31 May 2008

Is this a possum which I see before me, the tail toward my car?

New mothers often wonder why babies cry so much, and can't sleep for long stretches without requiring their parents' input.

I don't wonder anymore. I know why.

Babies require regular input because mothers must not be allowed to sleep for long periods of time. Certainly they must never be allowed to sleep and sleep until they have enough and are fully rested. And this is why:

If a mother allowed her body to sleep until it woke up of its own accord, she would starve to death.


And now on to something completely different.

I was driving the kids home late last night and I saw something interesting.

You don't often see possums in town, but they are around. I thought the kids would love to see their first possum.

I noticed it sitting in a front yard of a quiet street as I zoomed along so I stomped on the brake and backed the car up. It was worth it, I thought, to see the possum.

Sonny Ma-Jiminy wriggled out of his seat so he could get a better look. I started talking about possums.

It was then that I realised it was a domestic cat.

I stopped mid-possum-sentence, muttered, 'Nevermind,' and drove off.


30 May 2008

The first thing I did this morning ...

... after getting to work, was to superglue my fingers to a plastic dinosaur. It was then that I knew today wasn't going to be one of my best.

29 May 2008

Blog Template and Banana

You can always tell you preferred your old blog template when you come back to it and feel a huge wave of relief flood over you. 'Ah yes', you think. 'I'm home.' Original Blog Template, how I have missed you.

Now I know you've been wondering, so I'll tell you why there was half a banana in my driveway for a few hours today. It's not important or funny, it's really very simple.

A few days ago, I had a banana and two crotchety kids in the car with me. I half-peeled the banana and gave some to the kids, who were happy again. And you can guess what happened to the rest of it: I forgot about it.

Each time I've got into the car since Monday, the ever-increasing power of the sweet banana smell has smacked me in the brain and each time I've thought absently, "When I get back home, I'll have to deal with that."

But each time I've returned home, I've dealt instead with questions like the following:

  • Which child will need to be got out of the car first to result in the least amount of frustrated crying?
  • How many bags do I have to take upstairs straightaway (e.g., shopping bags with refrigerator items)?
  • Taking into account Smoochy Girl in my left arm, which bags will I carry on each arm to be balanced enough not to fall on my face halfway up the stairs?
  • Are there any dirty nappies or pants in the car that will need to be soaked immediately so they don't stink out the car (worse than the banana)?
  • Where will I put Smoochy Girl while I do that?
  • How many days is it since I used a brush on my hair?
  • What's for dinner ...?
Etcetera, etcetera. The poor banana didn't feature into my thinking.

But the aromatic banana became unbearable today, just as I was racing to buy a dryer before I had to pick up Sonny Ma-Jiminy from kindy and the rain finally came, stuffing up my precise management of the family's Giant Revolving Door Of Laundry irreparably.

I didn't have time to deal with a half-eaten three-day-old banana. Who has that sort of time?

So I did what all you right-thinking people would do. I opened the car door and put it on the driveway right outside my door so I'd remember it when I got back. Common sense really.

There's no punchline here. I know you're all expecting me to have come home, opened the car door and stood right in it, but it wasn't one of those days. I'm just explaining why it was there.

Cos I know you were all wondering.

28 May 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Watch Me Jump!

27 May 2008

Dog Minus Tail, Plus Beard

I like beards on nobody except dogs. Here is a neighbour's dog with a great beard. I call him "Dean The Wonderdog."
He's great. This is because Puppity Doggity likes him. After a stressful few months when Puppity Doggity bit a few strangers' dogs and we came to the awful realisation that we had a 'problem dog', it's great to see her getting on well with another furry, licky, waggy (sort-of) friend.

She is still hyper-submissive to big dogs, hyper-aggressive to small dogs, and hyper-stupid with human visitors, but it's great to see her play nicely with Dean and continue to be a perfect pet with Sonny Ma-Jiminy and Smoochy Girl.

Still, she's bitten three unfamilar dogs now and therefore I'll never be able to fully trust her with any dog or even my kids.

But for the moment, she's playing nicely with Dean.

She must be a Beard Gal.

26 May 2008

Caught Short

Time has been flying. Flying faster than the 'yuck bits' evicted from Sonny Ma-Jiminy's bananas and green apples. Faster than utensils thrown from Smoochy Girl's highchair, followed by her tiny voice proclaiming, 'uh-ohhh!' Time has been flying fast.

And it is because of this that I found myself in an embarrassing quandary at 1:30 this morning.

Acting on some of my Advice To Self from last week's horoscope-bible-me series, I spent Sunday afternoon until Monday afternoon at my Mum & Dad's place. Nothing went according to plan but as usual, it was great to be there.

Sonny Ma-Jiminy had woken with a Surprise Dirty Nighttime Nappy at 1:30am which was unusual. When I was a brand-new first-time Mum, I learned that the worst part of being terribly short-sighted is changing dirty nighttime nappies. Without contact lenses, you have to get extremely close to the -err- project to do a good cleanup job. And of course, 'extremely close' is the least desirable place to be. But I digress.

After dealing with the nappy through a thick myopic haze and the grogginess of being two-thirds asleep, I stood for a while in my sister's old bedroom and became increasingly aware that due to the rapid progress of time over the last 28 days, I was in fact being treated to a regularly-scheduled visit from 'Aunt Flo' despite my estimation that she was not due for another fortnight.


Of course I had not packed anything one usually requires when dealing with visits from this particularly cantankerous relative, and I believed (erroneously, as it turns out) that there was nothing in my parents' house that could assist me in my hour of need.

I had nothing. Just clothes, toothbrushes, a mobile phone, and my samurai sudoku.

And a pack of Smoochy Girl's super-absorbant nappies.

I ask you: what would YOU do?

Five Star Friday

25 May 2008


Smoochy Girl: Mum's looking good!

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: Yeah, plenty of energy.

Smoochy Girl: I guess it's time we did something about that.

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: Okay, what did you have in mind?

Smoochy Girl: I was thinking we could keep her up really late at night and then wake her up early in the morning.

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: Good idea. And we could do Tag-Team Tantrrums the next day.

Smoochy Girl: You're a Thinker. Okay, how will we do this? I could do the early shift. Waking every hour from bedtime until 1:00am.

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: Great! And I can wake up really early in the morning. I'm sure I will have a Nappy Buster or something.

Smoochy Girl: Nice. You got a plan for after you wake up?

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: Oh, the usual noise in my room, then asking Mummy silly questions and I might follow it up by getting into the fridge and helping myself to that watermelon in there. Big mess, that sort of thing.

Smoochy Girl: Cool. It's a plan. You ready for Tag-Team Tantrums tomorrow?

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: Sure! Okay, I'm off to sleep.

Smoochy Girl: And I'm off to sleep-wake-sleep-wake-sleep-wake-sleep.

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: Enjoy!

Smoochy Girl: Cheers!

24 May 2008

Two Fat Ladies, 88.

Bingo! I won an auction for a Bingo Set on eBay. Look at it. Who wouldn't want one of these?
Number 4, Knock at your Door.

On camp this year (the camp that Hubs will NOT be bringing bed bugs back from) they plan to have a Nanna Night for one of their themed dinners. The plan is for 120 kids and their leaders to dress as Nannas (Grandmothers) in old Nanna-ish clothes and blue permed wigs and play Bingo.

53, Stuck in a Tree.

Hence the purchase of balls, markers, cards and an eight inch metal rotary cage with automatic random ball selector.

31, Get Up and Run.

There is only one fly in the ointment. I'm pretty peeved about this.

42, Winnie the Pooh.

I forgot to say something important, and now I've missed my chance, I don't see that I'll get another chance for quite a while. Forever, maybe. After all, how often does one BUY a bingo set in an online auction?

17, Dancing Queen.

When I won the auction, paying all of the starting price of AU$9.99 plus $15 postage...

58, Make Them Wait.

... I forgot to jump up, punch the air, and say ...

37, A Flea in Heaven.



23 May 2008

The Horoscope, The Bible, And Me - Friday

This is the last of my Horoscope-Bible-Me series. And so here we go again.

Advice for Goats: Overcoming emotional fears can be extra hard work today, but you will be rewarded if you are up for the challenge. A close friend or lover could be the source of the problem, though you might not be able to truly understand what's going on. Your reluctance to change can make the situation even more challenging. Practice being flexible and watch the resistance and turmoil recede into the background. By Rick Levine Friday, May 23, 2008

Advice for God's People: Job 37:14-18
"Listen to this, Job;
stop and consider God's wonders.
Do you know how God controls the clouds
and makes his lightning flash?
Do you know how the clouds hang poised,
those wonders of him who is perfect in knowledge?
You who swelter in your clothes
when the land lies hushed under the south wind,
can you join him in spreading out the skies,
hard as a mirror of cast bronze?"

This Was Friday: Another great day packed full of my own kiddies in the morning, back-to-back speech therapy kiddies from mid-morning until night time, and then my own kiddies again until they dropped from exhaustion. After that I did a few hours of solid work and got Hubs to help me, because things were getting out of control around here. I want to head off for a blissful country drive to descend on poor hapless relatives with my two children and a giant washing basket after church on Sunday, and I needed to start getting the house out of Ransack Chic and into Just-Plain-Untidy.

Today's horoscope was again way off-track for me, but I was able to take one bit away with me: 'Practice being flexible and watch the resistance and turmoil recede into the background.' Like most of the horoscope information I've read over the last week, this was quite general and as such could be applicable for people from various 'star signs' over various times in their lives.

The Bible reading today came from http://www.dailybible.com/ again. I loved the imagery of nature and the reminder that God controls all that. I think that the readings over the last few days show that God has been reminding me to let go of concerns and just get back to spending time with Him.

I often find it helpful in life to keep a picture of the Judgment Day in the back of my mind (don't freak out - come with me here!) There are so many things we hold dearly to our hearts. So many things that make us believe that we're 'doing okay' or 'being a good Mum/wife/Christian' but we need to remember that most of those things won't get us anywhere with the God who both controls the clouds and the lightning, and who wants nothing more than for us to be in a good relationship with Him.

So in this spirit, here are some of my recent thoughts regarding what GOD WILL NOT SAY when seeing me approach Him when it's all been said and done for me here on Earth.

Well done, good and faithful servant! You kept your house looking like a display home and you never left any creased clothes in your ironing basket! Come and enter my rest! [Sometimes, I get a little theatrical when imagining how God might speak.]

Welcome, my child! You were on the CORRECT side of the debate on every Federal, State and Local election held, the US Presidential election, abortion, homosexuality, women bishops and the heated discussions regarding which actor made the best James Bond. Your correctness rating has earned you a place in my eternal home!

Enter, O Faithful One. You parented your kids properly, unlike those sinners down the road. You followed the parenting paperbacks from Koorong meticulously, and therefore you may enter. Behold your reward!

There are more. But it's late and you're bored with my impersonations of God so that will do for the moment. Suffice it to say that it's profound when you realise that in God's opinion of faith vs. works, many things we think earn us 'points' will come to nothing when we stand before God that day. What will be important? Well, that's a very interesting question ...

Thanks for travelling with me this week. It's been interesting. It was hard to be unbiased because my background has been a Bible-reading, horoscope-ignoring one, but I hope you all understood that from my absurdly long explanation in my first Horoscope-Bible-Me a week ago.

Although horoscopes appear to contain elements of truth or pieces of vaguely helpful advice, I've seen over the last week they've been so hit-and-miss with regard to my actual personal circumstances.

Bible reading on the other hand can offer you numerous passages on various topics and you're sure to find something to help in your daily life. It also has the benefit of the wisdom and guidance of a loving Creator behind it all, and reading the Bible brings you closer to Him (which feels like wrapping your soul up in a warm woolly blanket, drinking hot chocolate and settling in for a long, comfy chat.) That's another reason why I'll continue doing it all my life.

The poor horoscope however will be deleted from my i-Google homepage to make space for an animated green frog that chases my mouse pointer and eats the flies I give it.

22 May 2008

The Horoscope, The Bible, And Me - Thursday

Did you SEE the news yesterday? "Pregnant man due in weeks, still mows lawn." There is one thing that's amazing about this story, and it's not that a pregnant man exists.

The thing I find the most amazing is that this is reported across the world:
"Just six weeks before he's due to give birth, the world's first pregnant man Thomas Beatie has been photographed mowing the lawn – complete with baby bump and beard."
... but this, to my knowledge, doesn't make the news:
"Two days past her due date, a heavily-pregnant mother in Australia has been spotted shopping with a trolley full of groceries and three active and energetic children in tow. The Supermum was observed to complete her whole supermarket experience despite four tantrums: two from the children, one from a disapproving elderly onlooker and one from herself. Asked why she chose the controversial and dangerous option of shopping with the children while heavily pregnant, she replied that it was either that, or the whole family ate grass for dinner."
Nor does this make the news:
"At nine weeks pregnant with her first child, a 24 year old British woman has been photographed while working full-time teaching a classroom of twenty-two challenging preschool students with a vomit bucket in her hand. She is still in her first trimester and has attempted to keep the happy news from friends, family and co-workers by explaining that her vomit bucket and crushing exhaustion are in fact results of a VERY big weekend. A source close to the woman reported today that her credibility is tenuous."
But mowing the lawn at 34 weeks? That's what we call getting some gentle exercise in peace and solitude.

And now on to today's Horoscope-Bible-Me.

Advice for Goats: An authority figure may be giving you a real headache now. Maybe other people are having trouble with your attempts to control them. Either way, you can feel the constraint as you try to express yourself spontaneously. Remember, it's not an all-or-nothing proposition. Even if you aren't happy about it, tempering your urges can help you attain your goals in the long run.
By Rick Levine Thursday, May 22, 2008

Advice for God's People: I got thinking about hard work. Not just the hard work that comes with being a parent (the daily stuff like pregnant men mowing their lawns), but also the hard work of paid employment, the hard work of volunteer work, and the hard work involved in labours of love (like my Mum coming down to help me with my own hard work!) Here are three verses about hard work:

Proverbs 14:23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Acts 20:35
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

Revelation 2:2a
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance.

Real Life On Thursday: This is not a direct quote of a real conversation, but is a sort of average of many recent conversations that tend to take place in the later afternoon.

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: Mum!
Me: Yes, Sonny?
Me: YES?

[An authority figure may be giving you a real headache now.]

Me: Sweet heart, stop saying 'Mummy' and tell me what you need to tell me!
SMJ: Can I please have a carrot?
Me: No Sonny, it's past 3:30. That's past the Food Curfew. We can't eat anything until dinner now.
Me: Look at the clock. When the big hand was pointing down, it was the Food Curfew. Now it's past ...
SMJ: NOT THE FOOD CURFEW!!! (huge tantrum)

[Maybe other people are having trouble with your attempts to control them. ]

Me: It is past ...
SMJ: Waaahhh!
Me: The rule is ...
Me: In our family we ...

[Either way, you can feel the constraint as you try to express yourself spontaneously. ]

Me: No carrots. Look, I can't stop you screaming, but I can stop you making the noise in my kitchen. Out you go. (Picks SMJ up and puts him in his room.)

[Remember, it's not an all-or-nothing proposition.]

Me, muttering under my breath: Stupid horoscope. It is an all-or-nothing proposition. No carrots at 4pm.

[Even if you aren't happy about it...]

Me: (didn't do anything I'd regret)

[...tempering your urges...]

SMJ (emerging from bedroom): Sowwy Mummy. Can I play on my big bike?

[... can help you attain your goals in the long run.]

Me: Of course you can, sweetheart.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I take my metaphorical hat off to people who are buried in lots of hard work. Of course there's those of us who call out to the world from under a pile of dirty laundry and stuffed animals, but also my friends and family who are busy at paid jobs working such long hours for their employers and for their own families. It can be so exhausting and sometimes it's quite thankless too.

We have many volunteers in our city who donate their time and services (lots of both!) to help those who are not as fortunate as most of us. Our church runs a street-level ministry like this - it's great! The volunteers work so hard and give so much of their time, effort and friendship to people who drop in.

And lastly, the labours of love. My Mum visits me and Crazy Sister often, helping us by looking after our kids and doing little jobs around the house. Every time she leaves, we keep finding little things she's done for us. The microwave is clean. A pile of clothes was folded. Some shirts were ironed. The bath is clean. A previously filthy window has been cleaned. And we're so very thankful for the hard work she's put in for us. THANKS MUM!

Well done, all you who put in a lot of hard work to keep the earth turning. Well, of course, God does that, but thanks for keeping our own little worlds working smoothly. Your hard work brings a profit, and there's heaps of blessing in giving, rather than always receiving.

21 May 2008

The Horoscope, The Bible, And Me - Wednesday

Today's horoscope was a big "what-on-earth?" moment for me, so I'll have to post the quote of the day as well, because I thought it was much more worthy.

Advice for Goats: Your current emphasis isn't on the outer world of people, places and things. There's a lot happening within the invisible boundaries of your own mind. It could, however, be very challenging, for you may be afraid to indulge your own fantasies. Don't let old fears stand in the way of your present happiness. By Rick Levine Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Quote of the Day: If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead. - Johnny Carson

Advice for God's People: I took some of the verses from the Bible In A Year readings at Scripture Union UK's Daily Bread site.

1 Corinthians 13:11-12 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Wednesday As It Was: 'Now I know in part; then I shall know fully'. I wonder how I will look back on these years. I will probably picture a fuzzy-headed woman with her head in a cloud of child-related activities and problems, too pre-occupied with "Am I doing everything properly?" to smell the metaphorical roses.

I always thought that these precious non-working years would be filled with exciting car trips to both Grandmas & Grandpas (both living one blissful country-driving hour away) and also to Aunty Crazy-Sister & family (3.5 blissful country-driving hours away).

But every time I make a half-plan to make a trip, I pike out because there's ALWAYS laundry to do. And I know from experience that if I don't keep plodding the revolving door of housework, I am in danger of getting so far behind I'll never recover.

I think in the future, I'll regret not making the time to pack some bags, throw a basket of dirty laundry in the car and bundle the kids up for a day or two of crazy fun and some poor hapless relative's place.

I should do it more often.

Horoscope, are you kidding? My current emphasis isn't on the outer world or people/places/things because there isn't an outer world. It doesn't exist. There's just laundry, laundry, laundry. And that's all (see what I mean?) I would contest the concept of there being lot happening within the invisible boundaries of my own mind for similar reasons: I don't have a mind. I've lost it. And indulging my own fantasies? Not letting old fears stand in the way of my present happiness? Hm. Wise words perhaps ... for some other Capricorn!

The quote about Elvis impersonators? I just thought it was funny.

And to finish: "When I was a child, I talked like a child" made me think of these quotes:

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: I like this ice-cream.
Mum: It's called Hoboken Crunch. You can say 'Hoboken Crunch'.
SMJ: I can't.
Mum. Oh. [long pause]
SMJ: Can Daddy say 'Hoboken Crunch'?

Mum on balcony, SMJ down in the front yard. SMJ wanted to go riding his bike with his neighbour and called up to Mum in a flourishing, theatrical voice, something like "Come down here, Dementin! And bring my shoes and socks!" I was taken aback by being called 'Dementin'. Then I realised he was actually calling me 'Gentlemen'. It was nearly as weird.

Mum: SMJ, would you like chicken risotto for lunch or chicken risotto for dinner?
SMJ: Ummm... No thanks.

SMJ: I'm hot, turn the Air-Ditioner on please.
Mum: It is on.
SMJ: Can you please turn it up louder?It's a health food - really! Sonny Ma-Jiminy's creation. Chocolate Spread on Toast - WITH ALMONDS!

20 May 2008

The Horoscope, The Bible, And Me - Tuesday

Thirteen years ago today, I met Hubs. That would be half a lifetime ago, if I was 26, which I'm not.

Advice for Goats: Now, as the Sun enters Gemini, where it will stay for the next four weeks, it shines its light of awareness onto the routine of your daily life. Even if you're a rugged individualist, this is not a time to travel alone. If you are currently in a relationship or if you are motivated to start a new one at this time, just make sure that you don't lose track of your own needs. By Rick Levine Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Advice for God's people: Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

Today for Me: As luck (?) would have it, just as I start a bit of an expose on my life through the windows of a horoscope and a Bible, my life would get dull, boring, lifeless, depressing, lonely and desperate. The jolly horoscope was written for somebody else today - somebody who has the option "not to travel alone" or to not "lose track of their own needs."

Today's verse is a favourite of mine. My Sister-In-Law shared it with me when she and I were both expecting little ones. The last line has always struck me as particularly beautiful: a picture of the Lord gently leading those that have young. That's me. I have young.

I am blessed to have them as I am reminded by friends and bloggers who would dearly love to have 'young' but are unable to have any/any more for various reasons. We Mummy Bloggers are often guilty of sharing how stressful, messy and frustrating it can be to have kids, without realising that if we rise above the poo and the crumbs and the whining and moaning and the completely-being-taken-for-granted-by-everyone-we've-ever-cared-about, we would get a new perspective on it all.

If we rise high enough above it, we get a pretty good view of how things really are. (Oh, I see the crumbs down behind the high-chair now, and is that my hairbrush behind the fridge? I was wondering where that was. I haven't brushed my hair since I lost it last spring.)

No, sorry, that's not what I meant. I meant that if I could rise above the daily domestic horror, I'd see that I have two little beings who love me, who reach out for me to pick them up, who break into a smile when they see my face, who like to sit quietly in my lap, and who are so comfortable with me that really, they can't help being a little bit naughty when I'm around.

Bless them.

And when I worry that nobody could love them and care for them as much as I do, the other verses remind me that the Lord himself carries my lambs in his arms close to his heart. I only hope he is doing that for me too, because I really need it right now. With Sonny and Smoochy there too it'll get squishy in the Lord's arms, but I figure his arms are able to manage us all.

19 May 2008

The Horoscope, The Bible, And Me - Monday

Today's Horoscope-Bible-Me has been all over the place! I've been wondering how to attack an interesting topic that affects so many stay-at-home parents.

Advice for Goats: Even though you know what you want in love, it's still challenging to get your needs met. Remember, Capricorn, there is a big difference between idealist love and the ongoing stress of being in a real relationship. It's easier to enjoy your friends for the next few days. Treat yourself the way you wish a lover would. By Rick Levine Monday, May 19, 2008

Advice for God's People: Having read that, I went to DailyBible.com. I read the passages that are given if you want to get through the Bible in a year, and these passages were the most interesting for me:

Ruth 3:7-10a CEV After Boaz finished eating and drinking and was feeling happy, he went over and fell asleep near the pile of grain. Ruth slipped over quietly. She lifted the cover and lay down near his feet. In the middle of the night, Boaz suddenly woke up and was shocked to see a woman lying at his feet. "Who are you?" he asked. "Sir, I am Ruth," she answered, "and you are the relative who is supposed to take care of me. So spread the edge of your cover over me." Boaz replied: The LORD bless you! This shows how truly loyal you are to your family."

Ruth 3:14 CEV Ruth ... got up before daylight.

Psalm 48:1-3 CEV The LORD God is wonderful! He deserves all praise in the city where he lives. His holy mountain, beautiful and majestic, brings joy to all on earth. Mount Zion, truly sacred, is home for the Great King. God is there to defend it and has proved to be its protector.

This was an interesting day, because the advice in the horoscope was commonsense advice for many of us who stay at home looking after children while our other halves are away. We often are left to put in twice the work with the kids, and lets face it, when there's nobody there whose job it is to love you, affirm you, compliment you and make sure you're okay, it gets desperately lonely.

I guess that if nobody else is there to give you love, affirmation, compliments and care, then you're okay to do it for yourself! (I must say, I'm looking reasonably good today!)

And also, I might just take the advice to enjoy my friends over the next few days.

So today, my horoscope was interesting but I don't think it was just for Capricorns, or just for today. (My quiche was great tonight - tasted really nice!)

I was glad to see some of Ruth's story in today's readings. She's quite an inspiring woman. You can't tell from the bit I picked out to post, but she had a need and instead of sitting back and waiting for things to fall into place, she went and took care of them (and God backed her up)! For her it was setting up a husband for herself (believe it or not) so she and her mother-in-law could be taken care of. For me, it's just -you know- keeping on track and boosting my own self-esteem. That's all. (I've done a great job with the kids the last few days, despite being knocked sideways by a wall of exhaustion. Well Done Me. I got through stressful times with not much outside help too.)

I was interested in the verse about Ruth waking before daylight because Sister, I know what that's like!

And the last verse from the Psalms reading reminded me that my petty problems are not what it's all about. It's not about me. If things aren't travelling well with me, it's okay! God is the important one and praising Him gives me more purpose than being affirmed myself!

18 May 2008

The Horoscope, The Bible, And Me - Sunday

Good morning! It's 8:10am and I'm curious to see what my horoscope and my Bible tell me today.

Today Hubs is speaking at a different church about his work with school chaplaincy - do I go to that church, or my regular church? Our usual church has forgotten I exist because I only attend when I'm teaching sunday school. All other weeks we seem to be going elsewhere talking about chaplaincy.

Advice for Goats: You may be temporarily released from a stressful work situation because your coworkers and superiors suddenly see you as more graceful and charming than before. You are eager to encourage everyone else and now your optimism is reflected back toward you. Don't dally; initiate action that involves groups, for your people skills are now supported by an acute sense of good timing.
By Rick Levine Sunday, May 18, 2008

Advice for God's people: The message at church was about children. They showed this great video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0R6oAJCVvg and spoke about the important role children have in the world. Many great passages were read, but this one made me go "Aaahhh":

Mark 10:13-16 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

What did Today bring? Having to mop the kitchen before 7:00am is never a good sign.

One thing I realised today regarding the horoscope and the Bible was that the horoscope was really easy to come by. Click & drag; copy & paste. Hearing the message at church? I had to work really hard to even be present for it.

I decided to follow Hubs to his speaking engagement at the other church, and the only criterion for success I set for the morning was that I actually heard the message (for once). I rarely hear a message between teaching Sunday School at my own church and chasing my kids during Hubs' speaking engagements.

My best hope of hearing the message was to get the children into the programs that the church provided. Smoochy Girl was easy to take to the nursery, but Sonny Ma-Jiminy chose to stay in church rather than going to the Sunday School. Then it began: 'I want to go to Sunday School ... I don't like this Sunday School ... [Here I was encouraged to sit with him, and I grumpily wondered why my best efforts to HEAR a message usually result in me MISSING the message?] ... I want to go back to church ... I want to go to the nursery with Smoochy Girl ...'

We went back to church but Sonny tried to clamber up into my lap and stop me taking notes during the message, so I decided I could stop the Mummy Manipulation by sitting by myself at the back and leaving Sonny with Hubs. At least Sonny doesn't mess around with him as much as he does with me.

I heard the message, and it encouraged me not to see my daily job as futile. Kids are so important and even though I have ...

  • a large sticky patch on my kitchen floor
  • crumbs everywhere throughout the house
  • a large wet puddle outside the study
  • a bleeding dog (no - that's not an expletive! I have a dog who is in season and dropping spots wherever she goes)
  • terrible-terrible-terrible mess everywhere worthy of a Today Tonight Expose due to bedbug evacuation upstairs and Hubs' idiosyncratic tidying methods downstairs
  • etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!
... I (home-maker, wife, mother, speech pathologist) keep the world running and it's a job worth doing. Today I am encouraged to keep on going.

So now that the Bible has provided a framework in which I can consider child-raising to be my most important form of 'work,' we have a starting point with our horoscope.

Apparently, I may be temporarily released from a stressful situation because my coworkers (Hubs? or the kids?) and superiors (my Mum? or maybe Sonny Ma-Jiminy?) suddenly see me as more graceful and charming than before.

Released from a stressful situation? Thankfully, my visit to the doctor yesterday was a release from the stress of my recent 'weird pain'. But the rest of the Mummy-Stress? Hah! I laugh.

Graceful and charming? Well granted, I didn't swear at church. But I did use the word 'tampon' (in relation to the bleeding dog of course!) I'd love to be considered graceful and charming, but I'm not sure that today was the day for that.

Also as a Capricorn, I should be eager to encourage everyone else (i.e., 'You really can eat it: it's delicious!' 'Oh yes, the poo can go in the toilet!' 'You really don't need to cry: you can be happy!') and now my optimism is reflected back toward me. I'm sorry, but this bit is rubbish. Need I post these pictures again?
My horoscope also told me not to dally (huh!); and to initiate action that involves groups, which I assume means to continue attempting to stagger through my day with Sonny Ma-Jiminy asking me to feed him/play with him/fix his train track/build a tower/watch him jumping on the trampoline/put something on TV for him while Smoochy Girl cries and raises her arms to be picked up. Okay, for the sake of my horoscope experiment, I will do that. Just for something different.

Finally, my horoscope said that my people skills (glad to discover that I HAVE them!) are now supported by an acute sense of good timing. Oooh, goody.

I assume an acute sense of good timing is more than just getting the roast lamb, pumpkin, potatoes, garlic bread and steamed veggies ready at the same time. It might even mean more than giving Sonny a smack as soon as he does something naughty, rather than half an hour later when I realise what naughtiness he's been up to. Or it might mean more than changing Smoochy's dirty nappy before it slips off her oh-so-skinny hips and she crawls out of it, leaving a terrible mess behind her.

I suspect that it means, in the context of today, that if Jesus himself said, 'Let these little kids come to me right now. I'm not too busy to bless them and give them a cuddle,' then now is the time for me to scoop them up into my arms and say, 'I love you, sweetheart. Mummy loves you very much.'

17 May 2008

The Horoscope, The Bible, And Me - Saturday

I'm a Christian. This means that I believe God, not his creation (like stars and planets) looks after me and the rest of the world. When I wonder about future happenings or today's decisions, I look to his book the Bible.

The horoscope, on the other hand, is something I've never even bothered reading. I've never understood how creation could have any power over our lives that could be bigger or better than the power of the creator who made it.

But this week, we'll be looking at my horoscope. Why, you ask. Because I've always wanted to compare the advice it gives with the advice I've needed in real day-to-day life. Is the horoscope on track? If not, I wonder why people continue to read it. Is it so vague it could apply to all people all of the time? Why do people believe such generalisations might apply to them and others in the 1/12 of the population born at the same time in the year? I'm interested to find out!

Each morning this week, I will be reading my horoscope (I wonder if the version I am reading is similar to other astrologists' interpretations?) and each evening I will be updating you with how my day actually turned out.

It doesn't seem sensible to record my horoscope and my day unless I also record what I'm reading in my REAL guidebook each day - The Bible. That makes sense doesn't it? Don't stress, I'm not gonna get all preachy and stuff. I'll just tell you what I read and how it might have applied to me.

And in return, you'll forgive me for being biased, won't you? It doesn't make sense to love God and follow God (which is a whole-hearted sort of thing) if you're going to be all half-hearted about the Bible and become more open to your horoscope. But through it all, I will try to be sensitive to readers who may not share my world-views and who may take horoscopes seriously.

So: what star sign am I? I didn't even know that star signs existed until Grade 6 when a maths book gave us 12 sets of maths problems and instructed us to complete the set that corresponded to our star sign. What's a star sign? I asked. A school friend had to help me. She said I was a Capricorn.

I really wanted to start by describing myself and making you guess: a much more reliable way of determining if it's a true match to my personality than the usual conversation:

Somebody Else: What star sign are you?
Me: To be honest, I don't really remember.
SE: Well what's your birthday?
Me: 12th of January.
SE: Oh, you're a Capricorn. That's the goat. That means you're hard-headed and practical, ambitious, suspicious, resentful, diplomatic, reserved, selfish, orthodox, determined and unscrupulous. Aren't you?
Me (unsure but unable to completely disagree): I guess I am sort-of a bit like that ... sometimes. (Ah, the power of persuasion!)
Which is sort-of uncanny, until you realise you're artistic, fickle, contrary, witty, versatile, and joyous like a Gemini. And balanced, indecisive, detached, fair-minded, and alert like a Libran. And pragmatic, practical, careful, trustworthy and stubborn like a Taurus.

So. Not an exact science then?

Just once I'd like to describe myself, and make people guess. But I have no time for that today: I want to get into this Horoscope-Bible-Me thing.

So here we go. Saturday 17th May 2008.

Advice for Goats: It's hard to fathom the motive of your friends now, for they seem to be playing with an intense flair that is covering their hidden agendas. But perhaps it is your straightforward lifestyle and traditional goals that motivate them to bring out a different side of your personality these days. Instead of attempting to know why they are treating you differently now, focus your attention on what they are trying to tell you. You might just learn something important about yourself.
By Rick Levine Saturday, May 17, 2008.

Advice for God's people: I had been thinking of Psalm 121 all day, and just had to read it when I had a spare minute. This is what it says, from the NIV. Note: The "LORDs" are in capitals because it denotes a different Hebrew word was used; 'Yahweh' I think is denoted by caps, and Adonai is usually translated as "Lord".

Psalm 121 (NIV)
I lift up my eyes to the hills -
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip -
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you -
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm -
he will watch over your life
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

What Did Today Bring? Well here's something about me. I stress about all things medical. I've been a bit worried this week about a weird pain, and I've been lying awake and night worrying my little head off about it. This morning I thought that the stress of finally heading to my lovely doctor (now that I have time to go!) would be much less stressful than worrying all day and all night, so I did. Hubs was out all day, and I really hate dragging two active kids to the doctor's office, so I called my Good Friends to see if they could mind Sonny Ma-Jiminy while I took Smoochy Girl with me.

At short notice, they did. Sonny had a great time, I came back with my mind at rest and free of worry, and then we had coffee and lamingtons before I brought the kids home for a sleep.

Sorry, horoscope. I have to say you were off about my friends. Their motives were flexible, caring and open. Their willingness and availability enabled me to go to the doctor with one less packet of stress in my metaphorical backpack. The way they treated me today is nothing new. Their other-centredness extends to us no matter whether we're kind and happy and on top of the world, or tired, grumpy, and letting fly with words that we really shouldn't. Well, that's really about ME, not HUBS.

The Bible reading was a comfort to me. After years of reading the Bible, I guess I'm used to the feeling of "Aaahhh!" I get when reading it. Sorry horoscope, you don't have the benefit of years of positive associations with me. I admit you've got the handicap there. For me, reading the Bible feels like dropping into a favourite armchair ("Aaahhh!"), or slipping into a beautiful cool swimming pool ("Aaahhh!"), or taking a breath of fresh air after being in a stuffy room ("Aaahhh!")

When I read Psalm 121, my body and mind felt that wave of relief. He could calm my nerves and still my worry, and even if there was something wrong with my body, he would be there with me in the hard times.

It reminded me to pray for strength and courage in the hard times that will come in life, and also for other people who are going through very difficult things. I can't explain. I ache for them and let that prompt me to pray like crazy for healing, for saving and for renewing. And I pray that the Lord will comfort all of us in our hard times.

And also, I hope that we can all HAVE some really great friends ... and BE really great friends for others too!

16 May 2008

Email me to tell me you're alive!

Apologies to my readers who have tried to email me but who have had trouble. I've got a much better email address now: ukulelefly@gmail.com, and yes, that is how you spell ukulele, apparently. It looks wrong, I know, but if I decided to go with 'ukalele' or 'ukelele', the spelling police would be onto me like *that!*

I guess I've assumed that the only readers who would want to email me would be people who already know my address.

As for the rest of you lovely people who check out the craziness at Killing A Fly, well to be honest, I see your IP addresses coming anonymously on my stat counter, but really to tell you a little secret, I don't believe you actually exist! Terribly rude, aren't I? Sorry. It is just for the simple reason that although you might enjoy reading my silly outpourings, you tend to avoid commenting. Of course, this is fine! You may choose to refrain from having your name posted along with my rants and ramblings, and really, I do understand this.

But to be honest, I'd love to hear from you! Who are all you interesting people from Melbourne, Perth, Belfast, Dublin, Belgium, Pennsylvania, New York, Saskatchewan, Montevideo, Iowa, Arizona, Ljubljana and oh so many other interesting and exciting places?

But no pressure. Or whatever.

15 May 2008


I was folding Hubs' Superfly jeans one day when a loud fluttery buzzing noise came from inside them, and out flew this huge dragonfly. It came out and sat on the brand name long enough to indicate its opinion of its own physique.

14 May 2008

Playing Scrabble With Church Signs

Lindsay at Suburban Turmoil posted a picture of a sign outside a church. I loved it, and had to share it with you.

I was nervous when our church installed a similar sign, but was relieved to find that it's always used wisely. Our sign is used to tell the community of our service times and the events we hold, rather than for repeating inane quasi-Christian sayings whose only purpose is to make Christians smile, nod and murmer, 'Mmm, so true,' regardless of whether the saying is actually biblical, or even holds a shred of truth outside the fortress-like confines of their churchy lives.

In general, I'm not a fan of signs outside churches. Too many churches use them to post kitsch little sayings that are too twee, too irrelevant and too guilt-inducing to achieve much more than to make people who are already Christians feel smugly pleased that the dire warnings don't apply to them.

The internet is full of ghastly suggestions like: "What part of 'THOU SHALT NOT' don't you understand?" "If you don't want to reap the fruits of sin stay out of the devil's orchard" and "Try Jesus. If you don't like Him, the devil will always take you back". Gack.

Some of the churches in our town are pretty good at posting these messages. "Dusty Bibles Lead To Dirty Lives," warned one close to home last year.

"Empty Cradle - Empty Christmas" read another, prompting a good friend of mine to call the church and suggest they show more tact with people who are struggling to conceive or who have lost a child.

"God's Grace Gives Us What We Need" was a more acceptable alternative I saw outside a church once. That is, until it was vandalised one night:
Ironically, I think this would probably achieve more in the way of 'outreach' than all their previous messages put together!

13 May 2008

Welcome to The Academy

Hubs has a lovely chocolate brown t-shirt. It's got two electric guitars, the words 'ROCK N ROLL' in tarnished bronze lettering, some random grey print and it's also got, inexplicably, the year '1973' in something sparkly. I think it's really nice.He works for an inter-denominational Christian organisation and he wears this funky shirt to work often. But I never see him wear it by itself. It's always covered up with this collared off-white (currently un-ironed) shirt:

I wondered why he always covers up the cool brown one. I asked him one day. He replied, "Because it's got ..." here he pointed to the small print in the design, "... I didn't realise when I bought it, but look: 'Academy Of Sin'."
Yeah. Probably not the best for work.

Halt the 60-day Countup!

We think we've got bed-bug spots on the bed sheets. We think we've been bitten. We're thinking of burning the house down.

12 May 2008

Smoochy Girl's Pinup Boy

Smoochy Girl, like Sonny Ma-Jiminy before her, eats a lot. I mean, she eats a REAL LOT. On one hand, it's good not having to worry about getting food into her, but after a while I tend to wonder if there's some sort of problem. Why does she eat so much? Isn't the food touching the sides as it goes through her?

At this stage, there doesn't seem to be a problem. She's just a big eater. And like her brother, she is a tiny little pocket rocket with thin arms and legs and a huge head, and after meals she also has a gigantic swollen tummy threatening to spill its contents everywhere.

Breakfast is one of those meals when my kids eat like teenagers. The only breakfast cereal that I like them eating in such huge quantities and doesn't break the bank is the traditional Aussie favourite: Weet-Bix. It's relatively healthy, fairly cheap and which Aussie kid doesn't remember being excited about the Weet-Bix collector cards in the box?

Sonny Ma-Jiminy eats three Weet-Bixes which must be arranged in a pyramidal structure lying in a bed of muesli or he has a tantrum.

Smoochy Girl eats two Weet-Bixes which is still more than most Australian adults can chow down in a sitting. And I think that's a bit excessive. However when I call a halt after the two are eaten, she has a Sonny Ma-Jiminy-like tantrum and demands more, even if her tummy is swollen and huge and she starts crawling around the floor puking up bits of Weet-Bix and milk. She just loves to eat.

Currently, Sanatarium must have some sponsorship deal with the Australian cricket team. The current collectors cards feature the team members with some vital statistics that may or may not determine their inclusion or otherwise into the Australian squad. These crucial stats include the number of tests and One-Day Internationals played, wickets taken, sixes scored and catches taken. And of course, the clincher: How many Weet-Bixes each player eats for breakfast.

I notice from our recent haul of cards that Mark Waugh and Michael Bevan, both long-term players who are classed as "Legends" on the cards, eat four and five Weet-Bixes respectively. Good show.

Chris Rogers, a new inclusion into the Australian side, is sucking up to the selectors and evidently the sponsors by claiming to eat 9 Weet-Bixes. A huge effort.

But the player who has caught our attention is Brad Hogg. 37 years old, 1.83 metres tall, 117 tests/ODIs played, 153 wickets taken, five 'sixes' (big-scoring hits), 34 catches taken and, dum-da-dumm ...

Only Two Weet-Bixes For Breakfast!

That seems downright un-Australian.

But it's been helpful for me. I've stuck this collectors card up beside Smoochy Girl's high-chair and we now refer to it at the end of each breakfast time.

"Now Smoochy, look at Brad. He has two Weet-Bixes and then he stops. You can do that too. You've had two Weet-Bixes, and now you can stop too, just like Brad."

Every mealtime now she points to the card and says "Ba!" in between each mouthful.

And this is why at twelve months of age, along with 'Mum', 'Dad' and the names of her brother and the family dog, Smoochy Girl has the name 'Brad' in her vocabulary.

Twelve Steps

I remember on an episode of The Nanny once that as Fran Fine was planning to make some dips for a party, she whined, "Oh no, where will I buy a packet of french onion soup mix at this time of night?" Niles rolled his eyes and the audience laughed at Fran's deplorable sense of culinary style.

It surprised me because I've always loved french onion dip. Sorry if that's not posh enough for you. I love it. I don't allow myself to have it often but when I do, I eat far too much of it.

I didn't realise I was addicted until one night I was watching my kids playing together in the bath while I held a packet of biscuits between my knees and balanced a container of dip on the tray of the potty.

Yup. Time to stop.

11 May 2008

Mothers Day

This Mothers Day I suffered the usual amount of domestic horror. But I also received a bookmark with dried flower petals on it.
So that was a plus.

There was a highlight, though.

I'd been up early changing a dirty nappy and so had Hubs. I'd bumbled through breakfast time and tried to snatch five minutes with my eyes shut as I was very tired after attending a wedding yesterday. I'd called my own mother, dressed the kids for church, packed a lunchbox and done a hasty last-minute preparation for my Sunday School lesson.

I'd left Hubs at home and dashed to church, staggered in late and put shoes on Sonny Ma-Jiminy as I left Smoochy Girl and the lunchbox in the nursery and dashed madly off to teach my Sunday School lesson. (That was a euphemism for "blather on in a confused state about Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar.")

When I got there, I found out that I was also supposed to lead the first session where my group combines with the younger group for singing and prayers. Blast! I hadn't got my confetti and glue sorted out and I was supposed to sing songs and stuff! The teacher of the other group is a kindergarten teacher and she kindly offered to lead the session for me. Thanksss!

Sonny Ma-Jiminy was at my side. I quietly muttered that I really needed to go to the toilet but I wasn't going to get time to actually go ... grumble grumble grumble ...

As I got the confetti ready I heard Sonny Ma-Jiminy at my side. "Mummy, where's the toilet?" Bother! This was going to be the last straw. I held his arms and looked desperately into his eyes. "Do you really need to go? Are you busting?"

"No," he said.

"Why do you need to know where the toilet is?"

"Cos you need to go."

This made my day. This was the highlight. Thankyou Sonny Ma-Jiminy. Mummy loves you and Smoochy so much.

Too busy to remember

Something happened in our corner of the world this week that has wrenched at my guts since I heard about it. Something I don't want to blog, but something that has occupied my mind so completely that I realise until I type it out, it will eat me alive.

In the town in which I grew up, in a street close to my old house, a baby died. A dear, sweet little baby. Her death could have been avoided and was a result of human error. Dreadful, horrible, glaring human error.

I don't know any of the people involved in this event. I know it only as a news item, but I do know that a hundred kilometres away there is a mother who is going through a hell that is worse than any hell I could possibly imagine.

You see, it was the mother's error that caused the baby's death.

As I understand from news stories and rumours, the mother was supposed to drop the baby at day care and then go to work for the day. I'm not sure if she had older children to take to other places before her own workday started, but I suspect that she might have.

However in the bustle and flurry of those ghastly pre-work hours she forgot one thing. One crucial thing. One thing that will haunt her until the day she dies.

She forgot to drop the baby at day care. Just forgot. The baby must have been fast asleep in the car seat, the mother must have been in a hurry and had a thousand things on her mind, and she must have grabbed her work bag, locked the car and walked away in a bit of a daze.

At the end of the working day she went back to her car and made a discovery that was so absolutely horrible that I can't even begin to type what I imagine she found or how she felt. What she screamed. Who she called. Where she dropped to weep.

This story has affected me to deeply, so profoundly that I have been thinking of her for days. I think also of the baby and what she must have suffered. But I think mostly of the mother and the unspeakable horror her life has become. If only I could turn back the clock. A few days ago her life was okay. Now it has changed and will never ever be the same.

You see, it affects me so deeply because I too get distracted. I forget things. I juggle so many mental balls that some do drop to the ground and the rest of them represent tasks that are half-done or poorly done. Or friends who are required to be satisfied with a compromise because the life of a mother is just so difficult, frantic and overloaded.

I am encouraged because although I do get distracted and forget things, my children are usually in the forefront of my mind. I don't leave them waiting in the car, no matter how inconvenient it might be. You never know when you might get 'caught up'.

I often forget to hang a load of washing out because my mind is occupied with Sonny Ma-Jiminy and Smoochy Girl's whereabouts, current activity, and the state of cleanliness of their hindquarters.

That's okay. The washing can be forgotten for the sake of my two little kids.

But the other way around is not okay. If the washing caused me to forget to check that they are close by and safe, it could be very dangerous. Please God never let it happen. Please bring to my mind all the things I need to remember. Please.

I have heard a very few people speak slightingly of the mother, wondering how she could not know she'd forgotten the day-care run and left the baby in the car. But these comments have solely been from demographics that have never known the sheer overwhelmed-ness of a mother who has to feed, clothe, and keep happy a husband and one or more children. Perhaps look after a pet. Keep a home liveable. Somehow still manage to work outside the home or do volunteer work to make someone's life better or work on a home improvement project ... [the list goes on].

Overall, the comments I have heard from other Mums have been about how shocking this is, and how they can totally relate to being so busy and over-stressed that they forget things. Big things, embarrassing things, little things, silly things.

For me, life goes on. Admittedly, I am quite shocked at what happened this week and I am a little scared because I have seen my own memory fail me in lesser situations.

But for the mother who lost her baby this week, I ache. She lost a precious baby. It was her fault and I suspect she will never forgive herself. She has to stand in front of her family and friends and ask forgiveness. She will probably have to live through a lengthy investigation. And today she woke to another Mothers Day. I pray for her, that she might have the strength to go on.

If you are a praying person, please join with me in praying for her. If you don't pray, please spare a thought for her. I will pray also that God will prompt me to remember everything I need to remember, particularly when it comes to my kids. Let's all remember to keep our little ones close and safe, let's never be too busy to remember them.

Then after that I'll ask God if I may stop obsessing about this terrible thing. My heart cannot bear the heaviness.

09 May 2008

Thanks, Blogtations!

Thankyou Blogtations for liking my quote enough to feature it, let alone name it a runner-up in your Mother's Day quote competition.

Motherhood has changed me. Before I became a mother, I was the sort of person who would cautiously nibble the toes off a gingerbread man first. Now that I'm a mother, the first thing I do is maul the head off. I like to hear it crack.
Be afraid, gingerbread men, be afraid.

Here are some recent pieces of advice from Blogtations that have brightened my life.
If you use the end of your retractable pen to scratch the itch between your boobs, make sure that it is indeed retracted. - Schmutzie's Milk Money
or Not, Here I Come

If you put your bake potato lunch down on your chair while you clean some space on your desk for it, what ever you do, don't sit down. - Invading Holland
But of course these are only a few of the great quotes from blogs that you can find on Blogtations. Head over and have a read!

Some Cool Cousins

To celebrate this being my 100th blog post, I thought I'd tell you about two of Sonny Ma-Jiminy's and Smoochy Girl's cousins.

I must hasten to add they have fourteen other cousins, each of which is totally cool in their own right. But I have only sought parental consent to chat about these two, so here we go.

My Crazy Sister has two lovely kids. Kindy Kid Cousin (4) says the deadset funniest things I've ever heard come out of any kid's mouth with the possible exception of his own mother. Cukky-Dargles (2) gets her pseudonym from her pronunciation of 'crocodiles' in which she is very interested and of which she is terrified.

I took this picture of Cukky-Dargles playing on the lawn last Christmas. It was meant to be about her. It wasn't until I reviewed my photos at the end of the day that I realised that it's really about the gnome. The gnome and his facial expression.
Her big brother, Kindy Kid Cousin, is thinking ahead.

KKC: Mum, if Daddy broke both of his arms and you broke both of your arms and Cukky-Dargles broke both of her arms and I broke both of my arms, what would happen?"

My Crazy Sister (laughing): Well, you're the one making up this story. What do you think would happen?

KKC: Well, I would dial Zero-Zero-Zero by using my toes.

* 000 is the telephone number for Emergency Services in Australia.

08 May 2008

Givinya De Answers - Far-Fetched Famous Five

Apologies for the great delay in getting to the questions you've been sending me for Givinya De Answers. What will I call this segment, I wonder, if I change my pseudonym?

Dear Givinya,

In our childhood, we read lots of Famous Five books. What's the most far-fetched part of the Famous Five? Cause I'm thinking that it might be the idea of ten year olds eating tinned tongue. As if. Kindy Kid Cousin won't even try rice - EVER - because he thinks it's made from MICE.

Crazy Sister.
Dear Crazy Sister,

I think you've got a good contender there. Them Famous Five were pretty easy to parody because most of it was so far-fetched.

I remember that it was pretty unreal, and therein lay the appeal for me. Love a good fairy tale. I always thought that it was amazing the Five were allowed such freedom to go off on their own despite the fact they encountered life-threatening ordeals every other time they went off on their own. The reason given was usually that with Timmy by their side, nothing bad could ever happen.

I'll leave you with a bit from my own parody which I baulked at actually publishing in this blog last November because it was so ... silly. Enjoy. Or otherwise.

[George] heaved her shopping bags onto the table, saying, "Now Wally, Molly, Billy, Jilly, Mickey, Ricki, go upstairs and play quietly. Uncle Dick and Aunt Anne will be here any minute for lunch, so I'll pack you a picnic basket and you can go off by yourselves for the day. You'll like that, I expect."

The children cheered. Billy said, "Smashing, Grandmother! Do you hear that, the rest of you? The Surreptitious Six can be together again! I wonder if we'll have an adventure?" The Six cheered, and jumped with excitement.

"Oh, no adventures, please!" said George. "I simply cannot bear it when you Six are in danger!"

"Oh, please, Grandmother!" pleaded Molly. "We'll be very safe. And besides, no harm can come to us when we have Snuffy the Fierce Hamster by our side!"

"Well," said George, not at all comfortable with the idea of the children going off with the famous Notting Hill Garrotter on the loose, "All right. But you must promise to keep Snuffy by your side at all times."

"We promise!" said the Six, joyfully. "Hurrah! We’re off for an adventure!"

07 May 2008

Time for a new pseudonym

I think I'm going to need a new pseudonym. Givinya De Elba just isn't doing it for me.

It was a pseudonym I came up with in highschool and was based on a joke from an episode of Dad's Army called 'A Soldier's Farewell.'

In the episode, after eating too much toasted cheese, Captain Mainwaring dreams he is Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. I don't remember much about the episode other than Mainwaring telling his loyal men (Jones, Pike and Godfrey) that he has been exiled to the island of Elba. Jones quips, "Hence the expression - givin' ya the elber!" (giving you the elbow, i.e., joking around.)

And this seemed to me a good pseudonym. But it's growing old and I'd like something new. I'd love to present you with suggestions and ask for a vote, but as yet, I don't have any suggestions to give! Please, de-lurk and give me some ideas!

It's Very Good Stuff. Really.

You might remember that our sewer pipes broke recently resulting in a patch of pretty foul-smelling water making our front lawn all wet and spongy.

That patch has now been replaced by thick, lush, dark green grass. Check it out!

Nearly makes it worth it.

I could be onto something. Now that I have two children, neither of whom is fully toilet trained, I could be said to deal in the stuff.

06 May 2008

Thin & Crispy

I've told you before that Sonny Ma-Jiminy sucks a sheet.He has since he was very young.These sheets have been well-loved. Well-sucked anyway.The corners have now taken on a stiff quality.
Sonny Ma-Jiminy calls the stiff corners the "crispy bits."Gross.

05 May 2008

Level Four Questions

Our conversations are a mixture of grown-up language, surreal miscommunication and non-sequiturs.

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: Gwam-Mar is putting Smoochy in the bath.

Me: Oh that's great. Grandma's a champion. Smoochy will be clean so she can hop straight in the cot when we get home.

SMJ: Smoochy's crying pretty loud for Gwam-Mar.

Me: Why is that?

SMJ: She's wevvy tired. She's wevvy, wevvy tired.

Me: Oh, poor Smoochy. Well, poor Grandma, really.

SMJ: Why is Smoochy in the bath?

Me: What? To -er- get clean. That's why people usually have -um- baths. Did you forget?!?

SMJ: Why is it a bath?

Me: What?

SMJ: Why is it a bath?

Me: I'm not sure what you're asking. Are you asking why a bath is called a 'bath'?

SMJ: Yeah.

Me: Oooo-kay. I guess it's because that was the word - the name - they gave it. The bath. When they were naming -er- baths.

SMJ: Why?

Me: I'm not sure.

SMJ: Why not?

Me: I don't know the answer to that. Look, are you going to have a bath too before we go home?

SMJ: No.

Me: Hmm. Why is that?

SMJ (mentally searching the archives of "Answers to 'Why Is That?' Questions", and coming up with 'most recent answers'): Because she's wevvy wevvy tired.


Level Four Questions. Can ask them, can't answer them.

04 May 2008

Google Talk - it's the new ... TALK

At the end of a long day, Hubs is often found working on his computer downstairs. I am often found wasting time on my computer upstairs. And we're not shouters.

Therefore, rather than shout to each other, much less WALK down/upstairs if we have something to say, we tend to converse via Google Talk. This suits us. Some of our best conversations are via Google Talk while we sit at different desks, 15 metres apart.

Like this one tonight while I was comfy in the recliner wasting time with my laptop:

Me: Did you want a cup of tea?

Hubs: Yeah that'd be awesome thanks!

Me: No, I meant will you be coming up to make yourself one because I need the TV remote and I can't reach it.
See? Speech is redundant.

[Disclaimer: the blog author takes no responsibility for readers' perceptions that discrepancies may exist between this conclusion and the author's profession as disclosed in her profile.]

03 May 2008

Why I'm So Clever

One of my most influential childhood moments involves my earliest memory of shopping with my Mum.

I was quite young, perhaps four or five, and I was asking if I could have something I'd found down a child's-eye-level. It was a plastic kangaroo filled with blue flavoured liquid that was meant to be frozen and then slurped ... or something. Anyway, there was a problem.

It was blue, and I learned on that sunny day that our family does not tend to consume blue foods.

This was the early eighties when we were beginning to learn the negative effects of artificial colours, flavours and preservatives in our foods. Most Mums were a little neurotic about it and I think that is quite understandable. I wouldn't want Sonny Ma-Jiminy or Smoochy Girl to be ingesting frozen blue kangaroo liquid. So I'm thankful to my Mum for teaching me to steer clear of garishly coloured foods, especially the blue ones.

The funny thing is that she used the following completely unsubstantiated justification for our non-consumption of blue foods, and this is a mantra I've never forgotten:

Blue food colouring kills your brain cells.

Many times over the years this 'fact' has come back to spook me when I've seen blue ice-blocks, cakes, icing on cakes, marshmallows, ANYTHING. In fact, this is my idea of finishing a packet of jelly beans:

And M&Ms:
I suspect that this is why I'm so clever. Or why I'm a smart-alec. One or the other. Either way, I tell myself I'm not contributing to the death of my own brain cells. (Perhaps this is a suggestion that a bit of the prefrontal cortex has already disappeared in a puff of Blue 123, 132 & 133, taking its executive function with it.)

So of course one day at church when we were served cake for a kid's birthday iced in all the colours of the rainbow and I was offered a BLUE piece by a sweet little 5 year old boy, I politely declined. When he tried to persuade me to reconsider, I said [stupidly] "Oh, it's just that blue food colouring kills your brain cells."

It just slipped out. It's imprinted on my brain so permanently.

It's a sad possibility that in my very old age I might forget the names and faces of those closest to me but still be doddering around a nursing home somewhere muttering, "Blue food colouring ... kills your brain cells ..." It's hard-wired in there now. Thanks Mum.

I didn't think any more about it until ten minutes later when the father of the sweet little 5 year old boy came up to me. He smiled quizzically and ventured, "Sooo.... blue food colouring kills your brain cells, hey?"

I explained my hangup.

He explained that it was his wife who made the cake.

Now I go to a different church. I like to think it's for different reasons.