Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This one time, back in 2004...

It was four years ago this week that we acquired a little pup we called Jazz.

Instead of tucking our little girl into bed at night and expanding her solid food horizons, we gave you "1/4 dry puppy food and the rest of the bowl with chicken", which I would painstakingly poach and then strip into bite-size chunks. Instead of tending to our baby girl if she woke in the night, we had to teach you the tough puppy-love Whine It Out method of soothing your yelping self to sleep. It nearly gutted me. I would lie awake desperate to rush and comfort you and give you (who am I fooling, and me) something warm and loving to snuggle into so you slept knowing you were safe and loved. But we couldn't do that, for we knew you would fast become a big dog and not remain a tiny, poky little puppy forever.

You were the arrow that pierced my heart that first summer and festive season without Ella. I was completely bereft, unable to bear facing the Christmas and New Year period that year. I had had my ninth baby taken from me barely a week prior and I guess my hormones were still coming down from their late first trimester high. But when Steve coaxed me into admitting I wanted you, after the second sighting of you through the pet shop window, I didn't desist. I stood in that shop while he filled out the paperwork I was too emotional to complete, holding you so close to my chest.

The warmth of a little body, a body of a pup who weighed more than the maximum weight my firstborn had ever reached, made me swoon. I could feel your strong heart beating as if it would pop out through your puppy fat-covered chest. I gazed at you daily, how beautiful you were, as I pondered time and again how it could be that you were separated from your mother and your litter so early in life. I cried bitter, sweet tears for you. For your mummy. For me, I knew ultimately. And you let me, you dear little thing.

At night, while we relaxed in front of the tv, I would let you lie down my chest. You felt safe there. I felt safe with you there. Your weight was an anchor to keep me grounded, especially during the passing of the first anniversary of our daughter's death and then, a month later, passing. You were blissfully unaware of what you represented to me, personally. But without your life, in mine, I would have been completely and absolutely bereft that year.

All this is not to say that you didn't grow into a little turd over time. Not only that, you were still being weaned from the chest-lying liberty we had both taken with each other when I was over four months' pregnant with the LGBB. The last time, when you used my gut as leverage as you ricocheted off me onto the floor when it was "nigh-nigh's time", I think we all knew... it simply had to be your last time. You asserted your place in the family and staked your claim as Top Dog long before my trusty doggy soulmate was willing to give over. Although you've convinced yourself you're at the top of the heap, mon frer, my Pep has that claim and rightfully so until she's ready to go.

Granted, Pepper's not as agile as you. She's not nearly as good at causing grievous bodily harm to anyone either. But she is my Top Dog. You have to give her that, Miss Mena. No bones about it *see what I did there?* you will just have to continue to do your time. It's a sentence you know you signed up for.

You and me, Jazz, I know the future always had you in it. And not my dear old girl for very long after we brought our first baby home. I'm surprised she hasn't abdicated the throne before now, to be honest, but I am not one bit surprised on the other hand. Until she is comfortable to go, Pep will stay. And so until then, my little 28kg insolent bag o' beans, we shall have to continue to sneak you out for days of pleasure and joy with us so that you know there will be an end to this imprisonment. Keep your sense of humour. Your brand of fun and joy is infectious - much like the LGBB's, which is not lost on me one bit - so please don't let it be ruined, Universe, by the stranglehold my increasingly old and doddery doggy has on life (and in turn, her arch nemisis, the successor we call Libby).

But you understand, I cannot wish it away for you. My lovely, lovely doggy babies. How I have recently taken you for granted. This trip down memory lane (doing a search of both your names on the old blog) has been sobering tonight.

I MUST put up the Dog animal totem soon. Have been meaning to. Remind me if I forget (again), Internet xx

Shit, I was funny

For ... well, not the first time ... I have realised, in reminiscing through my old blog, that I used to be so damned funny. Note to self: stop reminiscing. Get over it. You're old.

It's Lolly's fault. She made me sirrius *deadpan look to camera*

Happy fucking new year, peeps.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So... how d'ya like it?

Lolly, meet Big Girl Bed. BGB, meet LGBB.

We can hardly believe it and, shhhhh *leans closer so nobody hears* we don't want to jinx the run so far, but..... the transition from cot to bed has gone SO well that the LGBB even sleeps in now in the mornings! She's gone from about 11 hours to 12 per night, straight.

Psssst, oi, it's time to get up!

Where's Lolly gone? We've taken to hiding under the covers
in order to not be woken up in the morning. Is she 15 already?

And oh, that second doll? The green one? Well, just in case you were wondering, after spending days and days painstakingly laboring over the yellow one, I ran out of time for doing the green one. I knocked it up in two hours, Internet. Two hours. And it looks better!

She loves it. I love that she loves it. Tonight, she ran to get into her bed. Full on ran down the hall. Ahhhhhhhhh!

Monday, December 29, 2008

My new favourite photo

But I can't quite decide which I love most. I think the second one.

The LGBB and "her" tree out front during a picnic one sunny day this week

Thursday, December 25, 2008

He's been!

I finished the chocolate Christmas trees and the rest of my cooking around midnight. I was listening to a Christmas playlist generated by the awesome Genius feature on our iTunes (ever tried it?) and third vodka down for the day, began to have lusty thoughts about Mel Torme. All because of his voice. I swear, nobody has ever sung What Are You Doing New Years Eve better in the history of the world *wipes bead of sweat off brow*

My only other memorable oddspot to note about my cooking frenzy was that I got to thinking about how, when Steve attempts a fake-manly voice, he always sounds like Dr Hibbard from The Simpsons. Isn't that curious!

Well, without further ado, I bid all of you reading a very merry day. Loaded with loved ones, patience for same and lashings of lovely food. Have a safe one, peeps.

More later.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Windy foggy Christmas Eve

It was the best we could get at 9:45 last night after a mind-blowing stroll around our town looking at the lights (the LGBB has used up her quota of uttering the word "LOOK!" for the next ten years), and please excuse the poor lighting.

But yeah. Enjoy :) And listen out for the special Santa 'accent' near the end...

It Glows from Lolly Lovers on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In lieu of a Christmas Day menu...

Thanks to Averil's tag, I give you our Christmas Eve menu which we're hosting for just one side of the family here (we've got the day "off" on Christmas Day - a very casual but delectably tasty round-up of foods - and people! - has become the tradition for us on this day, at my brother's inlaws.... hey, they're always more fun when they're once removed/not your own IL's ;)

Finger foods is the way we're going this year. Because I lurrrve them and because they're easy and you can make heaps and it looks like you've done a lot muahahaha.

Mini savoury pikelets topped with marscapone and pesto

Asparagus, cheese and tomato tartlets

Creamed mushroom vol au vents

Individual salmon quiches (because apparently, they don't follow trends??)

Egg tomato, cucumber, avocado and radish salad (which will go great with the roast chicken Steve's mum is bringing)

And for dessert, I'm thinking I'll do the same thing: lots of little treats.

Mini chocolate and nougat mousse.... Or would that be mousses? Hmm. This one's made with Toblerone, eggs and cream. Thassit. Dear God, my fat stores are groaning already.

Chocolate Christmas trees (little mini cones of crushed plain biscuit, cocoa, condensed milk, topped with melted choc and flaked with coconut and almond slivers)

Orange poppyseed cake - an oldy but a less sickly-sweet goody

We've not done the "good old-fashioned" Christmas sit-down dinner thing for a number of years now. That's what a scattered family and the lack of a matriarch does, I guess. Nobody is entirely willing or able to do the whole roast thing. I don't have a gaggle of females eager to cook while they natter in somebody's kitchen to prepare everything. That's why I love my SIL's family home... surrounded by the wonderful people who gather there (some friends and some family). It's a progesterone overdose which lasts me an entire year and I love it. Sort of feels like falling appreciatively into the bosom of caring females.

Or... something like that. I'll leave you with that thought, dear reader *distant cricket chirping*

And I shall tag some of you who are probably going to adore me just that little bit more for doing so (c'mon you know you wanna share... although Mel, you might need a week to recount your menu!!):

Tanya at Not Tonight Dear
Jodie who's Procrastinating Here At...
Mel at Head In The Sand Again

Waterwise class 101

So, about three weeks ago I wrote a post regarding long showers. A few days later, coincidentally, we received our little Target 155 pack. Did you get yours (if you live in Victoria)? And I'm wondering if other states have already received similar things. I know that, at least at the holiday apartments interstate where we've stayed in recent years, there are proper printed shower sticky labels on the shower screen advising to switch water off when brushing teeth and even one that requested turning the shower taps off while shampooing.

It gave me an idea. I would see how I went doing it at home, every time I showered, and not just when I was on holiday. And I know we live in changeable Melbourne, where it's often 35ºC one day, 13ºC the next. But I've been using the technique for several weeks now. The photo above shows how much time I have consistently had left in the timer - well under four minutes - by switching the water off for each shampoo lather. And this includes time taken to rinse around the shower screens and tiles with the shower head (we installed a groovy water efficient shower head attached to a handy hose earlier this year after we moved in and discovered they still had the old water-wasting style shower roses here). I am excited to think that I've managed to wash my hair (and myself) very thoroughly, unhurried, and saved so much water.

Save even more water by cutting your shower time from 7 to 4 minutes and save 42 litres every shower.

I don't know about you, but I do actually find it difficult to shampoo and condition my hair all in under four minutes, consistently, if I leave the water running. When I don't wash my hair (every second day), no problemo! I can be out in no time, I don't dilly-dally (my idea of treating myself or having luxurious time alone does not involve standing). But I was curious as to exactly how long it was taking me to shower, really, as measured by the water authority/city/my community. When we received our little 4 minute shower timer in the post, I was interested to note that I thought 'Well, the government isn't concerned about how I cut my shower forever to four minutes, just that I do."

It got me thinking about the attitude of so many that say silently to themselves, 'There'll be plenty enough people doing it, no one will notice if I don't contribute. It's just me, I'm just one person, I won't make a difference with my seven, eight, ten, twenty minute showers.' Not long ago, that too is what I would privately think to myself.

I imagined how many people actually still thought they were just one person and wouldn't, alone, be noticed if they consciously made an effort to help our water crisis. And while they continue to believe they can't possibly make a difference, we will continue to have rising (boom-tish) water problems.

Monday, December 22, 2008

One down, one to go!

And not a moment to lose.

I have precisely two nights left to paint the other doll. Finally, I "fixed" the skin tone - it's still not how I wanted it - and if I want to be picky with myself *hair flick* then I will also say the pupils of the eyes don't match, the eye outline colour is far too dark, the nose is crooked...... buuuuuut then I step back and look at it in its entirety and know, just know, that I have done this oozing with love and patience for the project. The end result is really only part of the gesture. But when I look at the original picture, I'm pretty proud of how it's turned out.

I don't know yet what colour I'll do the second doll. Perhaps pink or mauve and soft lime tones? Mmmmm, we'll see what comes out of the brush!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like facade

Geez, this time of year digs in my ribs.

Don't get me wrong, I'm loving this year especially, with the LGBB so "in" to Santa and the whole gift-giving thing. I love knowing my home will be brimming with loved ones. I love that I can use some of my fancier recipes if I get my arse into gear in time (must seek Averil out for some apron-donning rolling-pin inspiration to get me in the mood!).

However, the anger on the roads, the fights and pushing in the shopping centres* I can just about do without, thangeweverymuch.

That's not to even mention the real reason why this time of year makes my heart beat a teeny bit faster, my mind get a bit foggier, my temper frayed a smidgeon more (this time for justifiable reason!).

My little girl, Ellanor, will probably not be mentioned (even if she is thought about) by some of the people we're spending Christmas with. It's so hard not to bring her up in certain company, but infinitely more difficult to mention her (in context) and receive blunt, cold, hard proof they'd just as soon not have to acknowledge her existence.

Urrrrrgh. I shake my head and ask, when? When will the taboo fall away? I will never stop striving for its breakdown for as long as I have breath in my body. That is my promise to my daughter. My dear, free soul out there. And just quietly, when will these situations inadvertently stop providing yet more fodder for my book? I mean, how long can the bloody thing get??

* Did you know, here in Victoria at least, there was an appeal in the newspaper last week that parents with young children leave their "infants" at home and don't take them shopping "to cut down on shopper rage" incidents? INCIDENTS! There are brawls happening at checkouts because, apparently, mums with "a baby on her hip, a pram in one hand and a shopping trolley in the other" if I can use a direct quote from the utterly ludicrous piece of "journalism", are holding up busier, more worthy shoppers. Fark orf and get over yourselves, everyone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

This one time, at band camp....

How many blog posts in the world, to date, do you reckon have that title?

Moving right along...

One year, when I was about five or six, I'd say, I got taken to see Santa. I remember it was in Perth. I'd gone with my Mum on a special Mummy/daughter holiday. I had a ball.

I pooed my pants. In the line. Waiting to see Santa. I remember. Oh the shame of it all.

And I have the photo. Innocent as you like, grins a-plenty. And a borrie in my pants. I wasn't fooling anyone, though. Least of all the poor bastard hired by the shopping centre to receive children of all shapes, sizes and smells.

Dear God.


Our plasterer is coming tomorrow morning! To fix the holes in the ceiling in the LGBB's new and improved* bedroom. They are gaping holes, some of them look straight up the to the roof past the ceiling and most range from large nail to tennis ball size, the largest is about the size of a side plate. So, it's not surprising and quite understandable that they have been unnerving for the LGBB.

These are the holes through which, she has adamantly been telling me and Steve, she has been seeing little people. "The little people catch the train in there" and "the little man" - what little man, we ask patiently - "the little man who lives in the roof comes out there". It's obvious that the shift in energy created by the changes in her room has manifested itself into sleep time boogey monsters. We've done a lot of work with visualisations for her and for the most part, they've worked.

However, as any typical toddler would be expected to do, it's begun to be seen as a stalling technique and we very swiftly noticed the shift from whites-of-the-eyes terrified cries to the more cheeky "let me look around the room and see what I can say to stall them" tactic. Our hard work has paid off and just in the latter part of this week, we now have a little girl who is loving and wanting to stay and play in her room. But it's taken some time and patience. And lots of draping of walls and her bed and her belongings with "safe colours" and shapes and so forth, all nominated by her.

Some time earlier this week, consulting each other in the kitchen and keeping up to date with our latest Parental Tag Teaming Tactical Maneouvers, I let Steve know I had told her - about as flippantly as mentioning it over my shoulder on the way out - that "if you need pink curtains put across those holes over there, you can do it yourself" (meaning, imaginary curtains, not literal ones). Days earlier, Steve had begun to be skeptical and was growing frustrated with my methods, which had been taken and run with by the LGBB. We agreed then that what we had to start doing was empowering her to protect herself now. That it was no longer a stalling tactic she could continue to use, but that if it did indeed help her feel like she was safe from the little people commuting through her room, apparently, then she needed to learn how to whip out a (I dunno) purple triangle from her bag of tricks in her mind and bang it up across her door herself.

It worked.

We just had to get rid of the scarecrow first. Whah? I hear you ask. Yes, that's right. The scarecrow. It had all started with the scarecrow who apparently had also taken up residence in her bedroom. On the third day in her "new" bedroom, Lolly had screamed out (she hadn't even made it to drifting off) and through the most gutteral cries I've ever heard her do, she managed eventually to tell me there had been a scarecrow coming for her across the floor. Holy fuck, I know that would freak me out, if I was a kid and thought that's what I'd seen. I was faced for the first time, then, during this relatively new gig of mine (that of parent) to confront the sorts of terrors I had had as a kid - awake, mind you - when I saw figures standing either side of my door (I had a door in the centre of my wall, a sliding door, and Lolly's room has the same thing: a central door... I made Steve and my brother take it off its hinges so now she just has a doorway and has full view to the play room). Those were the sorts of things that grew in my mind, my imagination, my whatever, rather than dissipated, because I didn't have anybody authoritative or stable enough to help me rid them.

I was damned if I was going to allow the beginning of these visions to manifest and grow, unabated. They don't stop if you simply tell your kid they're not there. Depending on what they're seeing, that is.

So here we had this scarecrow issewe. Do you think I think there really was one? Hell, no! But do you think I told her there was never one there and she didn't see it? No WAY. So at the time, I was truthful with her whilst never once denying her what she saw (or thought she saw, it's irrelevant which is correct because that's like telling another person their truth is not correct). I thought on my feet and assured her I couldn't see anybody in her room. She sat in her cot, white as her sheets, as I checked every corner. That was the day I decided to try colour protection visualisation with her. What did I have to lose?

Over the days, on and on and on she went about this scarecrow. I grew annoyed. Steve grew annoyed. And then, thank GOD for the Guardian Friend on the phone, who told me it was okay for me to "take mummy charge". Oh yeah.... I'd forgotten I also had that in my toolkit! So when Steve got home that night, I asked him to assure the LGBB he would "take care of" the scarecrow. He came back after the story-reading, bedding down for the night routine and told me that the LGBB had been most pleased with this arrangement. That night was the first time she went down without any tears in about a week and it was a relief.

Of course, then all I heard for the next several days was how "No more scarecrow, scarecrow's gorn, Daddy took him". Mind you, all this naming of the "thing" as "the scarecrow" came from her little mouth and imagination/mind, not mine. She comes out with things like this so often and we look at each other, Steve and I, and say "How in the hell...." for we just don't know where she gets the reference for some of this stuff. She hasn't seen The Wizard of Oz (the scarecrow in which she adores, anyway) since October. She can't remember what she had for lunch yesterday, so I'm dubious about the correlation, but it's the only "scarecrow" I thought she knew.

Anywho, scarecrows and colours and big girl rooms aside..... THE PLASTERER'S COMING, THE PLASTERER'S COMING!!!!!!! Do you know what this means, Internet?! My kitchen is getting finished before Christmas!!!!!!!!

Merry Christmas to me.

* Read: made larger with the removal of the two ensuite walls, but now too big and scary for her so we've heard countless terrified wails as she has been trying to get to sleep, so many that we've resorted to putting her furniture back along where the now non-existent wall is... which kinda defeats the purpose of making her a lovely spacious room. Sigh.

‡ I have to say here that, since a baby, Lolly has really truly loved going to bed - even as she grows older and there have been protests, wails, thrashing and kicking, as soon as she gets to her room she gives over and knows she's going to bed... she loves her sleep, thank heavens, and except when unwell does not fuss about bedtime and never cries about it so it had come as a shock to us that suddenly, she was so unsettled..

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My mission, if I choose to accept it

I am currently playing Santa's Little Elf. To the detriment of my mental health.

Don't get me wrong, I am LOVING the creative challenge. I could just do without the rush on delivering.

This week, I am on a deadline to turn two pre-loved, very tired dolls (here's one of them, pic at left) into something that will a) not scare the LGBB when she sees it on her Big Girl Bed and b) suit my taste, ie. the vision I have for her bedroom. I know, I know... it's not my bedroom. But until she has a say, she's getting what I want.

Only thing is, often I see something in my head (that I want to paint or create) and I can't get my hands to do it! It's been forever - too long - since I turned my hand to painting. I did do some wall art a few months back (I don't think I ever posted it on here) but I haven't finished it yet.

This is a pressing project! Because time is of the issue. I don't have too many more sleeps before Santa comes. And I KNOW that, given these two dolls are on the bedhead of the bed we have inherited from a very generous client of mine, if the LGBB were to wake and see them in their current state staring down at her she'd freak.

I'm nervous that I won't be able to remove the Al Jolson look I've accidentally applied to the first doll's face. Her lips, I'll give myself the credit, couldn't be any more perfect (especially given the little chip of wood that's been taken out of there right where I don't want it). But now I have to work around them to redo her complexion. I had it perfect! But I went and stuffed up the eyes *hmmmm like someone else we know who has one eye smaller than the other* so now have to repaint those and when I went to reapply the skin colour, I realised I had done it far too dark. By then, it was too late. She had a 5 o'clock shadow *sob* So I can't possibly leave it as it is. Not that the LGBB would even notice or care. But I'd notice. And it will give me a hot, prickling sweat and a nervous eye tic if I don't take care of it.

It's never going to end is it? Damn me and my cursed need for perfection!

Do my eyes deceive me?

Driving today, I do believe I saw unleaded at 98.9c a litre.

I'm sorry... did I fall asleep without realising and dream I was in 1994? Wasn't it $5.28 last week?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Getting the hang of this Christmas thing

Over the past several days, our first wrapped Christmas presents have been delivered. We have explained to the LGBB that they go under the tree and we open them "after Santa comes" (it's become a yardstick recently for anything that isn't going to happen immediately). Of course, there have been lashings of build-ups, designed to enhance the wonder and excitement of what might be in the parcels.

The LGBB has really taken to this game. I discovered today that, as well as when I requested for her to put the calendars from our UK cousin under the tree "so we can open them once Santa comes", she has also put some of her favourite things under there. Oh, and some mail.

So far, the stash includes a Little People ice cream truck, her favourite cup and an ANZ statement for Steve. And one or two legitimate presents.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Word up

My brother and his delightful girls (and one of my dear, dear SIL's) live in Japan. They come for an extended visit every two years or so. This year is going to be a blast because the LGBB is at just the right age to appreciate them. My brother is especially clever with video editing and makes these amazing masterpieces (as keepsakes for his two daughters, aged 4 and 7 now, gosh where's the time going?). And Lolly delights in watching them. Mia in particular, to Lol, might as well be a member of Hi-5, she loves her and her antics so.

We've been educating the LGBB on their impending trip at the end of January. "The girls will sleep in your room!" "Yes, you can all go on the trampoline together." "No, you can't see them today, they live a long, long way away."

And then came all the extended questions about why we couldn't just click our fingers and see them. So I've gone into simple but palatable chunks of information about how Mia and Emma live in a country far, far away called Japan. And that we live in a country called Australia. I didn't think she'd taken any of this in, not in any meaningful way.

However, it would appear something rather tickled someone's fancy - must be the whole "so far away that they have to come on a plane" thing. For today, I overheard the LGBB wording Jazz up on just exactly where Japan is.

"Da-azz" *calling through the gate at the top of her voice at the dog standing 20cm away) "Mia liveth long, long way 'way... in Japan *then pointing behind her vaguely* "past that house down dere"

I. Nearly. Cried.

It's no Betty Crocker, but it'll do

This is by no means a rival for any of the tastier, healthier or fancier varieties out there. But if you're looking for that kind of cooking you can do to while away *that* time of the late afternoon or need to satiate a certain little person's insistence to "cook sumfin", here is a quick, simple slice that you can make most likely from the things you have in stock in your pantry and fridge.

Weet-Bix Loaf
4 Weet-Bix (we use Vita-Britz as our brick of choice in this house)
1 cup SR flour
1 cup coconut (we only had shredded and this worked fine)
3/4 cup brown sugar
125g melted butter
1 tsp vanilla essence

Crumble the Weet-Bix into a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, coconut and brown sugar. Mix and combine well. Make a hole in the middle of the mix and pour in the melted butter and vanilla essence. Stir to combine then spoon into a greased and lined slice tin. Press down with the back of a spoon until smooth. Bake in a preheated 180ºC oven for 20 minutes. Cool.

Makes 12 slices.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'm perfecting my play d'oh

I've been trying to call a truce with the playdough. Recently, I latched onto an incidental tip I picked up from the LGBB's day care place - one of the girls there makes her playdough with "extra oil and a bit of flavouring to make it smell nice."

Now, I thought this would just entice the kids to eat it more. And perhaps for littl'uns, this wouldn't work so well (mind you, most kids I daresay wouldn't sit and eat it by the handful because it's pretty darn awful... but you never know, says the girl who used to chew Blu-Tack because she thought she'd found a loophole in the "No bubble-or-chewing gum" rule in our house). But for older toddlers, heck, why not make it smell a bit nicer?

I use the standard Cream of Tartar tin recipe and just add a good helping of food colouring and whatever essence (rose is a good all-round safe one) I have in the house. You could also try cherry scent or perhaps orangeblossom or a nice lemon.

I reckon the trick is in the stirring/compiling. And forget all that saucepan malarkey. Here's how I do mine (a variation on the C of T tin recipe):

Play Dough
Ingredients: 2 cups plain flour, 4tbs Cream of Tartar, 2 tbs cooking oil (make them generous - more like 2.5-3tbs), 2tbs cooking oil, 1 cup salt, food colouring, 2 cups water.

Method: Boil the kettle. Put the flour, Cream of Tartar and salt in a bowl. Stir a bit to combine.
Add the cooking oil to the dry ingredients.
Measure out 2 cups of just-boiled water, add at least 1tsp food colouring to the water while it's still in its measuring jug (a generous dash, I'm not too accurate in measuring the colour part).
Then add the coloured water to the bowl and mix it all together with a metal spoon.
It will go gluggy and firm up almost instantly, so be sure to work quickly. This will ensure even coverage of the colour and also ample melting of the salt.
You can add your essence/fragrance at this point, just a drop or two should do.

Oh it makes the loveliest, softest play dough! If you've not been a fan of the stuff, or are sick of crumbly, floury or gritty play dough (or simply haven't found a recipe you're keen on yet), give it a try. Let me know how yours turns out!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I Will Remember You

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Dont let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

Remember the good times that we had?
I let them slip away from us when things got bad
How clearly I first saw you smilin in the sun
Wanna feel your warmth upon me, I wanna be the one

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Dont let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

Im so tired but I cant sleep
Standin on the edge of something much too deep
Its funny how we feel so much but we cannot say a word
We are screaming inside, but we cant be heard

But I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Dont let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

Im so afraid to love you, but more afraid to loose
Clinging to a past that doesnt let me choose
Once there was a darkness, deep and endless night
You gave me everything you had, oh you gave me light

And I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Dont let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

And I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Dont let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Weep not for the memories

I realised with a sudden, impacting sadness this afternoon that I had forgotten I Will Remember You.

One of THE most beautiful songs with goose pimple-inducing memories, for mine. I can't believe, even in the writing of my book for the past, what, 18 months solid, that I forgot how I used to listen to this song several times in one sitting, several times a week. It was this song that helped me connect my head to my heart to my feet and ground me. I would wail the words along to Sarah (not that I'm saying she wails!) and sing horribly out of tune with my free emotions, into the empty lounge room, the empty bedrooms, the empty kitchen and heart of my home.

I sang it for her. And I forgot until today that it existed. With a start, I have been shaken this afternoon somewhat with the knowledge that such a huge gift in my life (this song and its ability to be the vehicle to help me further through my own path to healing) went by the wayside. And why so shaken? Because I've been left pondering what else I have forgotten.

I knew, but never admitted to anyone before now, that I was going to forget. I knew in the first hour after her death. In the first days and then certainly after the first months had gone by. But I had no. Fucking. Choice.

I had to leave my baby behind. I wept and wept and PROMISED myself not to forget. But I know I have forgotten. So, so much. And it makes me so sad to realise it's simply... what is. And I am told I must accept this. No matter what, I can't change the fact that I can't remember what I've even forgotten. A cellular memory, a knowing that I did know and I did experience all of it and tried valiantly as any mother would to hold on to the touch, the feel, the smell and sounds of her child, has to be enough.

And it is.


Home is where the heart is

An excerpt from the latest MassAttack newsletter that I thought was timely and ought to be shared:

Old sayings such as “Home is where the heart is” and “Behind every great man is a great woman” came about for good reason. We, dear ladies, are an integral part of many peoples’ lives. We are nurturers, lovers, wives, mothers, chefs, gardeners, chauffers, bankers, nurses, cleaners and many other things to many other people. I hate to say it, but without us, things would start to fall apart.


Without our health, we simply can’t do what we need to, and we can’t be what we need to be to those around us. This time of year is especially taxing and adequate energy comes in as a top priority for most of us. Why then, is it so easy for our energy to slip through our fingers at those times when we need it most? We either have a half-filled tank or we’re constantly running on empty. Thankfully, the main energy zappers are within our control and if we can make ourselves tired and unwell, we can certainly make ourselves well again. NOW is the time to do something about it by implementing the following tips.

You are what you eat: energy comes directly from the food we eat so it’s easy to see why a poor diet results in poor energy production. Lifestyle factors (alcohol, tea, coffee, caffeinated soft drinks, drugs, refined carbs) and stress can contribute to nutritional deficiencies that sets you up for part-time exhaustion (and can easily develop into full-time exhaustion).Your MassAttack food tables are developed to provide you with the necessary nutrients to boost your energy levels and sustain good health and well being.
Skipping girl: mornings rarely leave us with enough time to calmly get organised for the day and it’s often breakfast that is overlooked as we race out the door. I can’t stress enough how important breaky is. The type of breakfast you eat dictates how you will feel throughout the day by establishing how much sugar is in your blood and therefore, how much energy you will have for the day. Aim for a mix of protein and whole grains to release sugar into the bloodstream slowly.
The internal drought: just about everything we need our body to do requires water and due to the amount we lose every day (about 2 litres), it is essential that we replenish this loss. Simple dehydration is a major cause of energy depletion so it’s time to drink up. One method used to calculate how much we should drink is 35ml of water per kilo of body weight. You may also notice improvements in migraines, memory, constipation and hypotension.
Stress less: every stress leaves its mark. Adequate magnesium levels, which are essential for energy production, are drastically reduced with prolonged stress and high levels of cortisol can result in adrenal exhaustion, a problematic immune system and escalating digestive disorders. Work on some stress reduction techniques and think about including supportive nutrients such as the B group vitamins, magnesium, fish oil, and vitamin C.
Sleep tight: it’s impossible to maintain optimal energy without regular, adequate sleep (usually 7-8 hours a night). Sleep supports and rejuvenates the immune system, facilitates the recovery of metabolic processes and gives your nervous system time to recoup.
Liver me timbers: as food provides the fuel for energy production, the liver and digestive tract make good use of this food to enable our body to utilise the all important nutrients it contains. It’s important to maintain regular bowel motions to allow the body to eliminate waste and continue to absorb nutrients. A sluggish bowel creates a sluggish body so increase your intake of fibre to keep things moving and add some bitter foods to your diet.
Get moving: exercise stimulates circulation in order to deliver nutrients and oxygen around the body. It also helps eliminate toxins and waste products, stimulates digestion, absorption and metabolism. Include some exercise into your day where you can; go for a walk at lunchtime, take the stairs or do isolated crunches at your desk.
So this Christmas make sure that you take some time to look after yourself – it’s a gift that everyone will benefit from! After all – if the woman of the house is happy, every one is happy!

Emma Scasni is a qualified naturopath at MassAttack Health Clinic and has a keen interest in women’s health. Emma is passionate about all aspects of natural health and is happy to offer support and advice to new and existing MassAttack members. MassAttack specializes in natural treatment programs for women with hormonal imbalances such as PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis & thyroid imbalance. Narelle Stegehuis, CEO of MassAttack, is the recipient of the Australian Naturopathic Excellence Award 2006 and can be contacted at info(at)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Life paths - By the decade

Following on from this post, something new that I'd like to begin to explore, with anyone who is willing and wanting, is a method of healing/understanding that has just recently been brought to my attention - using one's birth date to find their numerological number (I'm a 1, for interest's sake) and then applying it to a set of interconnecting colour mandalas - each of which have their own healing properties when properly applied to a situation or a life path - there is more understanding to be gained from reading up on one's decadal (as in, by the decade) life path.

For instance, I am in my fourth decade (as I am in my thirties). I looked mine up and it goes like this:

Number 1: Magenta - Leadership and self-preservation for the sake of others
4th Decade is aligned with Mandala 31: "The Forest of Fostering, Fathering and Furthering", Rich Green, the stone Fuchsite, the animal Emu, the sound chord of C.
Lesson in this decade: Physicality
Balanced state: Discipline - which says, "I recognise what I can control in my world and I exercise that responsibility."
Rich (green) Focus: Connecting the dots; understanding and acceptance of your ordination
(ill-positioned) Muddy, ie. if I'm not balanced: non-acceptance of your ordination

From this, I can see very clearly that I did indeed begin my thirties in this manner and continue to strive to "connect those dots" as I move *omg a bit too fast for my liking* into the middle of this decade I am in. I would not claim to be in my balanced state (yet) because I am still learning to exercise the responsibility in recognising what I can and can't control in my world. I very much recognise in myself the mandala title "fostering, fathering and furthering" - I have fathered a cause, for instance (the current vehicle for which is my book for the time being), and I am fostering and furthering it (through my striving to understand and learn more about myself and human nature and behaviours in order that I may give out what I discover, in case it helps someone/anyone else). So there is the #1 part too very clearly: "for the sake of others".

On to Emu, I can further gain understanding by looking at this animal. In part, the paper I have on this totem reads:

Emu is one of the earliest developed birds and knows the wisdom and plans of Mother Earth at very deep levels. Father Emu ("Old Man Emu") assumes the role of father-carer and tends the young birds. He it is who guides new Emu life, supporting its learning in whatever is needed for balance in the soul of Emu's spirit family.

Father Emu sits on the eggs and patiently allows each egg in turn to break open with its individual new life. As sole parent, he holds the strength within to journey creatively with this new life. His lesson to you is that you find the stability to be gained from recognising the masculine energy within - the energy that fathers growth and creativity into being and extends fatherly support and encouragement to others.

Emu has no need to fly. Emu's appearance in your life may mean that now is not the time to take flight, but rather to keep both feet on the ground, walking the supportive path of recognising the responsibilities of Fathering-time. It is time for you to be like Emu, creating new life with others and tending and supporting it. It is time for you to look around to see if there are others you can encourage and help. Such actions will further the process of your own growth and those of your projects which need new life.

Emu runs the open lands, drinks water from the pools, gathers under the trees (to under-stand in the wisdom of life) and rests in the knowledge that all one needs to know is to be found in the universe - when one trusts and travels in one's own truth. Emu, then, knows how to read the messages from teh sky and the energy of the earth, so Emu's appearance heralds a time to understand that leaving projects while calling for others to mother and support you just will not bring results. Emu calls upon you to DO IT NOW rather than be a "gonna be!" Emu challenges you with the question, "Why fly when you can walk your chosen path groundedly?" Emu tells you that you can run your life without copying the ways of others or being defined by them. However, first you must find, accept and trust your own truth.

Ok, and now for my confession (whether or not you believe me 'cause this is the honest injin truth): I have never read that paper before. It's in the Green Ray manual, which was the first colour I did at the beginning of 2008... but we were meant to read the animal totems as "homework" *cough* I've never been good with homework.

So, I guess this just confirms my point that this stuff is magic if you are seeking further understanding and/or clarification of where you're "at" and where you're heading. I had no idea this animal totem was all about "creating new life with others and tending and supporting it. It is time for you to look around to see if there are others you can encourage and help. Such actions will further the process of your own growth and those of your projects which need new life." Because, essentially, isn't this exactly what I've just offered my blog audience??? Hmmm. I love this stuff *happy sigh*

If you would like me to look yours up, please contact me either via comments here or my email. It would help me to receive feedback into how much/little it relates to you and whether it helps at all. I'd love to share your experiences here, but would only do that with permission - for the sake of furthering a community/collective feel, is all. If you're up for it and game ;) drop me a line (and of course, you reserve the absolute right not to be made an example of on here!). And psst, don't forget to give me your birth date, month and year and an email address to get you your information please.

Of course, you could always go to Peace Space directly and get yourself right into whichever modality you're feeling is right for you. They even do the colour ray course by correspodence (so don't let distance put you off, if you are committed and want to really do it... then do it! I highly recommend it, though it is full-on learning and can be quite confronting - in a good way - if that is what you're seeking at this time in your life). They pretty much offer every alternative healing method you can think of.

By the by

Wednesday this week past marked the final colour ray class for the year - Turquoise. So completes the thirteen rays.

I didn't go. It just didn't work out with the LGBB, child care and also having only gone up there last week for one very important class (to me), Master Rose. I've done Turquoise ray before, but it was a few years ago now and the work has changed enormously since then. So I guess I'll probably do it by correspondence in the next week or two, just to bed down the learning/experience.

We're going up to do some work at Peace Space next Wednesday, the LGBB and I. I love taking her, but I haven't done since she was a wee might. I think this is the first time she will have gone since she started walking. I still can't believe it's only been five months since she started properly using those legs of hers...

But I digress.

I have decided that to take this blog into the New Year with me and where I'm continuing to head, I will be introducing the colours as they come up (roughly once per month, given that there are thirteen they are a bit more squished into the year than that). I found this year that, even though I wanted to share my growth and learning about each colour as I went, it was too huge and too much to alternately take it all in plus feed it back in any coherent, useful, accurate sense.

So, next year, as I won't be doing those classes again diligently (I might do one or two that I either missed or want to gain more clarification from and so do again in the group), I will be able to explain them as they come up.

See, the interesting thing I've noted and been shown is that the effects of the colours is universal - it isn't just one little patch of dirt in the centre of the state of Victoria on a property known as Peace Space that has the monopoly on all this. Just like a few weeks ago when I mentioned the ladybug thing and I had a number of you comment, email and even phone and leave messages relating to your own sighting of them :), I am wondering who's up for a bit of a social experiment next year?

Peace Space isn't the only place doing this kind of work, either. Its interpretation, of course, comes from the particular people who gather there to learn and teach each other. However, they don't have all the answers, they don't presume to understand everything they come across, but with ever widening circles of people - just like with any group anywhere in the world - the experiences and learning from the influences of a variety of individuals is what I find enriches my own understanding of my life's experiences. The colour ray classes they run are just one of the ongoing courses they have each year and they are meticulously, universally timed (ie. it's not one person's idea to do any one colour on any given month and they go in a set specific order too).

Either side of any particular colour, its influences begin to be felt roughly two weeks out from the day the class is going to be run and usually peters out around two weeks following the class - the peak time to run the class, obviously, being in the middle there when its effects are most able to be felt and understood and assimilated. I found this, in particular, rather interesting and learned to look at what was happening to me. I was then able, quite relieving it was too, to hear about others' experiences leading up to the class and realised that if I had been having a snarky time of it or felt pushed from pillar to post or had an argument with someone in a shop or with Steve, etc., I was far from the only one. How interesting it was, then, to listen and observe just how much we do, as one essentially huge community, move as a group consciousness. Or rather, as many groups. It's been so interesting to be shown how we are all connected. Everyone on Earth. I mean, it's a given - scientifically, to say the least - but to actually see and hear it in motion is quite heartwarming and wonderful.

So... and here comes my huge commitment to lots of bloggy homework for 2009 ... I am going to take what I've learnt this year from each of my manuals and all my notes and compile a blogpost about each colour, approximately one week out (or so) from the date it is being run next year.

Does that make sense? I've always wanted to explain more fully what I come across. However, and perhaps it was divine timing once again (yes, in fact, surely it was), I never seemed to quite have the energy left to put into typing it all out. I guess as well, I wasn't really ready for the dissenting comments or questions or requests for clarification that are bound to come out of opening up like this. But now I am ready. Committed too, is more the point.

The other thing I'd like to begin to explore, with anyone who is willing and wanting, is a method of healing/understanding that has just recently been brought to my attention - using one's birth date to find their numerological number (I'm a 1, for interest's sake) and then applying it to a set of interconnecting colour mandalas - each of which have their own healing properties when properly applied to a situation or a life path - there is more understanding to be gained from reading up on one's decadal (as in, by the decade) life path.

I will explain this further in a separate post.

Bring on 2009. It's going to be a full-on year in so many ways. Don't you think?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Well who's a jolly Scrooge then?

I found this entry I made around about this time last year. It's interesting (to me) to look back twelve months ago and see where my headspace was. Frankly, how I found the time to even keep the blog going, whilst packing and still at the beck and call of a yet-to-walk toddler, up to our necks in packing boxes at one house and our knees in rubble at the other..... it's little wonder I was a tad tetchy.

This year, I feel far more expansive. More able to say "Bring it awn, Universe and Everyone!" I'm rather raring to go. Even though I am also flat to the floor and working hard, it feels productive for the moment.

And now for the Scrooge bit.

We had to go to a shopping centre (I know, are we insane?) today for a job I had to do. Walked past Santa. He was a lovely, warm-faced Santa (and not just cos of the silly suit). They were selling snowdomes that you put the picture of your child and Santa inside, advertising them for $19.95. How reasonable, I thought. And then, with a "Why not", we lined up for one. I knew Lolly would love it and it'd be a nice memento.

We got to the front of the queue and the attendant asked me what we were after. I told her "One snowdome please" and she clarified with me that the price was just for the snowdome itself and the photo was going to be extra. Righty-o, I said, still not too phased. So show me the price list.

And that's when my jaw hit the floor at the cheek of them advertising it for "just $19.95".

I am buggered if I am going to pay $16.95 for the minimum photo package in order to be able to receive the wallet sized photo (which is the one that fits the snowdome) for another $8.95!!! That's actually $45.85 you'd be up for.

Bloody false bloody advertising bloody shits me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Comedy relief: A confession

We've called our beloved doggy Fattylump more than we have called her by name in the past 24 hours. "Come on, Fattylump, time for bed." "Fattylump.... get on the mat."

It's been fun.

Is that so wrong?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Something to think about

What a thought-provoking post up at Eat At Dixiebelle's at the moment. Full of musings I'd forgotten were important to me, too, in the flash of day to day life flying past.

Thanks for the reminder, Dixiebelle.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Don't call her that!

Ohhhh, she has a fatty lump. You're not saying she is one.

Got it.

The vet just called back. After 8pm. Way to make me sweat it out! (though if I've lost another kilo, I'll be sure and thank you, doggy doctor). There were not one, but two emergencies in there this afternoon. Oh. That'd explain the no-call-back. And when she called back, she apologised that she had to be quick because she was about to go into emergency surgery. Again... oh *cue very bashful grimace from me*

Would you believe, Fatty Lump is the official, non-terminal verdict for Pepper. She lives to limp and bump her head arthritically for another day (and many more I hope), it seems!

Can't tell you how many big relieved sighs I've done already.

What's taking so damn long????

Biopsy was taken this morning. My old girl was appreciative of the time away from Jazz, but so obviously doddery now. She bumped her head twice! With an "Oomph". Gawd.


I phoned an hour ago and the vet was "in a consultation, she'll call you back when she's free."

Now my imagination is playing not so much devil's advocate as Negative Nelly with me.

It'll be nothing. Right? Nothing. If it was serious, they'd have phoned. Or am I just thinking about the same situation with a human patient?


Saddened by loss

Steve and I were very saddened and shocked over the weekend to read this about Richard Marsland.

We've enjoyed Richard's work for years, remembering him fondly from the Tony Martin-led Get This radio program which finished last year on Triple M. He is one of those rather unsung heroes - a comedy writer for Rove Live and Newstopia amongst other equally impressive things - and he's done a lot in his 32 years.

I'm sad for his family and all the people around him who love him, and who now have to come to terms with all the what if's and grief that this brave soul has left behind. And yes, if that is controversial, bring it on: I do believe it is brave. Not ideal, but certainly something I respect. The pain and desperation must be just so great, that self-inflicted death is the only option. That, to me, takes a lot of courage - people call it the "easy way out"... I wouldn't think it's too easy, there's a lot to face in facing one's death (particularly if it's not out of your hands, I'd imagine).

Very sobering to deliberate.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Internet, I just found a lump

Oh no.

I'm sitting here trembling with my pulse throbbing in my neck. It's a familiar, horrible foreboding feeling.

I was just patting Pepper out in the sun, musing as I did about the fact that this past fortnight, the old girl has really slowed down. She's stopped joining me and Jazz for Fight To The Death ball chases in the backyard, isn't interested in nipping her young charge into line at meal or inside times and Steve and I have both witnessed her using the younger dog as her "ears". You can stand right behind her and call her name firmly and she doesn't even move her ears back. Yup... as a doorpost.

And then I felt this immovable, tennis ball-sized lump. Right at the base of her ribs, in her belly. I'm calling the vet first thing tomorrow.

I knew it would come, I have been bracing myself for months - many's the time recently when I've had to look closely to see if her tummy is rising and falling because, y'know, sometimes she just looks like she's slipped off peacefully to some paddock in the sky. We've had her since 1995 and she wasn't a pup then. She is an old, old lady. She used to be so clued onto what was going on for me, and I still have glimpses of it - she senses when I'm really in need of a big ol' hug and she still gives them...

I'm sorry I have been wishing away the time, half-jokingly, that we don't have to worry about you mauling Jazz anymore. I'm sorry I can't trust you with Lolly (she loves you SO much and calls you a teddy dog). I'm sorry I haven't taken you for more walks, just you and me like we used to. I'm sorry, Pep. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

Bah. Going to stop. About to have a big old cry. Please don't let this be the start of it. Please let it be nothing serious. Not my girl :(

It'll do for now

From this (when we moved in 11 months ago)... this as an interim facelift to make it a bit more comfy...

...and as it currently stands (until I have the time
to organise the finishing touches)

Am planning a new paint job once the plasterer has been and will update with photos after then (I'll be wishing people Merry Christmas before that happens, though, now).

Still, here is a very comfortable room that is already a big hit with Ms Lolz. And me. I'm so comfortable in there! It's funny how uncomfortable the other room truly was, it was so dark - mainly due to the carpet and easterly window - but now.... it's really cosy and somewhere we can really spend lots of time playing.

I plan to make new bright curtains (I made those Paddington Bear ones when I was pregnant with Ella and they are really good, heavy drapes) to go with her girly room, but will wait until I've done a colour scheme I'm happy with - I want something to take her into "little girl-dom" in her primary school years, as it's not something I want to be changing with the seasons necessarily. I've also bought those lovely cushions for her new bed and will replace one of these with the Paddington Bear cushion cover I made for the reading chair.

Happy :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

OPERATION: Make Way For Big Girl Bed

Today's the day: the builder started at 8am and has dismantled the rest of what was the ensuite jutting into Lolly's bedroom. We started preparing the LGBB a few weeks ago, when Steve first made the holes in the wall after gutting what was the ensuite (I kid you not, a two year-old with an ensuite and a kitchenette... they had to go, I was too jealous). Then, we realised we could really milk this Santa bit for all it was worth and ENSURE ourselves a willing partaker in the Cot To Bed mission later this year.

So. Wouldn't you know! *slaps hands to thighs in mock wonder* Santa has been drawing up plans for the LGBB's very own Big Girl Bed. And it's all we hear about, don't you worry. "Santa's bringing Lawen's Bigur-Bed" is a regular statement.

I went down there with the LGBB at 11.30 to take these snaps while the builder - a really good one, if you're in the market... except, how's this: his name is Ramon and the ring tone on his mobile is Sex and the City's theme tune.. er, that was MY ringtone not so long ago. What's a builder doing with it? I like his taste, I'll credit him that. Anyway, all I could think when I looked was, "Good Lord, what have we done..." And then, "It's only mess, it's only mess..." Hnnnngh!

Everything you see in blue, by the way, is GOING! And also, that funny round thing on the wall is already gone, since I've taken these photos. It was a fan for the ensuite and boy, did it drive us up the (now non-existent) wall. Every time the wind blew in a certain direction (which was apparently often), it would whirr and upset Lolly so she wouldn't sleep. Needless to say, we're very glad it's gone!
Someone's looking very much like her friend, Zac, adopting his patented two-finger-suck comforter routine in this shot....

In keeping with the Rid Blue mission, we went down to a local carpet layer's today, me and the LGBB. And wouldn't you know, it was. our. lucky. day. The guy had a STACK of off-cuts they had bought at auction off some other poor bugger who'd gone out of business... We found a 4x4m square of the most divine carpet, the sort of stuff that wouldn't sell off the roll for less than $200p/m. We walked out with it for $120 *did you hear that sound? it was my jaw hitting the floor* I was expecting to not get change from $300-400 for a rug that large. It's got unfinished edges so we're probably going to lay it as her actual carpet once the extension has completed (next year, hopefully).

I'm not sure now what I'm more excited about: the losing the blue carpet by way of such a brilliant find, or the inspired creation of a little reading/bookshelf nook, which was cleverly suggested by the FIL some months back. Hmmm, probably the bookshelves thing, because I know it's going to be SO cool and handy for her in years to come. But it's a close call.

Here's Lolly looking really, really unsure about all the mess:

The hole in the floor was the waste pipe where the toilet was, and if you look past the new frame, that hole showing exposed beams in the floor was the shower recess.

Here it is close up: cutting the shower recess in half was a bit of inspired thinking from Steve's dad because we were going to simply take the wall straight across. But then we were wondering how to get around the issue of a window which is up high on the wall on that side of the room and he suggested a 'nook', so now she will have bookshelves and a cupboard under, built into this section of the wall! It's the perfect size and we're very pleased that we haven't had to structurally mess with that corner bit (the small blue painted section of the wall you see here).

I cannot WAIT to get my hands on some paint and decorate. I have been itching to make her a pretty room. I just went and snuck a look and, oh.... am trembling with the possibilities! It's looking fantastic.

"Now I'm as tall as Daddy!"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

She breathes

I've just spent a torturous afternoon trying to convince the LGBB that little girls who irrationally shriek and throw things then cry pitifully once they are thrown (and therefore out of reach when they're strapped into their carseat) are in need of a nap.

It took another five minutes for her to decide she didn't want to stay up on her own and if Mummy and Scraps were going for a lie-down in bed, then she wanted to too. Five minutes later, calm was restored to my Sleeping Beauty.

I watched her chest rise and fall as I lay there, playing 'sleeping' so as to encourage her to do the same. And as her little fingers twitched and tugged at the throw rug while she slipped further into a deep sleep, I marvelled once again that I have helped create someone who breathes. She has an immune system. A heart. A mercifully perfect heart (as far as the investigations have so far shown - something we had to brace and prepare for when she was a wee eight week-old, my what a scary wait in the waiting room THAT was). She has lungs, hair, ten fingers and toes.

And I still can't quite believe how lucky I am to have been granted this second chance to witness it. I am still awestruck that she breathes. Rise, fall, rise, fall goes her chest.

Perhaps it is the fact that I have this week handed the draft of my book (the first seventeen chapters, as it stands) to another two trusted confidantes for further fine-tuning, input and constructive feedback, that I feel like my other little girl is "somewhere out there". Thinking about her in all of this. Her place in the world, my world, our world. Each time a key moment, an enriching moment - like the latest Santa photo or the opening of another window on our advent calendar - happens between us, it instantly causes me to think about Ella. And it's not that it happens with a heavy heart, but it's not an entirely happy heart. It is what it is - these moments are always going to be tinged with a bittersweetness. That's just the way it is, for Steve and me. For all parents, I daresay, who are parents again after the loss of their baby.

I am going over to a girlfriend's place on Friday night, to help with preparations for her little girl's fifth birthday on Saturday. I'm to make candy-stripe coloured cardboard popcorn flutes (for popcorn to go in, of course!). I am also going to be hanging butterflies on string on the gold-painted branch which is to be the table decoration. She's having an Ariel cake - her favourite character.

My friend, I'm sure she's forgotten in the course of preparing for her daughter's birthday, is blissfully unaware that my own heart feels kinda ripped out with any of these major events in her daughter's life. There was only six weeks between her and Ella. There should have been something like four months, but she was born late and Ella born so early that the gap shortened. And now, well, so many months - five years, to be exact - have gone by that I don't think my girlfriend really realises this could possibly hurt me so much. To be a good friend and go over and help her out, I don't feel like putting a dampener on this happy occasion for them. It's not fair of me, it feels selfish nowadays. So I don't mention it, except for places like in here.

But it does. It really does hurt.

And then there's the LGBB. Rampaging her way through stores today when she was so overtired and I'd missed her ideal window for bedtime because we had to be out... So beautifully proving she is so very alive. The little monkey.

Tomorrow is the Master Rose class at Peace Space. It's the ray of Co-Creation. And, so I have been told in the past, one that is integral to my future work in this area. Makes sense. My writing in the book lately has been focusing on the wonder that is just what has to go into a baby being born. It's not as "simple" as it seems on the surface. It's not even as straightforward as sperm meeting egg. Oh, no. It goes way beyond that. I can't remember exactly how I've put it in the book - and perhaps you'll just have to read it ;P - but it didn't surprise me that I found out Master Rose was coming up not long after I was exploring this in my writing.

So I am looking forward to it. Uncovering more, discovering more. Just another string to the bow that seems to be turning into my future life's work.

More later.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How ironic is this?

I was going to post yesterday morning - "Shhhhhhh, be vewy, vewy quiet..... *whispers to internet* I think it's gone" and then delight in saying I have been spot-free for a month. Which means I am officially clear of the hand, foot and mouth.

But guess what happened! Noooo, guess again! Lolly appears to have been hit with it again :((

The LGBB woke up all listless and flaking out yesterday morning. I didn't know if she was coming down with anything. She went to see her "kids" in the morning, had a lovely time playing, didn't want to leave because she was cooking noodles, yada yada yada...

Except at every opportunity, she rested her head on me, as if it weighed a tonne. That was the first sign. She started to get agitated irrationally at little things - I mean, even moreso than your typical worldly toddler - and then when we got home, I saw them. Two spots. On her tongue. For the first time since September. And when I changed her nappy, her entire nappy area was covered in faded spots. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Because of how much pain she went through last time, because of how sick she was, because she infected us both, because we had to quarantine ourselves, I said a hearty "No, please, NOOOOOO!" in my head.

I put her to bed, she protested far less than she's been wont to do lately (another sure sign this could go either way and she might really be getting sick again) and wished her a wellfull sleep. I told her point blank that sleep is what allows her body to make her better. "So make it a good, well sleep, orright?" and she nodded solemnly.

When the LGBB awoke over three hours later, she was snarky. Sigh. We were in for a long afternoon, I gathered, she and I. I love the hugginess of her when she is feeling "poorly", though, I'll admit to loving that part about her being ill. So, with her arms slung around my neck, I carried her up to the couch, making arrangements with her to lay still and watch some telly with a blanket and a drink. She brightened at the suggestion.

But apparently I'm not a good movie-picker. Heh! Who knew? Remind me to tell you sometime about the movies on my favourites list in my brain. It's a doozy of a collection, I tells ya.

Anyway, at first credits of the movie I'd picked (Meet Me In St Louis), she shrieked as if I were extracting her toe nails with pliers. Farken 'ell, ok! No Judy Garland, I get it! Sheesh. We settled on (oh, surprise!) Hi-5 instead. She lay there, quiet and still. Resting nicely. So I chose this opportunity to do a bit of a body scan on her (with my hands). I have no idea how anyone else does this, but I can detect hotspots (only with my left hand, strangely) in people quite easily these days. I guess this is where there is aggravation of some sort, or a break point, and not necessarily always pain - a weakness there, I guess you could say - but I haven't yet mastered how to knit someone's pattern together to heal that area. That's what I'm learning: what my method is, using the tools I've been learning all year at Peace Space. See, they just give the why's and what's, they don't always give the how's. That's my homework... But thank gawd they're not shy about answering my billion and one questions along the way!

In the LGBB yesterday, there was heat radiating out of her forehead and eye area, rising about a metre out from her body before it dissipated. I was surprised how far out it went, I've only ever gone at most a forearm or so's length before I can't feel anything in my hand anymore. I gathered she had a headache but I didn't know for sure. Usually, when I ask her if she has a tummy ache or a headache she usually looks at me blankly and sometimes calls me "funny", for having asked I s'pose *shrugs* So I couldn't rely on her telling me what hurt or where - I had already asked, with little given in return to go on - but I knew she was out of sorts.

So then I focused on receiving whatever I needed to put in to her pattern. I saw a conical 3D shape, like a ring sorter, in different shades of green. Ok. I had/have no idea the significance of it or what it was, but I saw it so I put it in - sometimes, well actually most times, I just have to trust it's helping because sometimes I get nothing, so I can tell when I actually receive things to do something with... er, if that makes any sense whatsoever. When I opened my eyes (I had one hand behind her head and one over her tummy), the LGBB wasn't watching Hi-5 anymore. She was staring straight at me. Her eyes looked less sunken and she looked brighter in her face. Her eyes seemed bigger (rather, the irises) and we locked gazes for quite a few seconds, not speaking. Then she snapped out of the daze we were in, grinned, sat up, gave me a hug and said I was funny. She rubbed my back as she hugged me over and over, then wriggled off the couch and said she was all better now.

Uh. Well, good! I was confused, amazed, glad. She had been really flaky all day and had slept for so long, had woken in such a grizzly mood that I knew something was brewing. I was unconvinced it was passed, but if she had been given some relief somewhere, somehow, then I was happy that she seemed happier for it.

The afternoon continued, we played a bit of "ding-DONGGGG!!" doll house, she ate a little, drank a lot and then lost her oomph again. She suddenly came over to me, all whingey and pulling down my pants from dragging on them. "Mum-mehhhh, I'm very poorly", she said. And she was. Her eyes were all sunken and dark again, her face sallow. So I popped her on the couch and told her that when she feels poorly, she has to take it easy. Has to listen to her body and do what it needs to do to help her get all better again so she can play without feeling sick.

I was dutifully heeded and she lay under a cozy doona for about twenty minutes. While she was doing this, I was looking through my emails for something from about twelve months ago. In my search, I came across an email I had sent to a girlfriend, interestingly the month I got pregnant with the LGBB (not that I would have known it when I sent the email). In it, I had described that Jen had asked me if I realised that I would have to really rely on my ESP with my next child, because of the way that child would be "wired". I was surprised that I had forgotten and it was a timely reminder/confirmation that, yeah, look at all the things (and more as she grows older) I have been experiencing with her - trying to find my own balance, between helping her integrate her own skills and intuition without tainting it with my own/society's fears too much so she doesn't feel outcast or afraid to use it, has been tricky to balance. I know she is different. She is very special. But then again, I'm her mother! I'm supposed to feel that she is special. And after going on our journey to get her, it seems to us that she is infinitely moreso.

So anyway, to cut a long post a bit shorter, I decided to honour what she "knows". I wandered over as she lay on the couch and I asked her casually, "Hey, Lauryn... what colour would make you feel better?"

She thought for a moment and said, "Pink", with a smile.

"Ok, pink. And where shall we put the pink?" I didn't know. I had no idea what I was doing, nor really where my questions came from. Before I'd walked over to her, I hadn't known what i was going to ask - I just knew that I had to defer to her to tell me what she needed, something that, as a mother, is not often the first thought in my head. We are, after all, dealing with a largely irrational 2.5 year old Miss here!

Lolly pointed to her solar plexus area. That's where the pink had to go. "Ok, then," I said, "that's where we'll put it." And I did a few cursory hand waves, "shaped" a ball of pink and she watched me as I put this in her tummy. She smiled at me then. It was a bit unnerving. It was almost like she was the elder, saying with her eyes that, "well, finally! It only took you this long to figure it out." Funny girl, my one. Hilarious.

Today, I got a phone call from Neri (from Peace Space). She's stumbled upon something, which I'll go into in a later post. But it was interesting the symmetry it had with the situation I'm dealing with here with Lolly.

Did you know that viruses are (allegedly) always from a group conscious level? The LGBB has contracted this virus again. There was no reported outbreak the first time. And there hasn't been one, so far, this time either. I know she is a sensitive little tyke. But she's FAR from the only child who is sensitive in this way. I know there are plenty of other parents out there who are learning to help their children manage how to live alongside their peers and not absorb too much "stuff" from them and there are only going to be more and more kids born with these sorts of sensitivities. If only my parents had had a clue, perhaps my childhood would not have been so isolating, alienating. I knew I was different. And I was incredibly adept at shutting myself down from that side of myself, only awakening again when I was 26 and it was "safe" for me to admit what I heard and felt and saw. I don't want Lolly to deny any part of herself like that. It's like being split in two.

So what happens to these littlies when they go to, on the surface, have an innocent little play for a few hours with their friends at a child care centre? They're there absorbing like sponges. My role/ the role of the parent with a child who feels and senses in this way is to empty her out of all these energies she's been filled up with during the day. I've become mega-slack. I used to do it all the time when she was little - she first started going when she was eleven months old. She never got so much as a cold last year. I stopped doing this ritualistically and she has, in the second half of the year, been hit hard. Twice now.

One time, a few months ago, I used salt to help her ground her energy. It was unbelievable (and something you might like to try on yourself in your "spare" time!). This is a good way to trap and release impurities from your body, salt is used in baths to do the same thing but there's a way to do it without actually having a bath. I was convinced the LGBB wouldn't even sit still long enough for me to make the mixture up. How disrespectful of me to assume! She was riveted and very happily followed the little procedure. It's as simple as this:

Take 3 tablespoons of sea salt, place in a glass
Pour hot water into the glass - not too hot, don't crack it!
Stir. Now, the salt won't completely dissolve but that's ok.
Now lie on the floor, place the glass at the soles of your feet - we did it in a frog-legged type pose.
While in this position, simply ask that all energy needing to be grounded to go through to the salt. Lie there for a while.. cos it's nice to stop for a moment in a day!
This glass of water can then be tipped onto the soil in your garden.

It's okay to not fully "get" this in its entirety, the main thing is that your intention is genuine and clear.

What was amazing to me was feeling the heavy, heavy weight of the glass once we had done this! My gosh, it was so much heavier! It really did feel as though I had added rocks to the glass. I felt so good for having obviously removed unnecessary energy and used the salt to extract it. It was a very tangible way to realise what I had done had actually worked in some way/form.

I have to finish this here. So much to say, so little time. That'll do for now.

More later.

By the way, I do so very much hope there aren't readers thinking I'm neglectful for not taking my daughter to a doctor.... I am confident in how we're handling these flare-ups and my only reason for popping this in here is to enlighten any readers who may not realise how to remove this virus. Which is.... you sort of can't. Not by any conventional method, anyway.
In my now five-month stint with this H,F&M business, I have come to learn that there is nothing they can/will prescribe and that it is simply to be "ridden out"... I am finding and using methods of pain relief and deterrents, some of which work and others are not powerful enough to rid this virus from our systems. It seems once it takes hold, it is extremely difficult to budge. But we'll get there.

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