stuff ‘n nonsense

It is a week since I had 70 people in my house to celebrate Oscar’s 18th and I am still amazed and somewhat smug I pulled it off.

For starters it is the finest example of me saying something ridiculous and then being so far into it there is no option but to plow on. There was once the announcement I was going to go in a round-the-world yacht race in boats made of steel sailing the wrong way (as opposed to backwards which is just ridiculous) but I feel pregnant with Oscar instead.

Cake!

There was basically a solid week of organised mayhem leading up to it and this week I have been so tired there was a morning I waved the boys off to school and went back to bed for a satisfying 2.5hr nap.

It meant a lot went by the wayside, primarily the children eating *proper* (as in nutritionally orientated) meals and my weekly menu planning. Once one of your kids has had a kebab twice in a week you know it’s time to get the notepad back out and get yourself into line.

The start of the night
The start of the night

So the party? I had a running schedule for the three days leading up to it with it down to 15 minute allotments before people arrived. Of course people arrived and it went out the window.

The menu:
Chocolate and lollies – which I forgot to put out and which Oscar found and ate for breakfast every morning this week before I realised
Chips and cheezles – compulsory
A selection of cheeses, dips and pate with crackers – almost forgot to put these out until I went to the fridge to get the sausage rolls out
Pork and fennel sausage rolls (I made about 100 of these)
Chicken and bacon sausage rolls (and 100 of these)
Honey and soy chicken wings – I bought already marinated ones which annoyed me but it was just for the fussy people and I didn’t have time for fussy people
Pulled pork – three pork shoulders, each slathered in spices then slow-roasted for 6 hours, shredded then reheated on the night and served with rolls and tortillas
Corn – charred on the bbq then taken off the cob and tossed with lime juice and crumbled fetta
Salsa – tomatoes, spanish onions, corn, cucumbers, mint, coriander, lime juice

It all disappeared faster than I could get it out and was indebted to my BIL for taking charge of the pork on the bbq and basically telling me EVERYONE’S HUNGRY! to stop me talking, drinking champagne and put the sausage rolls in the oven already.

Scan0063

I wrote a speech which I promptly forgot on the night. I cobbled together some thoughts basically along the lines of what a goddamn legend this boy is and how he makes us all better people for knowing him. What more could a parent hope for?

Scan0066

Still on a high.

ONWARD!

A pox

I was sick last week. I know, I’m quite certain you are as surprised as I was. I don’t tend to get sick, and I’m not saying that in the irritating way of those people who really do have the constitution of an ox and don’t even get headcolds. Apart from fairly constant sinus issues and the occasional cold my health is what I would term robust. So when I felt queasy cleaning up Jasper’s vomit that he had presented over the entire bathroom floor (sure the bathroom is not big but still, vomit.) I just put it down to the curious maternal duty that is cleaning up someone else’s chuck.

But then I had a sip of water to wash down the tablets to make my thyroid try and function (come on buddy, you can do it) and my whole stomach seized. I knew I was in trouble. I got lunches made for those going to school and got them off to school. It was walking in from the car where my whole body went into some sort of slow-motion collapse. I could feel the temperature descend and my whole body felt like lead. This wasn’t going to be pretty. You see, I am nothing if not committed, so if I’m going to vomit I.am.going.to.vomit.

Poor Jasper and I just lay in my bed shivering then sweating, occasionally tearing to the bathroom. I don’t need to go into details like hot-stinky-water-shooting-from-my-arse or wetting-my-pants-every-time-I-vomitted but needless to say it was not pleasant for anyone involved. Blessedly the spewing ended after about 24 hours but the next 24 were filled with rainbows and unicorns due to hallucinatory dreams from a raging temperature and extreme lethargy.

I dreamt my friend and her mum, then on a cruise from hell which involved the ice machine breaking, the lifts not working, not enough shore boats working (which double as life boats so you know, alarming) and then one of the engines packing it in. Just a side note, the idea of no ice is what disturbs me most about that reality. See also: not sane. Anyway, I dreamt that her mum was so convinced there was going to be a gastro outbreak on the ship (probably just hours away if you take it all into account) so started secretly stockpiling toilet paper rolls from Day 1. By the end of the trip, with gastro avoided, the cleaner opened the cupboard to be thrown back by a collapsing wall of dunny rolls.

Then there was the one where I ate rotting road kill off the Wakehurst Parkway. Why I would dream something so macabre when I couldn’t even stomach water is, I hope, indicative of how febrile I was?

Not satisfied with the general unwellness I got a case of the sads, feeling I would never recover and all was hopeless with the world. We can be safely reassured by the fact two days later I was eating blue cheese so that penchant for melodrama was dealt with nicely.

Onward.

Stuff and Nonsense

I’m working on a new project that has my stress levels in the category of stratospheric but the phrase “just think of the money” is keeping me going. When I first landed the gig, which I got after cold calling a guy I went to uni with, I totally freaked the fuck out. Of course my FTFO is so stellar I jump straight from “why, I’m feeling a tad stressed about this new project, which is a completely normal emotion” in about 1 millionth of a second to “I’m just going to kill myself because everyone would be better off that way”. Incredibly I’m five weeks into the 12 week project and am a) still alive and b)not as suicidal. Good times. Also, just think of the money.

We’ve just wrapped up the first term of our school year. First term is hard. For starters it features the hottest and most humid of months along with the brutal re-entry from 6 weeks of holidays. There’s new teachers to adjust to, new routines and the whole begrudging trudge back into the land of school lunches, 5,000 notes and late night washing for a clean uniform the following day.

Oscar’s still on his long term (3 month) antibiotic regime to ward off the not-but-maybe-osteomylitis-always-cellulitis but has tonight come down with a wicked temperature and head-ache. In a normal child this is called a virus. In Oscar it’s called CODE RED HIGH ALERT. I will look anxiously at his left ankle, the offender, in the morning as tonight it was not hot, red, or swollen. While I am wishing this to be some bog standard ailment or flu, my friend J just had a flu so violent it was named the black death vomit. I’m not wishing for that either.

Felix had his first Duke of Edinburgh camp last weekend. It rained on them for about 12 hours the first day and at that stage they all hated it with a passion. The next day gave them a weather reprieve and firmly planted the adventure back into the category of awesome. I am so so stoked Felix is doing DofE and thrilled he got as much from it as he did. This was a test hike with a staff member hiking with them. The real deal later in the year will be groups of them going out on their own. I think as a parent I’m meant to feel apprehensive about that but curiously, no. Just lots of excitement for him.

Jasper. Well Jasper spent the entire duration of Grover’s rugby game in the car colouring in. The kid has smarts, it rained on us three times. He’s learning guitar and a teacher change mid-term saw his attitude towards it change markedly. He doesn’t want to play rugby or any other sport (he did an 8-week cricket thing with Grover but I think that was more on the fact they got a shirt, hat and bat than any great love of the game) but was gutted last week when his best-rusted-on-friend-for-life was picked for a school team and he wasn’t.

Grover’s obsession has moved on from cricket to rugby with the change of season. He won man of the match in their first game last week and my concerns he might have peaked early abated with his performance on the field this morning. He’s such a cracker of a kid. I refused to lie down with him at bedtime a few nights back because, well I just didn’t want to, and he wailed and carried on like I’d amputated the wrong leg. By the time I went back up there he was a hot steaming mess of tears and snot. He clung to me and said, “I just needed a friend to help me go to sleep.” “Am I your friend?” “Yes”. Kid has me wrapped around his little finger.

Onward.

Stuff and nonsense

Just some stuff and nonsense.

The brain has not been very still of late. Ways I know I’m not firing on all cylinders include an unquiet mind, a sense of “why do I bother” and “this is fucked”, poor sleep, worse diet, and then the panic attacks arrive. Last week I sat staring at my computer screen with my mind racing in chaotic circles turning in on themselves then swinging way out wide. I’d read something and none of it would make sense and the panic, it hurts.

I keep reading stuff written by people about their depression and realise that what I think is my resting state of normal is actually a resting state of depression. It kinda sucks realising that. Depressing even.

I went to TEDxSydney, did I tell you that already? It was fabulous on a number of levels but mostly because I got to be with Eden, met two awesome Sarahs and reconnected with a Kate I went to uni with and always got on with extremely well. She’s living in Darwin. Could you imagine?

The oddest thing has stuck with me. One of the speakers told us about how scientists have studied some beetle that lives in the desert to work out how it gets moisture from the air. They’ve used that knowledge to develop better air conditioning systems and to help communities in arid areas. Isn’t that cool? Out of the whole day that is the thing that keeps popping back into my head. The scientist was also the guy who discovered that eyes developed 512 million years ago. In a troglodyte. Apparently.

I’ve decided I’m going to make butter.

 

I’ve stopped eating gluten. I know, you’re on the edge of your seats (as Blackbird would say). It’s been two weeks with only two transgressions. The difference in the size of my gut and the behaviour of my bowels (aren’t you thrilled) is telling.

Gluten, it appears, is the tobacco of the food world and it was with great desperation that I decided to stop eating it. The dodgy thyroid is an auto-immune disease. Gluten is a big fat waving red flag for any auto-immune disease. Apparently. So, I’m giving it a month. But I’m already half way and it’s really not been that bigger deal. I once did a gluten free diet with Oscar when he was wee during one of our more expensive snake-oil salesman allied health professional straw grasping phases. I am pleased to report that the gluten-free offerings now are vastly improved on the gluten free offerings then.

Scintillating stuff.

I’m currently getting up at 4:50am in the morning to go walking with my friend B. We are friends because both our lives lurch from one melodrama or catastrophe to the next and we know neither of us will tire of such NONSENSE. We cover just over 4kms in 45minutes with a whopping great hill and a little sneaky one at the end. We’ve been threatening to do this for the last two years. Good things time…

There was lunch with friends this week – I got there an hour early because if I’d been at home then I would have been cleaning.

Today I did the grocery shopping to avoid the cleaning.

Mum flew out to Hawaii tonight. Chef’s parents are getting ready to fly out to Paris.

I’m almost back in control of the washing.

 

Onward.

 

 

Meet The Press

Kim Berry’s appearance on Meet The Press

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So this was how my Sunday morning played out:

I watched it tonight with Chef, the inlaws and all the boys and didn’t wince once. In fact, I was quite pleased. And how hot are my new specs.

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