Sunday morning

Brewtown in Newtown. Hipster apocalypse. 

this ‘n that

I must say I kinda hit the ground hard after not getting beyond the Kidspot Top 50. Dumb stupid pride had me at least getting into the Top 5.

Dumb.

Stupid.

Pride.

I felt it keenly and then took stock. And then stepped back.

It is the danger of this place – of, indeed, the all consuming nature of the online community in which we each seek whatever it is we seek.

What started as a desire just to get all the words, all the noise out of my head gently morphed into a desire to have a record of my life, of those early parenting years and a catalogue of the antics of my beautiful boys.

And then people started reading it – and commenting and well, fast forward a couple more kids a hellacious rollercoaster ride of a life and those ‘people’ became friends. The likes of Eleanor, Duyvken, Mary, Fifi, Fe, Suzie, Badger, BabelBabe, Blackbird, Paola and Joke. My posse. They have been beside me for – wow – more than six years. Some of them live, blessedly, at least in the same country as me but the others – well, one day…

In the last few months that posse has become more of a mob – and what a delightful, outrageous, loud, caring and funny mob it is.

The flip-side of that has been a sense of finally ‘getting somewhere’ with allconsuming. The recognition, the acknowledgement of my writing, the inclusion in top this and finalist that.

Who am I kidding I love that shit.

So I guess that’s why I felt it so keenly when I didn’t make the final cut. The final cut to get to drive around a bloody car (ok, a clean car, with fancy bells and whistles, did I mention clean?) and write about it.

And that’s when I whacked myself around the head with a cold fish.

What do I want from my blog? Why do I do it? Because I have to – yeah yeah, we get that.

Because I want a profile.

Because I do want to be known as a bloody good read. Somewhere you can ponder whether Bear Grylls really would be good at muff-diving while also getting insights into parenting boys and managing depression and mood issues and finding something yummy to cook and what it is to be doing your best to raise four boys into fine men.

Because I want to be an authority god damn it.

And you know what? Being selected as someone to drive a car for a month, write about it, thereby promoting the car is perhaps not the best way to go about that. But that is a moot point. I mean, how fucking cool would it be to be given a brand spanking new car to drive around for a month.

Ahem.

I know it has a lot to do with my nature but there is also that compelling aspect to being a part of an online community that sucks you in, pulling you away from the everyday and warping your sense of reality and muddying your priorities.

So I realised I needed – once again – to just back the fuck away and do some more tangible things than seek the love and adoration of strangers. Although that will always be a compunction of mine. Such is my want.

So I’ve been doing a bit of crochet.

I’ve started a new quilt which I am determined to do some hand quilting on. I had intended to keep it for us and may indeed do so but I also have someone in mind for it, depending on just how passable the hand quilting is.

I’ve been doing some baking.

Hanging with the kids.

On Friday I headed over to Calico & Ivy in Balmain with one of my bridesmaids, the lovely L, where we chatted away for hours with Sarah, drank tea, chose yarn and fabric and well, just soaked up the joy that is friendship and a common interest. Then we did sushi. Divine.

The weekend did not kick my arse – remarkable considering the red ninja arrived. The boys and I actually had a great weekend.

We FINALLY got to special needs soccer on Saturday afternoon for Oscar – I had been putting it off, dreading it even (a hangover from doing this years ago and it just being a monumental drag, which it probably wasn’t). Of course it was so much fun and a delight to reconnect with a family we had not seen in years. Their son is at school with Oscar and well, when we arrived he came tearing across to us, screaming Oscar’s name and giving him the hugest hug. The MAIN reason we wanted Oscar at his School of Awesome was for friendship and here it was, loud, bold, excited and genuine.

AND, the brother of Oscar’s friend? The same age as Felix. The two of them went off CLIMBING FUCKING TREES and just doing whatever it is 11 year old boys who’ve never met before do to just become instant friends. He came up to Felix when we were all leaving and said thanks, that he had a really good afternoon.

Sunday was footy for Felix on the most glorious winter’s day, then afternoon tea at the in-laws.

It was the first time I’d seen my MIL in more than two weeks due to her starting chemo and me coughing up a lung. Her hair has started falling out hand over fist. It is alarming. Confronting. She is dealing with it with the grace and good humour (and occasional tear) as she has every other challenge that our family has faced.

Funny how things like this make your realise how much you adore these people and the merest hint they could not be a part of your everyday makes it so difficult for you to breath you can’t push the thought out of your mind fast enough. She will make a full recovery. She will. But the road there is no less daunting.

Chef is now on two weeks holidays before starting his new job. We’ve been together 20 years next month and well, I just love him is all.

He and I head to Melbourne this Friday. We are both beside ourselves with excitement. It’s going to be fucking freezing. There’s going to be so much eating. So much footy. We’re going to watch the Carlton boys train. Apparently there’s also going to be so much sex but Chef seems to be forgetting he’s almost an old man so he SHOULD be calming down in that department. God help me.

He’ll be 40 next Friday. Old.Man.

 

So there you have it. I didn’t win a fancy car for a month. But I have so much more.

I love youse all.

 

Onward!

Another day another ego boost

Well regular readers know that the last two weeks have been a bit of a shocker in this house, so how lovely is this!

Last year kidspot launched their Top 50 bloggers and man I was kinda gutted I wasn’t on the list. What a difference a year makes. The growth and dynamic nature of the Australian blogging community has clearly been having a fair suck on the sauce bottle and gone off like a frog in a sock in the last twelve months. There have been competitions and conferences and some more competitions and some more unashamed begging on my part for you to go vote for me. You can do that this time as well if you like but quite frankly even I am bored by my self-promotion.

This is my corner of the world where friendships have been forged and a life celebrated in all its shades of colour. I am proud of it, even the ugly bits, and knowing I have it makes me happy and my world a little smaller and (normally) less scary.

So if you’re here via Kidspot, hi, come on it. I swear a bit and sometimes it can all go a little haywire but we normally find a way to laugh about it.

If you’re here, as you have been, for the gazillionth time over the last several years well, you know how much I love and treasure your companionship along this road of mine.

 

Onward!

 

(But dudes, it turns out I can TOTALLY win FIVE GRAND and a FORD TERRITORY to drive around FOR A WHOLE FREAKIN’ YEAR so go vote and comment heaps because apparently that shows just how much you really do love me. A CAR-  for a YEAR!!! Can you imagine, my four boys, one car, one year – they’re never going to want it back – Bwahahahahahahahahaha!)

A good day. A very good day.

This morning the boys were being suitably arduous and tiring and exasperating and any other adjective which says fucking annoying in a polite way.

Then the neighbour called over the fence that all t.h.r.e.e. of the guinea pigs were in HER yard, as opposed to the most glorified cage known to man. Sure enough, there they all were, mowing her lawn quite nicely. So there was me and Felix (and then Oscar, Jasper and Grover) clamboring through their tick-infested rainforest inspired garden trying to catch some tailless rats our precious pets.

They’re slippery little suckers let me tell you. We caught Harriet but had to admit defeat on Cocoa and Matilda as they had vanished and we had visitors coming over.

The visitors arrived and a lovely morning was had, except that small section when all their children were playing beautifully outside while my four were inside fighting like feral cats. Seriously, Grover was attacking Oscar on the lounge while Felix and Jasper were wrestling on the kitchen floor. Class.E.

These are the same friends who we went to Putt Putt Golf with last week which ended with Jasper and Grover having an EPIC meltdown because Felix’s best friend had bought him a slushie and I refused to buy one for them. Well actually, it didn’t end there. It ended with me SMACKING Grover in the doorway of the Pro-Shop, dragging him to the car by one arm and then tearing shreds off both of them for embarrassing me so thoroughly in public and how selfish they were and so on and so forth. Let’s just say I wasn’t using my quiet yelling whisper voice.

What can I say, I do white trash well.

Thank GOD these friends are friends with whom I can compare rage ratings.

Anyway, they all departed and I started getting some emails, texts and facebook messages from friends doing the whole ‘OMG YOU WON’ caper. And indeed I did.

Thank you one and all for your votes for me – I will be attending the Disability & Carers Congress in Melbourne as a ‘Social Media Champion’ for the Every Australian Counts campaign.

This means so much to me – it’s been a while since I was involved at this kind of level in disability services. When Oscar was wee I was on the committee for the Association of Genetic Support of Australasia and was heavily involved in securing funding for a support service we used for Oscar about six years ago so it’s been a while between drinks.

Then I had to knuckle down and get some stuff written for a request I’d received.

Then I took some deep breaths, downed a couple of imaginary valium and took all four boys to the Mall to find some winter clothes for Oscar and Felix.

When we arrived I did the standard ‘we’re at the shops’ pep talk. There are other people. BE GOOD. There’s a quiz – what does ‘be good’ mean? To which they all reply in various states of resignation enthusiasm ‘don’t run’, ‘don’t yell’, ‘don’t fight’, ‘don’t touch ANYTHING’, ‘NO RUNNING’, ‘stay close’. And so on and so forth.

It stands to reason then that as soon as the doors to Target swoosh open the two younger ones tear off into the shops as if they’re horses leaving the gate and the decree is given, ‘let the games begin’!

Between eleventy gagillion COME HEREs and STOP RUNNING and SO HELP MEs there was schlepping to the other side of the store to for Felix to try on some jeans. Hey ladies, trying on jeans on a boy is just as soul destroying as trying them on yourself!

Grover and Jasper were having an awesome game of locking themselves in a changeroom, one of them dragging themselves out under the door then banging on it with great hilarity while Oscar flapped and did his ear-piercing squeal and O.M.G. someone SHOOT ME NOW.

There were some more COME HEREs and STOP RUNNINGs and then a yelp. As Jasper slammed into a woman WITH A LIMP. I swear to GOD it now rates as one of my best I TOLD YOU SO mothering stories of all time.

Then there was a brief dalliance in the boys clothing section where I laughed at myself for even thinking anything in that department would be more than a leg warmer on the bigger boys, so back we went to the men’s section, found another pair of jeans we hadn’t seen, went and tried them on and HOOLEY DOOLEY success.

So, we’re heading for the check-outs when I pull my phone out thinking Chef may well have been ringing me to find us (joining us there as he was after work) when I see these tweet messages expressing congratulations and general excitement and more Oh Em Gees.

Then my phone rings and there is much squeeing (granted I was trying to whisper squee because by now – NOT A WORD OF A LIE – the security guard was following us) and for reals folks, I am a finalist in the Sydney Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs 2011 Competition in the Lifestyle/Personal category.

How FRIGGIN’ awesome is that. I’m a LIFESTYLE people, a LIFESTYLE.

Needless to say, you can still vote for me in the  People’s Choice category – because clearly my ego needs more stroking.

And then, as we’re all licking our collective wounds of virtually being kicked out of Target my phone rings and it’s my mother-in-law.

Something has been going on folks and I haven’t told you about it because it’s been early days and not really my story to tell.

But at my MIL’s annual mammogram they found a lump. That lump was malignant. That lump was lumpectomied last week. That lump was 10mm bigger than the mammogram had shown it to be. It was not there last year. They thought that lump was a particular kind of cancerous lump. The worst most aggressive kind. It was not there last year and this year it was already 16mm in size.

The proposed treatment plan was confronting. Three months of chemo, TWELVE months of this other treatment that could damage her heart and the value of which (and the best duration) were still not established and THEN radiology. We were all reeling.

Then the call came in today with the final blood test results on The Lump which were confirming – or not – that it was the worst, most aggressive kind. Negative. The Lump – while still a cancerous bastard of a lump – is not the worst, most aggressive kind.  Chemo still stands, as does the radiology but that other nasty 12 month component is no longer on the table. Her surgeon has told her she is the poster girl for early detection, that she will make a full recovery.

And that, my dear beautiful readers, is a good day.

 

Onward.

 

The only thing saving me from humidity-induced insanity

Three flavours:
Coconut Pineapple
Coconut Mango
Coconut Guava

So.FUCKING.good.

Shake the box really well (there’s 10 perfectly sized packets in the box)
Tip the blocks into your freezer
They can take up to 15 hours to harden totally. But if you have them earlier, and they’re kinda slushie. Even better.

Seriously. Almost as effective as my Pristiq, fish oil, evening primrose, vitamin B regime for mental health goodness.

So not a sponsored post. But should be. Also – happily paid in lifetime supply of Smoozes. Any flavour but Felix loves the Coconut Mango and Jasper loves the Coconut Guava but that could simply be because the packet it pink.

I want the Coconut Pineapple to have those husky bits of pineapple in it, but that’s just me. I’m the one person in the universe who simply does not understand why you would want orange juice without the bits in it.