Friday, June 29, 2012

Out of Whack

That would be Me.  Out of whack.  My world of routine, roster and all else that goes with it, has gone straight out the window!  This time last week we were finally "home owners".  Papers - signed, sealed and delivered.  A very surreal feeling.  I may have owned a home before (in my past marriage life), but this time round it is about five times more expensive, with four more little and not so little people in the gang.  Which in turn means there is four times as much SHIT to pack.  Or throw out.  Or pass on to others.  Lots of that going on here.  Re-homing I like to call it.

So my house looks like the proverbial bomb has gone off - and nobody has survived.  Until the end of the day when they all return home to the bomb site and do nothing to help the situation!  Everybody quite happily sits amongst the boxes - whether they be packed or empty.  Chloe prefers to play castles with the empty ones.  Helpful.  But cute.  I thought we had packed all of Cadyn's toys and other crap, but NOOOOOO, his room still looks like nothing has left it.  And the girl's room..........beyond belief how two little kids can have so much STUFF, so you re-home half of it, and again - it looks as though nothing has moved.  Sigh.

The new house.  It's coming along in leaps and bounds.  Every single door in the place has been replaced, which makes a ridiculously big difference.  We have a new pergola/deck.  Gorg-wah.  And tomorrow - demolition day.  We have a couple of great friends and their boys who are going to give us a hand to rip out all floor coverings and window coverings and anything else that needs to go!  I think it may just be the therapy I need.  Because although I have not been living at the house whilst all this busy-bee work has been happening - I have had to schedule it ALL.  Making sure shit gets delivered before it it needed.  It's actually rather exhausting.  And mind-boggling.  But very rewarding when the results can be seen....

The kids finished up at their school today.  I felt kind of guilty, because I was so happy.  So happy to be leaving.  Is that bad?  No.  No, it's a good thing.  I'm leaving behind a wholelottabullshit and drama. And moving to a school where I do not know one.single.person.  And whilst that scares me just a little teeny bit - it's also very appealing.  

Chelsea and Cadyn were given a lovely send-off today, from their teachers and peers.  And I was blessed to spend the final assembly amongst the dearest of friends I have made there.  Women who have never bought into the wholelottabullshit sector of the school.  Women who have held me up and helped me get through some pretty shitty situations.  Women I will NEVER FORGET.

In precisely 11 more sleeps, we will be in our new house.  Our new suburb.  It's a strange but comforting thought.  Hopefully I will be back IN whack by then!

Ps.  Did I tell you school holidays begin today?  God give me strength......

Friday, June 22, 2012

Being Charitable and All That.....

You may remember a few days ago when I posted about my impatience and love of Instant Gratification?  Well, I've had some progress!  Today, I decided to throw myself in the deep end and attempt a REAL quilt block!  And I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

WHY would I do this you ask?  OK, you didn't ask, but I'm going to tell you anyway.  My lovely friends over at The Oz Material Girls are sponsoring Do Your Block Quilts for Charity!  Which I thought was a great idea, and something I could be involved in.  Basically, it is a bunch of like-minded crafters pulling together and whipping up a basic quilt block, then sending them all to someone who can put them all together to make quilts for some worth recipients.  Good idea yes?

The girls have put together a downloadable instruction sheet HERE.  So if you think you would be able to put together one or even a few lovely little quilt blocks, pop on over to their Facebook Event Page and keep up to date!

Remember - you don't have to go out and buy new fabric for this - once I had committed myself, I then looked around and realised I have packed up 95% of my fabric stash!  But luckily I keep all of my scraps in plastic bags, sorted into fabric collections, so I could open up a bag and put one together.  And this is what my first REAL quilt block looks like!

Isn't she gorgeous?

Whilst you're blog-hopping, pop over to EDENLAND and check out her LATEST POST about being charitable.  She mentions a fabulous charity Foundation 18, which I have now donated to a number of times.  So GO!!

Do you quilt?  Do you like to be charitable?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Since When?

Since when did I become OLD???  A couple of things have occurred in my life just recently to beg the question.

Exhibit A:

I now sport an Lily Munster-inspired grey silver stripe in my hair!!  Since when did my hair colour NOT cover it??  I need a word with my hairdresser.....  And my Mother, whom I believe sports the same fashion statement......

Exhibit B:

I have a bevy of medications and supplements to supplement my breakfast.  This makes me think of my grandparents, and watching them, as a child, line up their tablets next to their cereal bowls.  Oh dear....

Whenever we made the trip to Port Macquarie to visit my grandparents, my sister and I would share one of the spare bedrooms.  With its springy mattresses and beautiful timber bedheads, divine old wardrobes and dozens of clocks (my Pop made grandfather clocks), we would settle in for our stay. 

Each and every morning, my Poppy would totter in to their bedroom with a pot of tea for my Grandma.  He was besotted with her til the day he died, and vice versa.  This memory brings a smile to my face.  He would also give her a hug and kiss, and every now and then - a gentle little grab of her behind!

These memories give me hope - hope that even when I AM OLD, I will still be young at heart!

Anything making you feel old?  Do you have memories of oldies to light up your face?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Just Another Manic Monday......

Make that Wednesday week........This is how my day was MEANT to go:

Wake up bright and cheery after a restful eight hours sleep.
Find children have all woken up, made themselves breakfast and are dressed and ready for school.
Leisurely stroll through the shower, thinking about the clean house and cooked dinner I will arrive home to this evening, because, of course, my housekeeper will have that all sorted for me.
Dry my hair, slip on a gorgeous new outfit, gather the kids in the car and drop them at their destinations before finally pulling in to work......

INSTEAD - this is what I got:

Wake up to the sound of my annoying farking iPhone alarm at 7am and raise my eyebrows in amazement that I have any energy to turn it off.  
Vaguely remember getting up twice to the barking dog  Cadyn's relentless coughing, managing not to knock myself out when I tripped over someone's shoes in the darkness of the hallway.
Run from bedroom to bedroom shaking children and reminding them that it's WEDNESDAY and they have to move their arses.
Have a shower and wash my hair in record time and once again amaze myself that I have not slipped on the squeaky toy left in the bottom of the bath.
Dry my hair in record time, remarkably managing to look half decent.  Throw on some clothes that look reasonably clean and pass the smell test.
Run from bedroom to bedroom once again shaking children, reminding them that I will lose my proverbial shit if they don't get out of bed NOW.
Make sure each child has something in their stomach, they are wearing clothes and they have something resembling a packed lunch to put in their bag.
Shoo them all out the door and into the car, before burning rubber to get them all to their destinations before heading down the freeway to my dreaded First Aid Refresher course.

Now I HATE training.  But in my line of work, we have first aid AND CPR refreshers, Fire training, Oxygen training, rectal valium & enema training (I have been fortunate to dodge these ones for 16 years now!) and so on and so forth.  I DO NOT LIKE IT.  So when I turn up to a hotel to do this said training, I am not pleased to find it's like an icebox.  Not when it's only five degrees outside.  Not pleased at all.

THEN Mr Smooth enters the building.......... Not once in my life have I encountered anyone remotely interesting to look at, being my trainer.  Such a pleasant surprise!

The morning goes relatively quickly, regardless of the fact that I am surrounded by people who endeavour to make my ears bleed with their ridiculous questions whilst also arguing medical information.

And then I get a phone call - from the kid's school.  Cadyn is sick.  I knew this.  I sent the poor bugger to school thinking he would be ok because I could not cancel this training AGAIN, after doing so last month when another child was sick!  Then began a mad ten minutes of calling anyone and everyone who could possibly pick him up from school, so I did not have to return to this HELL and start the training day all over again!  Struck gold with the mother in law and returned to Mr McDreamy-trainer.

Get home to find Cadyn has been throwing up from all the coughing, so make a Doctor's appointment. Leave the two big kids home, and speed to creche to pick Chloe up, then speed to the Doctor's.  Text instructions to Lochie to cook vegetables.  Get the diagnosis of croup and asthma (again - seriously, how old until he grows out of croup??) and collect my multiple scripts and drop them at the chemist.  Call Lochie and tell him to cook schnitzel - "Mum I don't know how to cook schnitzel!" - hang up on Lochie.

Speed home thinking I have half an hour until I have to take Lochie to basketball training........walk in the door to find that he DOES indeed know how to cook schnitzel.  Then he casually asks me if I am going to take him to training - which starts in five minutes!?!?!  FARK!!!!!

Turn cook top off, speed to training, drop him off, speed to chemist, pick up scripts, speed home.  FINALLY SIT DOWN AND EAT SOME DINNER.

Some days, I just wish things were a bit easier.  So I could be less frazzled.  And avoid the possible speeding fines that will be arriving in my letter box in approximately one week's time.

Does this sound like your life?   The second bit, not the bullshit first couple of paragraphs - not sure I want to know if you have it so good!!!

PS. It doesn't help that I spend most of my waking hours now wondering who will play Dr Grey in the movie version of "50 Shades of Grey"........I know who I would cast - do you?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Instant Gratification

It just dawned on me this afternoon that I am an "instant gratification girl".....this little lightbulb occurred as I was whizzing through making a quilt for one of my daughters.  God forbid I actually take my time and make a REAL QUILT.  Nope, I have taken the easy way out (well, some may not find them easy) and make a rag quilt.  I shit you not - this baby has only taken me a couple of hours to whip up, just have to finish it off now.

I have also just finished THREE NOVELS in one week!  Noooooo, I couldn't take my time and savour the process.....I got caught up in the fabulous stories and wanted to know what happened - so quickly, that I am now twiddling my thumbs, a little lost without the books that have kept me company this past seven days.  
A few weeks ago, we made a trip to Ikea.  Nothing too interesting in that you say?  Well - I present to you the best $4.95 I have spent in years:

Now all the apples in our house receive instant gratification also!  Cores and chops your apple in a matter of seconds!
I feel as though I have spent the past 13 years negotiating with children - tonight I lost my shit spat the dummy!  NO MORE NEGOTIATING!  When I say I want something done - I want it done NOW!  Not after they've finished a drawing/finished a game/finished a tv show/finished picking their nose - NOW!  Why of why can't it be that simple?
I made a visit to our new house this afternoon.  Its transformation has begun - and it's VERY exciting!  I wish with all my being that it was all finished and I did not have to hold my breath wondering if all the choices we have made are actually going to work?  I've already started doing "A Block" by changing my mind on the finish of one thing, and am wondering whether I will end up being a tradie's worst nightmare?
Tomorrow, I have the WHOLE DAY in a first aid refresher course.  It will be the millionth tenth time I have had to spend a tedious eight hours with a bunch of numb-nuts valued employees, refreshing my brain about how to potentially save someone's life.  Yeh yeh, I know - it's part of my job.  But couldn't we just fill out a questionnaire and be done with it?  Instantly!
I could bang on about all the other things that I wish would happen in an instant.....but I'm sure you've had enough!

What gratifies you?  Do your kids eat apples?  Do you detest cutting them up like I do - or am I just a terribly impatient Mother??

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Who The Hell Am I?

The ever-challenging Eden has brought back her "Fresh Horses Brigade" with a rather interesting subject - "Who The Hell Are You?"  I was shattered to see that I had missed the cut off for the link up by a whole 17 minutes - and then started questioning that perhaps it was the universe telling me I either A. Have no idea who I am? B. Would spend WAY too much time trying to figure out how to put myself in words or C. Would give up?   Soooooo, in the spirit of giving myself too much to think about, I'm going to try......

"Passionate, frustrated, loving, multi-talented, mum, wife, lover, friend, introverted, extroverted, bitchy-when-I-have-to-be, honest, bark-worse-than-my-bite, impatient, no-nonsense, emotional, tired, bubbly, little, free-spirited, caring, protective, anxious, loyal"

These are all the words that came to me, un-censored.  I really LOVE who I am.  At times, I don't like myself - and that is mainly when I get caught up in other people's dramas.  I'm still working very hard at taking a step back.  

I'm proud of the person I have turned out to be!  I'm proud of the fact that I have managed to keep four kids pretty damn happy, and I am complimented on their pleasant natures and great manners.  I'm proud that I have a MORE THAN FABULOUS husband and marriage.  After an epic FAIL first time round - I wasn't sure I had the tenacity to be a wife.  Turns out I go OK.

I wondered where my youngest little man got his sensitive and anxious side from?  The last couple of years have taught me that he gained all of that - and more - from ME.  The girls at work always make me laugh, because I give the impression that I'm a hard arse......but I'm a little like Snack chocolate - A block made up of little pieces of hard chocolate, with soft centres - in a variety of flavours.  If you don't know what you're looking for, you don't know what you're going to get.  It's a pretty good comparison.  My family and closest friends know me VERY well........all others really have no idea what to expect.  I like it that way.....


A couple of days ago, whilst doing my grocery shopping, I received an apology.  I burst in to tears.  The power of that one little word is HUGE.  With this apology also came a decent sized weight from my shoulders.  This community I have lived in for eight years, is soon to be a memory.  I want to leave it with good memories.  So if you're reading this - Thank You. x  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Breathing Life In...A Book Review of sorts.....

Tuesday, I shared THIS with you, and said I would be back to divulge more.  Here I am.  Still in a post-long-weekend-daze.  I spoke to my Mum earlier and she actually got choked up, talking about all the photos she had seen on Facebook, which displayed my weekend's antics.  Said she had not seen me smile so brightly in a while.  I agreed!  I relayed all the tales I had gathered, from all the familiar names she knew.  It was lovely to share.

She's SO right.  I have not been as happy, so blatantly cheerful, in quite some time.  I described it yesterday to work colleagues - I had time to BREATHE.  I'm tearing up just remembering.  I AM generally a VERY happy person.  I'm pretty certain most of my friends will tell you this.  But having the chance to just "BE" for four whole days, was one that has left me reeling.  Why?

I started Friday morning off with the usual school and creche run.  Popped in to the shops to grab a couple of things for the kids they needed, and then headed home to finish packing.  Mum came past and picked me up, for the trip to the airport.  Once safely inside the terminal, I pulled the book out of my bag that I had so patiently waited to open.  "50 Shades of Grey" stared up at me.  And so I began reading.....

Basically, I have not enough words I could pull from the thesaurus to give this novel the description is really deserves.  "Erotic Romance" is the class it has been slotted in to.  I have found it to be so much more.  I will sound like a typical guy who reads "Playboy" for the stories - but apart from the absolutely freaky, erotic, mind-boggling sex in this novel - the story really is great!  I couldn't put it down.  Didn't even realise I had landed in Queensland.....

This novel opened up many a conversation over the weekend.  With my closest of friends, whom I really have never spoken to much about sex.  Needless to say, the conversations were riveting.  But it also opened up the flood-gates.  Talking about our lives as a whole.  How we are women first and foremost, and then wives, mothers and friends.  How our marriages/partnerships should still be up there on the top of the priority list, but also, why they aren't at times.  It's because we are all so busy.  And not breathing.

Each of these beautiful women now have copies of the book, and its sequels.  Yes, there are three provocative, naughty and no-holds-barred books in the series.  I am almost finished the second (The husband bought the other two books for me whilst I was away!).  Eager much?

I sent my ever-patient husband a text today.  I told him I wouldn't be censoring my thoughts anymore.  He is FAR from concerned, I think he's revelling in it.  I'm breathing again.

So - I guess you could say this is my first ever "Book Review"?  Ummmm........just get it!  I guarantee it will open your eyes!

Do YOU read?  Do you take the time to catch your breath?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Back to the Future?

As I sit here freezing my proverbial arse off, I am reflecting on one of the most amazing weekends I have had.  One reflection is that all of my Queensland friends really do not have ANY idea of the real definition of "cold".

The more important reflections are those of friendships, old and new.  I hate to bang on (ok, I don't really) about how integral friendships have been in my life, but shit, they have!  Proof was in the pudding 25 year primary school reunion I attended Saturday night.

I am well aware that school reunions are not everyone's cup of tea, well proven by the fact that not all 79 students I finished Grade seven with turned up.  Ok, there were a few exceptions, but these are the stats as they stand:   79 students.......71 of them found (turns out one of said classmates could have a successful career as a P.I.).......60 invitations sent out (no thanks to Australia Post who it seems didn't quite stand up to their end of the bargain with a few)........35+ RSVP's.  Being the mathematical genius I am, I'm thinking they are pretty good odds?

Majority of people I have spoken to about reunions are rather shocked by the fact that it was a primary school gathering.  High school reunions are FAR more popular and all the rage - especially when you get to my age and 20 years have passed!  But this weekend was a special one.  As was our class of '87.

Amongst the attendees were two of our three grade seven teachers, and our awe-inspiring school principal.  Very exciting stuff.  And very amusing to be buying said teachers a beer at the bar!

I spent the evening wondering wandering.  Many "oh my gods" were propelled across the room, as people's name tags revealed their identities.  Some you could pick before you read, but others required a little eye-squinting and standing back.  But basically, every single person still looked like the little person I recall.  Mind boggling.

One of the highlights of my evening was my school principal's recollection of my Mother as "a wild woman"......this was greeted by a WTF from me.  Mum - we will be talking.

I was confused to hear that I was remembered as "the bossy one" and "the leader of the pack".  I'm quite certain they have me mixed up with someone else?  Surely.....

The reminiscing continued well in to the night, lots of laughs and stories to tell.  And then a bunch of us got our groove on, well in to the morning.

And the OTHER 60-ish hours of this long weekend?  Let's just say I have a sore jaw......from talking.  Hours spent talking to women I was lucky enough to meet over 30 years ago.  Shacked up in an apartment with the essentials - tea, coffee and cupcakes.  I am BLESSED.

Some of the bestest friends a girl can ask for!

I have more to divulge about this weekend....but you will have to wait!

Have you been to a school reunion?  Were you surprised to find out you weren't really who you thought you were!??!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lessons Learnt

A conversation last night, albeit via Skype,  led me to lots of thinking.  This is not new - my brain is generally on over-drive most days.  But it made me think about all of the lessons I have learnt over time, and made me question what makes some people tick?  Why do some of us take lessons in, suck the information in and take it as it is?  Why do others buck the trend, pushing boundaries and rules, only then to learn the lesson - sometimes too late?

Of all the lessons I have been taught, these are some that have stuck with me....

"Drugs will kill you" - I clearly remember this lesson, and took it on board!  From that day forward I believed that if I were ever tempted to try hard drugs, I would die.  It would be just my luck.  So I never did them.  Don't get me wrong - I'm no angel.  I gave Pot a go, but still have no idea all these years later what the appeal is?  I have also learnt, way too close to home, that this apparent "soft drug" can be much more harmful than it has ever been given credit for......

The Grim Reaper - remember him?  Those ads in the 80's of him standing in the bowling alley, knocking over people who had contracted AIDS, had me shaking in my boots.  It's a shame that we don't have such hard hitting ads aimed at teenagers these days.....

Special occasion hair and make up - DO NOT allow anyone in Myer in the 90's to do your make up an hour before your engagement party!  Lesson well and truly learnt there!

"Friendships Evolve" - A dear friend of mine shared this pearl of wisdom many years ago.  When we met, we were new Mums trying to make sense of the little human beings we had been entrusted with.  I was 11 years her junior, and took her wisdom for granted.  She was right on the money.

"Smoking Kills" - And people still smoke.  Young people still take it up.  Just.  Don't.  Get.  It.

I wonder if the designers at this "up-market" label were on some sort of drugs when they decided to release this beauty?
90's fashion.  Wrong then.  Still wrong now.

First impressions are usually lasting - I don't know how many times it will take me to get this!  I can usually pick someone's personality the first time I meet them.  You know, whether they're my "kind of person"?  Sometimes, just sometimes, I get it wrong!  But most of the time - I get it right.

"Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been different" - Oprah.  I've shared this one before, and will probably share it again.  It's worth sharing.  I miss Oprah.....

And last but not least?

Treat others as you would like to be treated.  I try my hardest to do this on a daily basis.  I am only human, so if I am pushed - I will push back.  But generally speaking, I can stick to my guns.  I definitely think my work helps.  Through working with people with disabilities, and also when I did some aged care, I have learnt how NOT to treat others.  Respect, dignity and a whole lot of patience can go a very long way.  Given - it is a whole lot harder to apply these to the general public at times!

So tell me - what are the greatest lessons you have learnt?  And are you passing them on?

Monday, June 4, 2012

How to Say Goodbye?

This weekend past was one worth treasuring.  Both of my boys played their first games of basketball, Cadyn was a superstar, and revelled in every minute.  Lochie, at the age of 13, was a little anxious, but held his own on the court and made me proud that he was starting a sport when most other boys had played for years.  My girls made me smile as we talked about sleepovers and friends.  Sunday brought a family outing to Ikea, and excitement at the changes that were happening around us - new house, which means new bedrooms.  New school, which means new friendships.  And to top off this wonderful weekend, my husband and I headed out to gold class for a hilarious movie - "The Dictator".

The end of the movie brought some relief - my bladder could not take any more laughing.  But it also brought tears - as we were told that my husband's beautiful Nanna had passed away.

We were not surprised, she had been sleeping this past week, and we had been given the week to reflect on her 93 years of life.  But it still stung.  Seeing my Mother in Law surrounded by her three boys made me smile, after the tears. 

The predicament I find myself in now, is how to say goodbye?  Not for myself, but for my children?  Chelsea, all of nine years old, crawled on to my lap last night and cried for her Great-grandmother.  They had a special bond, being that she was born on the same date as Nanna - only 84 years later.  As I looked through photographs last night I noted that each birthday we had celebrated with Nanna was captured with Chelsea blowing out the candles.  This year was no different.  Only four weeks ago we all gathered for a celebratory lunch and Chelsea blew out Nanna's candles.

As preparations are being made to farewell the "Matriarch" of the family, I am debating whether our children should attend her funeral?  DO children attend funerals?  Do I give them the choice to attend or do we just make the decision for them?  Although I know it will inevitably be sad - I also think that 93 years of amazing living is one to celebrate.

What would you do?

10.5.1919 - 3.6.2012

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