Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stockin' Up

So the end of the world came and went.
Thank goodness, really.

Had we spontaneously combusted
(or whatever was predicted - I wasn't paying attention teach, sorry. I know - less talking, more listening. Story of my life.)
there would have been a lot of product gone to waste around this place.

The world cannot, should not, better not end anytime soon
as I have enough toilet paper on board to take us well into the next millennium.
(Slight exaggeration - but with a tad more storage space in the laundry I certainly would.)

We don't run out of 'stuff' at my joint.

I'm not exactly sure why, but I shop like nuclear warfare is about to break out.
Always have, since leaving home many years ago.

At any given time, you will find huge stashes of toilet paper, paper towel, tinned diced tomatoes, baking paper, rice, cheese, dips, vegetable stock, crackers, sparkling water, butter, sponges, nappies, wipes, bedsheets, toiletries 
and much more in various locations around this house.

I live in the suburbs.
We have seven day trading here in the West now.
There is a perfectly well stocked independent supermarket a few minutes walk from my home.

I dare say this is yet another illustration of my  'control issues' and I living in perfect harmony.

The thought of 'running out' of something doesn't sit well with me.
(As in, my heart is palpitating at the thought.)
Hence, the neighbours know exactly where to find that cup of sugar, an egg or ten,  the cream of tartar,
a bottle of champagne, spring onions or similar when the need arises.

I buy things 'just in case' and would rather have to ditch something next week
than run the risk of needing it and not having it this week.
(Stupidly first world and indulgent, I know.)
I love a good 'drop in' but I also like to be prepared for such an occasion!
In our street, impromptu parties can start at the drop of a hat (or visit to the letterbox)
 so my stockpiling has paid off on many an evening over the years.
I have a store of 'just in case' gifts and choccies too - because being caught out would send me into conniptions.

Thanks to producing another gorgeous little person earlier this year, 
I get to revisit another area in which I pathetically like to stock up - baby food.

Missi has started eating food recently.
We can now formally confirm that she is definitely our child as she is quite the little piggy.
Overeating is a bona fide family trait of ours.
That said, she is only four months old and only eating small cubes of various vegetables at this stage. But very enthusiastically.
Would kill for a bit of that Christmas turkey, guys.
So, this is the current state of my freezer door...

(This is minus the 56 cubes of potato I have added since taking that pic earlier today!)

I may not have been able to breastfeed successfully, but I can steam, blend and freeze a mean vegetable my friends.

Given that Missi is currently eating approximately three cubes per day at the moment,
 there is enough food here to last her a fair amount of time.
(About two months or so if we were doing the maths.)
Nonetheless, I have plans to add some more fruit options to this slightly ridiculous store during the week.

I have also been purchasing a couple of pre-packaged baby squeezie food thingies every time I hit the supermarket.
You know, just in case.
Missi hasn't actually had any of them yet - but the pile is mounting.
Just in case.

Do you like to be well stocked - or are you living on the edge - one flimsy roll away from running out???
How long should fruit/vegetables keep in the freezer??

Shar :-)

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Princess And The A/C - part 2

If you're at a loose end, feel free to read part 1 here.

T'was the night before Christmas
And all through the house,
A cool breeze was whirring
And, man, was it grouse.

When we left the spoilt princess last, she was lamenting the heat and praying to the God of Climate Control for some relief..
Moaning and behaving more like one of her elderly Irish relatives than the young (ish) Australian that she is.

Unfortunately for the princess, a number of weeks (4.2 if you were wondering) passed with little respite
- and much weather watching.
Many parts were ordered, many hours were spent in an attempt to repair the palace's air conditioning
- but alas, the motherfabulous thing wouldn't cooperate.

Finally, on the Friday before the 'almost Christmas' weekend at 5pm, the unit was condemned
and deemed completely  *insert audience-appropriate term here*.

The forecast for Christmas Day and the days following wasn't looking good
- unless one is a fan of searing heat, sticky discomfort and the number forty.

After noting the poorly disguised anguish on the Princess' face, the Prince jumped into action.
Favours were called in and friends in the business of lifesaving/air conditioning bailed up.
A trailer was loaned, a warehouse opened up out of hours
and installation begged organised for Christmas Eve.

The Prince was very pleased with his efforts indeed.
The Princess was heard muttering about 'eleventh hours'
and 'unnecessary stress' as she went about her chores.

On Christmas Eve, three saints tradesmen arrived at sunrise to resuscitate the royal marriage with nothing but hard work & cold air
-  ripping out the useless just-out-of-warranty-of-course system and installing a brand new unit.

By midday, the Princess was giddy with relief and showering the three wise (and so kind) men with praise (and homemade treats).
As the lovely trio went off on their merry (Christmas) way
- the mercury rose, the temperature indoors dropped beautifully and the Princess grinned from ear to ear.

So it was that Christmas 2012 was saved and a royal divorce averted.

And they all lived happily ever after ... in cool comfort.

The. End.
I. hope.

From my frosty family to yours - a very healthy, happy Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Point + Shoot : Aloha!

Good things come to those who wait ... a few months.

Saturday night marked our first night out on the town since we became Mum + Dad of two gorgeous little monkeys.

And it was good.

The occasion was Hubby's best mate's Hawaiian themed birthday bash and, as expected,
it was a wonderful night.
It may have been that fetching grass skirt that Hubby was sporting,
but it was so fantastic to spend a few hours being just 'us' again.
Social, silly 'us'.
'Us' minus the immediate parental responsibilities that we are used to these days.

Of course, I checked my phone an average of six times each hour and chose to drive.
But, the night was a step towards reclaiming a little bit of 'me' and a little bit of 'us' for a few hours.

Linking with Lou's Point + Shoot
point + shoot
How was your weekend?
Escape your 'norm' for a little while too?

Shar :-)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Grateful For... Sunny By Name...

Earlier in the week, my gorgeous friend Lou sent me a little something something that really brightened my day.
A kind of 'souvenir' of when she was over here in the West last month...

Just a 'few' of my favourites...

Then this morning, lovely Lou brightened my day again with another little something something to view.
This time, images of her beautiful (expanding!!!!) family.
I just love it when you're grinning from ear to ear by 8.30 in the morning.

Click below for a look see.

Linking with the 52 Weeks of Grateful

Congratulations - and thank you - my talented friend.
You've made my day twice in one week!

Shar :-)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Not Guilty, Your Honour

Unless you count Mother's guilt, that is.

My husband sneakily snapped this pic when he was at home with us the other day.
During the week.

There I am getting a breath of fresh air, while feeding the baby.
Yes, I've removed my shoes as it's quite the lengthy process with Missi - so I may as well get comfortable.
Yes, the deck has a lovely breeze flowing through it and the pool is lovely to sit beside.
Yes, they are lemons and a peach nicked from the neighbour's trees. She doesn't mind one bit.
Yes, the boy was happily playing with the water table nearby.
Yes, that is the telephone between my shoulder and my ear. It rang, I answered it.

A beautiful moment in time in my day.
No doubt about it.

Except now, Hubby would like to submit this photograph as evidence in his prosecution.
Of me.
Me and my apparently exaggerated 'facade' that being a full time stay at home parent is a pretty consuming job.

The age old case of
Wife v Husband
Primary Carer v Full Time Employed Outside The Home.

In mounting my own defense, I intend to now photograph...
the dirty butts I wipe multiple times a day,
the various states of Hubby's clothing (and pillow cases!) before I wash them,
the unmade beds I rectify over and over, 
the dodgy trolley wheel (and sloooow cashier) I encounter at least a couple of times each week,
the various components that comprise dinner - and each step in the process,
the pouting, crying faces of his children,
the dishes and bottles that I wash a number of times each day,  
the spare dog that I sweep off the patio each week,
the disgusting toilets that greet me,
the food I prepare that remains uneaten or unappreciated,
the trashed toy room,
the bills I pay (and accounts I juggle/try to stretch),
the state of my car after carting our children and lives around all week,
the marks I remove from the walls, windows and furniture, 
the dust I clean,
the gifts that I source, purchase and wrap,
the crumbs that cover every surface until I come along,
the showers I scrub....
etc. etc. etc.

I will also record the soothing sounds of the washing machine, the vacuum cleaner, the baby screaming in her car seat, the boy asking questions all day long, the dog barking, the whinging, the crying, the sleep refusal, the bottle refusal, the 'I wants",
the damn Peppa Pig theme song ...

He and his bench - they'll get the idea.

Your honour, I intend to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that full time parenting is a valid 'job'
and to argue otherwise is actually inviting response of a criminal nature.

But, judge, please let the record show that the rewards of being incarcerated in this place all week long
are also worth every minute of my current 'sentence'.
I'm simply defending my right to complain, threaten to quit (or cry) after a hard day here.

Shar :-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's Not Fair...

I get to shake my head and question 'why?' along with the rest of the world and then turn my attention back to my own beautiful kindergartner.

I get to shed tears in sympathy and then go back to blending every vegetable under the sun and stocking the freezer for bub's next month.

I get to physically ache at the very thought and then go back to picking Lego pieces out from under my feet.

I get to wonder how you get through the day you lay your little one to rest and then return to the piles of laundry that represent the ones I love.

I get to look at all those gifts under our tree, confident that there won't be a single one laying unopened on Christmas Day.

I get to be exhausted, frustrated, overwhelmed, overjoyed and elated by the presence of my children in my life.

We can't be held back by fear.
We can't apologise for our own blessings.

But we can be consciously aware of just how damn fortunate we are to have our babies here under our feet, in our faces and in our arms.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Why Running A Marathon Is Faaaaar Easier Than Parenting...

In times of parental hardship AKA when I am almost ripping my hair out and willing the clock to speed up, I sometimes think to myself "c'mon - this can't be breaking me - I've run a marathon for goodness sake".

Except this can be breaking me.
Some days at home with young people can make running a marathon look like a proverbial - and literal - walk in the park.
In fact, some days I would happily grab my sneakers and run 42 kilometres in any direction at any given moment.

Of course, there are (many, many) days when the elation of crossing that finish line (or accomplishing any personal goal) can easily be eclipsed by a smile, a cuddle, a milestone, a little hand in mine, the "I really love you Mum" and all those other magic moments we are so privileged to be party to.

I love, love, love my children (I mean where else would all this guilt come from?) but there are so very many reasons that I believe that parenting is the true test of stamina, endurance and willpower.

Why running a marathon is faaaaar easier than parenting...

You train and prepare for a marathon. A lot.
You would never embark on a marathon without having progressively run longer and longer distances.
Just watching (and judging!) others run a marathon would not seem like sufficient preparation.
If you are injured, you would simply withdraw from the event until you have recovered sufficiently to tackle another one.
You maintain adequate nutrition and hydration during a marathon - and are encouraged to do so.
You are even provided with the means to do this easily along the way.
You are cheered along by strangers and friends almost every step of the way.
Non marathon runners are in awe of your feat.
It's ok to say that running a marathon is hard work.
In fact, most people will agree with you.
People don't regularly remind you to enjoy running that marathon because it will go so quickly.
You don't have to feel an ounce of guilt for having moments of "why am I doing this again?"
People don't constantly ask you mid-marathon when you plan on running your next one.
You can listen to (your own) music, ignore everyone around you or completely zone out while running a marathon.
Models and celebrities aren't making marathon running look glamorous and easy everywhere you turn.
The course is dictated to you and you are even directed along the way.
It would be near impossible to go the wrong way or second guess the direction you have chosen to take.
After running a marathon, it is perfectly acceptable to complain of pain, rest your legs or request a glass of champagne be brought to you.
The only person you could disappoint or fail is yourself.
Marathon running could be considered a perfectly feasible, full time occupation.
One that might even render you worthy of interesting conversation in a social setting.
If you are unhappy with your run, you can always put it behind you and plan to improve next time. No harm done. No DOCS.
The only bodily functions you have to monitor (or clean) are your own.
After a marathon physically, mentally and emotionally exhausts you - you're not expected to wake up and do it all over again the next day - with a smile on your face.
You actually do get a medal.

Shar :-)

Point + Shoot : Ready, Set, Summer

This weekend just seemed to ooze Summer for me.
I do realise that the season officially opened a couple of weeks ago
- but around here I now declare Summer to be upon us.

It might just have something to do with the fact that our pool finally saw some action over the past couple of days.

On Saturday we (okay, they!) jumped on in for Missi's first ever swim.
(Ooooh - I loooove a good 'first'!!)
  I stayed dry, but schooled the little lady on the finer points of (safe) sun worshipping and deck lounging.
With a bit of topless poolside business thrown in for good measure.

On Sunday we held Hubby's extended family Christmas bash here.
There's no better sound than all that splashing, squealing and laughing.
And with a family baby boom in the last few months 
- there's plenty of that guaranteed for a few years yet.

Hello Summer!
It's always a pleasure.

Linking with Lou's Point + Shoot
point + shoot

Shar :-)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Grateful for...An Extra Pair

These last few days have felt luxurious.
Absolutely blissful.
Truly decadent.

Whilst I haven't actually been living a life of indulgence as such, I feel as though I have!

There has been no silver service or 5 star hospitality in sight
- but my Hubby has been at home this week.

Hubby has been resting and recuperating from his (successful) nose op around here 
- with a bit of work and Facebooking thrown in for good measure.
(The man has finally succumbed and joined the Facebook revolution - just a tad behind the rest of the so-called civilised world!)

For my dodgy wrists, having an extra pair of hands around the house - literally
- is the best medicine possible.

For my energy and tolerance levels having another adult - particularly the one you adore
-around the house has been the best treat possible.

At times, I have almost felt ashamed of my good fortune - at the expense of Hubby's nasal passages!
I've also felt incredibly guilty this week when talking to girlfriends who haven't had the luxury of 'popping to the shop/chemist/kindy/hand surgeon' with little fanfare or pack-horsing.
I have even used a single handbag on a number of occasions this week!

I'm so very grateful for the week of shared parenting that I have enjoyed.
Really enjoyed.

And I guess I should be grateful that Hubby's recovery has been so terrific, he will return to work a number of days earlier than expected.
Yeah. Excellent. :-)

How was your week?
Any lucky breaks come your way?

Linking with 52 Weeks of Grateful over @ Village Voices.

Shar :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

When Nothing Goes Right...

Maxabella wrote about picnicking your troubles away over at Village Voices this week.
Whilst I initially clicked over there for her Chicken and Leek Pie recipe, I came away with this beauty instead...

"When nothing goes right, go outside".

No truer words have been spoken.
Or typed.
Or virtually shared.
Or whatever.

Claustrophobia seems to be my go-to condition when a day turns to bleeeuuuaaaggh (which can be known to happen long before midday!) or anxiety starts to build.

Some people like to (or maybe tend to - 'cause who likes being a ball of anxious mess, really??) shut themselves off from the world in times of stress or distress.

Not I.

I tend to throw open the doors and windows, scour the street for our neighbours or roll out the bike/pram combo and get the kids moving.
Take some time to get me breathing. Listening. Recentring.

There really is something 'great' about the great outdoors.
Fresh air is one powerful prescription - and so budget friendly!

One of my favourite elements of these Summer months, is being outdoors in the evenings.
Whether it's playing and chatting on our lawn, chalk drawing on the driveway, taking dinner down to the beach or walking/riding before bedtime - it's a therapy all of it's own for me.

Which makes me a little wistful as I watch another few Summer storms come rolling in here on the West!!
It's Summer - but not as we know it.

Shar :-)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dear Santa - I'm Blank!

Well, well, wells, I was taggy tagged by Loz over at Ninja Towers last week, but you know,
time (and that Christmas train) is stopping for no lazy blogger is it??

So, it's my turn to put pen to paper (or tip-tap this keyboard) and drop Santa Claus a line or two.
I'm sure he'll be delighted to hear from me amidst all of his list making and checking.

Dear Santa,

What a year, hey?

I won't bore you with the details, but it has been quite the dramatic year around these parts.
The highest of highs (we shall call her MIssi) and some obligatory lows (which shall remain nameless) to keep it real.

Now Santa, please don't be disappointed in me.
I mean you absolutely no disrespect.

The very thing that I'm sure my parents would have loooooved (and just about keeled over) to hear when I was growing up has occurred this December.

I'm a little me-me-me gift stumped!!

I have me no list, old man.
I know. 
It's not a typo, Santa.
A blank list. Nada. Nothing.

I have spent a few days (and quite a few "but you must want something"s from Hubby) racking this fragile little head
- and I keep coming up empty.

I guess that makes me very content... or too exhausted to contemplate the material stuff right now!

There doesn't seem to be much you can do for me this year, Big Red.
(Unless you and the elves are harbouring a magic cure for Bubby reflux and the resulting Mummy wrist issues - then I'ma on my way to the North Pole as I type.)

I have my beautiful Hubby home with us a lot more than usual in the next three weeks and that's the most valuable gift I could request right now, to be honest.
I'm sure Mrs Claus felt very similarly when she had little ones hanging out of her all day.

And now that I think of it, I guess one well placed Powerball could make that a permanent household arrangment, couldn't it?
Don't spose you get too many requests of the Lotto/Powerball variety  though,do you??!!

But gifts for my two little people, Mr Claus?
Now, that's a different story entirely.
Go right ahead and spoil them rotten if you like.
Because really, their pleasure is mine too.

The gorgeous boy here has no trouble with his list composing, that's for sure.
And the sweet, smiley bubby girl, she'll enjoy the wrapping and the animated faces at the very least.

Your visit is much anticipated around our place - despite my own lack of a list, so please don't be offended and skip us altogether.
If it comes to it, feel free to take these last couple of kilos I'm lugging about and pop them in the back of that sleigh as your gift to me.
Or at least see if you can find my running mojo out there on your travels.
Oh - and hey -  fix that air conditioning while you're on the roof, would you?!

Stay safe Santa and enjoy that bevvy Magoo will delight in leaving you and the reindeer.

Shar :-)

What's on your list?
Or do you have any suggestions for mine??

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Point + Shoot : Slip + Slide

One hot, humid afternoon.
One lawn.
One large piece of black plastic.
One (or two) bottle (s) of 'slip'.
One hose.
One happy little man.
(Until it's time to call it quits, that is.)

Linking with Lou's Point + Shoot
point + shoot

How was your weekend?
Any slippery business?

Shar :-)

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Neeeew Man

Apparently I'm in the running for a brand new and improved husband after today.

I would happily settle for a much needed washing machine upgrade - but hey.

Now, let's make it very clear that I am madly in love with my current Hubby.

I'm not usually a violent person, but sometimes, in the wee end-of-my-tether-just-wanted-some-rest hours I'm so MADly in love with him that I kick him and seriously consider smacking him out.

He snores, my (current) Hubby.

I have a difficult relationship with sleep at the best of times, but Hubby's (unintended, I know, I know, I know) interference often takes it to the next level of downright dysfunctional.

After only approximately three years of nagging him, my Hubby finally went to see an ENT a couple of months ago.
It turns out he has a severely broken nose.
And has had for about six years now.

(In case you're wondering - 'cause it crossed my guilty mind too - the broken nose came BEFORE the occasional 'wanting to smack him out' business. Probably before we were married actually.)

According to the specialist and others, Hubby will feel like 'a new person' after today's surgery to correct his nose.

I can only wonder what this new person will bring to my life!!

Maybe this new man will do the spontaneous pick up a cheap bunch of flowers just because.
Maybe this new man will have outstanding vision - and actually see his clothes strewn on the floor?
Maybe this new man will be overcome with urge to cook a meal every now and then?

Maybe this new man will stop patiently tolerating my gazillion flaws and start looking for his own new woman!

All lame jokes aside, I'm feeling a tad sick to my fluttery stomach as I watch the clock here. As it's not exactly feasible to cart a bub and a boy around a hospital all day, I'm at home with them -  knowing that Hubby will be going under pretty soon.
Suddenly, I have this compulsion to iron everything in sight.
Nervous, anyone?!

I can't wait to have my new (old) man back where he belongs.
(Which is not out on his own huge, skippered boat with his brand new surf ski on board chasing waves with a bunch of his mates - despite what he would like to make believe.)

Shar :-)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Princess And The A/C

Once upon a time there lived a princess.
A spoilt princess with a few control issues it seemed.
You see, she really liked being able to control her environment.
Reeeeeally liked it.

The princess and her hubby prince were not fancy people.
She wouldn't have even noticed the difference between laminate or stone on a bench top.

But she did like her ducted, reverse cycle air conditioning, this princess.

That was until a ridiculous almost-Summer-time storm hit the West where she lived and virtually blew up a component of the air conditioning.
The very component which offered the cooling effect the princess so enjoyed.

So, in the days that followed,  a trusty air conditioning repairman was summonsed to visit the castle.
He identified the issue, ordered the necessary parts and went on his merry way.

Unfortunately, before these parts could arrive the temperature in the West began to rise.
And rise.
And rise.

This made the princess quite agitated and sweaty indeed.
She was feeling very sorry for her poor children who were sleeping (or trying to sleep) in sauna-like conditions in their bedrooms.
The princess begged the prince to request the air conditioning repairman "doooo somethiiing".
But alas, there was little relief to be found.

For now, the spoilt princess is standing in front of a pedestal fan, spraying the room with a mist of cold water and wondering how she ever lived happily ever after before installing air con five years ago.

To be continued....

Monday, December 3, 2012

Same, Same - and Same Again

In the last few days, I've been bitten by the monotony of life as a full time stay-at-home-Mum.

I mean no disrespect to my children - because I love them to the moon and back - but at times I struggle with the actual stay-at-home component of this role.

Missi has hit that age where she is a tad less tag-along, bless her.
Sister likes her cot - and you can't argue with that if she's happily sleeping in it a couple of times a day.
Sister also has a few feeding issues, so spends the bulk of her 'awake time' trying to drink her bottle - which of course, is attached to my hand.
Unfortunately, sister ain't so fond of her pram at the moment.

Last week, I stayed home literally every day.
Friends came to play and visit.
We had people over for dinner.
I popped to the shops briefly.
I drove Magoo to and from kindy twice.
The weather was just atrocious.
I had plenty to occupy my time around here...
But I was at home pretty much all. week. long.

Then, when Hubby left to paddle in a race for most of Saturday - I cried.
Like a big sooky bubby.

I would never want him to forgo his own interests, but as I watched him drive off I was struck with a sense of being 'trapped' here in this home and role of 'Mum'.

Man, I know just how ungrateful and pathetic that sounds.
(So, so, so very, very ungrateful and pathetic.)
I know how fortunate I am that my children sleep in their beds or follow any patterns at all.
I also know that I'll be over this slumpy slump mood in no time - probably the moment I hit publish and exhale.

Sometimes, I wish I was one of those homely types who is content to potter around my home for days on end.
Doing the same chores and activities over and over and over and over again without any deviation from the norm.
Perfectly content in my own company and that of these two gorgeous little people.

Unfortunately, I think a couple of days without a change of scenery is my limit.

The irony is that I do love routines and I'm a creature of habit in so many areas of my life.
I do routines well. Too well at times.
I just like them peppered with variety and broken up with new visuals I guess!

Pram aversion or no pram aversion - we will be getting out more this week my lovely Missi Moo.

Huh?? Are you calling me boring Mum??
You say that only boring people get bored!

Love :
rou·tine/ruˈtin/  noun 
1. a customary or regular course of procedure.
2. commonplace tasks, chores, or duties as must be done regularly or at specified intervals; typical or everyday activity: the routine of an office. 
3. regular, unvarying, habitual, unimaginative, or rote procedure.
4. an unvarying and constantly repeated formula, as of speech or action; convenient or predictable response

Not so much :
monotony  (məˈnɒtənɪ) 
1.  wearisome routine; dullness 
2.  lack of variety in pitch or cadence 

It's a fine line I guess!

Does anyone else out there suffer from cabin fever?

Shar :-)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Point + Shoot : Festivus

Like many families, our silly season was officially opened this weekend.
Let the festivities begin!

Did you observe the 1st of December tradition at your place?

Linking with Lou's Point + Shoot
point + shoot
Shar :-)