Wednesday, August 29, 2007


There are some times in life when you just have to feel a sense of relief. These usually happen at times when you think that you have the worst deal or the worst end of the stick and suddenly something occurs to make you see that your life isn't so bad after all.

I had one of those moments on the weekend. It occurred when I picked the 11 year old up from a party. The party boy, full of sugar and hyperactive games no doubt, had a major meltdown at his mother in front of me and all the other guests. The details aren't important but, apart from being totally stunned at the sudden onslaught of aggression that this poor mother was facing and feeling embarrassed for her at the same time, I must admit that inside me there was a sense of total satisfaction that it was not my child throwing the major (and I mean major!) wobbly!

That said, Miss 7 who had accompanied me on the pick up journey witnessed the whole thing. Not one to mince words and certainly a matter-of-fact child, she took in the whole scene and calmly walked up to the boys mother and declared, "You know what?! I think you need to worm him!" Nothing like the innocence of a child to lighten the moment!

Image courtesy of Free Gifs & Animations"

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I Feel Old!

Life has been bubbling along as usual here. Apart from a few meltdowns (from the children and me!) and a week full of rain (and don't we need that!) and work, nothing much has been happening. The reward coupon system for getting out of the house of a work/school morning has been incredibly successful and I recommend it to anyone who is feeling the stress of rushing as I was.

The 11 year old has, along with his friends, discovered the joy of sleepovers. Usually, I am anti-sleepovers as I have heard of so many children getting themselves into trouble on them, but for the last two weekends I have relented given that I know the parents of these children very well and am sure of his safety and supervision. So what do you do when a quarter of your family is missing?.....why celebrate of course with lunch out and calm, quiet nights at home! Lol!

I am going through a 'feeling old' cycle at the moment! I read recently that Liam Finn (son of Crowded House front man Neil) has released his own song. O...M...G!!! Now, here is the part where I get honest and admit that at the age of 15 I was a Frenz of the Enz member and absolutely loved Split Enz and subsequently Crowded House. In fact, I even remember when Liam was born. Seriously! So to see him there on my computer screen singing away as a man...and with a beard and looking uncannily like his Uncle Tim.....well, I can't help but wonder what happened to all of the years of my life in between. Seriously sad! And if you haven't heard it, here it is. I really like it:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ulcer Mornings!

I'm sure that every working mum and perhaps even non-working mums can relate to what I call the 'morning nightmare'. This is, the time between waking and getting everyone in the car to get to school and work. I know that for me, I wake every morning with a sense of dread as to what this particular time will be like.

You see, the morning slog is left solely to me as my husband has already left for work and it is almost never successful. The clock is our enemy as we (hmmmm.....I!) race, prepare, work, scream, order, cry to meet our deadline.

I usually give my children between an hour and fifteen minutes and an hour and a half to get ready. This usually depends on how well they get out of bed (a threat of cold water over a certain sleepy boy has been uttered once or twice, I admit! Lol!). Their chores in the morning are limited.....have shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, do hair and teeth, pack your bags, get in car. I don't care how well their bed is made or their room is tidy. I can deal with that another day. There is no tv on in our house at this time and there is no playing. I do the mother-lode of the work.....iron, lay uniforms out, prepare lunches, feed dog, etc and often I prepare a lot of things the night before so save the stress levels.

It sounds simple, doesn't it??? Why then do most mornings always end in a meltdown? This morning my son is sitting for the statewide year 3/5/7 test so being at school on time was imperative. Naturally, if one child has to be there early, the other decides that it is time to go slow. The moment my back was turned, she was playing with the dog, looking for 'missing shoes', poking faces at her brother, dawdling, you name it! Arrrrghhhh! It culminated in me threatening to drive off without her, her screaming, me getting in the car and her taking her dear sweet merry time to do so.

Yes, we were ten minutes late for school! My poor son must be in a terrible state after the goings-on here this morning. I pulled into the kerb outside the school and said to Miss 7, "So, do you have anything to say about the way you behaved this morning?" Her response....."No! I know that you want me to say that I'm sorry but I'm not because you made me mad!" (yes, surprisingly cheeky for her!) Double arrrrrghhhhhh!!!

So I am sitting here trying to establish a more positive spin on our nightmare mornings. I'm thinking that reward vouchers to be used on the weekend can be issued at the end of each morning session before we get in the car. I'm wondering if that would be successful enough to stop this feeling of horror at the thought of surviving the morning madness! But if anyone reading this has any better plans, then let me know....please!

Sheesh, no wonder I feel like I'm getting an ulcer!

(photo courtesty of

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Shannon's Stepped Up!

I confess, when the first Australian Idol was broadcast, I became one of those people who got caught up in the hysteria. I preordered my Shannon Noll cd and thought, from the moment that he sang his version of Robbie William's 'Better Man' on the show that he had that special something that makes you stop and listen.

I admit though that over the last few years, despite him having several successful singles and proving to his critics that he was a new Australian music talent to be reckoned with, my interest in his music faded as all his songs seemed (to my lay-person's ears) to sound the same. I did love his version of 'Don't Give Up' with Natalie Bassingthwaite, but then again....who didn't!

But on the weekend, on one of those generic music video shows, I happened to catch the end of his latest video clip! Omg! What a shock! Shannon has stepped up and proven that he can belt out a rockin' song as well as the best of them! If this is an indication of what to expect on his next cd, then I'm certainly in for a listen. Love the song, love the clip and love the performance. Shannon looks confident and content (sans flavour savour, I might add!). Perhaps his latest bout of fatherhood has agreed with him!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Grumpy Happy Days

It's a rainy day in Brisbane today. I should be happy, I know. We desperately want and need water, but today the gray skies are probably matching my mood. I just feel children who create mess everywhere they walk, at husbands who get drunk at parties on our child-free night (both kids had sleep-overs...yaaayyy!) and then come home (being taxied by their completely sober wife) and pass out, at fighting kids, at the feeling that I'm getting nothing accomplished, at the fact that I couldn't find anything to wear to last night's party because I've put on weight, life in general maybe!

And today on Video Hits, I watched an interview with Powderfinger members who, once again, credited all child-actors in their latest video to being Samford State School children. Can someone please tell them that NOT ALL children in that video clip were from that school! Arrrrghhh! The local paper also published this but it is simply not true. Many children who heard about the auditions through their agents and through the band's own website went to the south side of Brisbane for auditions ( son) and were cast that way.

At present I am also watching the rain fall over my new water tank....which is STILL NOT hooked up to the down-pipes even though Dear Husband has had about a month to do this. Arrrghhhhh....don't ask why - I've given up asking this!

And to top off my afternoon, my hands-free telephone is broken. It keeps going flat and I cannot hear the telephone ring. Time for a new phone, of course, but in the meantime I keep missing calls here!

All things considered, I know that these little irritations are not life-threatening and, on their own, not really that important. I think I'm just in one of those life valleys, staring at the hills around me that I have to climb!

So I did what many a good self-respecting woman would do.....I cooked! And what better thing to cook on a cold, wet Brissie day than warm, fluffy scones. I just used the recipe from my book but I will share a few little tips here that my father passed down to me........always use really cold milk and a really hot oven; once you put the milk in, mix the ingredients for as short a period as possible with a knife (not spoon) - it should still be wet and sticky when you put in onto a floured board; when on the board, cover in flour and don't roll...just pat into a whole shape; Instead of cutting with a scone cutter, simply slice the dough like you would a biscuit slice. I always follow these instructions and you know what....I think I'm doing ok in the scone cooking department! After all, they were all eaten quickly and you know what...there is nothing like a hit of sugar to help you out of a glum mood!

Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Einstein Factor

Today in Brisbane it was the Show Holiday (no, we didn't go either!) so our day involved staying home and pottering around the house. Now, working mothers reading this (and busy dads too, of course!) may be able to relate when I say that, for me, it became a bonus day to catch up on the washing, folding, ironing etc, especially as Dear Husband volunteered us to wash all 24 of the football team's jerseys this week.

Now, I admit that due to being busy, working and having moments of 'just not feeling like it', my folding/sorting pile of washing has, over the last week or so, grown from a small acceptable basket to three overgrown piles of embarrassment. So today, for over an hour I folded and sorted and basically took over the dining table with the wash build-up. Usually, when I have moments like these, I just pack it all up and put it away, but today as I stood back and admired my achievement in housework, I felt irritated that my day off involved work while Dear Husband was watching a dvd and the children were playing. So I did what any self-respecting woman would do....I demanded that they all come and join in my folding admiration! Hey, wouldn't you??!!

But something was amiss! My beloved family did not share in my sense of achievement nor did they drown me in the compliments that I thought I deserved, considering that most of the clothes belonged to them and considering that if they don't have folded undies/shirts/shorts/etc, they always yell to me to ask me where they are. So in my glum mood, I stomped off declaring that nobody appreciated the work I did, blah, blah, blah!

The 11 year old, upon hearing all of this, calmly responded with, 'Well mummy, you don't have to be Einstein around here to figure out that you do most of the work!'

Well, knock me over with a feather....that one sentence shut me up and, for the first time in a long time, made me feel appreciated! Sometimes it doesn't take anything but a simple line of observation from someone you would least expect it to come from, to make a mum feel special!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Nanna!

Another birthday without you here, but you are still remembered every year.

Over The Range by A.B. (Banjo) Paterson

LITTLE bush maiden, wondering-eyed,
Playing alone in the creek-bed dry,
In the small green flat on every side
Walled in by the Moonbi ranges high;
Tell us the tale of your lonely life,
’Mid the great grey forests that know no change.
“I never have left my home,” she said,
“I have never been over the Moonbi Range.

“Father and mother are both long dead,
And I live with granny in yon wee place.”
“Where are your father and mother?” we said.
She puzzled awhile with thoughtful face,
Then a light came into the shy brown eye,
And she smiled, for she thought the question strange
On a thing so certain—“When people die
They go to the country over the range.”

“And what is this country like, my lass?”
“There are blossoming trees and pretty flowers,
And shining creeks where the golden grass
Is fresh and sweet from the summer showers.
They never need work, nor want, nor weep;
No troubles can come their hearts to estrange.
Some summer night I shall fall asleep,
And wake in the country over the range.”

Child, you are wise in your simple trust,
For the wisest man knows no more than you
Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust:
Our views by a range are bounded too;
But we know that God hath this gift in store,
That when we come to the final change,
We shall meet with our loved ones gone before
To the beautiful country over the range.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Oh Where Oh Where Has My Little Boy Gone???

Oh where, oh where can he be????

I have a stranger living in my house. On the outside he takes the form of my son, but on the inside I don't recognise him. In fact, the cute and lovable little boy who used to tell me that he loved me all the time is nowhere to be seen and in his place is a lazy, grotty, moody pre-teen.

I know that sounds harsh, but I will present my case.

Firstly, he has become dirty. I can no longer just throw his shirts into the washing machine because they are brown. They always need a separate soak first because suddenly his shirt (no matter which one he is wearing) has replaced napkins, hand towels and anything else that he used to wash his hands on. Hey! Why bother getting a towel when you have a shirt so close and handy! Ugh!

Secondly, he has become lazy. His room only gets cleaned if I rant and rave (or threaten to remove priviledges) until it is tidy. He recently complained that he had no wearable school socks. Perhaps that is because I found the dirty ones stuffed under the seat of the car where he was too lazy to pick them up and put them in the washing basket. When he finally did remove them, he decided then to use them as basketball practice and stood at the bathroom door and threw them in the hopes that they would magically land into the correct place. Imagine his surprise when I demanded that he put them away properly.

Thirdly, he has become moody. Now, he has always been what I would call a 'highly strung' boy, but suddenly 'vege-ing out in front of a screen' has become a regular pastime. And he is now into rock music, too (God bless the days when all he wanted to hear were the Wiggles, I say!). His mind is at a different place. Remembering to bring homework/newsletters etc home on the day he gets them is obviously impossible!

He has also become smelly. I know what you are thinking ("Aha....puberty!") and you are probably right but he refuses to wear deodorant. I'm hoping that someone tells him that he pongs soon so that he'll get the message.

He has also become the sporting king of our family. Not a weekend goes by when he doesn't beg to watch some football game. It doesn't matter what code it is, as long as he gets to watch it. Where once he used to spend his time reading novels, he now spends it reading the sports section of the daily paper. How on earth I managed to produce a football-loving child is beyond me!

The whole sporting thing also leads me to realise that he yells all of the time. I am always telling him to use a speaking voice inside the house because it is not a football field. My ears hurt just thinking about it!

And he eats! Boy, does he eat! It doesn't matter what it is, if he likes it, he'll eat it! It is not unusual for him to eat dinner, get up from the table and say, "I'm hungry. Can I have something else to eat!" No more kiddy meals for this kid!

Did I say that he argues? I am no longer the centre of his universe and I no longer am able to tell him all about the wonders of his world....cause he already knows! And he constantly argues and tells me if I'm wrong or if he thinks he knows better than me. It's depressing to be out-witted by an 11 year old, I must say!

He also speaks a different language. This is the language that is speckled with words like 'Yo' and 'Random'. We are also having deep discussions over the length of his hair at the moment. I'm not so un-hip that I can't see the value of looking cool with a shaggy do, but in my opinion, when it covers your eyes, there is a real problem. Of course, he can't see fact, I'm surprised that he can see much at all!

Now having written all of this, I have to say that I do love and adore my son. He has a whole list of amazing, fantastic qualities to match each one that I have listed here. And at times, when I see glimpses of the man that hopefully he will one day become, I am stopped in my tracks. He can be so caring, sensitive, thoughtful and loving. If only that man would happen upon his hormone-filled mind quickly because I don't know if I can last through until it does.

So mothers of preteens take heart! You are not alone! If you are still sitting here nodding your head at all the attributes that I have listed then you have also given me hope that what we are going through is completely normal. I'm just hoping that there are some of you that are still reading this and saying 'Ahhhh, been there, done that but he is sooooo much better now!' Now that would really give me hope!

Monday, August 6, 2007


Yesterday Miss 7 had one of her best friends over to play. The two girls first met when they were both six months old and starting day care.

Both girls now go to different schools but as we have become friends with her parents, they do see each other periodically. Every few months or so, the girls get together for a play date and you know, they never cease to amaze me in the way that they are so comfortable with each other. Time or lack of quantity time together does not forego their opportunity to just enjoy being around each other when they can. They play, they chat, they eat, they fact, they fit together like a pair of gloves - so incredibly well!

Watching them together, I can't help wonder what the future will bring. Will they remain friends and always have this comfortable arrangement; as they grow older will they become closer or drift apart? One thing is certain.....they now have the foundations of a beautiful life-long friendship and an appreciation of the importance of having girl friends in your life.

This thought has led me to reflect on my own 'girl' friendships. It's only in relatively recent years that I've become close to girl friends - once I joined the 'mother' club as well as meeting friends through work and through wonderful on-line internet groups. And I now realise that girl friendships are incredibly special. I remember watching Oprah once and she spoke of the importance of girl friendships and the fact that women look after the emotional needs of women (or something along those lines). It was very profound, and the older I get the more I realise that it is very true. It is my girl friends who help me when I am feeling down. They are the ones who nod in agreement with true understanding when I pour out all of the issues that seem to be drowning my life away. They are the ones who offer the emotional support that no one else seems to be able to do. They celebrate my successes and have an understanding of what it took to achieve them. In fact, without some of my amazing friends, I realise that I wouldn't be coping nearly as well as I am today.

This, of course, is not to disregard the impact or assistance that the men and/or family members have had on my life. But there is something special about getting together with your besties over coffee or on the telephone - even via the computer - and pouring out all the issues of life, love and family.

So I hope that my daughter will have all that and more in the friendships that she develops throughout her life. With them, I know that she will have a richness of friendships that will enable her to be the strong woman that I know she has the potential to be.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Recognise This?

As seen through the eyes of Miss 7.....why, it's the stick puppets (using pegs of course) of the characters from the children's rhyme, 'There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly'! Of course!!!! (excuse the dirty chair cover but it's a child-friendly one and the only place she'd let me take the picture after she 'performed' the story for me! Lol!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A Sweet Honour from a Sweet Friend!

In the midst of feeling like carp from the flu, I got an email from my lovely friend T, telling me that she'd awarded me with a blogger award! Awwww shucks! It couldn't have come at a better time either because I honestly was feeling shocking so it made my day! Thanks T. You are such a doll!

These awards, generated by Writer's Review are such a wonderful idea because we then have to 'pay it forward' to other deserving winners. So here are my nominees:

Crazy Trace

I'm awarding Trace the 'Inspirational Blogger' award. Darn, that girl can pedal! I am seriously inspired to pedal myself after reading about her fitness activities but then I slap myself around and eat another bar of chocolate! ;) You go, Trace!

My Place, My Head Space

Another of my lovely friends.....Kate. I'm awarding Kate the Thoughtful Blogger award cause she's always writing lovely thoughtful things about her family in her blog. And I love catching up with her amazing children's latest achievements there! Wtg, Kate!

I Love Brisbane

Definitely a 'Creative Blogger' award cause I love this site. Ok, partly because I'm a parochial Bris-Vegas-ite but also because it's so darn interesting. I've found out things about parts of Brisbane that I didn't know before and I was born and bred here! Go figure!


For another 'Creative Blogger' Award. I was shown this website by a friend of mine and I love it. It's so interesting following the travels and tales of this lovely family over two continents, not to mention seeing all of their wonderful handicrafts as well!

Jeanie In Paradise

A 'Thoughtful Blogger' award cause she writes the most amazing long and interesting blog posts that have me either nodding my head in agreement at the computer screen or shaking my head cause I have no idea how to properly fold a fitted sheet! ;)!