Shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic was more productive.

Is there anything more scintillating that reading about someone else re-organising their home? Without photos? I doubt it so stink it up dear readers, I doubt it gets much better than this. This is what the last two days have been for me.

Our living arrangement is the housing equivalent of the mini and the clowns at the circus.

As most of you know, our house is a living Ode to Ikea with quite an alter of Ivar shelving. GOD I hate Ivar shelving. What was bought as a cheap ‘until we have more money’ has now been the cornerstone of our decor since 1995. Yes, that is correct. 1995.

SO I tried to (finally) (after 14 years) paint some of them. My goal was to repaint our green wall blue, to paint the majority of Ivars in hi-gloss white and one in a bold canary yellow. I was attempting the canary yellow. It was a fail of epic proportions. I can’t go into it. I’m scared is all.

SO, I ditched that plan.

Instead, a 5×5 Expedite was moved from the hallway outside our room to serve as a room divider in our back room. The tall Ivars were then relocated to where the Expedite had lived and now houses all the books in the house ┬ábar the cook books which form quite a display on the Expedite. Resplendent with strategically placed vintage Fowler bowls.

I know. My sense of style. Breathtaking.

The other side of the Expedite is home to crappe.

The Norbet (an Ikea sideboard) is now along the wall and home to lego (of course) and all the TV, gaming devices.

THEN – I realised the disaster shelves could work in the bigger boys’ room along with our vintage armchair recovered in… IKEA… fabric. So that happened.

Then I had to deal with the pavers out the back. A victim of the painting fiasco. A cause of major grief for particular family members. This involved a 3mx3m area, LOT of turps, a scrubbing brush and me. Yeah.

There are now a number of baskets and boxes of things that don’t fit anywhere. Our bedroom is a disaster zone.

Curiously the house is no bigger.

Oh, and there was tending to chickens and guinea pigs.

 

Here ends the BORINGEST POST EVER.

 

 

Onward.

 

 

 

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!

In brief

I desperately need a hair cut but I can not escape my hairdresser without it costing around THREE EFFING HUNDRED DOLLARS*. So that is the end of that eight year relationship. Plus I have not been happy with the last few cuts (and by few I mean over the last 18 months, of which there have only been three I think) in that all that razor texturing just kills. your. hair and I just want something simple. By simple I don’t mean dowdy.
*****
I have relos coming for afternoon tea this afternoon and the house is trashed due to more inclement weather. But do you think I can find the energy to even start cleaning up?
*****
It took five years to return but yesterday we went here. On the way there we went through torrential rain, thunder, lightening and flash flooding. By the time we got there it had cleared but there was a district wide black-out. So no rides were had. But we did get to wander on the tracks and get up close to the engines and talk to the weird old men train aficionados. And it got us all out of the house.
*****
Mum was in a car accident on Friday afternoon. She is fine, her car has been bingled front and back. It was due to a learner driver who stopped suddenly – the next car stopped suddenly, mum stopped suddenly, the guy behind mum didn’t and pushed her into the guy in front. Meanwhile the learner drove off, blithely ignorant of the carnage he/she caused in their wake.
Mum got a very big shock from it – by the time I got there she was all shakes and tears. Some incredibly good looking buff blokes really nice guys who lived nearby came out and got mum and chair to sit on. How nice is that.
When we went to the police station to report it (as mum’s car had to be towed) the constable seemed to be barely of legal age and was on duty at the station on his own. For the first time. He was shaking as much as mum as he wrote down her account of events.
*****
I’m worried about mum’s general health. Her hip – the new one – is not good and there are various other little things that when added up just make me (and her) worry.
*****
Jasper and Grover are getting older and starting to play with each other. Meanwhile Felix and Oscar are getting older and trying to kill each other either through torment or WWE moves.
*****
I made the best curry last night. A curry! I haven’t made one of those in a very long time.
*****
I’m going to make a concerted effort to post again on my food blog. Chef is going to start taking photos for it. I’m going to rival Smitten Kitchen. Eventually. The Times recently listed the top 50 food blogs and well, I want to be on it. Not that I’m competitive. At all.
*****
The most hits I get are for this recipe on this page. How weird is that.
*****
The relos are coming this afternoon for Oscar’s birthday. Which is on Wednesday. We’re doing an afternoon tea come early dinner type caper. There’ll be scones and jam and cream. Maybe I’ll make homemade sauseage rolls. It’s all still a bit of a mystery.
*****
I got up early (5am people) this week and went for a walk. Once. But I did get back into walking to and from school w/ the boys as the rain finally eased. Except on Monday when I walked and then it PISSED down on me and the boys as we went to pick up Jasper from pre-school. Pale t-shirt + old maternity bra + torrential rain = public eyesore.
*****
In the last three weeks I’ve had a tooth pulled out of my head, a filling fixed, a clean and fluride treatment. Next month I get to look forward to a root canal. Don’t ask how I’m paying for that one as I don’t know the answer.
*****
Um, I hate my clothes?

Off to make cake and scones. Then maybe put my hair in rags.

* OK a qualification – it hasn’t always cost $300 – it has been a fairly recent development (as in the last 2-3 years that it has started costing in that vicinity – and as per my comment in comments, that is a cut, colour, treatment and probably three products) and therefore something I do very rarely and only when we have had some sort of financial windfall. Hence the need to find a new hairdresser as financial and windfall are two words severely lacking in my world at the mo.

Highlights and lowlights

What can I tell you folks, it’s just domestic city over here, which is hardly scintillating fodder for a readership.
*****
I bought new covers for our lounges from Ikea – so for the princely sum of $348 we have what look like brand new lounges. When really they are 10 years old and very worn indeed. Psychologically they are so much more comfortable than the before.
*****
We also bought some kitchen stools from Ikea and have rearranged stuff so we now have a breakfast bar. Who knew such an area would make such a difference to our my livesfe.
*****
I’ve almost completed our back living/dining area reorganisation. It’s almost killed me. Such constant home-making. SNORE.
*****
The back living/dining area is still orientated completely opposite to what we want. It won’t be the right way around until we get a whole wall of shelving constructed and well, the $$$ required for that makes my head explode.
*****
Felix is killing me. His primary goal seems to be just how severely he can torment his brothers. Even Grover. The louder they protest/cry/scream the bigger the grin on his face. It is intensely annoying. Not to mention soul destroying.
*****
The quandary is that the constant harping/barking/yelling by me/Chef/Grandmama at him to be a loving caring brother and to cease and desist from this current course of action has seen him be really down on himself – that he’s not a good brother, not cool, not good at anything. I mean GOD, it’s like he’s premenstrual all.the.time.
*****
Speaking of which, is it possible to be premenstrual for like ten days? Furthermore, ten days in the middle of your cycle? Could I be preovulational? Or maybe just ovulational. Typical.
*****
I have decided that I am exactly the same as a SAHM as I was in the workforce.
– Always on some deadline or another and procrastinating until the 11th hour. In the case of home duties the 11th hour equates to either the time it takes until not doing the task makes my neck itch beyond toleration levels or it starts to stink or I find myself sniffing the armpits of my bras to determine if I could get another days wear out of it.
– Always turning a simple task into a complicated one. For example, today I was cleaning the fishtank when suddenly I found myself standing on the kitchen bench (the new breakfast bar area no less – so convenient now it’s clear of life’s detritus) cleaning shelves and the top of the windowsill and washing all the jugs I had on display on the shelves.
– Always being very easily distracted. I can quite easily walk away from a half-cleaned bathroom to hang out a load of washing, cook a batch of biscuits and build a Thomas the Effing train track.
It’s kinda comforting to know I am essentially the same in approach at home as I am at work. Now that, home is work. If you get my drift.
*****
I got my haircut two weeks ago – the first time since January – and I hate it. It shits me and makes my neck itch. I have no idea why. It’s a good cut and a good colour. Maybe it was the realisation that Mel from Sunrise has the exact same haircut just blonde. And well, she shits me and makes my neck itch so I guess it makes sense after all.
*****
Did I tell you all about Oscar’s breakthrough at school? That his aide read him his spelling words nice and slowly and Oscar wrote all 12 of them on his own accord and got them all right? I didn’t? Well now you know and isn’t it wondrous!?!
*****
Jasper and Grover have started to play along side each other which is, you know, kind of adorable. It’s just the constant battle-cry-off between Mr McCranky Jasper and Mr McScreamy Grover which has been at full assault for the last two weeks that has taken the edge of this delightful development. Seriously, one of them has a full meltdown because I said no and once that fury has dissipated the other one will kick in with some full body flinging to the ground routine due to something life threatening like being looked at. There have been days in the last week which have left me feeling like the mud in the bottom of the trenches on the Western Front.
*****
Grover’s bandage came off on Friday. It seems he’s forgotten that he sucks his thumb. I realise in years to come as we’re trying to get Jasper to stop sucking his I will be grateful for this but at the moment I would take the thumb-sucking over the screaming to sleep and the multiple night wake-ups any day.
*****
As you were.

Weekend roundup

My goodness I’ve been tardy around here of late. It’s funny really, because it’s been two comments left by Joke that always prompt my lazy and every expanding arse back into action. Joke kinda permeates my life every now and then, like his remarkable ravioli recipe of the other day. While I didn’t make my own (get real) I had a very good handmade store-bought batch in the freezer (from my salvation on the Northern Beaches, Livotti’s Deli in Dee Why). So I made the corn and tomato sauce, and added a dash of cream at the end… because I’m pregnant and am beyond caring because quite frankly, this carcass is H.U.G.E and I’ve decided to not really worry about it until F’nF* has arrived and my breeding days are done.

Anyway, it was delicious. I never would have done the corn in pasta sauce thing, but its sweetness was the perfect accompaniment to the ricotta tortellini. Yum.

Also – Joke often posts very simple non-indulgent, non-inflammatory comments to my inumerable wailings. They often go something along the lines of “stress is not an aerobic exercise” – this has entered my vernacular now and is something I often find myself quietly reciting to myself in times I can feel myself slipping down the stressful cliff. And let me tell you, I’ve been hanging off this cliff for the better part of the last five months. Snore.

Anyway, after my high-point of last week, it was a mixed bag. But Friday was fantastic. I took the day off. We offloaded offspring and went to the movies and lunch (Chef doesn’t start work until 3 on Fridays). We saw Stranger than Fiction – and I loved it. Totally. I want the bakery that Maggie Gyllenhaal runs. Then we went to fast food Japanese ala Muz.

Yesterday was a family gathering and various ferrying of people to other birthday parties etc. It was FREAKIN’ hot, which caught me off guard and made me count blessings that I’m having a June baby not a March one. EUGH.

OH, and there were the six loads of washing due to all the rain during the week that made washing pointless. The line was full – every single one – and it all dried. God my life is rich and varied.

Today was specifically a day of doing nothing. Which means children getting bored and asking for food or why they can’t go play at someone else’s house constantly. Luckily, we have some plucky young sprites across the road who, for the second day in a row, have just invited themselves over for a play. This is what I always wanted as a family – that kids just lob in and hang out. The boys came and went from their place and ours. In wicked heat. So even though we live metres from the beach, I packed the boys up at 4 and took them up to the inlaws for a swim. Total immersion in water is just soooo good when incubating. Oscar was actually swimming – like head down in the water, arms going (more dogpaddle style than freestyle), legs kicking on the surface. This is when I really true bless the public education system and the two week long FREE swimming program they run at Oscar’s school. Meanwhile, Felix is at that stage where the best thing about swimming is being underwater and how long you can stay under there until your mother gets that rising panic all is not well. Then there is Jasper, who kicks his arms and legs madly, jumps in (holding your hands) from the edge and bounces up and down so you’ll sing Humpty Dumpty and pull him in on “fall!” God knows how I’ve produced water babies, but there you have it.

Then we collected Chef from work, picked up a bbq chook for dinner on the way home and thus ended a fairly standard and relatively painless weekend.

Of course, the beautiful, crafty, Suse has also just had a weekend. And her second version? Well let’s just say it was so comforting to know that someone who always seems to me to be holding it all together so well and with the most positive and – indeed as Joke loves to remind us all – glass half full mindset can actually view the world the way I do 24/7.

Suse – I just want to know when your weekend away is planned?

* Fourth ‘n Final.