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.

 

When good things happen to good people

So last night Chef and I had the joy and honour of attending the wedding of our friends E and M. While the rain was relentless and heavy for pretty much the entire evening it was outshone by the love these two have for each other and the love for them both that everyone in the room clearly displayed.

E and I worked together a few years back and I think I can safely say we clicked from the very first time we met – when she and her boss and some weird creepy ‘independent’ guy from another government agency interviewed me. Any ridiculous concerns I had about having a manager younger than me was basically allayed within the first hour of working together. She is the epitomy of what a manager should be – always willing to get her hands dirty, supportive, encouraging, never micro-managing, creating a team not a hierarchy, resolving issues or problems with discretion and care, never taking things too seriously (she and I could roll our eyes so hard about certain staff members and meetings they’d almost fall out of our heads – something we were both chastised for. teeheehee) and always, always ready to discuss the latest debacle of an outfit worn by some start somewhere around the world and – for me – the best thing about the job (until she and M very rudely up and went travelling through South America for 6 months before working in the UK for a couple fo years).

From E I adopted the phrases about eating something until your head could fall off, my sweets (as a term of affection), getting all hot (but not in a good way), and possibly giving me the shits and making my neck itch (I can’t remember on that front but I do know I started using them when we worked together).

There was always humour in our team work environment and quite frankly if there isn’t then you just can not be expected to go to work every day without going postal.

Anyway, she’ll be all uncomfortable and hot about such a public display of my love and affection for her. M is her perfect partner – quite partial to delusions of grandeur and fame as I am, very happy to have the floor and the microphone and for it all to be about him. At the moment – and even last night – he was ‘mentoring’ me with questions about how far I had got in the book on search engine optimisation he has lent me (um, it’s on the dining room table?) and what I’d done to secure the book deal and did I have a literary agent yet (blushing and um, kicking the floor, no. Not yet. Yes I am going to do something about it. YES, I PROMISE. OMG this is your wedding, go kiss that gorgeous bride).

Their vows were exquisite – expressions of love and devotion with none of the Hallmark schmaltz.

The guests testament to their very nature – down to earth, classy, funny, exuberant, genuine and clearly appreciative of a good feed (the food was sublime – a prawn ravioli with just a hint of chilli, a pork belly with five spice, a prawn-crusted salmon cooked to perfection and a beef fillet with beans and potato dauphinois, while dessert was the best idea – mini ice cream cones, mini lemon meringue tarts and mini creme brulees that were offered on the dance floor and throughout the room so people were not ‘stuck’ on their tables) and not afraid to shake it up on the dance floor.

The speeches were probably the best I’ve ever witnessed – funny, tender and that word again, genuine.

I got to meet E’s mum and she said, “You’re Kimmy! With the four boys! From Narrabeen! OH how lovely to meet you”. Good people. I found out that she and E’s Dad are essentially grandparents to the children of two of E and M’s friend, so much so that they collect one of them from school every Friday and have him sleep-over every other week. I mean, talk about above and beyond. Good people.

As it was I didn’t even disgrace myself in regards to alcohol intake and could in fact drive us home (as opposed to Chef who really did enjoy himself). Not only did this save us what would have been a ridiculously large taxi fare it meant that I was quite well equipped to deal with the cold hard reality that our arrival home at 12.30ish signalled to Grover the perfect time to wake up and have a midnight snack and chat. It was only by the time we were watching Get Smart reruns at 2.30am that I was starting to feel a bit shabby.

So, after popping a few panadols, a mega vitamin b pill and finally convincing Grover to go back to bed I crawled into mine at 3am. I’ve been up since 7am and am feeling a bit bleary-eyed but still on a high from a wonderful evening. I can only imagine how E and M are feeling on their first day as husband and wife.

Just delicious.

Onward!