don't really give a shit. What is "normal" anyway, except for an excuse to be disappointed and judgemental instead of loving someone for who and what they are?

I am happy with my life, happy with my decisions and proud of what I have achieved. I have a safe home, a supportive and loving partner, a wonderful young family. I am a calm, consistent, firm and loving mother. I have hobbies I enjoy, and a job that pays the bills. If people want to walk on eggshells around me, that is their own problem, because with me, what you see is what you get. Tough luck if you don't like it.

And getting back to the pantomime, it really hasn't turned out all that bad. I have really enjoyed working with a few of the older cast members and getting to know some theatre regulars better. My dear friend (and the prince!) Feildhlim has found his very own princess in another cast member, who also happens to be an ex-student of mine. Dare I say, it has even turned out to be fun?

Well, I got some knitting done at least!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Sometimes, I get really sad thinking about the past. I think about all the precious, wonderful people who have meant so much to me and how I am not in contact with them now, and I feel really sad that they are no longer a part of my life. I think about the friendships that I thought I would never let go, and how some have seemingly slipped away, and how, sadly, people grown apart.

I know it shouldn't, but it makes me very, very sad and morose. Why? They played their part in my life, we grew apart, things happen. Still, I am in one of those funks right now.

I logged into my Myspace (hey, there's a blast from the past) account today for the first time in around two years, and  shed a few tears looking at my top friends list. My life is so different now, and the people in it have all changed. I miss them all so much.

I was so tempted was I to peer into their lives, to try and recapture those moments in my life in which they played their role, and it bothered me that I would be so sad thinking upon my past. So, I deleted the account. The memories can stay, but I think I shall move onto making new ones.

Ones that will make me smile when I think back on them.

* * * * *

I haven't really felt very inspired to blog of late. I know I am kind of stating the obvious, but it has been a very hard couple of months, and to preserve His Majesty's sanity, I decided not to make a lot of it very public.  I have to leave His Majesty some sanity....... he has to live with me remember! But, next week is Miss Ava's third birthday, the anniversary of her beautiful arrival on July 3rd, 2008. 

My baby is three. So, really, my baby is not a baby anymore. *sniff* 

My (gulp!) little girl can read her name, and get many of the letters of the alphabet correct. She can use the toilet all by herself. She can get an egg from the fridge, and she can crack it too. Ava can ask for something politely, use please, thank you and excuse me, has an indoor voice and an outdoor voice. She loves Grace Kelly, and if you sit still long enough will tell you her entire life story including that she was killed in a car accident and that she was a 'real' princess. Ava loves singing, and dancing, and adores animals. She is my entire life, everything I live and breathe and work and exist for. Each birthday bring a not so subtle reminder that she needs me less and less, and all the while I love her more and more.

So excuse me on Sunday if I crawl off into a corner somewhere and sob inconsolably.

One day, if I do my job properly, she won't need me at all. (But thank goodness it's a fair way off yet!)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Make do or go without

I grew up very simply. We never had the latest or the greatest. Meals were simple fare, veggies from the garden, eggs from the chooks, meat from the deep freeze, and trips either to Geraldton or to Perth to restock every four to six weeks. We didn't have the internet, we didn't have a video player, or a DVD player, and my father has only recently acquired a CD player. Our car was a gift from my grandmother, our couch as well. Our holidays were camping and to visit family, our entertainment was a game of Uno, or Poker, betting recklessly with matchsticks.

My mother stayed home with my sister and I, and my father worked at the mineral sands Mine at Eneabba. He worked very hard, and took many, many extra shifts to pay off the family home, which he did in 6 years. I still remember him proudly telling me that we owned our home, and proudly relating this fact to my friends, even though I didn't really understand what he meant. 

I was very, very lucky. My early childhood was stable and secure, and it came down to a few things that people seem to have forgotten: Make do or go without.

The reason that I bring this up is because I think I forgot it myself. Last year, His Majesty and myself had quite a good income. We made a very comfortable living, and we had outgoings that matched. Massive phone bills, club memberships, play money, two relatively new, shiny cars, etc. But this year, His Majesty is following his dream at WAAPA, and this means that we are down to one income, but with the outgoings of a couple that earn far more. 

So, the last few weeks I have been taking stock and tightening this belt a little. My Biggest Loser Club membership has been suspended until I can pay it again, and they were very gracious to allow me to do that as it was a contract. Also, it was the BLC or the gym, and the gym is far more practical. I have had to give away my singing lessons as a luxury item. I am NOT a natural singer, as much as I enjoy it, and it is not a need, so I will just have to exercise my voice very carefully on my own. We have stopped using the aircon in our house. It is killing His Majesty, because he hates being hot but he is being very, very good about it. Our food bill has been slashed, and we have more basics, and less prepackaged and convenience items in the trolley. Our weekly visit to Sizzlers has been curtailed to a very rare treat. 

Rent is rent, and always will be, so nothing I can do about that. We are trying not to use as much point watering the garden because we are right in the middle of a drought anyway. Centrelink won't give us anything, I tried (twice). Today, I also rang Telstra and found out that they have contracts that are far better value than our old ones, and so instead of paying $230 a month, we will now pay $138, but get around the same value. Massive, massive props to my friend, who is not only a uni student, but an amazing Mummy to two gorgeous cherubs, and someone who will make a fabulous teacher and enrich so many lives and is making living on one income and studying look like a walk in the park. (I know it probably isn't Jo, but you make it look good!)

So what can I make do with? I can make do with the videos we have, and without buying new ones. I can make do with serving the girls fish and veggies, even if I want something not in the freezer... (like Sizzlers). I can make do with the massive ammount of clothes I have without buying any more this year. I can make do with cloth nappies instead of putting my stubborn 2 and a half year old in a disposable every night.

And what can I do without? Well, when it boils down to it, I can do without the stress of not having enough money to pay for all the things that I don't really need. So even though I don't have a designer house, a cupboard full of new clothes, matching furniture, brightly packaged, trendy snacks, juice, a house like an igloo, an iPhone 4, a cleaner and we are going camping at Easter instead of to Europe, I have a feeling we are going to be just fine.  

(And if all else fail, damn it, we have really nice cars!)


Thursday, March 17, 2011


Why is it people hold grudges? Why is my decision whether or not to remain in a relationship 1 and a half years ago still cause for people to treat me like I am worthless? And why do I still desperately miss the friends who now hate me?

I just spent 15 minutes in the shopping centre car park after Thursday night food shopping, sobbing my eyes out. Friends, who once counted me as close as a friend could be, went through the Woolies aisle next to me, obviously also trying to squeeze a weeks worth of food out of as little actual money as possible.

This one particular person also said once, on her wedding day, that if I was ever to leave my husband, she would miss him dearly but I was her friend for life. Well, it must have been Mr. Jack Daniels who promised me that, because the silence was deafening. Eyes averted, talking as quietly as possible, they pretended I wasn't there. As we lifted and shifted, swiped and paid, I twice went to say hello and twice was meet with purposefully turned backs.

Things have happened in past weeks that have really turned 2011 on it's head. Fires, floods, earthquakes and now a possible nuclear meltdown. There are far, far worse things that can happen to a person in their life than the things I have experienced. So, why the childish silence? It's enough to make a person wild with anger. And if I am angry, why the tears?

The tears are because I still care. Despite a year and a half of solid silence, despite contact and pleas for understanding and apologies, they continue to ignore me, but I still care about them. And I miss them. And their carefully contrived silence hurts.

I am the only person who has to live in my skin, and the my choices are just that: mine. Sometimes I make mistakes, don't we all? A true friend would stick by you, even of they disagree with your decisions, and love you despite your faults.

I miss you guys. I am sorry for whatever wrong I did you, even though I have no idea what it could be. If it is the fact that my family now lives in 2 houses instead of one, I want you to know that I did what I thought was best, and what you see from the outside isn't always how it is. I hope that you can understand, and know that the driving light in my life is Ava and everything else is secondary. I wish for you the same things I did 2 years ago; happiness, family, love, security and a life lived with no regrets. I know that you will probably never read this, but if there comes a time in your life where you think you could not hate me, I hope the universe finds wings to speed these thoughts and wishes to you.