Leaves were skipping all over the road, getting pinned by the gutter and then freed with a new breeze, buffeting them up the nature strip, along the footpath and up into the air to start the dance all over again. The sun was doing that thing where it streams through the trees, landing on your hands which are gripping the wheel, warming them from the previous hour and a half spent in a blindingly cold westerly wind. I love it when it does that.

The rugby match had ended in a blazing 44-0 victory and once in the car on the way home the smell of victory was palpable albeit not particularly saying love, light, rainbows and unicorns. The little boys were quiet, recovering from a particularly early start for their own brand of footy and then blustery sideline action for their big brother.

We were heading to the Mall for Mother’s Day sushi, curiously not at all what I felt like but what the youngest of the brood had demanded and which was strongly supported by his fellow kind. Something was rolling around in the back of the car, a common enough issue in the Tip on Wheels that is our vehicular mode of transport, but one I found particularly jarring on this brilliantly clear but freezing day.

That nano-second of realisation – the looking up, the realising I was veering left, the (sudden) appearance of a stationary vehicle, the immediate over-correction and that fleeting “oh crap” moment when you know collision is imminent – was brutal.

Followed by the complete silence as everyone tries to process what just happened. It is as fleeting as that moment just before impact but it’s there. And then the shaking and the tears.

On Sunday, Mother’s Day, I drove into the back of a parked car.

There is nothing quite like the sound of one car crushing into another. It’s a particular tone, like that of an aluminium can being crushed under foot but a lot louder, more dramatic and well, bad. I’d located the source of irritation rolling around in the back, one of the little boys’ new water bottles they’d received that morning from their footy club. Funny, I’d been deliberating on new water bottles for the boys for months but could never justify the cost of the ones they liked (around $8 or so). This “free” one has now set me back $625 in our insurance excess. Awesome work there Kim, awesome.

On finding the offender I, naturally, took my eyes off the road, reached around and grabbed it. Somewhat in the vein of the last 50,000 times I’ve reached around to grab something rolling around on the floor that’s giving me the absolute shits or when the need had arisen to throw something at one of the children.

And there you have it.

What followed was an excruciating period of time which I filled nicely with lots of spontaneous tears, comforting the boys, and offering apologies to the poor innocent owners of the car I’d hit. I marvel at how the accident takes mere seconds but the aftermath drags on like a soft sand marathon.

Chef summed it up nicely when he put his arms around me and said, ‘If you didn’t want sushi you could have just said so.’


What’s ridunculous is that this is not that unusual

  1. I decide to hang a load of washing out as I won’t have time in the morning* and get another load on.
  2. I clean out the chicken coop, check food levels and refill their water because again, I won’t have time tomorrow*. Jasper helps me, bless him.
  3. Felix and I drag the dead bbq out the front to the nature strip for council clean up because again, I won’t have time tomorrow*.
  4. I then take all manner of other crap, broken toys, disused, filthy and annoying toys out.
  5. I come in after dark and get in the shower – I scrub the floor while I’m in there.
  6. I get everyone else ready for bed.
  7. I discover someone did wet their bed despite them telling me this morning they didn’t. Hell hath no fury is a phrase that comes to mind.
  8. Change their sheets willing myself NOT to beat them to a pulp.
  9. Come down the back room to ‘deal with it’, which is really the only way I can approach our open living hellzone. I realise I’ve left the eggs out the back. Felix goes to get them for me.
  10. Felix runs in – there’s a possum in the coop. Again. This happened about two weeks ago when Felix discovered the invaders – AFTER we’d barricaded the miniature mulberry and the passionfruit vines because we thought the chooks were destroying them.
  11. We discover it’s reworked its original entry point. THEN we realise there is a smaller one ALSO in the coop. It’s come in through another tiny hole we hadn’t seen. Then we see the bandicoot. I swear to God it’s Animal Farm.
  12. At 10pm Felix and I are out in the coop, with the torch on my iPhone, with wire, patching holes. It’s basically when we see the massive huntsman we both decide it’ll have to do.
  13. Now contemplating another shower.
  14. Decide to call it quits and go to bed, realise ENTIRE king size bed is covered in washing from the last three days. Three days, six people. Think of your local laundromat and triple it.
  15. Sort washing. Put washing away.

This is all after:

  1. Being up all night with Jasper, who was spewing out both ends.
  2. Over-sleeping.
  3. Rushing Felix to school via the shops to get crap for him to eat at the school end-of-year picnic and a packet of party sausage rolls for me to take Grover’s kindy party.
  4. Fanging it to Grover’s kindy concert with Oscar AND Jasper in tow (as mum had rehab so couldn’t watch Jasper) after hastily wrapping gifts for his three teachers and writing ‘Reindeer Noses’ on the little packets of maltesers and jaffas I’d made for classmate presents, delightfully in a red sharpie. So festive.
  5. Surviving kindy concert with only wet eyes occurring once.
  6. (Almost) Last round of Christmas shopping – not bad after only starting yesterday.
  7. Going to school to witness the whole school farewell to Year 6 – a tunnel of honour, three cheers, lots of tears and goodbyes even thought most of them are going to the same high school together next year.
  8. Coming home, getting dinner sorted.
  9. Go to Point 1 at the top of the page.

I mean, FFS people.

* Tomorrow features Felix’s cricket, Oscar’s cricket, Oscar’s cricket Christmas party, Grover’s friend’s birthday party, Felix’s cricket Christmas party and then farewell drinks for some very dear friends moving to New Zealand, at which we can all be fairly certain I would have written myself off at were it not for the fact I’ll be driving and one drink will probably render me comatose.

Onward my arse.

The Griswalds have nothing on us

Leaving the house with four children all in a state of dress suitable for the weather is the equivalent to giving birth in a cupboard. Excruciating and basically impossible. But every now and this irrefutable truth falls out of our head and we attempt to leave the house. As a unit.

Yesterday was one such example. 
There’s about six of these shots. This is the one where I either a) least resemble Jabba the Hutt, b) am least likely to send the paparazzi into a frenzy that I am pregnant or c) Felix was pulling the least stupid face, d) we’re all sort of looking in the direction of the camera or e) all of the above.
Again, one of about 12 shots, all involving Grandmama trying to make Felix stand up straight, not pull funny faces or put bunny ears behind his brothers. This caper scared off some French tourists and a very refined English couple with well behaved, nicely dressed and obedient children.
My children operate on the principle that why look at scenery when there are rocks to climb and poses to strike. 
They are all opportunists to steal the limelight from a sibling.
I rest my case.
This location is right on our doorstep. It is spectacular and breathtaking. My children wouldn’t know. At this stage they were pushing Oscar up a hill, turning him around and letting him go. I understand the Tactical Response Unit are still looking for a body at the base of this cliff after reports from other people in the vicinity about hearing horrifying blood-curdling screams.
 I love rock stratas. Felix was wondering – aloud – how many people had killed themselves off this cliff. A moment when I was grateful the nearby elderly Chinese tourist throng had limited English. 
Compulsory shot of Australian native flora. 

Ahhh, Mondays.

So today involved getting Felix and the bloody assignment to school. I almost said to his teacher that if she didn’t give me an A+ I’d be really pissed off but decided against it. 

Then there was taking mum to her follow-up appointment with her hip surgeon – to in part check on the latest new hip but mainly to discuss this pesky issue of there being a ‘weird’ lump appearing on mum’s other hip, the one she had replaced two and a half years ago. 
Dudes, this family? We’re all about being the statistic.
It turns out that the titanium rod that goes into her bone is not pure titanium but contains some chromium cobalt as well. I know! Who knew! Apparently there is a very small number of the population who have hip replacements whose bodies will reject the replacement due to the chromium cobalt. Of course there is! Of course that would be my mother! Let’s celebrate being an individual!
So on Wednesday she has to have an MRI then on Thursday she’ll be back at hospital for an arthroscope. We were viewing this as an inconvenience before we read the information sheets on it and FREAKED THE FUCK OUT. An arthroscope is basically just as bad – in terms of recovery – as a fucking hip replacement. In ABOUT EIGHT WEEKS the hip should feel normal again.
Holy crap people, the poor woman just had the other hip replaced and now will have the other hip – the one that is meant to be the good hip buggered up as well. 
The upshot of this fresh hell is that they will drain/whateverthefucktheydo some of this cyst/lesion/lump/paininthefuckingarse to see what it is exactly and if, IF, it reveals her body is rejecting the replacement she’ll have to have the thing done again. This time with a pure titanium rod. OH GOODY. 
Anyway, from this delicious outing I went on a truly delicious outing – lunch with two friends from mother’s group to celebrate a birthday. After hanging out two loads of washing mind you. But OH it was lovely sitting and chatting and not having to rush home (today is Chef’s day off). 
I then went for a swim. Last weeks efforts were arduous and hard, today I got in the pool and swam 50 laps in just under 40 minutes (I had flippers on). I KNOW! And I really did feel better for it. Amazing huh. 
Then I came home and while Chef had brought the washing in because it had started to rain he had not rehung it on the drying racks. He did then help me hang it on the drying racks, so there is that.  Then I started dinner by cleaning the kitchen. Which took an age. Then I started dinner.
Oscar was meant to be getting in the shower but came to show me this rash on his tummy. Which then happened to be in the same place on the same side but on his back. With watery little blisters on it. I figured a caterpillar or some insect had got inside his school shirt and bitten the crap out of him so gave him some antihistamine, put him in a Pinetarsol bath and then rubbed some Paraderm cream on it. Because I’m good like that. 
Mum came down hoping for dinner (sorry, that had got a wee bit delayed) and took one look at it and was all, “SHINGLES! GET THEE TO THE HOSPITAL!!! SHINGLES!!! THERE’S A TIME LIMIT TO THE DRUGS! SHINGLES!!!! GET THEE TO THE HOSPITAL!!!”. 
So off Oscar and I went for the second hospital trip in as many weeks. And meanwhile I was thinking, ‘probably shouldn’t have let the little guys get in the green (due to the Pinetarsol) bathwater after Oscar.’ AWESOME PARENTING MOMENT 356.
Apparently Mona Vale Hospital Emergency has been very very busy all day. I filled her in, mentioned that since his bath he’d been saying he was cold and lo, it came to pass, that YES! A FEVER! A RASH AND A FEVER! That’s like the hospital paediatric gold pass! 
The nurse put him in the triage system but also suggested we go and get in the queue to see the GP (you know, one of those whizz bang new GP clinics in the hospital scenarios) as they would send us back to emergency if they weren’t happy with him. Sure enough we got in to see the GP relatively quickly and yep, shingles. He’s now on some anti-viral drug you have to call Canberra to get approval to use and well, school holidays just started a whole three days early for Oscar. Of course, three days early with quite a sting in the tail. Poor kid. 
So now we’re home. Grover is still awake turning the tele on and off. Oscar went to bed happy dosed up on Panadol, anti-viral drugs and a serve of bread and butter pudding I’d made before the drama had unfolded (made with the AWESOME hazelnut and raisin bread from Bourke Street Bakery. OMG so good). 
And dudes, it’s only Monday. 

Sad brain day

OH dudes, I woke up today with a bad case of sad brain.

I think this is for a number of reasons:

  • there were a couple of goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year, none of which I’ve made any inroads into
  • the big boys got back from a week away at school camp and the upshot of that is a severe case of  HOLYCRAPFOURCHILDREN-itis. 
  • the stress culminating from Mum’s hip replacement surgery and her coming home on Thursday. She is by absolutely no means being overly demanding but, it’s just stressful. 
  • the stress of all the choosing a high-school/looking-to-the-future focus for Oscar palaver
  • the ongoing incredibly boring reality of living on a shoe-string and knowing that this is just how it is at the moment, blah-de-blah-blah-blah
  • another hospital trip last night due to the finger Oscar had jammed in a door on camp looking like a big purple sausage and really needing an x-ray (the upshot being it’s not broken, just severely severely bruised and OMG the staff at Mona Vale Hospital Emergency Dept were just staggeringly brilliant with him) 
  • My concern about my weight finally reached critical mass (boom tish) and while I haven’t been swimming in 3 weeks, this week saw me finally reign in the eating that has been going on and while I have felt infinitely better from that alone, the whole food management plan tend sot make me go loopy at the best of times. 
  • not sleeping well due to crazy dreams. One of them involved us going to Melbourne and staying w/ Sooz only to discover her small inner-suburban home was infact a quirky old house in a paddock with – get this – ELEVEN clotheslines. Sooz should be laughing by now because she doesn’t have a clothesline and is in fact, the second person I know married to an architect who have children but no clothesline, which to me is like having fish and chips without the chips – possible but just bloody stupid. They had 11 clotheslines as there was a special deal at Bunnings that involved you buying that many to score an outdoor table setting. But this was no ordinary outdoor table setting, it was one that you only sat along one side and was perfect for one side of their house for the kids to sit at for afternoon tea to avoid the hot summer sun. See, not getting good quality sleep. Eleven clotheslines. I mean, for fucks sake. They could at least feature consensual adult activities with Jake Gyllenhaal. Hell, they wouldn’t even need to be consensual. I’m just saying.  
I did end up having a huge sobbing cry this morning which these days is highly highly unusual for me. (Gosh, just thinking of how a day without a huge sobbing cry used to be highly unusual.) Chef offered an appropriate level of comfort and the boys were all remarkably concerned (probably because it is now quite a rare spectacle for Mummy to be sobbing) and were all very comforting and huggy. Bless ’em. 
It’s been a bit of a full-on Saturday with Chef taking Felix to cricket, me and the little fellas going shopping for a birthday present for a little boy from kindy (Jasper’s first ever birthday party invitation!) (cue various tantrums for lollies, chocolate, their own toys), then taking little fellas to the party then taking Felix to drama. 
I am bummed because I’m meant to be at Madame FlingFlongs for a bloggers get together but my in-laws are away and there’s no way I could leave the kids with Mum due to her level of incapacitation. 
So we’re all home now and dinner is going to be a sausage sizzle, bread rolls and salad and then watching Mrs Doubtfire together. I might even make an apple crumble. Crumble makes everything better.