Author Archives: allconsuming

Kookaburras at night

I’ve suffered terribly from leg cramps for much of the last year and yes, struggled on. I may be the first person to suffer severe cramp from excessive sitting as opposed to exercise. On the advice of my BIL who is firmly indoctrinated into the cult of ka.ra.te I’ve picked up some magnesium powder instead of the largely ineffective tablets. Good Lord this stuff is vile. It’s like drinking a vitamin C tablet, you know the ones, those you’d steal as a kid for the sour/sweet hit as you ate them. Again, struggling on.

These summer holidays are drawing to a close and may be notched up as my laziest. I blamed our home-bound-ness firstly on Oscar’s daily nurse visit. This was largely acceptable due to them arriving sometime around noon. Of course we could have mooched over to the beach in the afternoon but that would have interfered with my napping. And this doesn’t explain the last third of the holiday so let’s move on.

Felix has fine-tuned his holiday program with a conviction I hope to see in his schoolwork this year cough. He seems to stay up until 4am-ish gaming on his pc and then sleeps until mid-afternoon. I’m sniggering at just how much the back-to-school reality is going to bite him on the arse.

Movies seen: Penguins of Madagascar, The Hobbit, Big Hero 6,  The Imitation Game (brilliant. I don’t get the Benedict Cumberbatch hysteria but he is bloody marvellous here) and Birdman (weird, brilliant if you view it as an insight into a schizophrenic mind. And Edward Norton is brilliant.).

The family realignment sees me cut free each Monday evening. This came about by necessity as if I stayed the boys gravitated to me and I ended up making dinner and completing all other nightly duties. So now I disembark. Last week I had mixed feelings about this and then, over a frozen margarita and some fish tacos, reminded myself how I used to yearn for such a reality. Now I either loiter at friends’ houses eating cheese and drinking champagne, sometimes cocktails, or buy the biggest bucket of popcorn and sit in a darkened cinema for a couple of hours. Last week I drove home and as I was fretting over just what may go wrong this year I spotted some kookaburras sitting on the overhead wires. Laughter in the black of night.

My wretched Ilve oven has packed it in once again. Last repairs cost something like $700. Cue hand ringing. To replace it I need a 900mm oven and all the ones I can find on the market are that width but not the height, so I’d need someone to come in build a frame around it. It all makes my head hurt quite frankly, on top of the fact the repair service I want to use (NOT the one I used last time) will not return my (many) calls. Things logged to be made: macaroni cheese, bacon and cheese scrolls, cinnamon buns.

School uniforms have been bought, shoes purchased, shopping done. I am simultaneously yearning for school to begin and mourning the end of sleep-ins and abject laziness. The likelihood of hearing my 6am alarm? Negligible. Likelihood of waking in a panic at 6:47 when Oscar’s bus arrives at 7:05? Stratospheric.

That is all.

 

Onward.


Challenging times. Again.

Oscar is back in hospital with the same infection in the same leg. The exciting development this time around was he developed (he had?) sepsis – which is what they call septic now. Just to keep us all on our toes he ended up in the domain of machines that go ping, ICU.

He wasn’t there for long, I’m unsure if that was because he got better or because they were as skeeved out about his “incontinent stools” as I was. Nothing tests your maternal ties more than incontinent diarrhea, particularly when it happens all over a bare mattress, in the emergency waiting room (“nurse, you’ll need to wipe down that chair”) or in emergency (“I keep wiping but you’re not stopping” as you witness a squirt of liquid mustard “incontinent stool” then burned.onto.your.retinas). Finally the adult nappies came into action and sweet baby cheeses I bowed to them in all their depressing reality.

You still with me?

We’ve clocked up a week so far and there seems no end in sight. Everything seems to happen in polaroid snapshots.

The well-intentioned but idiot paediatric registrar who relatively late last night tried to show his authority around the processes we’re currently going through. Fuck off buddy, we’ve been here before.

The same cars in the carpark – the fancy shiny brand new Range Rover, two identical mini Coopers, another transporter like ours, a huge country ute with serious storage gear on its tray, wicked spotties and mud on the wheels. Once you’re sick it doesn’t matter what car you drive.

The confusing reality of your man-child. In a paed ward when really he should be in an adult one. Having to help put his penis in a wee bottle. That hairiest of hairy arses. Showering him. This is the hardest thing of all.

Confounding doctors. You don’t ever want to be the case that confounds doctors.

The only good news in this is that he is getting better.

The reality is IV antibiotics for another 4-6 weeks. We’re not going home until his elephant leg looks totally like a normal one. We’ve already been here a week. They want us to see the orthopaedic specialist who operated on his feet. The thought, the merest suggestion he might have to have surgery again makes me want to eat my own head.

I don’t think he’s going to make it back to school this year.

I have an overwhelming urge to bake.

 

Onward.

 

 


Weekend roundup

I  love Friday nights. There’s something so reckless about them – drink! stay up late! watch another Scooby Doo movie (do they ever end? Is one churned out every week in some animation gulag?)! eat crap food for dinner!

This week it was chicken fingers which is basically a nugget but in strips rather than rounds. I know. Fancy like. And spring rolls. The spring roll addiction is a relatively new one, embarked upon following a family gathering where they were part of the offering. I have to buy the catering size packs because six of us can knock over 40 of them in one go. And when I say 6 I really mean 4 because the little boys don’t care for them. Weirdos.

Such is our love of the spring roll I made some from scratch last weekend. This was initially done under duress because it falls into a category of messy, time consuming, fiddly foods that are then vacuumed up in 10 seconds flat leaving me with not enough for myself and a kitchen resembling something from the Dresden bombings.

spring rolls pre-cooked

Spring rolls - cooked

I made vegetarian ones and ones with pork. The recipe was here. You must make the cucumber dipping sauce, it elevated them exponentially. For the vego ones I omitted the pork (obviously). I also doubled the recipe.

 

Cricket season started for us this weekend. Now some would wail and gnash teeth at an 8:30 start on a Saturday morning but I look on it as dripping with so much virtue you can come home and nap for as long as you like. Grover is playing this year and it appears our team has a group of wonderful parents I can gossip with to see that 1.5hrs whizz by.

I also had my very own play date under the guise of it being one for Grover. I met K at another kid’s party when I walked into the room to collect Grover and everyone else was in groups who clearly knew each other and were laughing gayly. I thought she looked normal and it turns out my radar was bang on. We then saw each other at another kid’s party and had more of a chat, confirming my initial reading that she was normal and one of us. So finally we got together on Saturday afternoon in a soiree that involved cheese, pate and wine.

We were standing in the backyard when she marvelled at our cucumber plants. Except she called them zucchinis. I corrected her gently until she said they looked like zucchini flowers and I simultaneously looked and saw zucchinis happily growing on my cucumber plants. There’s not much I don’t eat (stop laughing) but zucchinis is one of them. Frittatas and omelettes are others but back to the cuczuchs I’m growing. So now I’ve got three plants full of them. Hit me with your best zucchini recipes please.

Yesterday was pretty low-key apart from doing the grocery shopping. Stop it. Grocery shopping is a highlight in my week. I shopped at the competitor and my bill was a good $50 less. I hate this competitor but if it’s leaving 50 bucks in my wallet we may have to be friends.

Oscar’s School of Awesome do an annual concert with Years 10-12 and a nearby private girls school. It’s on this coming Friday night and is all Oscar can talk about. We had to go and buy some new black shoes and a green t-shirt for him yesterday. He only asked about when we were going shopping 3,000 times from Friday night so, winning. School of Awesome concerts differ from normal school concerts where you sit through an interminable number of very average children to listen to your musically gifted child. Every song, every item has you laughing or crying or both and the entire event is joyous. Oscar informs me (many times) this week is practice practice practice. I can’t wait.

 

Onward.


So

Our family has undergone the greatest of upheavals and yet still the wheels turn.

There’s an added labouring to getting the boys to school now though, they want to stay close, bunker down. But that is also part and parcel to this time of year as we hurtle towards Christmas and the end of the school year.

I’d say the boys are kinder to each other but that would be a lie. They are, however, more together. There’s battles here and wrestling there and tears thrown in for good measure, along with hurls of abuse and indignation at rules not followed.

I am still making dinner every.fucking.night. although yesterday was an afternoon of cooking the most delightful comfort foods – homemade spring rolls (a first and a triumph) and then cheese and bacon pinwheels for dinner. Have you ever made cheese and bacon pinwheels? Take a few square sheets of puff pastry, mix equal parts of grated cheese to finely diced bacon (so I made 5 sheets last night with 500g bacon and 600g cheese) then spread on the puff. Roll up, smear some water or egg along the final edge to seal. Cut into 6 even rolls then bake at 180C for about 15 minutes, maybe 20 – I’m unsure of time, I just go off how they look.

I tell you, if you’re feeling glum about your husband leaving you and abandoning your kids, they go someway to cheering you up.

The weekend also brought joy in a whole other form:

Zelda 1

Meet Zelda. Isn’t she delicious! Her tiny presence has transformed the house, taking the focus off things we have no control over.

 

Onward.


A family realignment

A month ago Chef told me he didn’t think he loved me anymore. Subsequent events show he lied, he actually doesn’t love me anymore.

Within a month he has completely extricated himself from our lives. In a whole month he’s seen – or been in their presence would be a better description – the boys for about 2.5hrs.

He packed up his life in 10 green garbage bags.

He took the PlayStation and the xBox1.

We have been together for 23 years. He packed up all his belongings four days before our 17 year wedding anniversary.

And me? I’m fine. No really, I am fine. I’m shocked at how fine I am.

The boys’ world has been obliterated and we are navigating the new terrain together. It’s rocky and unknown but we shall be fine.

 

Onward.

 

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