Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tales from the #12wbt: Today, I made a weighty discovery

I found an expand-o-file thingy in the garage today. It contained a pile of papers and documents that basically chronicled the good stuff and praise I'd ever received in any of the four jobs spanning my 10 year-long office "career" I had before bearing my first (prem, ultimately not surviving) child.

I threw three-quarters of the paperwork out, easily and unemotively turfing it and keeping just a small handful of things for snapshot of workplaces in the 90's kind of purposes. It bore little significance to me now. So much so, for I had been so proud of it all once, that I had to step back and be gently with myself as I took stock of what had transpired in all the years in between then and now.

There were many times as I stood there sorting my office life where I recalled that forward-thinking Me as she slipped the documents into the archive file. She had put them there even as her belly expanded with who was to become our girl, Ellanor. She was expecting that one day, her son or daughter would like to know what his or her mother had been doing prior to becoming their mother.

Today, none of that seems to matter. The praise and achievements of a string of jobs that served only to pay off the mortgage - even though I put my heart and soul loyally into every workplace that hired me - are of no importance now.

It struck me deeply that I used to rate so highly my work-a-day jobs that, really, were soul-less. Why is it that I kept a succession of performance reviews with their studiously signed and counter-signed cover pages as evidence of having done anything worthy of this world, when I have been berating myself for the state of my body that has cleverly borne two live children and kept recovering through the loss of twelve others?

I didn't mean to write a post. This was meant to be a vlog only. I'll shuddup now. Here, watch me bare more honestly than I planned so please be gentle!:

A weighty discovery from Lolly Lovers on Vimeo.

Ok. Things I didn't say...:

• Firstly, I forgot to go back to my train of thought after Pepper kindly interrupted! Suffice to say, I realised that it was a conscious choice I had to make - to stop blaming my body gaining increasing amounts of weight seemingly unstoppable weight, stop blaming the pregnancies for affecting the hormones and making me a chemical jumble of a mess, stop blaming the IVF for setting up my already overloaded system, stop blaming every other external factor.... and stop blaming ME, possibly most importantly, for the decisions I was blindly, unconsciously making. Without that first step of ridding the blame, I couldn't have spurred myself into action.
• I have lost over 10kg so far in 2011 (I haven't stopped counting yet!). Although I have been told a lot in my life that I am "lucky" because I have no one problem area, it also means I have work to do everywhere! But it's true that whilst I may gain weight everywhere, I also tone everywhere evenly. Which is a blessing. So sometimes it's hard for anyone other than me to see I've gained or lost weight - a bonus, you might think, unless you're the one in a too-heavy body;
• No longer is it an effort to: climb out of bed, walk up a few stairs, get down on the floor to play with my child, squat to look in a low cupboard (my legs would cramp and ache within 30 seconds, so poor was my muscle "tone");
• After just seven weeks on this fitness program, my mindset is... well, set! It has been an emotional wasteland, that void between my head, heart and mouth (rather, willpower) - the realisation I had during this vlog (that I had given up) has really struck me.
• PliĆ© (or sumo) squats with an upright row thrown in holding hand weights = killer! Ditto to a raised lunge (with front foot on a step). But these two techniques in particular, for me, feel oh so good. It feels so powerful knowing my thigh and glute muscles are working hard to raise and lower my upper body.
• I am feeling the familiar heady rush of adrenaline that I used to crave in the years when I went diligently to the gym and had a personal trainer. I had all but convinced myself in recent years that I didn't miss The Burn of working muscle and was too far gone to ever experience again. Amazing stuff when I know that just two months ago, I couldn't get off my couch without a LOT of effort and not a little bit of audible grunt to boot.
• No small thanks to Michelle Bridges' 12 week body transformation for the kickstart to my return to fitness.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Trick-or-treat friends: Why cheese in a box was better than Halloween

So Halloween is coming up on Monday here in Australia.

I'm sorry, I am going against the grain here and saying - as I have done consistently in previous years - we don't "do" Halloween. Just the whole headless, bloodied, ghoulish mask thing is one that freaks our sensitive little petal right out. See, the LGBB likes the idea of Halloween (what's not to love, on the surface? You dress up, you walk around your neighbourhood in groups of friends, you go door to door receiving sweets for nothing). But she always forgets that witches terrify her. Masks make her hysterical. And the sight of (even fake) blood has her father and I assured for the time being that she would not make a very good vet. Or doctor. Of any description.

I was talking to a friend earlier today about why it is that Halloween is such a big deal here. 'Have we missed something?' I always ask when I find that rare person who doesn't go in for the ritual.... a term I have to use loosely.

We were none the wiser after discussing it, realising that we are uneducated about the practice of Halloween and are more than happy to allow for people who partake in it. But that it is simply not something our children join in on (because of not enjoying the dress-up bit when it comes down to sheet-adorning, mask-applying crunch-time).

We agreed that all we see is a chance for our children (nothing personal here, just talking about her children and mine) to be delivered rather mixed signals: That out of the blue, we're encouraging the notion of going along with something simply because everyone else is doing what they collectively think is a good idea (peer pressure reinforcement... and don't you be thinking for one second that mothers aren't pressured by their peers!) and, more's the sticking point for me, be rewarded with so many treats it would make your eyes pop. The kind of treats that, at any other time of year, are meted out with great restraint in our house. Why would I be okay all of a sudden with the LGBB collecting lollies from strangers, only to bring them all back here and have what would effectively be (the way I ration them) a few months' supply of junk food? The thought of having all that in the house - and her being aware of it... and nagging me hour after hour for more - is more than I can sanely bear to imagine. These two things alone are simply not the kind of mixed messages I want to send her. Call me a prude. A stick in the mud. It just doesn't sit well with me.

It got me thinking, though, about my upbringing. Namely, the fact that we never did trick-or-treat-ing (we lived in a place where the houses were so spaced apart by paddocks that you'd be lucky to visit ten in a 1/2km stretch... too much for little feet!). But I wasn't short for treats. Oh, no. When I wanted the really good stuff, I had my friends. Better yet, I didn't have to pester anyone! They did it all and I just sat back and cashed in with eyes bigger than my little stomach.

Paula was the junk food friend. She was the kind of kid who pestered her busy mother for food even as she was finishing her final mouthful of the last thing she asked for (and received). In one 2-hour play at Paula's after primary school, I could be assured of an Augustus Gloop-type array of gluttony. Pure bliss and delight to my seven year-old eyes! Crisps, ice lollies, packets of Tic-Tacs, a choc chip biscuit or four. I remember the time I went there and was crestfallen to realise.... I had eaten so much I felt full. So full, in fact, that I couldn't possibly fit in the Wizz Fizz, popcorn or bowl of cocoa pops (because "cereal is a healthy snack") but did anyway. Oh, how I was ill.

Michelle was the soda fountain friend. Until the magical year we received one of our very own (1984, I believe it was), it was Michelle's house you went to if you wanted carbonated water mixed with the most disgustingly good imitation cola syrup. Oh, yeah. That was The Stuff.

There were others, each with their own delightful contribution to my childhood treaties stage. However, of all of them, Caroline was by far the top shelf friend. For you see, in Caroline's house one could be assured of the Expensive Cheese. The heavily over-processed long-life no-refrigeration-required-until-opening Kraft blue box cheese.

Oh my. I was instantly in love. With the cheese, not Caroline.

My childhood - sadly or not, you be the judge and keep the judgements to yourself thank you very much - was improved greatly by the discovery of thickly sliced "cheese in the box" (as we called it) sat atop white bread and stuck under the griller. The base of the cheese slices would go gooey, while the top would lift away up towards the heat and grill to browned perfection. Once cooled down a tad, you could stick your finger through the dome-puffed cheese crust and break it away. Delectable. Taking a bite, the cheese would ooze and string. Sheer. Delight. From-a-box.

I took a survey (of one) and discovered my friend also remembered the name of her Treat Friend - Margie. Margie who introduced her to slabs of real butter atop hot toast. Now, to a girl who'd only known fast and efficient margarine to that point in her life, the discovery of butter was akin to finding her religion.

So I maintain:  Halloween does not have to be. It never factored in my childhood and I was no worse off for it. Granted, I essentially thought cheese with a shelf life with no end-date bunged on some bread and grilled was the absolute shiz. But still... we won't be bowing to the pressure bestowed on us increasingly each year to join in that over-commercialized "festive fun" occasion known as Halloween. It's so northern hemisphere, it's almost embarrassing. Mind you, how in the heck we are going to continue to get away with this as the LGBB grows older is another thing. I guess I should also add a disclaimer here that I will "never say never" definitively. But for this year at least, once again, we'll be conveniently unable to hear the doorbell. Oh, what a shame.....

Go on. Hit me with your bah humbugs! I'm used to it!

Do you have a treat friend? Do you remember their name and what they had on offer at their house? Please share!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Meld only with those who honour who you are Now

Going through periods of change and growth, I have come to respect (and expect) that I will say goodbye to friendships and attachments as I expand my awareness of what makes me tick and that the more I seem to know about the world, the more I don't know.

I was remembering earlier a girl I used to work with. She had an anxious, confrontational nature, served with lashings of victim mentality and manipulation through (excellent, enjoyable) humour. But manipulation, nonetheless. I worked in the back office and she was the "face" of the company out front. I could tell what kind of day I was in for by the number of times she would turn her head this way and that, keeping her gaze on me, as she asked probing questions before I had even put my bag down in the morning after arriving.

Unfortunately for me, I fell in to the trap of placating her. A caller who slighted her on the phone would cause her to slam open the door to the back office - yes, you can bet it is possible to slam open a door.. try it! - and stand in the doorway protesting loudly about what she had just been subjected to. Or if it was just all too hard, there she would be - door slammed open, taking up the space between our two separate areas.

I never realised while I was there but this individual, who was at least six years my junior, was displaying behaviour that triggered reactions in me. Reactions to my mother that I had not long since tried to bury. I would be working away, concentrating on my screen and the interruption to my thoughts became a violation of sorts to me. Towards the end of her time there, I got to the point of feeling a tenseness creep its way across my shoulders and down my back, there to remain until my working day was over. I braced for the almost imperceptible sound of her rising from her chair, keenly listening out for her footfall on the plastic chair mat under her desk, knowing that at any moment I would be a captive audience of one to the latest vomit of "pity me" about to escape her.

Over time, I made the connection. I recognised the similarity in energy between this young woman and my (estranged from me by that time) mother. It was a moment of choice for me; I vowed to change how I behaved - both in terms of what I gave out and how I internalized what was coming at me - if ever I found myself in the presence of this sort of energy. I knew it now. I had known it all along, having grown up (and been raised) by it. But coming across this type of behaviour and energy output from a source external to my familiar circle helped the penny drop.

Years have passed now and there have been a couple of occasions where I could easily have fallen into the trap of shouldering the "burdens" of this type of energy again. But I haven't. I see them coming, usually, and practice (sometimes harder than others, depending on the situation) pure love - that is, the sort of non-placating, non-smother/mothering, universal kind of tough love that enables me to stand apart from the individual but remain in compassionate care and, sometimes, service.

This past-time was recalled while I was working today.  A paragraph that stood out to me read:
Do no bother to your “brothers of blood”, nor to those belongings you once had in bygone times, who act as reminders to you of your lack of “spiritual perfection”.  Instead, begin again and be able-bodied to the basic call to be at one with your spiritual calling. Some “past” influences and experiences in your life will fall away (Death), some will walk by your side (Rebirth), but the sum of it all—both Death and Rebirth—will be TRANSMUTATION.
What this says to me, as I remembered how I was struggling in that time with walking away from that person I worked with (and I still had several others in my life who leeched me in the same way, even though their personalities were different), is that sometimes the fear of change is what prevents us from changing. It says that just because I have behaved in a certain way for however long and it's expected of me (either by myself or external forces) that I will continue to take it because I know I can handle it, doesn't mean I have to. Or, indeed, that I need to. No. That actually serves to become a defeatist kind of devolutionary way of handling things.

I know, for me in my circumstance, I had to really look at why I kept attracting the same kind of friends and acquaintances. Not to blame myself, but to learn from it. Working with this girl was the straw that broke the camel's back - so to speak - and something in me said, "Right. Enough. I'm ready to start anew from Now.... ok, now.... How do I do that again?"

And the rest, with all my study now seven years in the making, is history.

Slowly, very slowly, I began to redefine myself. After Ellanor died, I was forced to start again! I guess I could have chosen not to. But I would have been denying a hell of a lot, had I done that. So with diligence and taking it very easy on myself - for I begin again, and again, and yet again all the time! - I define my own Now. I attract those close in who enrich and fulfil what I do and who I am today. I daresay for the most part, I know the ones who will continue to be there for as many "tomorrows" as I can foresee. But I also know that I don't really know how I will change and evolve either, as they are continuing to move through their lives too. The fluent movement of friendship has been something I have come to wonder and marvel at - the ones you thought would remain, the ones you were SURE were destined to end explosively and the vast number of surprise delights to be found in people that support your place in your own life. As you are. Now.


There are other posts to be written about this. As well as the flashback moment I had recently regarding my own time in preschool and the conditioning surrounding being raised by a very sick mother.  But I am diligently trying to practice keeping posts short these days! (Hmmmm...... how'm I going? cough.... not exactly acing the short post thing so far)

Do you recognise repeat performances in your life? Of friends, family or perhaps colleagues who treat you the same? If so, I wonder what your next step has been/will be (and please don't feel you need to answer this in the comments, although I always deeply appreciate and welcome them! This is personal, private stuff. Email me if you wish, too :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

A little bit of give

I sat with the LGBB on the couch this morning while she watched one of her latest favourite movies...

Her secret love's no secret....

Opposite the couch is a wall where Ella's picture hangs. This one:

I sat gazing at it while the movie played.

Oh the Deadwood Stage is a-rollin' on over the plains
With the curtains flappin' and the driver slappin' the reins
Beautiful sky, a wonderful day
Whip crack-away, Whip crack-away, Whip crack-away!

I got lost in the photos and everything else in the room slipped into the shadows. Even Doris Day. It was just me and my girl. My first girl.

Before the movie was over, the LGBB came back into view. I shelved my precious stolen thoughts out to Ellanor and got back to chores at hand. Lunch was made, chortles were shared (Lolly loves the part where poor old Francis has to dress up like a girl because the hick townsmen were expecting a "real live woman".... if you don't understand, then you've missed out.... it's an old Hollywood musical thing).

Then she laid down again. "I'm tired," she said. She's been saying that all weekend. And just laying down wherever she is. This morning, she woke with a headache and it didn't leave all day. The trooper that she is, though, the LGBB didn't make much of it and didn't complain of it being sore. If I hadn't known any differently, she was just a tiny bit darker around the eyes (something that comes out in her naturally pale complexion whenever she's a bit under the weather) but that was about it.

I held true to my word on the promise of a craft session after lunch. What was going to be a rocket ship turned into the Love Boat. She decided it was a ship and I was commissioned to fit-out the peg passengers.

He's king of the world. He's also largely ignored by the other passengers.
The Party Ship. With the playboy, Cleopatra, a washed-up woman in red and
a ballerina attempting valiantly to keep her remaining thinning locks....

Not sure he should be looking at her like that,
especially when only in his Y-fronts.

But she only just made it to the playing part (she was itching to play with it while we were making it all together). No sooner had I lowered the boat to the floor for her maiden voyage than my girl grabbed a cushion and also lowered herself to the floor.

"I'm too tired, mummy," she said again. It was the first time my brow furrowed and I decided I didn't like something about all this. You know when you just have that moment? She still had her headache and I commanded her to our bed for a rest, where she slept for two hours.


In the midst of the sleep designed to relax and re-charge her, the LGBB woke screaming, terrified. I raced in, wondering if the pain had gotten worse. "What is it?" I asked calmly, rocking her. She was trembling. And hot. And scream-crying. Staring at the wall behind my head.

I got her out of the room and changed the scenery a bit. In the kitchen, rocking together in a chair, she managed to get out that "a man was dancing me too fast." What the? Her description made it sound like one of those awful dream sequence scenes in the movies where the fish-eye lens camera is being stared into by the maniacally laughing crazy-character as we, the audience/camera, gets spun around. I agreed with my sweaty little poppet that that would be a bit scary. "But it's all over now and it wasn't really real, was it?" No reply from her.


While all this was happening, I fielded a phone call on my mobile. A number I have seen as a missed call about half a dozen times in as many days. They never leave a message. This time, phone in hand, I was able to answer and solve the mystery.

"Hello there, it's Lou here from Heart Kids..." and Lou proceeded to launch into a typical telemarketing "we need you and your dosh" speech.

Now, this is where I normally huff and puff and wait to say loudly but firmly, "No thank you, we give to our chosen charities already but best of luck... *click*"  But Heart Kids is something close to my heart. Today, especially, when I was already feeling so drawn to Ellanor and with my heightened mama-care reflexes towards Lolly, it seemed fitting that I should receive the call.

Lou - well, Heart Kids - did well for himself. I came away $50 lighter and have a jumbo-sized beach towel coming my way within "seven working days". I find it no strange coincidence that on the preschool fundraiser shopping tour I went to last weekend, I carried around a beach towel for the LGBB (she doesn't have one and we're taking a beach holiday soon) and ended up putting it back on the shelf, not making the purchase. Just this morning, I cursed myself for my decision not to buy the towel. I sighed that I'd have to go to a shop and probably buy one at full price.

Now I know why I didn't buy it. Tricky, clever Universe.

I gave today. It was such a small thing, really. Ultimately, I know that no money in the world is going to help some causes if it is ordained to go "that way" - look at our girl, in the best medical care - but I will always extend my circle of thoughtful care and consideration to those families going through the toughest trial of their lives with precious children with sick hearts. Every time I look at my girl's beach towel.

Do you give to charity? Do you have a blanket "sorry, no" rule for telemarketers? Or does it depend on the day?


Update: Tonight, the LGBB is much better. After a bath,  a sausage in bread with a good serve of fresh steamed vegies for dinner and a play with her cherished Love Boat with Daddy, she is tucked up happily in bed. But not before storytime. Steve came back and reported that he decided to himself that he would read her something they had not read for a long while. He started looking on the shelves for the book silently and then heard the LGBB in the background say, "Oh, Dad, it's in here." He turned around and Lolly opened up a bedside table drawer and pulled out the very book he had been looking for.

He blames me for passing it on. I say to him once again... no harm, no foul. But it's going to make teenage years interesting I think.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I made a button! Was it a waste of time?

I missed the craze of button-making when it first happened a couple of years back. At the time, I didn't see my blog as being of any importance or relevance enough to make one. I wasn't a "this" blogger or a "that" blogger. I even made some for other people. But never my own.

The fact is, if I want to potentially reach further, I have to make it easier to find this blog. I have to make like the cool kids and do what they've done already. And I do want to reach a further audience for I have come to realise that this opportunity is what encourages me to persevere writing here. Delving into the depths of my compassionate self to dig up The Good Stuff (and in my line of focus, that centres around "life after infant loss, miscarriage and infertility") is not done lightly. So I may as well do all I can to share my experience in the trust that it reaches those who really need the solidarity today. At any moment.

It's been a funny thing, setting up this button. I realise the shift away from those things I used to write about often (and write through) is inline with my current point of healing - one, after all, cannot write about the same thing repeatedly forever, for that would show a lack of moving forward through a life experience - but it's not forgotten.

I am still intending to periodically dig out the old posts (I don't want to bombard or flood regular readers and I am sharply aware of this). But at the moment, I feel caught in a strange turnstile between readers who have been with the blog and my story for long enough that I don't need to rehash and new readers testing the blog out, probably wondering where all the deep, reflective writing is that I once did as a rule rather than the exception it has become.

So! Let's see if a button is something you want to pop on your blog/s. I feel like one of the kids who's trying to be cool in fashion that's 2.5 years behind the season it trended in. But that is me. I've always been the slow and steady (if not discerning) Tortoise.

There are many blogs these days who only list bloggers' buttons now and I have to admit, it's kinda cool to just click on an image and jump to blogs that way. Especially if you're a visual browser. So I just wanted to give the option to grab mine. Button, that is.... The code is in the sidebar:

Have you flogged lately? Come join in at Where's My Glow!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The hills are alive

It's okay, don't click away. I'm not doing a post about Julie Andrews' Maria or any of the von Trapps for that matter. Unless, of course, you were expecting some exciting new information about the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical or some juicy tidbit about the Baroness Shraeder (and wooh, that link right there is rather interesting.... if that's what you were looking for....)

But I digress.

These hills are majestic. I love them. LOVE them. When we found this pocket we thought we had hit the jackpot. Energetically speaking, I reckon we have. The land, even the house, seemed fertile. No, not like that. But certainly in terms of rich atmosphere. Deep thinking. Soul-reviving.

Yeah. It's here. Ever-present. And I also seem to forget that (or take it for granted, at least) until a visitor inadvertently reminds me how lucky we are.


Okay, so.... Kristin of Wanderlust fame is here. I have blogging royalty in my humble abode. As I live and breathe.

I also have lasagne in the oven. And a child happily watered and fed at a neighbour's place (where she secretly wishes she could live on time-share). Here I am, sat in my relatively clean and tidy kitchen and I'm happy.

You know how I know?

I can't stop bloody singing.

This happens to me every time someone comes and stays with us. I don't realise until I have visitors just how much I sing. Like..... at least 70% of my day. I don't mean like my old Uncle Will (rest his soul) who is purported to have spent his years on his remote South Australian sheep station (astute readers will know the homestead I am speaking of) sing-talking his way through the day - which sounds kinda cute and lovely but is apparently really annoying to be around 24/7. I mean singing everything that comes on my playlist.

I have music on in the house all the time. ALL. The time. Would that annoy you? Does that annoy Kristin? I haven't asked her. Let's do a little experiment. Let's see how long it takes the powers of Twitter and Facebook and etc. to find out.

So I'm making dinner before and I'm singing my heart out. My heart outttt. To Scenes From An Italian Restaurant. I swear, I would belt it out in front of you no matter where, no matter when. Then James Taylor (oh, young James Taylor, how you make my heart flutter so) and a bit of How Sweet It Is. Along comes Elton John who, okay I'll admit, doesn't reeeally float my boat but I respect him musically. But even his little-loved (by me, anyway) I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues gets me singing. By the time I am humming the really high harmonica bits - you know the part I'm talking about? no, I will not vlog me humming it - I remember.

Oh, shite. Kristin is in the next room. Having some chillax down time. Hey, by the way, do we say "chillax" any more? Is it what the kids are saying? Or have I just shown my dagginess? Er.... if not in the previous several paragraphs?

Okay, anyways, so here I am on my second layer of lasagne laying when I realise I have HRH the US blogger in my lounge room. And I'm mid "woooooooo-ooooo" when I do.

This is getting serious.

I have already admitted my Hall and Oats guilty pleasure to her today. It happened when Kiss On My List came on. I fought every urge not to sing in front of her then.

And this is the funny thing (probably what stops me from pursuing a career in singing or some form of music like several of my more with-it relatives have): I am really self-conscious about singing in front of others even though I can sing well.

Do you sing well? Would you ever sing in front of someone? (drunk karaoke doesn't count)

More importantly.... how long do you think it's going to take before I find out if Kristin has even noticed I can't seem to stop singing??


Just before I go, today I was flicking through letterbox catalogues. Gorgeous kitchen table sets (we have a dining table but no chairs and I lust after lovely dining chairs when I see them). I pointed out one I liked and the LGBB, sitting next to me, adjudicated, "Nope, don't like that one. That kitchen's too clean. I like our kitchen." Which of course begged the question.... and the answer to her question was "Yes, I like our messy one."


Oh God. King Of Pain by The Police just came on. Gotta go..... can't type and sing at the same time.

There's a little black spot on the sun todaaaaaaay.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Get support. Get more balls. Not necessarily in that order.

We have these little prayer card things at the front door. Nobody ever touches them any more. The fad has passed. Except for her. She doesn't know what they say yet but she has always loved digging her hands in and pulling out the brightly coloured squares.

The house has been a flurry of activity, making up the spare bed, moving out the spare shit from the spare room. Why do we have so much spare "just in case" stuff? Time to turf that lot.

Anyway, the lovely Kristin of Wanderlust fame is jetting her way to us as I type. The cleaning is for her. Okay, and a little bit for me too. I do love a freshly cleaned house, rare as it is.

Yesterday, I walked past the shelf where the prayer cards sit. The LBGG had left a calling card:

Say it, sista

The LGBB has been looking forward to this mysterious American guest who is coming to stay with us for a few nights. "But who is she?" she wanted to know. Unfortunately, by my obviously confusing explanation, she will now be bitterly disappointed if Kristin doesn't end up looking like this:

Hellooooo, Prairie Dawn heeeere.

...because she is firmly convinced Kristin = someone from Sesame Street. Preferably Prairie Dawn. Last night, she was practicing her name in an American accent and told her Dad that's what Kristin will sound like.

I was thinking today how amazing Lolly is. She has been preparing in other ways to welcome our international visitor to our home. They are private preparations, something I don't feel is my place to share here, for they are Lolly's way of getting ready to open her home to a stranger (to her, Kristin is just that). And they are things I have never seen her do/request before. Last night, I was very impressed. She and I have always worked closely together on this unseen energetic level, even as a young child pre-speech. Traipse back through the earlier stuff on this blog - I sometimes posted about it.

Today, I dusted off my balls. These are the balls Lolly helped me pick out. I love them. They represent me, in a way. Us. Something that makes a statement of things I love and find beautiful. They represent me getting something completely impractical and bunging them in the centre of our kitchen table to gather dust. And be looked at. Just 'cos.

I want more balls. I can never have enough. Ceramic are the best. They're harder.

Pretty balls

Must dash. Plane to greet and all that.

And get yourself something nice! Do it today if you haven't done it for a while.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fostering the Big Questions - moving on from the last ones

Today was filled with the kind of curly questions only a child can ask. And again - just as last time -  I was compelled to answer as truthfully as I could.*

It's like that when she looks me straight in the eye and squares her jaw; there is no getting around it any other way than honestly. The sort of tactful, metered honesty that shields from the gritty details yet doesn't shy away from the facts.

"What happened straight after I was born?" she asks me.
"Straight after?.... Well... your Dad and I brought you home and fed you and looked after you." I smile at her, remembering fondly.
"Yes, I know," she frowns, looking a trifle frustrated, "but what happened before that?"
She's getting her before's and after's mixed up at the moment. It's a stage.
"Before when?"
"Before, when Ella was born." 
I don't quite know what she's trying to decipher with her line of questioning so I can't guide my answers toward anything that will succinctly nip it in the bud for her. So we continue with the short answers-short questions.
"You want to know what happened just before Ella was born?" She nods.
"Well... when Ella was born, she was very little. I stayed in the hospital with her for a few days but then I had to come home. And when I did, she stayed in the hospital." 
She pouts sadly. I am certain I see a little look of sympathy in the way she tilts her head and makes a slight grimace. 
"But every day," I assure her, "I would wake up early and drive to the hospital and feed her my milk and talk to her and her nurses until it got dark and late at night. Then your Dad would drive from work and come and sit with me and we would look at Ella and talk to her together. She was a very lovely little baby."
My other very lovely little baby is sitting across the room from me, a range of emotions moving across her face now. I can't gauge if it's compassion for us or a sense of loss for herself, mixed in with a good dose of "I feel I've missed out on something you were all doing when I wasn't here". I daresay it's all of that. Then I realise she is trying to pinpoint where Ellanor is again. She does this, searching for her sister, a few times a year. I invite the conversations openly.... but they are still heart-searingly difficult.
"But... why did you leave her at the hostible?" she asks, her large blue-green eyes suddenly looking heavier, her little brow furrowing.
"Because she died, darlin', we had to."
Stated simply, just like that, it sounds callous and cold and hard-hearted. I know what she's thinking. I'm thinking it too now as we look at each other and the distance between us, across the rug and the arm of the couch to where she's leaning seems somehow suddenly further. If her father and I could leave our baby somewhere to be handled by goodness knows who, what's to stop us taking leave of our senses and doing it to her? I feel wretched for a turn, before my logical mind catches up and keeps me moving along before I get too morbid. That would not help either of us.
"Who has her now?"
"Nobody. She's not at the hospital any more."
"What kind of hostible did you leave her in?"
"A people hospital. Where doctors and nurses help sick people. You know, Lol, you wouldn't be here if Ella was."
"Yes, I know that," she answers me with a tone beyond her five short years. And she frowns again slightly, a pained, longing look on her face. She really does get that, I marvel to myself. "But why can't I see her? I want to see her." Ah. Getting it and living it are two completely different things, though, and it is this knowledge - that my child has been forced to remain permanently separated by her living from a sister she yearns for deeply - that really clutches at my mother heart.
"I know you do." Matter of fact. It's the only way. We agree it's shitful without saying any more.
"How did she get to Pixie Hollow?" she asks, changing tack slightly and mercifully saving me from the always uncomfortable "Well, why didn't any doctors and nurses save my sister" challenges.
This is the moment my heart swells to bursting. The Pixie Hollow explanation is something that Ellanor's sensitive little sister came up with quite on her own one day earlier this year out of the blue while we were driving. She told me that day decidedly that Tinkerbell and the fairies had taken Ella to live "on another planet because I think.... Yeah! That's where Pixie Hollow is!"
I hasten to quantify here that the LGBB is also very partial to the unabridged J.M. Barrie book, Peter Pan - the whole Lost Boys in Neverland premise fascinated our Lolly. What's more, I believe that Pixie Hollow (perhaps more due to the gorgeous name rather than the Disney-fied slant on "fairies" and, indeed, Tinkerbell herself) and Neverland are a mash-up of one and the same place in her imagination.
"You know what? That I don't know," I tell her honestly.

Our talk peters out at this point and I am left with a vacant but equally full feeling for the rest of the day. When we catch up a few hours later, Lolly is sitting playing on her bed with various tiny bits and pieces of some monstrosity that look like bottom-of-foot attractors if ever I saw them. Jagged and pointy bits everywhere.

She hands me a green glass-looking rubbed stone. "Is this a wishing stone?" she asks.
"I think it might (as) well be!" I exclaim.
"I've been making lots of wishes and they're going to come true," Lolly says nodding and glancing around her room before she launches into what I think is going to be her long list. But she only tells me one wish.
"I want a baby brother. And another sister." Again with the direct gaze and the square-set jaw. My goodness, but her eyes are beautiful. I'm distracted by them when I should be thinking of an answer. Fast.
"Wouldn't that be wonderful, to have both." I smile at her.
"Then I can have someone to play with," she says earnestly. Honestly. My loins don't feel any sort of stirring whatsoever, regardless of wishing desperately my only child was not an only child. We tried. Honest to goodness, her father and I tried.
"You know, though, babies take a long time once they're born to be able to play. Look at your cousin Blake. He's pretty little still, isn't he?"
She's unwavering. Her eyes look into me - through me - and I can kind of see she's not all here. I wait, watching her face, until she finally answers.
"I think they're not babies. Maybe they're older than me." 
Despite myself, I raise my eyebrows and nod in agreement. Yes, that's right. Perhaps they are.

I completely forgot until today that I have been tossing up foster parenting with Steve for some years now. It comes up once every year or so, since we said goodbye to Ellanor, but it never felt "right" to go ahead with it.

Perhaps? Maybe now? Lolly seems to know more about it than I. We shall see. If nothing else, I trust the Universe will advise, devise and deliver all in its exceptionally good, right time.

(Just as an aside, that last Big Questions post is a really important read if you are dealing with them yourself - or trying to find a way through them with your surviving young, inquisitive children and wonder how the heck to start... also, take a deep breath in and just go with your best instinct! ;-)

Smile... no matter how awkward you feel.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Preempting the C word....



It's coming. Again. Already.

*shake it off*

Okay, to psyche myself up for this pre-festive season, I've dug out a post from November 2009 where, at the height of anticipatory Christmas fun - in reality, we were squished into two rooms with ALL our belongings (mostly still in packing boxes) trying to cope with Christmas-straddling renovations and home extensions.... KILL. ME. NOW.

Below is my attempt to bring some joy in, seeing as there was not a skerrick of room for a tree and just one shred of tinsel or decoration would have sent me over the clutter-filled edge.

Tell me your best laid pre-Christmas plan that went awry!

Originally posted on Sunny Side Up November 15, 2009

What was meant to be a couple of hours' of craft fun with the LGBB, making little snow angel decorations, has turned into a weekend-long pilgrimage. Nay, a "quest for fun." Just wash my mouth out with soap and call me Clarke Griswold right about now.

I feel like the father who spent all that time on his kid's science project, in a scene from The Simpsons' ep "Duffless"...
Chuck: {Can I touch it?}
Dad: {I've worked too long and hard on this for you to
screw it up now.}
Chuck: {But it's got my name on it.}
Dad: {Just stand over there!
[kid walks off screen]
Over there!}
I know exactly how the guy feels. Seriously! I've been pushed to the brink by glitter. Glitter, of all things!

They do look very cute, though. And Lolly is strutting around like she did every cut, every painstaking fold. She helped put glue on the wings, dipping the unglued parts of them in glitter (how do they do that?? miss the blobs of glue and put glitter on all the unglued parts so that there's no glitter on anything when you dry it?) and then asked, "Can I eat the glitter off my fingers?"

Awww, yeah.... coochy-coo. Now move out of the way, Toots.

Steve had to make dinner tonight just so I could finish the second angel and be done with her. It would have been fine, as a little project, if I had read all the instructions carefully. Little did I realise, but they were not as meticulous about the hair, face, arms or legs as they were about how to fold, cut and assemble the dress, body and wings. I had to freestyle it and, thank God for the perfectionist in me, I wasn't driven to drawing out several versions til I got it right. No, I hacked up a coupla bits of paper and slaved over the damn things (with the LGBB jumping all over me and hugging me so tight I thought my jugular might snap at one point - she loves it when I get down on the floor), then slapped on the glue and said, "There y'are!"

The LGBB paraded them over to her Dad who made the obligatory (and just as well) "oooh's" and "aaah's", then she proudly brought them back.... and chucked them at me before flitting off to play with something else that had taken her fancy.

I absolutely dread getting involved in any of her creative school projects. I know what I'm going to be like. Chuck's dad. Fer sher *grimace*

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

She's ba-a-ack: When preschool's not enough

There is one new thing I am coming to adore about my child and that is.... the moments of time we spend apart.

So slay me.

In the name of full disclosure, in these past two weeks:
I've yelled
I've uttered, "Ohhh fuck, pleeeeease go away for just one minute, pleeeeease" under my breath more than I am a lady enough to admit.
I've cried like a toddler myself and stamped my foot and even uttered the words, in retort to the latest demand request of her dearest heart, "But I don't WANT to."
I wished away the last one-on-one time I'm going to get to spend with her before casting her out into the big wide world of school.
I have felt like the Pied Piper like never before in my life... EVERY single room I enter, behind me - guaranteed - is a chatterbox child, a cat with such a loud bell on her collar (to prevent bird "accidents") that we should have just bought her a doorbell and been done with it, a bouncing "Me-first" Labrador trying to push her way to the front and an aging, brilliantine stick insect of a dog who trips over nothing and causes a hallway block wherever she goes.

We're growing a special person here. I know that. During the holidays, she was lucky enough to attend a short little two-day dancing and singing workshop with a friend. The children were asked to draw a picture of someone they admire "because they do good things or are very good at making people happy." They were then prompted to draw a picture of themselves and this person.

This person can help them follow their dreams and believe in themselves, the words prompt.

The LGBB proudly presented me with her picture. I saw one face and she confirmed there was one person in her picture. I asked her who it was, hopeful it was me but sure it would be her Dad.

"It's ME!" she said, in perfect preschooler narcissism.

And I thought, hell yeah! YES! She gets it. I love that she has drawn herself as the person she sees as believing in herself. My wish for her as she navigates the next 13 or so years of school is that she remembers she believes in her dreams. Her Dad and me, we always will too. It's a given. But sometimes, we forget to keep that faith in ourselves as adults. Have you forgotten?

I love my girl. I watch her a lot. I gaze at her without even realising I am. And yes, despite everything in my history... I know I take her for granted. I get frustrated with her, sometimes openly so she sees it, sometimes covertly so that it's just my internal organs that take a beating from the pressure-cooker stress I don't express.

I yearn already for the lost days of her childhood innocence. Before the big kids or her peers with the older siblings tarnish herr. School is approaching, fast. But for the past two weeks of school holidays (she went back to kindy for 6 glorious hours today where I spent half my time wading in delirious, lush sort-of-Me-time*), I couldn't care WHO takes her as long as she gets some mental stimulation that doesn't rely solely on me.

By far, these have been the hardest holidays to bear yet. I'm telling you, if I didn't know better, I'd guarantee you that I could put up with sibling fighting on the hour every hour (with pop-fights every 10 minutes in between) if only it means I am not the single, solitary focus of her attention.

I am not enough.

I am enough.

Both of these realisations have occurred to me as I have clawed my way back to the relative solace of these 2-day-a-week (NOT ENOUGH ANYMORE!) preschool breaks we have from each other. We're at the pointy end of the year here and she needs more.

You know when you get to a stage where you are equally wistful about the end of an era and more than ready to start your new life? That's where I am right now. Have you ever been there with something in your life, on the precipice but not looking forward to the end either? Tell me about it in the comments!

*Me-time, my definition: Not having to respond or react or be answerable to a motor-mouthing preschooler while you pack a dishwasher, sort some washing, peg out 1,000 acres of new washing, take a conference call, handle an order or three for the business and ponder the direction of your book's characters.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

from The Rock (1934)

T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Peter and the Wolf and the MSO = two of my favourite things

It’s a wolf-eats-duck world. But it’s a world in which little boys can find extraordinary courage and – with a little help from a crazy bird and a dreamy duck (and none whatsoever from a fat, lethargic cat and two hooligan hunters) – can catch the wolf.
From website

Something I may not have shared here before (or for some time anyway) is that I cry when I hear live music. I always have.

From the time I can remember, I have teared up when in the presence of good, live music. The beauty of going to the MSO (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra), when I am afforded the rare opportunity (Steve doesn't care much for such things and I guess I've never considered going on my own), is that I can sit there in a state of delicious comfort watching each instrument in turn. I have the luxury of time to soak up those gorgeous sounds. When I watch the flautist, I hear only the flute. When I watch the big bass drum, I watch the musician intently as they expertly count their bars and keep their eye on their conductor. When I hear the oboe, I swoon. It is my very favourite of all.

It's no surprise, then, that in Peter and the Wolf I reel when I hear the duck. That duck! Oh how I adore its sound.

I can remember clearly my first visit to see Peter and the Wolf at the live theatre. It was a shadow puppet show and I was so mesmerised, so overcome in fact, that I was deeply embarrassed. As a seven year-old in front of my classmates, it was overwhelming to have to try and explain why I was crying (at the beautiful sound of the orchestra) when they were just using the excursion as a chance to lark about. But the experience did not detrimentally change my deep affection of this sublime masterpiece by Sergei Prokofiev.

So it was that one sunny afternoon these school holidays, I was invited to see the MSO performing the music I so adored as a child (okay, and as an adult). I took the LGBB and we enjoyed our outing immensely in the city.

"Just a couple of ladies" on a sunny afternoon....
Off to see the symphony orchestra.

I will say from the outset that despite my deep love of this magical music and the stunning work in this modern stop-animation film by Suzie Templeton, I thought the first few minutes of this feature too graphic and violent for my sensitive five year-old daughter. I was nervous at this point. But I needn't have been so. The adaptation then developed into a dark, amusing, laugh-out-loud, entrancing dance (if you ask Lolly, whose fancy was tickled for most of the half hour performance) as Prokofiev surely always intended.

As an aside, did you know, Prokofiev wrote and composed Peter and the Wolf in just four days? Astounding genius.

The animation detail in the movie was, quite simply, mind-blowing. As an art piece, it was sublime. Lolly certainly responded emotively. When asked, she told me that although she's quite happy not to see it again (her inappropriate giggle-response at all the scary bits and the impromptu commentary in lieu of any speaking parts - ie. "Mmmmm, I'm hungry" she said, too loudly, when the wolf gulped down the gorgeous defenseless duck and then glared at Peter defiantly - could have told me that already), she really enjoyed it. Which character did she like best?

"The cat. And the bird. And Peter. And the duck..... Maybe not Grandpa because he was mean not letting Peter out."

So there you have it. My initial fears that this modernised version was toying with such a classic and, in turn, imprinting a much darker, grittier version on my child's memory - so far removed from the simplistic shadow animation rendition I had archived in my memory and which was rattled during the viewing of this recent showing - appears to have been unfounded.

I loved it. She loved it. But I repeat, this is not a film for younger children of the sensitive persuasion as it does have quite some graphic scenes that may surprise because they stray from the original narration you would be used to.

There was ample time for me to lean forward in the ACMI theatre in Melbourne's Federation Square - my first visit to this impressive building - and check on the orchestra. They were splendid as always. I cried, as always.

The duck - the beautiful, hapless duck - did not disappoint.

Please note: For this review, I received a free ticket for myself and my child.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

12wbt: Reflections of Accountability - One Month In

This is by no stretch a sponsored post or a review. This is just my usual tell-all spill which I tend to do periodically if you'll be so kind as to bear witness to my latest discovery about myself. Shall we?

I just want to start by saying if it seems to you like every second person is talking about this 12 week body transformation (12wbt) thing, it's because it is astoundingly good! In my very humble opinion. And with the proof of 18 stubborn centimeters already lost from my frame. So far. At every turn, there seems to be a ready-reckoner by way of a timely video message from Michelle herself that speaks right to the gnawing age-old habits just lurking in the background waiting to pounce on me like some big meanie and say "A-HA, knew you couldn't hack the hard work. Here... have a chip or 100." I've dabbled in forcing a bit of "old food" (sugary stuff) down in this past month - with little detriment to my overall progress so far, I might add, but not doing myself any favours - because I figure, I am going to encounter some of these falling off the wagon times and this 12 weeks I am viewing as my testing ground. The control is the food. Rather, the lure of the unhealthy choice stuff. You know what I've discovered? I've lost the taste for it. The enjoyment is all but gone! I had half a melting moment two weeks ago as a "reward"....... It was the best thing I could have done because I knew straight away that it was no treat. The "treat" would have been a glass of water and my favourite salad when I got home. Huge lesson for me. Huge.


Accountability and Application. I often mistake "accountability" for "responsibility". Somewhere along the line, I also fooled myself into believing that "knowledge" was near enough to "application" to be considered as good as the same thing.

With the shedding of my weight and the re-toning of my once-fit body, I am re-familiarising myself with my shapely arms, my strong thighs, my muscly powerful shoulders. I have the incentive of a finely crafted online weight loss and fitness program to thank for getting me back into the swing of it. The psychology behind my lack of effort to resume caring for myself is a little trickier, though, than handing over my credit card number to purchase the three-month package.

Thing is, I blamed my body for a long time. I thought I had stopped, but I have come to accept accountability for continuing to reward or punish my appearance depending on how I was feeling on the inside. Basically... it's a mental thing.

For six years - the better part of last decade, the 2000's - when nothing else in my life was going to plan I would hit the weights with my personal trainer. I might not have been able to carry a child, but I could put my body through its paces. Feel the burn, feel alive even if I could not nurture a life.

Pretty soon, I was blaming my exercise on my miscarriages. So I added yoga to my regime. No fewer than two early pregnancy failures happened directly after attending a yoga class. I'm not sure if you've ever experienced something like this, but for me it was the fastest way to make me not repeat what I had just been doing in the previous 1-24 hours of finding that first tell-tale spot on my pants. The very technique I had taken up to create some space and inner peace in my busy "work until I am successful creating a family" life became a source of fear as well.

In reality - and I have since become quite the well-read and practical expert on miscarriage - I know now that the pregnancies were failing days, possibly a week and sometimes more, before I was ever alerted. Nothing I was doing was causing them. Even with the knowledge of our specific male genetic factor, my blame game number on myself continued until Lolly came along. And then some.

Those years between 2000 and 2006 were an endurance marathon I'm not sure I would have signed up for if I had known what was to be held within them for me. I may have had a great recovery time from a flat-out boxing session with my trainer - something I recall being proud of at the time - but I could not chase away the niggling self-torment that by keeping fit, I was somehow ruining my chances of becoming a mother. Although I was reassured at every turn by my trainers and my health care providers, the armchair experts on the home front were wary of all my exercise. They were concerned and confused, even, as to why I would spend money on going to a studio to work out. "Have a baby! Carry that around all day, that'll give you muscles!" Yes. Someone actually said that to me. Someone who should have known better, as my recurrent (by that stage) miscarriages were not unknown to them.

Little by little, my weight crept up. The more I eased off the training, terrified as I edged towards the age of thirty that my fertility might also begin to decline if one of these babies wouldn't stay to satiate my mono-focused need to have a child, the more I justified my "eat treats" with a sense of self-punishing self-nurture. Both. At the same time. I deserved to be kind to myself, my internal voice would coo. I also deserved to punish my body, my sabotaging voice would claim equal rights. Both trains of thought ended in the bowl of ice cream or the bag of chocolate bullets.

Once Steve and I had done our two rounds of IVF in 2005 my body was so bruised from the 2004 birth and death of Ellanor and then the further two miscarriages the same year that, by rights, I should never have been ready or able to carry the LGBB to full term in 2006.

But I did. And I added 31 kilo's to my already solid frame in the process.

I really, and I mean really, paid my body in what I thought was kind. Food=Comfort=Nurture to me. For so very long. Like so many people.

So then I found myself with the baby we had yearned for (and lost) on so many occasions. But I was consumed by my sense of duty to my new role as Mother that all care and concern for my fitness - if not my health - went sailing out the window. Most devastating of all to me was the deeply distressing fact that I was so disgusted with the sight of myself in photos or video that I have scarce little photos of myself with my only surviving daughter. I was too ashamed that I now appeared so much huger than I felt.

And somewhere along the line these past five years, it just became the norm. The huge flab of skin on my tummy that looked like a second "rear end" out front.... the arms that tone so naturally quickly, all the definition in my waist that I worked so hard to get. All of it, so far gone that it felt like another person's body I just had on loan for a while there in my twenties.

When we moved to our new home in 2007, Lolly was almost two. I determined to walk all the streets of our charming new community, so rich was it in opportunities to really huff and puff and get fit and see some cracking scenery while I was at it. But I've never done anything of the sort. Sure, I have justified my inaction with plenty of seated work. I have finished writing a book (amongst many other computer-related projects), for gawd's sake. You can't do that standing. But, see, there was no balance. And definitely no accountability.

Now, my day generally begins with a 6am start and the dog is raring to go before I can grab my cap off the hall stand hook. I adore the old familiar surge that courses through my entire body. Without any of the toxins that I was ingesting the night before, my body can quite easily rise at this time and get me where I need to go. I can walk and par-jog 5km's these days, up some mountain goat-like hills and back down some equally mean ones in the space of that one precious hour before heading home to greet my five year-old for the day.

I have come to realise that my mind was holding me back. My self-reward/self-punishment cycle had to stop. My body has actually done me so proud. Always. It responds scientifically, if only I would get out of my own way and just fuel it correctly. In the first month of this 12-Week Body Transformation, already I have seen the visible evidence that I was not too far gone to even bother trying after all. I am a self-starter, just like I always thought I was. I can do this. And I must. For I have kept myself out of too many photos with (and now for) my baby for too long. Heck, I'm not even so afraid to vlog any more because I'm making peace slowly with my appearance (compare the latest one to the first deer-in-headlights one I did a few short months ago!).

From now on, my accountability to myself is going to remain front and centre. It isn't enough that everything in Michelle Bridges' 12wbt program is pretty much all familiar to me. It matters not one tiny skerrick if I don't apply it. That was what I was missing. Hmmm... pretty crucial point!

I have welcomed myself to my New Life proper now. With the invaluable assistance of the thinking largely being done for me, the final layers of my healing are being shed so willingly. I find I have no emotional ties to what I've been holding onto.

If you are looking for something to catch you out on all your fall-back methods of justification - the things that keep you caught in your own cycle of self-destruction disguised as self-soothing or similar - this program will blow you out of the water if you are truly ready to let it all go and give over to the responsible, accountable way you could be living your life.

And if you hadn't already gathered, I can't recommend the Michelle Bridges 12WBT program strongly enough! She had me at Pre-Season Week 1 and it's been a cathartic journey ever since. So give it a go. I'd love to hear from you if you decide to.

Vlog: The Party Trick edition

I haven't the words for my own stupidity. So I will just tell you in the words of my child, "Funny Mr. Funny." Or she may perhaps have said Farty. I can never tell with her. But she's always calling me Mr. something or other.


Anywho, all this is just me procrastinating. See, I'm in two minds about showing you this vlog. After you see it, you will surely see that I am a lunatic. I'm not sure if I'm ready to let the remaining two of you who don't already know and are still reading this blog that.... I am. Almost certifiably so.

Ack. Let's get on with it, shall we? And make sure you watch right til the end for a special guest appearance.

Dear god... here we go....

Monday, October 3, 2011

DPCon2012 is GO for launch!

The website went live this morning and they're probably not going to last very long.

To say I am excited about next year's Digital Parents conference is putting it mildly. Aside from being absolutely thrilled to the back teeth to be involved in the organising - meet the Team here who is working hard to bring you a brand shiny new sparkling bloggers' event - here's my list of SQUEEEE's* so far:

• It's in my home town, Melbourne
C'mon, need I say more than that?!? My beloved city had better be kind with the weather on Friday March 30th, 2012, though, or else...

• There's going to be a trade Expo this time
Whaaat! I am really looking forward to this one - what's not to love about a collection of exhibitors all coming to see you?! It's like window shopping made easy. Huzzah! Not to mention the opportunity to put your face in front of so many brands. What a great chance to get a feel for how your blog can earn for you, if that's your bag (and particularly if you are new to blogging - fantastic introduction, I should imagine).

• The accommodation... the location! Stunning
I think Brenda outdid herself this time. No, I really do. I mean, what's NOT to love?! Have you seen the Sebel Albert Park? I'm hoping Mr Steve and I can get a sitter and make a weekend of it in our pretty city. Dreamy, hopeful sigh.

• I'm your Volunteer Coordinator!
Now, I've gotta say, I love this. I'm sure anyone who volunteers will feel glad and proud to be a part of this huge (and growing) community. Wanna come help? I am going to start a thread soon on the DP forum asking for volunteers to express interest. Thank you in advance if you're planning to! (I'll have a list of things I need hands and bods for - more info TBA soon, so keep your eye on the boards at DP)

• The badges. Are. Awesome.
That is all. Go get one! I'll wait....

• More bang for your conference dollah
There's a gala dinner included in the ticket price and a two-stream program with panel sessions, keynote presentations and discussions aplenty. Oh, and a chillout room which I have to say, is sounding pretty groovy already. We'll be spoiled for choice with what to do on the day!

• Meeting the rest of the people I ran out of time and/or confidence to meet at the ABC in Sydney
Yes, that probably includes you. And you too. Oh, I AM sorry! And if I had a dollar for every time someone said to me afterwards, "OH! Sunny Side Up is YOU?! I've chatted to you on Twitter for so long, I never realised!"...  I do deeply hope I am on my game enough to remember to meet/chat to you this time.

So, come! Sign up! You KNOW you don't want to miss it. It's going to be purely magical, I can tell already.

Got more questions?

*Okay, so more accurately, instead of a "squeeee" - because, in reality, I really don't make that sound when I am so excited that words fail me -  I will have to use my fallback expression of delirium. It is, quite simply, that sound of struggling to find the best word and can be illustrated by falling onto one's keyboard and then attempting to sound out all the letters, really fast. Like this:


Just don't ask me to repeat it when I see you at the Digital Parents conference, mmkay? I still have some public dignity.

Related posts:   Tina  Where's My Glow?

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