Monday, June 30, 2008

The Energizer bunny... or guinea pig?

There are a number of factors for my depletion of energy lately. A sturdy, salt-of-the-Earth toddler is just one reason.

Another, less obvious, reason is the misfiring that is occurring with my dearly beloved. My husband. The Rock of Gilbraltor moved his ordinates sometime after the LGBB arrived into our lives and I keep forgetting how to get to him where he is now. I'm also here to say that I know my own personal life map showing how I can be reached is pretty damn sketchy too - mine has coffee cup stains on it, crumpled from being thrown in the bin disgustedly (by me), an elusive arrow to a secret spot that you need a detailed password and perform various hoop-jumping acrobatics to get into. So I am not saying he is the only one whose life course has altered.

We moved the goal posts on each other. Would they have changed anyway, had Ella lived? Most definitely. We added a third person to our relationship. Therefore, it was a given. But when she was alive, and in the years after we were "parents without a child", we were still a team. We knew how to reach each other. And the path was a worn, familiar, comforting track. Something like having a secret passage leading to each others' rooms that nobody else in the house knew about.

Now? Well, now I've gone off in one direction and he's moving in his. We share this home, we share a roughly familiar landscape with each other. But it's not like before. The strain of bringing another - a fourth person, who is actually, physically only the third person - into the fold is showing. Mainly in me at the moment.

As time marches forward, I look at the sections in my story - what I have down on paper so far - and what we went through. And it is almost as if it was another person's life. It was another person's life. I am no longer that person. Not entirely. In essence I am, of course, but nobody is ever exactly the same as they were five years ago.

I feel very, VERY different, now though. My gloves have come off and whilst I would once avoid battle, I am actually simmering in this section of my life - my story - as if I have been on the boil too long. Would I have been this kind of mother had I not had the struggles laid before me before I got here? To this Holy Grail? Is it what I thought it would be? Mostly, yes. Can I deal with it? Mostly, fuck no.

I want him to perceive my world. I live in a home that is never ever clean entirely to my satisfaction anymore. Where my moments of sheer screaming banshee heights can be brought back to utter joy and love in a split second. Like this morning.

This morning, the LGBB was nagging. NAAAGGGGGINNNNNGGGGG for her lunch. "'unch? 'unch? 'UNNNCH???? MUMMEEEE? 'unch?" And I interspersed these whiney requests with "No", "No", "Not lunchtime yet" and "NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!"

As I bundled her bag - with the lunch in question tucked inside - into the car, she stood at the door and cried. Suddenly, the thought of going to play with her friends for a couple of hours* shattered her little world. All because I had not caved and given her the lasagne she so desired. And my guilt began piling on. For five minutes in the car, she continued to nag me. And after keeping my cool for only so long, I snapped and yelled at her. "There is NO food in this car." (Well, that was a lie - more guilt) "You will NOT ask for lunch." (How unreasonable am I sounding - more guilt) "No lunch for you." (It was funnier when The Soup Nazi said it - more guilt). We drove in silence. Lolly sulked for the 10km trip. I caught her eye in the mirror several times. She avoided me sullenly. How much more guilty could I feel? Answer: not much more.

When we pulled up in the carpark, I got a blank-faced stare when I asked her if she was ready to go - something I always say and which she usually always beams back with an excited, "Yeah!" Today, nothing. Oh dear. Just before I opened the door, she said cheerily (CHEEKILY), "Mummy? .........'unch?" I turned around to look at her and her eyes were twinkling. No, they were positively sparking. They were narrow slits and her grin was so wide it nearly fell off both sides of her impish little face. She turned her face almost sideways to me, holding my gaze, and started to nod suggestively. She knew exactly what she was doing, the monkey. And all my anxiety was immediately washed out with enormous love again. Love for her humour, her boldness, her brand of comedy. For it completely wipes the slate clean again. It has to, in order for me not to remain at my self-absorbed shit-fest for too long during any given day.

I was taking her to play for a couple of hours, because I felt like I could not have her at home with me this morning. It felt kinder on her (on me, too, but mostly on her) to not be around me today, not how I am feeling - like I am a pressure cooker needing my own time out mat after a three day weekend with all of us doing everything together - and all I feel is incredibly guilty.

This is not a dress rehearsal. This may be my only child. Often, I feel like I am so royally fucking up. And there are many people willing to stay at their lofty heights and console, without ever admitting the moments where they snap too. Over whatever, however pissy. It's like looking at "real parenthood stories"... through the eyes of Antonia Kidman (anyone catch her shows on Foxtel ever? I can't watch them). Gee, yep. Really real.... I want something that's not watered-down for tv masses and good marketing. I don't need "what sells well" as an informative program. I need more than that, sister. Sorry. Thanks for trying, though.

So here I am, in very uncertain waters. Without my anchor. My battery. My partner. Not as I knew him before, anyway. We haven't properly bedded down or knitted in our new story yet. We're making it up as we go along. We were doing that all the while. But now, it feels far more critical to get it "right". I'm trying to measure up but I don't quite know who to. I am the one who's lost and I am also the only one with the map.

Here's how I see it.
Steve has to share in this process of changing, growing, the transportation process of darkness (grief) energy. There is a lot of grief between us still. But it can be transmuted. It is being transmuted, ever so slowly. And he is the glue that binds. I go and find the solutions, I'm working hard - spiritually, mentally - and trying to keep my eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel. I always forget that bit.

We work together, our family. I know I do actually, literally "work" on a completely different level with both my daughters too. The energy of the three females in Steve's family works like this (from my perspective):
Ella is the shifter, lifter, cleanser. She "takes out the garbage". She is the most uplifting one of the lot of us.
I am the garbage can.
And Lolly? She sifts the garbage. She finds it. Where Ella had spiritual strength, Lolly has psychological mastery. Anyone held in her stare, when she's really on her game, knows there's very deep thinking and processing going on - people everywhere who meet her say it all the time.
All of us incredibly capable of doing our job, both as a team and individually, but I with my hang-ups feel like I keep dropping the ball. And Ella would roll her eyes and sigh, while I daresay the LGBB would ignore what I said (my fishing for a boost of confidence) and just stare me down with a cheeky, crack-up question totally unrelated to what I just said. How I love them both.

None of this probably makes any sense to anyone reading. But I have to put it here. To acknowledge it and remind myself to keep my ball up. And not balls it up....

* Occasional care: My version of sending her to Grandma's, because "Grandma" lives a self-imposed two hour return trip away and cannot be on hand to give Mummy a break without a lot of coordinating - which eventually ends up harder and not worth the arrangement

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Odd Couple

We are at the stage now where we have to deceive our dear girl, Pep, in order to enjoy a stroll with the young dog, Jazz. It is far too hard - and too dangerous - to take Pepper for walks anymore and she's been this way.... well, forever. But now, with added cranky-old-lady pants on, I just will not put her, ourselves and any unsuspecting member of public in a position where one or all of us might regret it.

Don't get me wrong: she is not a "dangerous dog". She is SO misunderstood, though. Yes. That's what it is. Her unpredictability, brought about by her increasing senility and just generally slowing down and "feeling it" as she grows older, is too much to put on her. When under control, she is obedient to a fault usually, but now as she really declines, she is starting to defy even the most simple and reasonable commands from us. With this in mind, it's just not wise of us to assume and expect she will do what she's always done - my girl! My obedient, eager to please dog. I can hardly believe it, to be honest. And it is sad.

Pepper is not allowed within metres of the LGBB and stays behind bars (mind you, their run consists of the entire backyard and we live on 1/4 acre, plus they get the front yard expanse to run in as a special treat several times a week), I just cannot take that risk. The really sad thing, for both Peppy and the LGBB, is that Lolly actually really dearly loves our old dog. She is permitted to pat her under strict, unbeknownst to either of them, supervision and Pep remains on her most dutifully best behaviour. In all truth, Lolly is more likely to fall victim to an accident from the idiotic Jazz's giddy-happy tail wagging. She can whip a grown man to mercy at ten paces with that thing. Ever been wagged to within an inch of your life by a happy Labrador x Kelpie? Hmmmmmm, it's rather on the strong side and can bloody hurt against your legs, I tell you.

But I digress.

Today, as the extension to my birthday festivus, we went to swimming in the morning - and oh my gosh, the LGBB swims mostly unaided by Dad now! Has the floaties on, but is gathering her wits with direction and can actually move forward and stay more or less on track without his help!! Amazing, when we've seen her come from being dragged around as a six month old (seen here on her first day, before her first dunk... she is a water baby and has luuuuurved her swimming ever since) - and then we took Jazz out when we got home.

There is a really cute little weekend market up here and we sometimes go and visit that. But mostly, Saturday or Sunday (we vary the day we do it) are marked for us at some point in the morning by buying a croissant for the LGBB and Steve and I sharing a bag of little jam donuts. I grab a coffee from my fave haunt too.

Today was the first time we've taken either of the dogs. Pep is out of the question - she will never see it. Jazz deserves to go and get amongst it all, she is truly an enjoyment. Just a lovely dog who I don't want ruined by her sharing of the backyard with the other angry old girl. And she absolutely loved it today. Jazz is the sort of dog who is so (sadly, very very sadly) beaten up by the sadist top dog that any opportunity given her of being alone with us without Pep chomping her teeth across poor Jazz's face is all I feel I can do to give her a bit of fun. It's risky and tough, because, as the vet pointed out, Pepper is the kind of dog who will remember one extra hand-pat or morsel of food given to Jazz over her - and she'll slip in a swipe or a nip at Jazz at the next opportunity when we're not around.

It's hardly like Pep needs any more excuses either; two nights ago, they were both inside, asleep curled up on their rug by the door and I sneezed while Steve and I were watching something on tv. Confused by the noise and where it came from, Pepper was up and standing over the cowering Jazz, with Jazz's muzzle firmly inside her jaws, before I had time to turn and look. I was horrified at her speed and the nastiness - the vet said it's in her breed and is coming out the older she gets; she is a working dog, who never got her go on a farm. A suburban yard has never really cut it but she's had a very good life with us. It is really upsetting because she is, in essence, a really great dog. And loyal? To me, especially? She's beyond compare.

It's a dangerous business, sneaking Jazz out under the cover of every diversionary tactic possible, but it worked today. Pep is really getting so old, tired and hard of hearing - plus an increasing lack of care enough to get up - that she didn't notice us sidle Jazz out to the front via the kitchen door.

Walking along, we joked about how refreshing it was to take a dog out who could be patted by anyone or pass any dog in the street and she'd barely notice - although always so very happy to stop for a sniff and a patt from a stranger and their dog (not in that order) - compared to Pepper, who we crowned The Cowardly Lion. She really does have that kind of "Puddem UUUUP, puddem uuuuup" I-dare-you kind of attitude about her. And it's really sad, because she's been such a fantastic dog.

But man. She is just hanging on. And on. And on. To life.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Feeling it today

My Shoes

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in other's eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try to walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so that they don't hurt quite so much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

Author Unknown

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dahl, anyone?

It's my birthday today
I'm older than yesterday

And, boy, do I feel it. I had something else to tut-tut about this afternoon when I took myself out for an hour to do a bit of shopping. It was while I was being served. By a girl who was all of twenty. And she handed me my change and said, "There y'go, dahl."

Dahl. Do I look like a chick pea curry to you?

This morning, I read in the paper that the Kids Free 2B Kids group was up in arms (and hopefully getting somewhere) - I do urge parents who want to add to the voice to go to their website, having only just stumbled across it recently myself - about the highly sexually explicit nature of Saturday morning music videos. I have to admit to missing starting my weekend days with good old Video Hits or Rage playing on the telly in the background of our lives. We do not allow it in this house, not when the LGBB is in eye or ear shot of it. Just one of our "things" we are firmly united on. She is going to be exposed enough out there, without us condoning it at home. And really, right now, she doesn't need to see girating barely-clothed guys and girls writhing against each other - I don't want her to learn that's how little girls dance! Call me a prude.... but I am actually far from it. Despite that, though, I feel almost unrealistic, keeping it from her, and that really saddens and almost frightens me. I guess, today of all days and turning another year older, it just really hit home how much the world is changing. How fast children are growing up, well before their years.

Aaaaaanywho, I had a great day with two of my great loves. Oh, and Gloria. Three loves then.

Building the suspense before breaking into The Birthday Song.

So, what's on the agenda for this evening? Oh, I'll probably tidy the kitchen and living areas just one more time, for good measure - the bomb looks like it hit about T -3 hours ago - and then sit down to a meal lovingly prepared by the Indian restaurant up the street, where Steve is collecting our favourite dishes right now.

Mmmmmm birthday Indian.

What, those 100's and 1000's on my chin?
I'm decorating. Any good cook knows you must taste test.
Yes, the whole lot you're given. By the fistful, preferably.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

So how illegal is it to change lanes?

*mmmmmmph* ...... *hhhhhhnnnnnnngh* ..... *gggghhhhhhaaaaattt*

Nope. I can't let it go. I just tried.

We just spent the morning at a play centre. No, this is not going to be a whinge about play centre bully kids whose mothers don't look after them or even turn their heads to see Miss or Master Presh, aged 5, bailing up a two year old who can't defend him- or herself.

No. This is about a woman driving her children on a two-lane 80km/h road with one hand, talking on her mobile with the other. I watched in my rear mirror for a good five km's as this person rather pushily made her point - I guess she was in a hurry?? or perhaps she was just seeming very antsy on the road because, oh I don't know, her attention was on her call??? - and when the lane we were in started to slow down thanks to various cars turning into the centre median and other various drivers simply not getting on with it, she darted into the lane beside me. And promptly sat in my blind spot. Helpful, non?

I wanted to move into that lane too and, siezing a gap (granted, yes, a very very miniscule gap) between her and the car in front of her, I edged in with a rather arrogant momentary flick of my indicator. But by now, my pet personal peeve - the dangerous law breaker who drives with one hand while talking on his or her phone - had got me to a point of ire that really didn't give a flip whether I was too close to her or not.

Apparently, from her perspective, I was just that little bit too close. She had the gall to sound her horn at me. And I had to wonder how on earth she managed that feat without taking her driving hand off the wheel to sound the horn. Hmmm. Real safe. Perhaps she has three hands and I ought to mind my own business.

Anyway, at the next intersection, two lanes split to three and she darted into the outside lane. I then watched this woman weave dangerously into scarce gaps herself (maybe I gave her the idea) until she was back in the lane we started in a couple of km's back.

Imagine my sheer delight *sigh* when I ended up behind her at the lights turning in to the road leading to the play centre. "Of course," I say to myself. "And I'm betting she'll have something to say to me when we get there."

She was glaring at me in her rear vision mirror. I shook my head disappointedly. Now that was really the moment of flare-up for her and I got a very aggressive, shrugging, "WHAT??" to which I coolly held up my fist in a phone symbol and queried, "PHONE???" back at her. I left it at that. The women sped away from me on the 60km/h road - I myself was pushing it at 64km/h so she must've been doing close to 70 or more - and I couldn't help but wonder what the hurry was. Perhaps they wanted first dibs in the ball pit. Dunno.

I really.... I get so incensed by drivers on the road who are dangerous like this. Yep, sometimes I take situations into my own silly hands and try (in vain, as was evidenced today) to give someone a heads-up for being irresponsible. I drive my child on these roads and I'll be damned if I am going to just sit back and give other drivers space and make it easy for them if they are doing the wrong thing. Call it my upbringing in a house where my father, a road safety scientist who is now leader of his field in many places around the world and was at the forefront of enforcing the 50km/h residential speed limit (yeah, yeah, don't blame ME, people!), but I just don't have it in me to sit by idly if I can point out an unacceptable - nay, dangerous and illegal - action while driving a vehicle.

Mind you, Ms Pot here is calling the kettle black, I know. My one lane change was a corker and I'll own that one. However, stacked up, I don't really think I deserved this woman seeking me out once we were at the play centre, specifically to bail me up loudly and publicly to tell me that next time, maybe I should be more concerned about my own driving because it was pretty appalling "too".

Out of that whole thing, it was the "too" part that just made me want to sit her down and give her a cup of tea. It was all the admission I needed to see that she knew she was doing the wrong thing and ain't nobody gonna call her on it! Talk to the hand. But I did call her on it (well, not actually literally call her....). And I guess being given a serve, if she takes heed and perhaps gets herself a hands-free unit for the car, is not really a big price for me to pay.

No doubt it'll be done again. And absolutely no doubt there are still thousands of people idiotic enough and irresponsible enough to keep that phone firmly planted upside their heads. Still, one little pebble in a pond and all that, right?

Don't ask

This morning, before Jazz started her single bark solute to the morning - it's ongoing, it's as annoying as a pesky circling mosquito (but louder and further away to swat or do anything about), it's surely designed single-mindedly by her to get under my skin and crawl around and make a nice cosy burrow there - I was dreaming.

I was dreaming of my old house. No, not my childhood house, the one we sold to come here. For some reason, Steve and I had apparently thought it quite acceptable to keep using a set of keys we still had to go back there and just "neaten things up" from time to time. It seemed as though this had been going on for some time and the owners were, ever so graciously, starting to be vocal about the fact that they didn't really like the idea. And who could blame them, really. But that shitty old recliner was never meant to sit by a window like that.

So in my dreamtime raid on my old home, it appears Steve and I had actually concocted a story for if we were caught.

It was Christmas time, going by the decorated tree up in their living room. And when we heard their car in the driveway - shit, shit, shit! No! But I haven't had enough time back here, just soaking in the place again - Steve raced to stall them in person while I set to with our plan. This was the part in this particular dream where one stands back and logically looks at what they are doing in the dream and goes You thought what would be a good idea??

I looked down and saw myself writing on crappy little clicker pens. You know those white Tupperware ones? The really thin, flimsy ones, that are great to shove in your handbag but you wouldn't necessarily go out and buy a 10-pack if you could. I had grabbed a permanent marker and was writing the names of these new home owners and their loved ones on all the pens. We were apparently going to pass them off as Christmas gifts for them. Oh yes. The break and enter disruption all hinged on this blatant lie. They'd surely never buy it. I do recall looking down at what I was doing and thinking... These look like utter shite and we'll never get away with it.

Thank God Jazz started barking and woke me.

I honestly have no clue where my mind goes a-wandering. I'll bet you've never had a dream where you break into your old house and start defiling Tupperware merchandise in order to pass it off as a genuine item.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A rate of knots

Yesterday morning we all slept in until 7.20am. Steve had to go and wake the LGBB up, it was going to take me well over half an hour to rush her through breakfast and out the door to occasional care and I needed to be back here for the electrician and to finish off some work.

A dazed and mechanical exchange was had by Lolly and me over breakfast. The kind of conversation where I'd ask something and she'd reply.... 30 seconds later. Poor thing. She's been really odd the past couple of days. Mentioning it to Steve later in the day on the phone, while she was asleep for her afternoon nap, he said it was probably one of those times where she was going through a steep processing curve - the stereotypical growth spurt - and he joked that when I got her up, she'd be able to recite her times tables or something.

Well. It wasn't her times tables, but it was still pretty impressive, as it turns out.

When eventually Ms Dozer awoke, she was calling out to me. Lolly doesn't whinge to be let up anymore; she either calls out for Mummy or Daddy. Or she calls me by name. For a few months now, I've been hearing "Kirrwillee? Kirrwilleeeeee!!" coming from the monitor when she wants out. Awww. Funny.

But then, yesterday, she was still rather odd, as has been her pattern so far this week. She was going on about muffins. Something about muffins - I'd shared one with her before she went to bed - and was throwing in all sorts of random words that made sense to her and were clear to me, but put together were something like "Muffins car fridge rectangle fryer, Mummy!" Oooooookay then. I didn't know how to respond.

On the change table, she suddenly looked at me, coming over all serious.

"You're Kirrily-mummy," she said, plain as day. The clearest she's said my name, as if it had finally sunk in. That was my name. And oh my God, I was mummy as well!
"That's right," I said.
"You're my mummy," she responded, very adamant.
"Yes! Yes, I am." It was such an exclamation from her. She seemed so visibly surprised at the revelation she'd just stumbled on while she slept.

I was overcome. My clever girl. I can't keep up.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The healing tool

Think I'm going through a bit of "a patch" right now. I can't stop creating. There isn't much work on, having had my last solid rush over and done with (for now) on Sunday. I'm enjoying my rare free creative time and also know that I am gearing up to head into the next colour ray day next week - this time, it's Orange.

ORANGE, the Ray of Abundance and your emotions, will show you how there is always enough of a good thing for you to share it. ORANGE will show you that you are hugely empowered - but for the sake of the world. It will show you how to take care of your ego!
So, that being said, the colours actually start to "come in" about a week or so ahead of the class running. And the after effects hang around for at least a week or two after. I think I might be just preparing, somewhere, in the back of my awareness somewhere. Taking my respite and deep breath now, while I can, so to speak.

I didn't colour anything in on this one. I think it still needs more work... bit bland. But what a gorgeous cheeky grin (this was the LGBB's first "proper, by myself" walk in the garden and she was playing peek-a-boo round the tree with me).

And this one used a slightly different process. I'm still undecided as to whether I like the result. But I really love the background.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Nothing says "Home" more to me than a fireplace.

We had a massive fireplace in the lounge room of my childhood home. One of those scary big brick ones you could walk around - it was in the middle of the room and so created a hallway behind it. I loved it, but I was also really scared of its sheer size.

This one? This is my size.

It started out looking like this (this was the real estate photo, I've discovered I was so keen to start changing the house that we don't actually have a photo of this side of the lounge/good/sitting room in its original glory):

Scared? I was. Very.

I mean, just how many plates is it possible to fit in one room?? Answer: too many to discreetly count with the vendor sitting in her favourite armchair. And while this is some people's idea of homely, to me it just screams CLUTTER! Oh, and DUST ME!

I know. Trust me, the room is unrecognisable now. The next door neighbour got a thrill the other weekend when we invited her to poke her head in the front door and check out a bit of what we'd been doing in here. She threw her hands up to her mouth, eyes wide with surprise and disbelief at the changes - it was almost like I was Suzy Wilks. Save for the hair, the figure, the boobs, the teeth. You know... Almost. Anyway, the neighbour went away most impressed and ready to put a bomb under her husband to start changing their own rooms (after 22 years living in the house next door, I guess there's no time like the present for her to start nagging).

It was the very first thing I painted, the fireplace, and I did so the day after settlement day back in November last year. It still could do with another coat. I suppose I'll get around to that. One day.

I'll put it on the sizeable list of Things To Do.

Step together, kick, step together, twirl

A Hi 5 concert, LGBB-style

This week, we've gone straight from walking on our own (23 months, thangeweverymuch), finally, to shimmying up a storm.

See? She just wanted to get it right before she did it for good.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sittin. Thinkin.

Vaguely, in the back of my mind, I feel like I should be doing something.

I just came back from reading the LGBB her standard two-book read-a-thon before bed (at the moment, it's "If Kisses Were Colours" and "You, Me And The Rainbow", both absolutely gorgeous books I shall have to do a separate entry on sometime soon, such is my love for them - or rather, my love for her loving them). Then I went out back and led the two dogs back inside from eating their dinner.

In the distance, I vaguely heard Steve calling out. Heard the very faint tinkling that could/might not have been my mobile ringing. I didn't think much of it; I'd grab the phone in a minute and listen to the message. It's late - 8 o'clock - for the LGBB to be getting into bed and I just want to S.T.O.P. for the day finally.

Then, as I stepped in the door from letting the dogs into their little allocated nook, Steve mentioned innocently that my dear friend, Cass, had rung my mobile while I was outside.

Oh. Holy FRIG.

It all came tumbling back to me in an instant. She and I had arranged for Steve and I and the LGBB to go there tonight for dinner. I've done it. I've done that unforgiveable thing. I have (while not on purpose, still completely horridly ohmygodIcan'tstopbeatingmyselfup awful) made a busy mother waste an entire Saturday afternoon - a raining one, no less, so her little one couldn't even go outside to blow off steam and probably drove her insane while she prepared dinner......

I phoned Cass straight away. "I'm mortified!!" I apologised so profusely she began to giggle. "These things happen! Don't stress, you poor love. Well... you're missing out on my famous apple pie," she teased lovingly. God she's such a bright, lovely soul, one of those people you love to have in your life. Just because she is her. Simple as that. I virtually spent every weekend of my primary school years at her home, as part of her family. I loved her parents and her sister and saw their family as an addition to my own.

We've only gotten back in touch with each other since Ella died - just one of those funny universal gifts that came back around (we fell out of touch sometime in our early high school years, as we went to different schools and I moved away after my parents divorced) - and I love seeing her. We catch up only a few times a year, but it's one of those relationships that can be left where it is and you pick up again with that person easily, as fast as clicking your fingers.

Oh MAAAAAAN! How did this happen? I remembered yesterday. Yesterday! How did I completely fail to mention it to Steve anytime in the past fortnight, especially when I remembered it yesterday?!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

All in a morning

Today I attempted to take Miss I Am *almost* Two Hear Me Roar to my old bestie's place. I say "old" because she's just not anymore. Not since the LGBB took a dislike to her. It's just too hard to see my friend very often and each time we meet, it's not an enjoyable experience (for Lolly and, therefore, not for me). In saying that, we are going out together tonight to Gold Class to see our friends Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte in precisely 6 hours. And counting.

The plan was for Lolly to play with the bestie's two girls. I was asked to do some photography on the younger of my friend's daughters. I told the LGBB we were going to see "Ellen and Hannah". She was excited. Couldn't wait to get in the car. Got confused and stood at our bedroom window pointing out phantom sightings excitedly - "Ellen! I SEE her! Looooook!!" - in the empty street outside.

All I heard for the first part of the trip in the car was, "Ellen, where's Ellen, Mum, where she gorn?" and I kept kicking myself for telling her so early that we were going there, hence the unending questions.

And then it happened. About ten minutes down the road, she stopped asking, only to start up again a couple of minutes later after turning her attention back into the inside of the car. Except this time, she appeared to be a tad confused.

LGBB: Where's Ella?
Me: *silent*
LGBB: Mummy? Where's Ella?
Me: We're going to see Ellen!
LGBB: Ella!
Me: Mmmmm, no, who's Ella?
LGBB: Sister!
Me: That's right! Ella's your sister. We're going to see Ellen. And her sister... Hannah.
LGBB: Tanner! *Tanner being Lolly's BFF at occasional care*
Me: Aughhhhhh.... no. Ha-nn-ah. Ellen and Hannah.
LGBB: *sounding really unconvinced* Ellen and Hannah.

The morning was doomed from the get-go. I wanted to cry right there in the car. The closer we got to my friend's place, the more I knew the LGBB was going to be bitterly disappointed that she wasn't going to finally meet this Ella she's heard so much about. Or Tanner either.

My older brother sent a new dvd of his kids this week. They are productions to behold, heaven knows where he gets the time to edit it all. But he sure knows his target audience - the 2-6 year old female (his girls are 3 and 5 now). The LGBB is thoroughly obsessed with her Japanese cousins, having only met them once when she was eight months old and ever since then only knowing them via the last dvd my bro sent. She calls out for them and I am certain she thinks her older cuz is more famous than all of Hi-5 put together.

Watching the new video footage yesterday with Lolly, I felt like I'd been struck by a sharp knife in my solar plexus. Seeing them both playing was really poignant. Almost hard for me. Sisters. They're sisters. Doing everything together. The little one copying the big one. The big one looking out for the little one. Going down slides together, riding in motorised cars, visiting bouncy castle heaven for kids.

And I resolved, sitting on the lounge room floor with big warm tears dropping on my cheeks, Lolly squealing delightedly at my side, that I need to give her a little sibling. My heart pains to think she might never have a sister. She would be an amazing big sister. I wasn't sure before, but now I see plainly. There needs to be at least one more.

I'm scared.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Somewhere over the rainbow

One of my most enduring memories as a child is of watching The Wizard of Oz during lunch times in prep grade. I was in my most joyous of worlds then, sitting waiting for *oh the thrill of it all* my lunch order to arrive in the sandwich basket with everyone else's.

The rustle of the brown paper bags, the sheer excitement of finding mine with my mum's handwriting on it.

"1 x egg and lettuce sandwich"
"1 x chocolate milk"

Oh my God, I thought I might faint with happiness over my finely shredded lettuce and egg with salt and lashings of butter white bread sandwich. So many carb's. So little care to know what they were then. And the chockie milk? The day I discovered the little side flap on the side of the Big M carton, after Shane poked his straw in his, I think I must've let out an audible "eeek!!" I'm sure I would have.

And then Mrs Pritchard would trundle out a big silver TV on the trolley from the library. We'd sit crinkling our lunches in our desks, waiting for the screen to warm up. Remember that? TV's with screens that had to warm up? For, like, about ten minutes?

Such a beautiful, timeless story with a gorgeous, layered meaning. I love The Wizard of Oz. No remake or spin-off could ever, ever beat the original.

Today, after watching a tribute to the song that's been around for a few years now, from a buddy who sent this through, I clicked on the Judy Garland version. And a certain little LGBB, next to me, who was protesting at the end of the "RAINBOWS!! Where's rainbows gorn??" song, suddenly came over very mesmerised. She was literally absorbed into the computer screen. And not in a Hi-5 kind of way either. No, this was different. This was really endearing. I was so fascinated to see her facial responses to Dorothy and Toto! The smiles, the head sways and the eyebrow lifts and flickers. It just shows the sheer brilliance of the song itself, but also that very talented actress, Judy Garland, that a child in this age of bright, in-your-face colour and entertainment can be so impressed and engrossed by a simple black and white hissing picture of a plain looking farm girl singing to her little dog.

Did I mention? I loved Judy. Really loved her, as a kid, in all her early movies. Especially this one.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A family that has the runs together, shouldn't ride together

Wasn't it John Lennon who said "And so this is (winter)?" And what have we done? Oh, we've just caught gastric bugs twice already now and we're only into the first month.

This time, Steve was the culprit. He and Lol have ..... very sore bottoms. I seem to have gotten away with the searing headache side of things, but this is like a weird cold-slash-gastro bug, without the vommying (thank God).

Yesterday for some bizarre reason - well, I think it was done out of guilt for cooping the LGBB up for the past couple of days and all going a tad stir crazy (Steve was home from work on Friday - that's two sick days this month.... more than he's taken in four years) - we decided to get the bike and toddler seat setup out and go down to the park. It was a beautiful winter's afternoon, with those big fat ominous clouds billowing up into the sky where the sun was just kissing the tops of them. Spectacular lighting. Aaaaanywho, Mr Squelchy over there only sorta kinda just made it back in time. Luckily for us, the LGBB was of course in a nappy. And me? Well.... a nappy might have been useful.

Before I started feeling wretched, on Friday, I took these photos of Nurse Lolly, caring for her patient. She has no idea what a nurse does, mind you, for we've not started with the doctors and nurses games yet and she has no reference for copying. Must be in the female wiring - she grabbed her blanket and wanted to drape it over Daddy. She didn't speak, just leaned in closely to his face and all her movements became so tender and sweet! I'm unsure if you can see from these photos, the gentleness in her hands. She was so soft, I just wanted to bundle her up and smother her for being so caring. All from being told "Daddy's very poorly and his tummy is sore." Awwwwwww!!! *sniff*

Er, not that I am advocating nurses who kiss their patients or rest their heads on arms, or stroke their hair and looking lovingly into their faces... But wouldn't a hospital be a somewhat nicer place if nurses were just allowed to follow what must originally be instinctive primal comforting urges?

Mind you, it's not always about the patient apparently. There was also a fashion show, where Nurse L toddled to her hat and coat hook at the front door and selected a rarely worn hat she suddenly took a fancy to. She slapped it on her head and was most pleased when it actually stayed on.

Friday, June 13, 2008

What women want

The Wall pt.II

Save for a few spaces not completely filled yet, here 'tis... and I love it.

Steve's still not so convinced. He's of the opinion that photo walls / rogue galleries (call them what you will) look "messy and crappy". He, of course, is thinking of his Aunt Gerty's attempts down her darkened, narrow old hallway, with the hotch potch of frames and skewed placements.

None of that here.

I love this 4-picture frame. The close-ups of face and hands are of the LGBB - bless! - and the other two are of our Ella. I love having them mingling with each other like this. It feels so unified.

Another of my faves: the LGBB's first Christmas - can you believe this shot was taken with the timer set on the camera? One of those shots where we decided to just lie down under the tree in amongst the tinsel and just see what we got. This was the first shot. She's a natural ;)

Here's my dear old (going deaf and blind now) girl, Pepper. It's my favourite shot of her. Steve took this photo the night Ella was born. He had come home to collect some things for me to wear - considering she came so quickly that the only thing I had packed in the bag was .... the bag itself. He let Pep in while he busily got some things together and wrote the announcement email and grabbed the camera as an after-thought to show me what my "other girl" was doing at home. She was so excited to see him that she huffed and puffed and followed him around excitedly, making herself just as busy. Awww.

Reflective Jazz. A rare moment of stillness in the pocket rocket. See? She can keep that wiggling Labrador butt still. Sometimes. For 28 seconds. I love her when she's still. She's such a beautiful-natured dog. Pity she's crazy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

One month update

Yeah, so it's over a week late (I was measured last week) and I had that gastro to help me cheat a bit .... but my first month of results at the circuit gym are in!

Total loss: 1.6kg (where the .6 makes ALL the difference cuz that's, like, only .4 off another kg...)

2cm off biceps
2cm off waist (damn wine)
3cm off hips
3cm off thighs

Three! Off my thighs!! Awwwwesome.

Now, I had a bit of a test going. My plan was to not do anything different but simply join and start exercising with weights and cardio for a month. These were the results. Bearing in mind it was actually more like 5 weeks, and also remembering I lost two weeks to illness (so didn't go in during those two separate weeks), I think this is a pretty promising start. Despite mentally committing myself to 3 sessions a week, I've barely been in twice a week. In fact, this week is the first time I have done 3 sessions (or it will be, once I do tomorrow's scheduled visit). I wish I had pushed myself more, but I am still getting used to finding time at the start of the week so that I don't get to Friday and go, "Shit, there's no way I'll be able to go in three times before Monday comes round again."

No more excuses.

I obviously had it to lose, for it to go so easily, and there's more where that came from *Mr Potato Head angry eyes* So now that I see where my baseline is, I am going to be more diligent with the sugary drinks and food of the naughty variety. Stop the night snacking as a reward - a dreadful habit I have picked up since dreamfeeding days with the LGBB, where I would "reward" myself with a glass of wine or a sweet snack. Sweeeeeet. Very, very naughty. Very, very ... not needed.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's not worth it!!

This is exactly the scene we found last night. As arranged by the LGBB. I didn't have the heart to break it to Baby that she needs to open the door first before sticking her head in. I'm also quite sure Baby could have done without some Little Tour Guide coming through to commentate on her efforts.

"So will Baby actually do it? Will the dog come by
and mess up her attempts?
More updates throughout the evening.
Back to you in the studio."

Monday, June 9, 2008

It happened

She's dissed her Mummy.

My little girl has reached the stage where she doesn't want me. Correction: she doesn't know what she wants, but she doesn't want Mummy. But she does. But she doesn't. But she wants me in the room. But she doesn't want me to look at her. Or be too close.

Holy FUCK. 'Scuse me for swearing. But this is hard. This week is harrrrd. I understand this happens, a lot, to a lot of people, I just think it's compounded by the fact that ... well, quite plainly, she's the only one I've got here, so to speak. And there goes a reference to Ella again. A lot of this parenting of Lolly seems to come back to my firstborn. Go figure.

I have to remind myself mentally that it's just a phase (please dear GOD all you mummies reading please reassure me of that). She loves me. Underneath all that anger and the snarky look on her face when she tries to gouge out a pound of my flesh before running (oops, sorry, I mean scooting on her knees) to Daddy, she does still love me.

I thought she'd love and want and need me for a little while longer yet. Thought the cessation of the tiringly demanding "MUMMEEEEEEEEE" cries would be a welcome end. But just three days without them and I admit to feeling kinda slapped in the face - though putting on a brave soldier-on-with-Codral face (without the Codral) all the while - and trying valiantly to appear unphased by her mood change.

And I am woefully blaming myself for her sudden eruption of ...... is this the Terrible Two's? I shamefully admit to thinking it was a myth. Yet another one of those things that "no child of mine, because I'll parent sooooooooooooo much better than anybody I've ever observed, will ever do". My God, what a cosy perch I was sitting on before I ever had a baby.

But there are moments. You know. Those moments when it's just so darn gorgeous through the wretchedness. We took a walk late this arvo to the shops. Bought some supplies for dinner (and some wine, yee har). The LGBB wanted out of her pram so I attempted to encourage her to "use your feet" - a tactic suggested by her Gymbaroo teacher, which is working, praise be! - and she saw Daddy sit down on a courtesy bench outside the store with the shopping bags and wanted to sit up there too. Taking her seat next to him, she motions to me (I had been idly standing by, pathetically hoping I'd be summoned by Her Ladyship) to "Mummy you sit there?" and points to the seat next to Steve. So I dutifully sit. And then the three of us are grinning and just .... sitting .... like a trio of mugs.

And then Steve says, "What're we doing?" to nobody in particular. You know what my girl said?

"Waiting for boys."

I love her. I do.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday in photos

Admission. It's the first step.

After many long months of denial, I have finally had acknowledgement. I don't know how often I've enquired and received a flat-out fib in return.

But tonight... tonight I got the confirmation I had been waiting for.

The LGBB admitted she was pushing poo.

Sorry, people, but this is a very big moment. A lunar leap for us. In this house, apparently the obvious red watery eyes, the holding of the breath, my questions of whether she was filling her nappy receiving a breathless, strained and horrified response of "NNNNOOO!" were not enough evidence. She would attempt to convince me, even in the midst of it all, that she was not. Adamantly refuse. Then turn her face away, thus signalling her need for privacy. So I would keep a respectful distance... and move to the other end of the couch. And avoid eye contact.

But now, out of nowhere, tonight during a game of "twains" - just the latest obsession, a little wooden train set - the announcement was suddenly declared to her father and me.

"Doin' poo."

It was as if the town crier had spoken.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A day in the life

Is she still behind me?

Where mischief lives: Behind those eyes

Pond killer!

In the interests of sharing the weird and wonderful when I come across it on the internet, I give you this fantastic entry.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hold the phone!

Righteo, okay then. Trust me to make a bold statement like in my last post. I should have known it wouldn't take long for my silliness to spill over into here again. How many minutes did I last that time, peeps?

*waaaaails* I lost my Gold Class Sex and the City tickets

The buddy whose ticket I had also bought (on her behalf) also went missing. I called her this morning to confess. I have to go now, was all she said as she went to hang up. We were both forlorn. Shit! I had a plan. I was going to go down to the cinemas, Visa bill in hand, to prove I had bought tickets for seat numbers 20 and 21. See? But that means waiting for the Visa bill to come in before I can do that and we're due to go in two weeks. It might be tight.

I went through every single pair of pants I own, even though I know I was wearing jeans. WHY do I have so many pairs of jeans????? Who wears through denim thereby necessitating backup pairs?

As I stood at my side of the closet, frantically but very deliberately checking every inch of fabric inside every back pocket - I know I put them "safely" in my back pocket, I know I did - my nose tingled with the familiar onset of a tear springing to my eye as I imagined how disappointed Steve would be. How many times have I called him to say, Hold everything.... I've lost my credit card..... How many times have I misplaced my wallet? My keys? My mobile? (my friends probably all know I lose my mobile on a very regular basis, thus oblivious to missed calls or sms's until it occurs to me to look in the console of the car for it after four days)

And then I saw the pants that brought back the memory of last Saturday's outfit. I hadn't worn my jeans. Any of them. I had been wearing my cargo's. I remember now!

Like a kid hyperventilating on Christmas morning in anticipation, I stuck my grubby fist in and came out with the golden tickets.

Be still my beating heart.

Is this what's known as jumping the shark?

Life feels so full at the moment. In good and not so great ways. There feels like less and less time to be spontaneously "creative" and post an entry on here. My link to my inspiration seems to have been severed for a few weeks now, but was really brought about by The Great Gastro of '08.

Since then, I have realised that much of my creative time and energy is being poured into places where it ought: the LGBB and the book (which is symbolic to me of Ella, of course). Today we spent the morning in the garden, an exercise still somewhat tedious (because the LGBB is still not walking on her own and so therefore clings to me and whines if her hand so much as touches dew-drenched grass) but we had a lovely time and really enjoyed looking for ants and little flowers and moss, while I fended off Jazz and Pep who were desperate to plant doggy kisses on a willing toddler recipient. Yesterday we walked up to the mobile "truck library", which was a joy on wheels to behold, apparently (if you ask Lolly).

I've been reorganising my (paid) working life in the past month as well. I've taken on a new customer service auditing contract, which means I only have as much or as little as I go out and seek. It's working perfectly for my shift in focus. I really do feel like things are being changed for me in order that I have no more excuses to get on with my etheric responsibilities on an ongoing and less sporadic basis. I know they're waiting. And they're so, so, so patient with me that it makes me very humble.

What's left over of my time is spent diligently sitting still. Yes. It is that hard for me to give myself time out - not by way of a call to friends or going for a walk or actively doing anything at all - but I really do need it.

I keep forgetting that I am doing a great deal of work even without realising it. Yesterday I went and did Violet Ray - "the Vibrational Physican: Active spiritual strength of body, mind and energy" - and it just expanded my awareness to a whole new level. I'm learning to heal myself through this work, I can genuinely say now six months in to the year, in order to turn it outside of myself and give it back out. Anyone can do this, although I've come to see that it takes great dedication to take it on and incorporate it into my life (I've not been so good at doing any of the practices or exercises I've been learning each month and I really am working at creating space - out of that still time with myself - to get it happening). Everyone's take on this work/methodology/practice is going to be different, which is what makes it so interesting to me. I sit each month next to a girl who's been seeing people who have no idea they've died. I've met people who feel animals in pain and can find them in the bush, who have dreams about murder victims asking them for assistance, who can communicate with guides and other teachers but have no idea how to channel it so they stop being "harassed" by these entities, to name a few. It's fascinating but it goes beyond that. This is not a place of fantasising what these people are experiencing or creating a "WOW!" factor from it all or sensationalising their experiences in any way. It's a place to learn how to effectively place what's happening to them in a context within their lives that makes sense and works for the good of everyone - the "All", Earth.

So I wonder 'where to from here' with my blog, for the first time since I started making entries, I am actually beginning to run out of steam. It's almost as if, instead of writing about what's happening in my life, I seek the peripheral things always. There needs to be a redressing of the balance now. I don't actually have the time at the moment to think of things to say, for the sake of keeping the blog going. So it seems to me that the wisest and most logical (but scary, for me) thing to do is to just share this other side of my purpose. It's going to take some practice to do it - reason being, I don't necessarily want to typecast myself or paint a picture of someone who's all one thing; I don't want to alienate anyone or cause discomfort through what I choose to write about. Hah... I suppose this will just be more practice for what I can expect once I start actively putting my book out, because it's turning out to be not what you (or I, for that matter) might have thought it'd be about.

As far as healing tools and outlets go, this blog has been one of the big, pivotal ones for me and it will probably continue to be so. I'm not about to let it go or stop contributing to what I've built here. But I think, just as I warned in November last year when I went through an initiation of sorts (regarding what's really at work here in my specific calling) and worked with Ellanor for the first time with a mother who almost lost her life during childbirth, I have to once again warn...

This is going to start getting trippy, I suspect, from here on in. As long as I can maintain the guts and push away the fear to share what I experience. Read (or not) as you will. But I think I'm being given a fair rap on the knuckles for not sticking with my job.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Bottom burps. Letting Fluffy off the chain. My Granddad called them trumps (as in, trumpet/bugle sounding, I guess).

Whatever you call 'em, we all do 'em. Farts. I went through a phase where I just had to claim they were better out than in, during pregnancy, for it wreaked too much havoc on what little room my intestines had to share the space with all that hot air. Steve, at the time, resorted to calling me Tootie.

I am pleased rather ashamed to say, I have been known over the course of her life so far to occasionally let one go around the LGBB. Up until a couple of months ago, I was able to get away with it pretty much, with a cursory, "Mummy dropped something!" exclamation if she looked around. I thought it was a good decoy. Steve thought it was immoral. Now, though, I get a very (parodied) alarmed "Wha'wazzAT??!!" from her if she hears me. My days of blowing my own bugle in her presence are finished.

Despite all this, I'll have you know I don't encourage either mouth or bottom burps without a form of pardon. Tonight at the dinner table, the LGBB made the most raucous sound in her nappy. Wide-eyed, her father and I gazed down at our little wondrous creation to see what she would offer as a "Whoops, did that noise come out of me? I do beg your pardon, kind sirs."

Instead, our daughter met our stares, a slow grin spreading across her cheeky chops. "Pardon?" I requested. And you know what she did? Without a word, beaming from ear to ear, she gave me the thumbs up. And then for good measure, she turned to her proud father and gave him a thumbs-up too. Just one more thing we have absolutely NO idea where she got it from.

My heart swells.

Nothing says "I'm carefree" like a man on a bike with a sandwich

A thought occurred to me today, that every time I've seen a grown man moseying on a bike (you know what I mean when I say "mosey" - I mean that slow-pedalling, blasé, weaving, single-handed steering method of riding), they look to me as if they don't have a care in the world.

O! to have a bike to ride as if I don't have a care in the world.

Today, this look was topped by a guy I saw in the local Safeway carpark. Doing The Mosey thing. Beanie atop his hair, unshaven face, grubby khaki's and a bomber jacket flapping behind him lazily. And when he swivelled in my direction (to avoid a reversing car that probably got sick of waiting for him to saunter past), I saw he was riding one-handed for a reason. He had a sandwich in the other hand.

Did he make the sandwich? Did his mum make it for him? Did he buy it? What's a grown man doing with a sanger? He looked more like a meat pie kinda guy. Wherever he got it from, anyway, he looked blissed out. At ten past nine on a frosty 4º Tuesday morning in Melbourne town, could it get any better for this bloke? It certainly didn't look it.

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