Sunday, February 28, 2010

Suddenly, the horizons broaden!

Well, I have to say, I was about ready to ditch the Linkwithin widget which puts up the "you may also like" suggestions at the bottom of my posts. After seeing it around on several blogs for a while and enjoying it as a way to get to know the owners of those blogs I was new to, I thought it would be a good way to randomly generate some "remember that?" moments for the old readers and give the newbies something to sink their teeth into on my own blog.

But just the same half dozen posts kept appearing and I was, like, "Whaa'?? I have written SOOOO much more than just a few posts, dagnabbit."

Looks like it's fired off sometime in the past 24 hours, because it's now spewing out titles that even I can't remember and am going off to read them. Case in point: this irresistible specimen from almost two years ago that I had completely forgotten about. And this... this needs no introduction but (again) a crazy stare. Hey, if you do use the widget and find something that tickles your funnybone, moves you (in favour or otherwise) or just makes you interested, do drop me a comment on the post you find! I'd love the trip down memory lane - that's the funny thing about blogs, isn't it? Pretty soon, a lot of your "good work" and effort gets buried down the drain, piled atop by yet more drivel.

Heh. Who knew this widget could be so useful? *tuneless whistle*

Saturday, February 27, 2010

It's my own fault

I am creating some sort of café-indulged rod for my own back here.

Walking past the LGBB and Steve, as he played on his iPhone and she sat "working" at her desk in a flurry of Clag, shredded tissue paper and the contents of her craft box, I asked if either of them wanted a drink.

"No, thanks," he said.
"No, thanks," she parrotted. And then, giving it more careful thought, added, "Or maybeeee.... just a 'cino."

I kept walking up to the kitchen and before I could formulate a response, she called out after me, "Have you got that? And some smush-smallows."

Lucky for her she can't say marshmallows. Otherwise, I wouldn't have found the request nearly as cute and amusing. Have you got that? Like I'm some waitr..... oh, wait. I am really a waitress to her, I suppose.

I have indulged her. Why would I not? A 'cino consists of nothing more than a thimble-full of milk, frothed in a ceramic jug and zapped for 20 seconds in the microwave. If that is what makes her heart happy and fulfilled, alongside her morning's work, then it's a no-brainer for me.

Smush-smallows, though. The bloody cheek of 'er!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Epic Muse

You and me are the same

We don't know or care who's to blame

But we know that whoever holds the reins

Nothing will change

Our cause has gone insane

And these wars, they can't be won
And these wars, they can't be won

And do you want them to go on

And on and on

Why split these states

When there can be only one?

And must we do as we're told?

Must we do as we're told?

You and me fall in line

To be punished for unproven crimes!

And we know that there is no one we can trust;

Our ancient heroes, they are turning to dust!

And these wars, they can't be won

Does anyone know or care how they begun?

They just promise to go on

And on and on

But soon we will see

There can be only one

United States!

United States!



... sia!

... sia!

... sia!


... sia!

... sia!

... sia!


... sia!

... sia!

... sia!

Lyrics Provided By

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How can there be more?!?

A little while ago, I posted about how fantastic I am as an attentive, on-the-ball mother when I realised my daughter's ear pain was probably teeth coming in. And then discovered I had no clue at ALL when they all pop through and fall out and whatnot. There are more changes in a kid's mouth than there are in Lady Gaga's wardrobe. Changes, that is. Not... teeth.

Hennywho.... as I was saying....

Now, they say here that we have 20 deciduous teeth (isn't that a cute way of saying baby teeth? Mind you, I said baby teeth the other night and was haughtily corrected by the Young Lady of the house who responded snippily by saying, "They're called milk teeth, Mum"... I kid you not. And my bottom jaw has not met my top one yet after that surprise exchange). And that you grow all 20 into your mouth by around 2 1/2 years of age. Okay. Super. I've got that.

Then, it says we have 32 permanent teeth, which come in between 6-12 years of age, after our milk teeth have dropped out.

So, why then is my rosy-cheeked little 3 1/2 year old now getting four more molars when she already has 20 teeth in there? I know! I counted 'em! The bottom ones are breaking through as we speak, dear reader(s)! This is going to make 24. But that link I mentioned earlier (oh, here it is again for the helluvit) doesn't say what happens between tooth #21 and #31. Are those last 10 permanent from the get-go? As in, do they not have little milkies saving a mouth pozzy for them like the first 20 do?

Oh, I don't understaaaand!

I am so terribly confused. About life, yes, it's a given.... but mainly about molars right now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Taking pride in her work

The LGBB proudly showed off her signature on the weekend. Daddy had not seen it before, but I have seen her practicing this for a long time. She can now do the L and A, the first two letters in her name. We think she's very clever. And so does she!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Exhibit A: More crap than action

Well, if you ever wanted to know for sure just how long you were sitting in front of the teev in order to catch the action (and why it feels like you have to sit through all the talk and the ad's just to get to the reason why the Games are on in the first place.... oh yeah! That's right! The actual sports!), here we have a screen shot of the digital file we recorded using EyeTV.

After all the commercials and all of the mlah-mlah-mlahhhh's of Eddie & CO. have been removed, we discovered that Channel 9, on this particular evening at least, were giving us a Grand Total Viewing Time of 1 hour and 25 minutes.

Huzzah! How very generous of them.

The striped red/grey sections = Eddie, interviews and commercials (ie. not sports coverage). The blue sections (and the three in black at the right) is where they have actually shown footage of events. Pitiful, I would say.

That means, if we had sat on our butts for that entire 3.5 hours, we would have been gnashing our teeth on our cushions in exasperation at why it was taking so damn long to get to the curling. Which is a whole other post.

If you can't already tell, I'm not a fan of this network ballsing up the 'lympics. Bring back Sandy Roberts, Bruce Macavaney and channel 7's team! I'd even rather sit through the perpetually perky Johanna Griggs (Seven's version of the ever-present-everywhere Eddie McGuire) than ever endure channel 9 doing it again.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Now, I'm sorry, but...

... I cannot imagine in any universe a mother who would be so serene, so understanding, so diplomatic and undisciplinary with her children if she found them wearing her good shirt with mascara smeared all over it!!

I watched a bit of telly tonight - we are newly ex-Foxtellians (cable tv) and have rarely seen a tv commercial in nigh on six years, what with this day and age of intelligent recording and whatnot - and I caught a commercial for this stain remover. A very preened, very unrealistic exchange between a mother and her daughters, who were supposedly playing with her makeup and neatly smeared the most delicate smidgeon of mascara across "my good shirt!" Tra-la!

Look, I'm all for being zen and *shrug* ah, well, it's only a shirt, there is far worse in the world. But come ON! What sort of message is it sending when kids get to see this Oh So Perfect Mummy Who Didn't Get Even One Bit Mad (in fact, stayed smiling, maniacally, throughout the entire commercial) and compare her with their own mummy who'd no doubt come down on them like a tonne of bricks. Or at least give them a bit of a "This isn't very good, is it, Junior?" reprimand.

Seriously, Napisan. You are making life harder!

Tongue-only-slightly-in-cheek, signing orf.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A lasting legacy

To all those in Australia, I'd like to bring your attention to the first episode of Backyard Blitz, which airs at 6.30pm on Sunday February 28th.

When you watch it, you'll be seeing a number of things. Firstly, you'll see one of the dearest, most supportive friends to ever grace my life (she's the one who has warned me is the "token emotional crying chick" on the episode going to air - and with good reason). She is Lisa, one of the mothers involved in Hills' Angels, a mothers group that has gone on their own blitz to bring in donations for one of the mothers in their group. You can read the smallest little snippet of Hilarie's story here.

Secondly, you'll be meeting Hilarie. A woman whom I have prayed for, cried for, worried about over the duration of 2009 via Lisa, and just all-round sent very gentle energy to, despite never having met her (I didn't even know what Hilarie looked like until I saw the full ad for the tv show's return during our weekly family televisual feast, Funniest Home Videos... oh, how I adore to see Lolly slap her thigh at all the "funny dog ones", as she calls them).

Thirdly, you'll be seeing the logo I created for this unspeakably generous and phenomenal group of women. My breath caught in my throat when I saw them all wearing their matching uniforms, with the little familiar halo that seemed to fall out of nowhere and come together so beautifully last year after they approached me to "see what you can come up with". In the most miniscule, smallest of ways, I feel like I have contributed something and I am so very proud to be part of what these selfless friends are doing for one of their own.

For, you see, the other thing you will see is that Hilarie has a terminal brain tumour. She also has a young son. And a husband. A family trying to cope with the sheer enormity of what their future will bring. And how they will survive the day to day, let alone the crushing weight of the grief that is to come. I can't even bring myself to think about it...

This amazing group of women - a mothers group I'd be more than proud to say I am in (I've had little luck in this area) - have now become a fully fledged charity group. Raising funds for Hilarie's son, Hadley.

So I will be watching, as many others of Australians, on Sunday night. And I wanted to give you all a heads-up. A bit more of a human 3-degrees of separation insight into this story.

I also want to urge anyone who can help or sponsor this support group in any way to contact them (info@hills-angels(d0t)com(d0t)au) and make yourselves known, please.

This is one exceptionally good cause.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Stranger on my porch

A few days ago, a ridiculously large lightning storm ripped through here. There's something about the ranges we live underneath - they seem to attract lightning. And thunder. Loud, echoing, cracking thunder like you've never heard before, that bounces off all the hillsides round here.

This is what we arrived home to, the LGBB and me. We made it into the driveway just as the first drops started. We watched with a bit of trepidation laced with trace amounts of fear as it got instantly heavy, with lightning now hiccupping across the landscape. It was daytime and not particularly dark with the storm clouds, but the lightning was even more blinding - sheet lightning - not hitting the ground. But then it did start to hit the ground. Somewhere, close. And we were still in the car.

The LGBB began to whimper and look to me. Her big, brave, capable Mummy. Still sitting behind the wheel of the car and saying absent-mindedly, "Oooh, well, would you look at that, then," whilst simultaneously doing the wee dance (that wiggle-in-your-seat dance that you have to do when your bladder knows you're home and your seatbelt's just come off and those pelvic floor muscles that got ripped so violently during the birth of your second child just aren't as effective as they used to be to hold back the Hoover Dam... one false move and it's all over).

And then, as we were sitting there and I was contemplating when to make a dash for it with the LGBB, a young woman passed the front of our driveway. With her shopping in one hand and a most pissy, pathetic umbrella in the other. It was at this moment that we were out of the car and dashing to the porch, Lolly and I. So I called out to the woman, who could barely hear me even those few short metres away.

"Do you want to come wait on our porch?" I called out again, gesturing with my free arm. Lolly was gripping me like a tree monkey on my opposite hip, headbutting me at every new lightning strike and rumble from above. The woman called out her thanks and started heading towards us. The poor thing was drenched. I had no idea who she was.

So I'm thinking myself very ... very neighbourly, very community, at this point. I'd seen this girl walking our street before (ours is a bit of a thoroughfare and I love the diversity to be seen). She was a bit of a rock chick - perhaps a retired/settled down one, she looked about my age - and had rings on her fingers and out her ears and mouth and you get the picture. And she laughed appreciatively at my attempts to allay any discomfort about standing on our porch - we were strangers to each other but we had a good old laugh. I wasn't uncomfortable with her being there, I was quite happy for her to stay there for as long as the storm was around and felt quite relieved for her that she was out from under all the huge trees that are up and down our street (last year, a week before Black Saturday, a huge storm passed through and hit the oak in the yard next door - blew up most of our electrical equipment, even stuff that hadn't been on at the time).

But I needed to get inside. Really. Urgently. Lolly was now sitting on my side and squeezing my kidney.

Then, in one of those moments when you wish you could rewind and make yourself a bit clearer next time, I said to the LGBB, "Would you like to come in?" I wanted her to get inside and off the porch, it was really so loud, with the teeming rain and angry thunder. She nodded. And the woman uttered a gushing, "Oh thank you, you're so kind!" and bent over, bundling up her shopping bags.

Er.... It was too late. Or I am too nice. Or something. So I let this stranger in, all of us a little wary of each other and quite amused at the gusto with which she strode in, put her wet shopping on my neat floor, had a browse through our rogues' gallery in the front entrance and then helped herself to standing on *my* side of the kitchen, that is, the one I usually stand on to assume the role of hostess to guest. I wonder if she thought it was as odd of me to invite her in as much as I thought it was a bit strange that she'd thought I had asked her in.

I couldn't go to the toily either. Not with her now in the house and my scared child at my feet (not that the child thing in the toilet has ever stopped me before - cripes, I'd have to hold on until Satan announced the next Winter Olympics were being held down there if I was going to wait until the next pee in peace, without demands, requests for stories to be read.... you get the picture and, I'm sure, many of you can sympathize).

So I did the only thing I knew to do. For the next 20 MINUTES, PEOPLE (that is a Herculean effort for my bladder.... though possibly a bit bad for it.), I made polite chat and kept the laughs coming. Thank God it was her laughing and not me, or I would have been in a very embarrassing predicament. And she would have walked past our house from that day forth and remembered when the nice woman who lives there invited her in and lost control of her water. Whoops.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Winter Olympics are making me teary

The LGBB has a handle on the concept of there being other countries other than our own. She is becoming fascinated by the globe and if we see one when out and about, I am asked numerous questions and made to point out various places. Pity for her she can't actually see the place we went and got fish and chips the other night. They're not quite that detailed, I have to explain clumsily.

Still, she's not too young to understand that her cousins live in Japan. And this gives her a good basis to grasp the fact even more. There are people, like us, in other countries, separated by vast seas, all around a great. Big. World. She knows the Earth and recognises it amongst the other planets. She loves the planets too and has begun asking for more information about our solar system.

I love this shit! I really do.

Now, there is no better way, in my humble opinion, to intoduce a whole swag of countries to a young child than the Olympics. I know that at the tender age of five, I was enraptured in the romance of patriotism during the 1980 Moscow Olympics. How ironic, really, when those Games were steeped in so much controversy. My Granddad was particularly encouraging of my interest in the world map. I was given a Misha mascot bear and saw a lot of those Games on the teev.

When these Winter Olympics began in Vancouver, I hadn't the slightest ambition to get the LGBB into them at all. I have been wrapped up in work, moving in to the completed house extension (her curtains arrive sometime this week, WOOT!) and have been busy clearing up work assignments to properly pay attention to the Olympics at all. It was Steve who nudged me and said he reckoned Lol might enjoy watching some of the sports and he has set about recording some of the programs so she can get a taste for her very first ever Winter Olympics.

Well. By Sunday afternoon, I was jelly. I couldn't speak without choking up! It was ridiculous. Somewhere in me, my love for humankind (for it seemed to matter not what country the competitor was from) appeared to be bubbling to the surface and every time I tried to explain to her what was happening, I'd get this emotional lump in my throat. It was as much to do with her keen interest in what I was explaining and showing her as it was my stirring memories of my own first remembered Olympics and my Granddad's painstaking care to point out all the different countries' flags.

Lolly and I were watching the Luge. I was showing her the competitor's country's flag and the time to beat, thinking this would go nowhere. But she really started getting into it. And then - oh wonder of wonders - they had the medal presentation! Now she was REALLY interested! He got a gold medal! she squealed, as if she were Polish herself. So we sat there, glued to the telly, grinning, me with tears pricking my eyeballs, as we respectfully listened to the Polish national anthem and watched the flags get hoiked up the pole.

I thought it was just a hormonal thing, this first day. But wouldn't you know it, when I sat down with her two days ago to watch the ice skating, I teared up again! This time over the Chinese hot favourites to win, Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue.

I don't know, it must be something to do with having to commentate on what the competitors are going through, what they have to do and why they're racing/skating for their lives, how they have worked very hard and love their sport. Oh, I went on and on. And she asked more and more. She has become a zealot for all things done on ice or snow. And all of a sudden... I find myself in a very strange, yet familiar (just long-buried), place.

I'm feeling patriotic. Nay, I'm feeling something for people I will never, ever meet, no matter what country they're from.

Couple after couple performed their routine and each time, the LGBB became more critical in her commentary. She even began commenting on the commentators, who were very interesting and really gave us a nice background to each couple. We were watching the US commentary version, so much better than our Aussie experts, I have to say (for this program of skating, at least). Is he gunna fall, can she make it? Lolly was saying, more to herself than me. He's a bit wobbly.

I was in love with watching her watch them all skate. We sat holding each others' hands, like the competitors after they finished, and waited while each score from the judges came up. She's starting to recognise some of the flags - she knows our flag already and has now added Canada's and Japan's flags so far to her memory banks, it seems. This morning, she has come out of her bedroom saying, "We'll watch the medal one now? The skating medal one?" because last night, we promised her some tin. You can't get anything past them, can you?

And it brings it all back for me, how much I was enamoured by my first Olympics. I didn't think I even cared that much. But it seems, yet again, here is another example of something from within me being unlocked because of this amazing creature who chose to come and experience her life with her Dad and me. So very, very humbled and relieved that she did.

Do you have a special place in your pride-filled heart for the Olympic Games? Or the Winter (or perhaps Commonwealth) Olympics? What are your memories of your first-watched and understood Games? Do you have any? And have you shared the Games with your kids at any age? What was their reaction?

A quote from my morning

Working away the morning. About to collect the LGBB from kindy.

I have been head-down, tail-up again in the next instalment of the Etheric Transfusion healing work that I've been asked to co-facilitate/edit/channel. And in part of my reading, I came across a little pearl that I'd like to share today.

A spiny ant-eater does not need its belly rubbed, it just needs to be able to get on with its life and purpose. Its spikes are for weathering the storms of existence, not for needling the unnecessary.

And that is just what I am lately: the Ant Eater.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


The last plinth board went on the house yesterday. Our builder has finished the inside of the house and all the external touches!

All that remains to complete is the porch off the new laundry door entry and the garage. That starts in about a month. We still have heaps of painting to do (skirting boards, architraves and all the nail patches - urgh, fun job), but who cares? I can live in a room with raw timber for a while!

So we are movin' in! I have begun stocking the shelves of our cupboards and I am so excited to discover that an entire huge suitcase full of linen looks pissy and lost on the shelf space - so much storage I could cry for joy. There is more to go in there, but I will still have room to spread things out. And the large cupboard (first photo) doesn't even have all the shelves put in yet - we are using this cupboard as the media hub (printers, networking stuff, TV servers, etc.) on one side and on the other is all of Lolly's craft/paint boxes, as you can see. The shelves above are for board games and other family fun things like that. Something I have ALWAYS, always wanted to have in a home - a family cupboard. And yes, there is actually room for us to stand in there with the doors shut, would you believe! So a *real* family cupboard. We are just daft enough to hide in there together and jump out, 'Surprise!', at unsuspecting guests too, because we can tend to be goofy like that.... Hmmmm, wonder if the parents in-law would cope well with that little prank *finger to chin*

The tiler comes next week and then the LGBB will also have her bathroom and toilet ready to use. More photos a bit later, when I have more "spare" time....

It feels so good to be moving out of the cramped space we've been living in for five months and into this lovely, light-filled new part of our home. Ahhhhh, expansion. I can feel it, our horizons are beginning to broaden.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My stovetop, the toddler

Random internet image - don't be fooled: you can bet this stove has obviously never been cooked on, it's from a Delonghi ad so of course it looks schmick and spotless!

I am firmly convinced my cook top is around 2-3 years of age.

Much like the warning method, "I'm going to count to three..... one, twooooo...." by which time whatever it is you've requested several times is being done only after you lay down the ultimatum of 1-2-3 "or else", my stove doesn't light simply by turning the knob. Oh no. That would be TOO easy.

It does that thing where you turn it on, hold the knob down so the ignitor switch is sparking and doesn't light the gas. Sometimes, I see flame tantalisingly right at the moment I switch it off. Repeating the exercise does nothing and the flames don't come back. So I have to get the matches out. Light one. Hold it somewhere near the hob... and magically, almost every time, it lights.

There is no way the match has anything to do with it half the time. More than half the time. Because it's nowhere near the gas. The darn thing just likes me to get to the "two-and-a-haaaalf" equivalent of the warning. It needs to see me get the matches out, strike one, basically go through with my warning, before it decides I'm serious.

Addendum: Just to be real - which is far more along the lines of Being Moi than the image above - my stove top actually is much more dull and dirty. In my haste to get the post finished last night, I cheated and grabbed an image off the www.... Here is mine, today, with slurps of *something* on it I haven't had time to scrub off carefully yet. Oh, and I blew off the crumbs from this hob before I switched it on so I didn't ignite them. Ho yeah, totally house-proud! (hey, what? I only just yesterday managed to get my linen cupboard contents out of our walking-room-only master bedroom and INTO MY FIRST CUPBOARD!!!! Say it with me: halle-freakin'-luja, it's about time! more on that next post)

My somewhat duller-looking Westinghouse version, it came with this 60-something year-old weatherboard house (was one of only 3 brand new things in the old girl). Although I must say, it's a 5-burner stove and that long one in the middle is awesome!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gorgeous nature

I took this photo (below) driving back from Peace Space one day a few weeks ago. As it is an expanse of open countryside for a lot of the 2.5 hour trip, I often get to see big fronts like this one. It's amazing seeing them hitting the blue sky like this. And because I am normally heading home at the end of the day, I usually get the setting sun on them which just makes them look all the more extraordinary.

On this day, a phenomenal, direct and very bright little rainbow was peeking out of the base of the storm clouds. I took this with my phone camera. Without stopping. In a 110km/h zone. Whooops. But I just HAD to capture this! It was so beautiful, even more vividly contrasted than you see here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ken Lee toulibu dibu douchoooo

From Bulgarian Idol, this contestant has gone with a Mariah Carey classic. In English. Can she pull it off?

I love her ..... passion.

Friday, February 12, 2010

What's to say really?

Our two baby girls and the delicate little candle I have chosen today to remember Ellanor (on right, Lolly is on the left).

There is nothing more to say. I'm all talked - and thought - out. Time to get back to work and back to life today.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


My mind went wandering last night. I was pondering the sixth anniversary of the passing of our baby girl.

In the middle of watching American Idol, of all things, I had a blinding, brilliant flash of recall which placed me firmly back in the NICU. The sound of the nurse's sniffles and choked voice as she counted the squeezing of the bag as it blew air into our baby's lungs.


Light fading.

Noises muffled.

I don't know why I didn't end up on the floor that day. I was stunned cold. I have said this before.

The LGBB had her hair cut last week. It is a very 'grown up' shoulder length bob. I cannot get used to our baby girl and her big-girl hair. Last night, as I contemplated the anniversary (tomorrow, the 12th) of Ellanor's death, I mused that the little girl I could hear directing her father with free abandon in our kitchen would never have been here. If Ella had lived.

How ironic, then, that I was perceiving a time in our future when I would have to explain to Lolly why she could not be here with her sister. That I would have to say to her one day, "If she had not died, we would never have met you."

Then I pondered, is this too profound for a child? Even for that child when she becomes an adult? Will it be too much for her to bear, take on? I'm not sure even I can grasp that my two girls were never destined to meet. And I would be mortified if the LGBB were to incorrectly feel she was the cause for her sister not being here.

I will forever see the beauty in how Ellanor lived her life. She remains a beautiful mystery to me, much of her not even close to being nearly uncovered by this lifetime. Such a well of richness and light to her Soul. Her essence. That thing of divine beauty I think we all see in babies when they are so new to the world, if only we stop. And listen to them. Long, long before their first smile, even before they wake up and can hold their eyes open. That is the magic of where they have come from. Where we have ALL come from.

And this irony I stumbled into last night - it's like a riddle that won't be solved: "You are here because your sister is not."

I accept it. I just don't know if I like the way it sounds today. Ask me next week, next month. I am bound to have come to a further understanding of it. But not today, this eve.

And so, to the challenge posed this week on BlogThis -
Imagine this, you wake up tomorrow and you have a new superpower.
What would you like it to be? How would it change your life?

Now, I don't want to come across as some sort of Miss Universe contestant-sounding "I wish for World Peace" generalised bonehead. BUT.... if I had a super-power, I seriously would like it to be the ability to unmask people and get them back to their core inner beauty and knowing. Now THAT is something I would dearly love to see. How much fecking easier would it be (ok, so there had to be a selfish catch to this somewhere) to communicate and cut through the bullshit if we weren't all so defensive, competitive, selfish, belligerant, fake, intolerant, bigoted, judgemental and the rest?

I know it's a world I would rather live in. One that's much more akin to where my daughter came from and where she returned. Funny thing is, this so-called "superpower" is not so impossible to achieve - not as impossible as the other one I put a lot of thought into (I wanted to be able to control/freeze/speed up time!) - and yet, we so fervently attempt to swallow down this true Self of ours, so driven by fear are we.

I have no idea how I ended up here. I didn't even think I'd be entering this week's challenge and certainly did not intend to run it into this original train of thought. But... here endeth the post.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A mandala for Thursday

It has been a long while since I cracked out a mandala (on here, anyway), but have been compelled to slip this one in here. It is profound reading and timely, as we are moving in to the energy of Red (around the end of this month) which sits on the Mother line - the paper below is in White, which is a complementary colour to Red energetically (it balances out the effects felt of Red). If you are moved to do so, it might be a well-placed exercise to diarise the push-pull plays you may be feeling in the lead-up to March - what choose you? Do you get swept up in another's powerplays? Are you able to discern between your higher consciousness principles (and act from this truth accordingly) and the truths of others that are overlaying your own?

Things are always a-stirrin' and I don't ever discount, these days, the effects of the unseen on my moods and intolerances. I often miss the lesson for the screaming and thrashing (coming from me!) but then am able to turn around and look at what I did and dissect my behaviour. Sometimes, the more I know, the more I know I don't know, but this doesn't mean I ought to give up seeking to learn what I can.


the colour of...BRIGHT WHITE
the sound chord of …Bb minor
the essence of...MOTHER OF PEARL... Helpful in times of challenge, heavy karma or soul-level transition, MOTHER-OF-PEARL helps those who live in an intense state to feel calmer and less afraid, especially in their instinctive or survival-orientated issues. MOTHER OF PEARL assists you towards their goal of acceptance, growth, and/or responsibility. It also helps those who have the purpose of the spiritualist, idealist or realist. It heals stress by keeping the body clear of stressful body chemicals and hormones, and calls all bruising of long-held abuse from being held in the body.

This Mandala is the gateway to the hurts of your past incarnations and of your present incarnation, hurts which have been caused by allowing your overplay of others’ opinions to influence and overlie your own truth and the safety of your walk. This Mandala will repair the “black holes” in your etheric pattern through which your energy has drained into retreat. This Mandala offers you the pattern of a personal, peaceful point of view which will mellow the harshness of any attack resulting from reclusive hurts of abuse. This Mandala will close the past and gather your energy so that you can walk with self-assurance. This Mandala will surface those shadows of sadness that require positive experiences to transition them so that you can achieve greater understanding as to their real cause and move away from the fear that defiles you.

This Mandala will also help you dissolve any illusion, deception or blockage by means of your willingness to face issues pertaining to your ego and your “child state”. Your ego and your child state hurt your perceptional state by preferring to view circumstances through “rose-coloured glasses” which ultimately mask reality. You are now being called upon to face your onus of truth willingly, even though this may seem harsh or confronting for you.

This will be most apparent wherever there has been personal abuse of any form. You will want so desperately to view the world through the eyes of peace and love and interact accordingly, yet, in doing so, you will be expecting your journey to be fulfilled before it has completed itself – before you have toiled in the interplay required for you to evaluate your opinion of all aspects of the situation. You will have to learn that before you can view a clean, clear space you have first to tidy up the mess!

If you have formerly been abused by the energies of confrontation or misleading guidance, the perceptional levels of your etheric pattern will “feel bothered”. You are likely to avoid interacting with similar situations, to avoid searching them with your intuition and initiative and, therefore, avoid surfacing the abilities that such interactions require of you. Here it will be necessary for you to hold to your purpose, to your protection and to the purity of your intent so you can produce your promise to yourself of standing peacefully and gathering your ability beyond the push of other pressures or power.

This will be a lesson for you in mastering your emotions by recognising your conscious and subconscious reactions and so surfacing them from your feelings. Such work will allow you to stabilise the overplay you engaged with in the past. It will prepare your mind to view this emotional state through the Sight of Reason. This, then, will allow you to work more securely with your instincts and survive your walk in the interactions of your daily physical life with strength and peace of mind.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Her first day

An exciting morning this morning, as the LGBB took her backpack ("school bag", she is insisting on calling it) and slung it over her shoulders to set off to her kindy for her first day at "school". Never mind that she has had this same bag for over two years and never more than once or twice wanted to carry it or wear it or acknowledge it in any way. Today, she was all growed up and did it herself!

SO, without further ado ("c'mon, c'mon, quick, we can't be late!" she says to me... FINALLY, the toddler understands the meaning of urgency in getting out the door!!!), I give you Lolly's steps to a fantabulous morning with new friends, teachers and wonders:

Step 1.
Wear your Best. Your VERY best. Your pinkest and most golden sparkly best, even at the behest of your mummy that you might want to rethink that.

Step 2.
Swagger! It is the best way to get to kindergarten. And it's oh so enjoyable to stop and collect flowers, little stones, feathers (WHO KNEW BIRDS DROPPED SO MANY FEATHERS!), fistfuls of grass that take yer fancy. And hand them all to mummy, who will think you are sooooooooooo cute for acting like you've never seen any of these natural wonders before. You're on a Learnin' Mission! A-Learnin' we will go. That's what you do when you go to "school". Learn.

Step 3.
Grab a seat somewhere where you can scan the room for potential friends, dangers, erratic situations, amazing posters that make your eyes pop. Go to the nearest baby and bung it in a pram. Look busy.

Step 4.
The Stepford Wife pose. This is preferable to do with a National Heritage-listed bluestone cottage wall in your frame. It makes it more Authentik (sic.). Whip up a treat with a tomato, an orange, a spud and.... some weird plastic-coated goop that looks like it is supposed to be either an omelette or dog sick in a frypan.

Step 5.
Suggest a walk to the park with mummy and your new baby. Take food. Just pile it all in. Baby won't mind. In fact, she'll keep smiling no matter whether you jam the bottle in her eye or turn her upside down to see if she has batteries or a pooey bottom.

Step 6.
Enjoy a relaxing puzzle on a nanna quilt. You know you want to.

So she's there, she's settled, she's also reconnected with a couple of little equally bewildered looking little darlin's from her occasional care morning she did last year, to ease her in to the building. The LGBB and I love this place. It is a mere stone's throw from our house and one of my favourite things to do last year was take the short walk with Lolly, down our gorgeous street and over to this heritage listed building. This year, we get to do it twice a week! It has a very Steiner feel to it, with some adorable toys and the most caring carers you could ever hope to drop your child off into the care of (oh my, what an awkward sentence THAT was!).

Anyway. We love it. Most importantly, I hope she has loved it today. I have gotten so much done this morning, I am feeling quite a lot lighter of my work load. The pile has been dinted. And I have also decided: I don't like Mondays.

Monday, February 8, 2010

REALLY over being at the beck and call...

....of a three year-old.

Any/all of you reading who can cope with a single solitary child - one who has nobody else to entertain him/her except YOU day in, day out - who is sapping every second of your day, day after day, with no let-up in their pace, are my absolute, undying heroes. I think of myself as lucky, that for a few mornings a week, I ship the LGBB off to occasional care (3 year-old kindy from tomorrow, whoo hoo!) because at least I do something different with my brain then. But it's all still go-go-go, work-work-work at the moment!

My twitchy finger yearns to feel comfortable with parking her butt and eyes in front of the teev, but I just cannot do it. I feel like turning on the tv is caving. And I do cave. Most days, I cave and allow her to watch something, at some point. It mightn't be long, sometimes it's just one half-hour show, sometimes it's a 2 hour DVD - she enjoys it and Lord knows so do my nerves - but it's a break for the two of us. Well, for me, at least. I feel like her day is just one long carnival, which is how I love it to be on the one hand.... but at what cost to me, on the other?

There is a certain person here who has inherited more than a little of both her mother's and her father's independence and perseverance.... to put it as constructively as I can. Case in point: A lunch I serve yesterday, which was perfectly fine to eat yesterday, is apparently not okay to eat when I make it for her today. So after explaining rationally and simply that there will be no more food served until dinner time and that lunch needs to be eaten so tummies don't get hungry, and further warnings that the longer the lunch sits at her table, the yuckier it will taste, I find myself steeped in a battle of wills I don't want to be in. I don't want my kid to eat soggy cracker biscuits with now dried spread on them! But how can I back down? For they are like elephants, they remember something you promised them last Pancake Tuesday. And yet, allegedly, cannot recall the instruction you gave them 2 minutes ago. I refuse to cave, for I want the precedent to be - "if you decide to do X, the consequences will be Y and Z... it's up to you." She gets choices, with clear examples of what will happen depending on what choice she makes. It works perfectly and is nurturing this sense of independence she innately has - she is frustrated with smother mothering and determines to do pretty much everything for herself, and yet needs an audience to do these things - but sometimes, she tests me. It is usually around the thing that is most important to her. At this point in time, that thing is food.

So before long, I get the whingey and blantantly testing, "I'mmmmm hungreeeeeee" and I say, "Well, eat your lunch then." "But it's yuckyyyyy." Well, Toots, y'know what? That's too bad! This ain't The Ritz. I don't do a menu. Gurhhhh!!

I know I have no way to accurately compare - save for speaking to several other parents who have just the one child at home to care for - so I therefore won't even attempt, but I have to say I'm on the verge of Ballistic Alert here! And I'm not afraid to say it. People with more than one child who consider me lucky..... well, the shoe is on the other foot there, too, for they cannot possibly assume to know how it is in a house with an only child either and how that child behaves with no siblings. I yearn to throw another child into the mix, just to CHANGE it up already and perhaps introduce the word "others" into the LGBB's increasing vocabulary. But nature has so far had other plans for the three of us.

I will forever remember The Three's as equally the ever-lovelier and ever-more-belligerantly-demanding of ages.

My attention span has, once again (for I did lengthen it there somewhere between The Two's and Three's), been reduced to a mere 8 minutes [note: may or may not be an accurate representation of true attention span] largely due to the repetitive nature of the requests. She wants to do craft. I set it up. She devours it as I am setting it all up. She finishes as soon as I finish taking things out. She goes on to the next thing. I ask her to help me pack it all up. She says she hasn't finished yet. If I insist she pack it up with me, my afternoon is just one long 3 hour stint of unpacking, packing up, juggling phone calls in between from a client here, a tradie there.... heaven help the friend who phones because they are the ones I have to let go through to the machine lately.

A sane mummy surely cannot be made this way. If I had absolutely nothing else to do - if I had even one female on hand (mother, mother in-law, an aunt or a cousin even) to help me with menial tasks like dishes, folding washing.... ha-ha whatever that is, wiping benches and cleaning floors, I'd be more likely not to be at bursting point. I could cope with the requests and questions and demands and whining. The usual and very normal demands of any child. The LGBB is gorgeous, she is more beautiful every passing day. She is funnier, somehow, every morning when we wake up. I will be forever grateful - anyone who knows me knows this. Which is perhaps why I am beating myself up so hard.... I want to be thankful every waking moment. But it kinda gets blurred somewhere around 10am when I have been interrupted for the gazillionth time (when I have resorted to requesting "NO interruptions for just FIVE minutes!!" for the 999 bazillionth fecking time... okay, slight exaggeration, once again, but I use it to illustrate my deep frazzled frustrations!) from my housely duties which, if I don't get them done, just stack on day after dragging day. Even when I try to slice my weeks up, I cannot get the balance right.

And I am fully aware of the plights of others. Those without a child, those who have lost a child (or more). These people and their journeys weigh super-heavy on my mind and my heart. I do not feel, however, that it is realistic to be constantly in that place of gracious acceptance. I don't. Little flip-outs should be expected! We are, after all, human. So I just wanted to throw this post in, in case anyone reading is assuming I assert myself on some high-brow pedestal with all things parenting and Zen-ness. Ho-ho, I don't. And I have Steve's vouch for it.

I'm still drumming my fingers, waiting for it all to click into place. I don't know why I can't do it with one kid! Do people become more efficient the more children they have? I do not believe I would have any sanity or humour or dignity left at all if I had another child as demanding of my time and wit as this one.

And what the hell am I doing right now?

Procrastinating? Wasting time? Conserving some sense of self, however miniscule? Trying to forget all the housework is still there (I'm talking, obscene amounts of housework, not just a little bit - this is not a well-functioning house and has not been ever since we started building works.... in OCTOBER LAST YEAR!)?

Yep. You betcha. All of the above. I want to cry. But I think I'll just go and empty the dishwasher first. There's no time for heap-falling. And I really do, honestly, apologise for this whinge-fest in this current climate of loss and remembrance. I will gain my perspective back in due course. Right after I ... yes, unload that goddamn dishwasher and stack it again!!!!


I have to say...

I am just BESIDE MYSELF at how awesome these photos I took on the weekend turned out. They're for my darling SIL and her upgraded website/business identity (I did her one a couple of years back, hastily and half-hearted, though with lots of love, and it is time for a major snazzing-up of her 'joint' on the www). She is a naturopath extraordinnaire, specialising in - who knew - natural fertility education.

I feel very privileged to have this girl in my circle (or rather, to be so firmly placed in hers) and we all in this house love her dearly. On Saturday night, she, Steve and I all but snuggled up together on the couch - with laptops on laps and Steve in the middle with his iPhone, not wanting to be out-tech'ed - and we worked on some themes. The SIL decided on old school: Paint Shop. I laughed a maniacal, if not condescending, MOOOO-HAHAHAHAAAA and drummed my fingers on my key pad, whipping up some delights in Photoshop and Indesign.

But the stealer of the show, for mine, was the photography. Taken in my kitchen, in fading evening light, I painstakingly picked a dandelion to pieces, tweezering the last few and then taking to the underside with some nail scissors. The result needed no photo touching at all, bear in mind what is below is the real, raw deal, no cheaty-type flares or colour corrections added:

I took about 60 shots - amazing how carried away you get, especially when you've taken a while to set up. And then, inspired, I grabbed a HOME GROWN granny smith apple (awwww! so little!), skewered it and got Steve to hold it in front of our kitchen splashback. It looks very crisp and fertile, to me!...

All I have to do is blot out the skewer and we're apples! Heh!

A very productive weekend. We even made progress on the house. Which reminds me.... must update on that soon, it's been months!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

With love for Livvie on her birthday

Here is a very special request from a little girl's grandfather (via her mum) who, heart wrenchingly, will be spending her 10th birthday this Sunday without her as guest of honour - it is the family's first without their gorgeous daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin, friend. A life who has touched many, and many more since her passing.

Olivia passed away tragically in a car accident in January (last month). A shattering change of life that I could not bear to imagine happening to a family and, yet, does all to often.

Please, if you haven't already, acquaint yourself with this beautiful family via Kate's (Liv's mum) blog and show your solidarity for them by releasing a purple balloon, wherever you are in the world, in celebration of Liv on her birthday this Sunday. I will be lighting a candle for her.

Cute. Very cute.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Supportive commenters a.k.a. I WOZ 'ERE

Now, here is a different kind of award. They're flying around all over the place at the moment, aren't they!? But I'm rather passionate about this one because it's a passionate subject of mine: the Blog Commenter.

My recognition of its receipt is long overdue, but I've been awarded a Supportive Commenter award by a relative newcomer to my bloggy world awareness, Kellyansapansa. I must say, the girl deserves this from me as well (being a regular commenter here already - cheers!) but she already has it from someone. So that'd be kind of a moot point. Anyway, thanks, Mrs..... ;=P

I admit, I still find it slightly unnerving that I don't hear from the majority of people who regularly read my blog. It's probably something that is curious to many of us bloggers, right? when you can see how many people read compared to how many actually comment? It's a strange thing, I couldn't read about someone's life and then not say anything. Especially if I was making a point to come here daily, or sometimes more often than that.

I get anything from 30-60 readers every day, more if it strikes a cord (one never knows which posts will get the most attraction) - with a usual minimum of 40-something - which doesn't even count those who have it on their RSS feeds, but I rarely get more than a few comments. So while it's a leetle bit unnerving to think some of you guys read and don't ever stop to say hi.... to each their own, people have their reasons! *sniff-sob, no-that's-fine*

Anyway, I have decided to pass on this award to people who have been there to support and acknowledge and have been commenting here since the very beginning... It has never gone unnoticed and I deeply appreciate these people, in particular, for regularly commenting after they read and for doing so on all different posts (the mundane, the funny, the silly, the paranoid, the downright gut-wrenching). Thanks, bloggy friends, you have made all the difference to my experience as a blogger since 2005.

Charlene - the most dedicated foster parent I "know" and someone who inspires me to be open to all of life's individuals.
Alliecat - has become my bud! I can always count on her to add to/enhance my loss posts here, especially, and really look forward to reading what she has to say (which makes her blog a very enjoyable read, too).
Averil - probably less regular lately, with good reason ;) this blogger's comments always make me feel quite humble, as her readership is so vast yet she still takes the time to say something if she is so moved. A delectable blog, it's like my guilty pleasure of the Blog World.
Danni - another I feel very privileged to "know", who is always so supportive with her and ready to have a chuckle. Love your blog, Dan.
And with an honourable mention to K77 (whose blog isn't active anymore??? but I still hear from and have done, right from the beginning of this journey)

As soon as I post this, I'll bet I'll think of a few others and smack my forehead with the palm of my hand. But these are the ones who came to me instantly, sooooo...

I know I can always count on these core bloggers to comment and let me know they were here, which is very important and shows a mark of respect, especially if/when you put your heart and soul "out there"..... which I often do on this blog. So, thanks! Much appreciated.

And just a suggestion: if you do read a blog regularly (any blog) - or avidly check it for updates - it'd be SO cool and honourable to show your appreciation of the blogger you are following to actually make a comment, even once in a while. Don't you think? You don't have to have anything earth-shattering or witty to say. Even a "Hi, I'm reading!" would be appreciated, I'm sure.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Snow over Japan

My brother sent an eery looking photo this morning.

A night shot of his front yard in Kawasaki, Japan, taken last night at 11pm as 10cm had already fallen (and was still going, with no sign of a let-up).

Kanagawa, Japan, 10:45pm - The lights from the city reflected on the snow clouds always makes snowy nights bright.

Monday, February 1, 2010

You know you've had a lot of miscarriages when...

...your Obstetrician calls just to shoot the breeze and "see how you're doing". And apologises for not replying to your SMS sooner.

See? I've done it so often, I'm on a personal text message basis with my practitioner (who was so pleased for us and offered his excited congratulations this last time). He is an utter gem in my life. And he loves seeing "his" families grow. It's a humbling privilege of mine to watch, from the sidelines, this quiet-spoken soul for the past 6, almost 7, years as he attends to his calling.

Having found him in 2003, already three years in to our journey - and knowing the difference it has made, having a permanent, familiar backstop there who I can get answers from in quick-fire succession, as well as sympathy* - I'm never going to let him retire. Not until I reach menopause and the opportunity to conceive just isn't biologically there anymore. He knows that. I'm holding him to a promise....

* Did I ever tell you, he and his practice midwife took me out for lunch 3 days after Ella died? Just cos they care??? Now, that was a lunch - food and conversation - I didn't digest, it was all so surreal.

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