30 August 2008

Has the place been RANSACKED or did I leave it like this?

I've often asked myself that on re-entering a disaster zone.

But on Friday, the correct answer was "We've been ransacked."

See? I knew that if I waited, I'd have something to blog about.

And the deadbeat DIDN'T come through the garage door with it's hopeless little screwdriver setup. I know you were wondering.

While Mr de Elba and I were at work, Sonny Ma-Jiminy was at kindy and Smoochy Girl was at Aunty's place, some deadbeat broke in and stole both our laptops, digital camera, video camera, bluetooth headset, an old mobile phone and an external hard drive.

Not much that can't be replaced except for Mr de Elba's laptop which contained lots of important documents, but a whole lot of hassle and stress for us in the meantime.

I guess that now I'll get a cold prickly feeling whenever I return to the house and ask myself, "Has the place been RANSACKED or did I leave it like this?"

29 August 2008


Have you seen the de-motivational posters at despair.com? I feel like I need one or two around the house. They don't de-motivate me - they make me laugh!


I'll post soon! I promise. I've had too many metaphorical pans in the proverbial fire and nothing much to post about. Let me wait until the dust settles a bit (maybe Sunday) and I'll give you something then.

27 August 2008

Burning Questions

As you may know, people often find my blog by Googling something odd.

Today I am going to get Sonny Ma-Jiminy to answer some of the questions that have been asked of Google, who thought that the answers must somehow lie here, in my blog.

Q: How much should you pay for a used ukulele?
SMJ: What?

Q: What is the worst thing to do after eating weet bix?
SMJ: What?

Q: Smoochy are you a friend of Dorothy's?
SMJ: What?

Q: Ways to put your used pregnancy tests to good use?
SMJ: What?

Q: I took a pregnancy test and it got really hot, why?
SMJ: What?

And here are some other searches that have landed here: Killed by a blue-ringed octopus / Statistics on weet-bix customers / Red red wine ukulele lesson / Ukulele cake topper / Killing pregnant flies / Killing fly thing / Falling fly ukulele / Tablet rainbow ukulele / Ukulele wraparound t-shirt / Flyin fine / Ukulele while on toilet / Hester ukulele.

Hope you found what you were looking for (although I'm sure you didn't.)

25 August 2008

And is THIS just because she's one?

Smoochy is reaching & screeching in her highchair.

Me: What do you want Sweetheart? Are you finished?

Smoochy: Noooo! (shakes head vehemently)

Me: Would you like something else to eat?

Smoochy: Noooo! (Pushes offered food away, sending crumbs flying)

Me: Are you finished eating?

Smoochy: Noooo!

Me: Would you like a drink?

Smoochy: Noooo! (Pushes cup away, splashing water on table, floor and mother)

Me: Are you finished drinking?

Smoochy: Noooo!

Me: Do you want to jump into Mummy's arms?

Smoochy (shaking head): Noooo!

Me: You have to hop out anyway.

(Smoochy jumps gratefully into Mummy's arms, as if that's what she wanted all along.)

Me: I'm glad we got that sorted out.

Is it just because he's three?

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: Is it rice for dinner?
Me: Yes, with beef & veggie casserole.
SMJ: What?

SMJ: Mum, why is that lady jumping over that bar?
Me: Well because in Pole Vault, they have to...
SMJ: What?

SMJ: Hey Mum, can you please push me on my bike?
Me: Yes, just let me finish washing these dishes.
SMJ: What?

SMJ: Mum, why is Smoochy crying?
Me: Umm, maybe because she, umm...
SMJ: What?

Me: Hey Sonny, can you please pick up Smoochy's pyjamas?
SMJ: What?

Me: Sonny, where's Puppity Doggity?
SMJ: What?

Me: Are you there Sonny?
SMJ: What?

Me: Son, it's nearly time for a bath!
SMJ: What?

and my personal favourite...

SMJ: Mum!
Me: Yes?
SMJ: What?

24 August 2008

How Can Sleeping Go Wrong?

We have a Queen-Size bed. If you're like us, you'll understand that some couples have to negotiate this joint sleeping arrangement after years of sleeping by themselves in single beds. When you're sleeping in a single bed, it's pretty easy to work out where to sleep. You arrange your body like this:

Or if you're a man, like this (it's a protective thing, I think):

Not too hard to work out who sleeps where. But once you're a couple, you have to negotiate who sleeps where on something that's the size of this: Not easy. It was my Mum who first alerted me to these hazards. She is quite small and my father is, I think, decended from giants, so their sleeping arrangement has often been like this over the years:
A hug is nice before you drift off, but for catching some serious "Z"s, we prefer an "Individual Freestyle" sleep formation. If you can successfully intermingle bodies and limbs while also getting a good night's sleep, by all means knock yourself out. But in the world of Individual Freestyle Sleep, I think that this is how a successful Co-Sleeping arrangement should work:
But last night, I was having trouble sleeping. This was due to a few things: I have been sick for a week now and was having trouble breathing, I was absolutely furious about something from yesterday and had apparently decided to spend some precious hours ruminating instead of sleeping, and also because this was the sleeping arrangement:Perhaps this picture isn't totally representative, because when it comes to my body, objects are larger than they appear.

Does anyone else find it hard to get the space you need if you share a bed?

And what about when kids come along? You dream that when they come in and snuggle with you in the morning, it will be a little bit like this:

But we know this to be untrue. In actual fact, it's more like this:

23 August 2008

Pig Box = Spending Power

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: Mummy who was that at the door?

Me: Just a lady. Here's your dinner kids! Eat up!

SMJ: Why are you mad? Are you mad at her?

Me: Yes! Yes, I'm mad at her. Do you want a fork or a spoon?

SMJ: A spoon. Why were you mad at her?

Me: Because - (sigh) - becaaauuse... Sometimes people come to your door and ask you if you want to buy something. And I never buy stuff from people at the door.

SMJ: Why don't you buy stuff from people at the door? Not a dessert spoon, a soup spoon.

Me: Because I don't like it. I don't like people annoying me at a Nuisance Time Of Day asking if I want to buy stuff. It happens on the phone too. Sometimes I get a phone call at a Nuisance Time Of Day and it's somebody saying, "Oh, hello, would you like to buy a mobile phone?" And I hate that. If I want to buy a mobile, I'll go to where? To a mobile phone shop! Won't I?

SMJ (pause in eating): Yes.

Me: And I also hate it when people bother me at a Nuisance Time Of Day by knocking on my door and asking if I want to buy my electricity from a different company. Because if I want to change my electricity company, I'll do it myself won't I?

SMJ (another pause in eating): Yes.

Me: And I'll do it at a convenient time of day. I won't do it at a Nuisance Time Of Day.

(Pause. All eat.)

Me: So I won't buy anything at a Nuisance Time Of Day from somebody at the door, will I?

SMJ: No.

Me: And I won't buy anything at a Nuisance Time Of Day from somebody on the phone, will I?

SMJ: No.

Me: And you wouldn't buy anything at a Nuisance Time Of Day from somebody at the door, would you?

SMJ (pause, thinking about the concept of Spending Power): Yes!

Me: Wha-? No, seriously! You wouldn't buy anything at a Nuisance Time Of Day from somebody on the phone, would you?

SMJ, with certainty: Yes!

Me, at a loss: But you don't have any money!

SMJ: I do. In my Pig Box.

Sonny Ma-Jiminy's piggy bank.

Apparently also known as his "Pig Box."

$3.05, thankfully not enough to switch electricity companies on us from a hawker at the door.

22 August 2008

High School Musicals

They've made two movies about something I've never liked. And teenage girls love these movies! Blech. Yes, I know there's something wrong with me. But the Musical is a genre I've never been able to actually like.

I know that 90% of my readers will LOVE musicals, so you can let me know what's so great about them, can't you?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but musicals all seem to have cheesy, formulaic storylines and every few minutes they interrupt themselves so they can all break out in song. In high school, only a few kids get roles, and everyone else who is interested ends up in "the chorus line" (isn't that just a fancy name for "better give those poor kids something to do"?)

Side-note: When I was checking Google Images for "Chorus Line", I found a chorus line of carrots:

I gave it a good go. In Years 9, 10 and 11, I was in the Musical Orchestra and in Year 12 I was doing ... dum, da-dummm ... Makeup! I kid you not.

And what a weird gig THAT was. They give you a random Year 9 boy you vaguely remember having seen around the school, they give you a pile of makeup with a consistency of axle grease, and you have to put the two together and make the poor kid look like Madame Butterfly.

What's the deal with that?

20 August 2008

NEARLY made a small child cry

I learned some eBaying lessons today. Thankfully, I didn't learn them the HARD way.

I am looking for a particular set of children's books and while I was researching, I found three secondhand books and a video that Sonny Ma-Jiminy would like.

Mistake 1: I told Sonny Ma-Jiminy about them before the auction was won*.

Lesson 1: Never allow your kid to fall in love with an item until the auction is WON. By YOU.

The starting bid was $4.00 and since there were no other bids and the auction closed in 30 minutes, I decided that my maximum bid should be $4.00. After all, if a new bidder wanted to put a higher bid on in the closing seconds of the auction, then I'd just look around for something else.

Mistake 2: I wasn't really sure about whether I really wanted the item, so I let my low bid be a form of "casting lots" to see if the transaction was meant to be or not.

Lesson 2: Be sure about whether you definitely want the item or not. And if you decide you are serious, put a decent bid on.

I love the excitement of the closing stages of an auction, and I shared it with Sonny today. I explained that the minutes and seconds showed we were getting closer to the end of the auction, and that we were still winning the auction each time I refreshed the screen and our screen name was there.

Mistake 3: I got Sonny all excited about the fact that "at the moment... the books and video are OURS!!!"

Lesson 3: Just win the darn auction yourself, pay for the items, and then tell your kid that the books and video will be coming in the post.

He was hanging on to each screen refresh, and as the close of the auction drew closer I got an uneasy feeling that if a higher bid was put on in the closing seconds, I'd have one disappointed little chap. But surely nobody would bid, would they?

Refresh. 3 minutes 12 seconds left. Still ours.

Refresh. 2:34 left. Still ours.

Refresh. 1:29 left. Still ours.

Refresh. 0:52 left. Still ours

Refresh. 0:37 left. DISASTER! Another bid had been placed and we were losing this auction. Sonny burst into tears and started howling. Hm. So it turns out the $4.00 bid was a risk not worth taking. Interesting.

And now I had to protect my offspring from the stupidity of my three mistakes above. (I don't protect him from his own mistakes, but it's not fair he should be howling because of mine. My three mistakes.)

I thought as quickly as I could with my head addled from this stupid cold. What about putting a bid of $5.00 on? Better still - what about $6.00? I'm glad I did, because I'd failed to notice that the other bid was for $4.99, so $5.00 wasn't going to be good enough anyway.

Then I went cold as my stupid cordless mouse failed to register my clicks as I submitted my bid, and my computer decided to go VERY slowly. Surely we'd lost. Surely I'd made my boy sad. Surely I'd been a total eBay schmuck.

At last the page loaded, telling me that in the final eleven seconds of the auction my bid had been accepted, the auction had ended and I had been the winner. Thankfully!

Sonny Ma-Jiminy switched off the crying and switched on the celebrating. Then he got a little bit quiet and asked, "Are the other people crying now?" "Probably not," I reassured him. "They'll look at these other books -" I pointed to the seller's other items "- and they'll buy one of those.

Books and video won. Lessons learned. Another day put to bed.

* Note, I say the AUCTION is won, not the ITEM is won. I'm not one of these silly people who believes that you're getting stuff for free on eBay. So please don't comment to that effect. It just makes me groan.


We've been well for a long time now, but our run is over. I'm going to attempt to get through today with a raging sore throat, a runny nose and that woozy feeling. I used to curl under a blanket and stay there all day when I was sick. Now I've just gotta keep on 'managing' two very energetic children, trying to avoid seeing blood and flames. But if you saw me, you'd wonder if we really should be calling it 'managing'.

It's not going all that well. I've been lying down on the couch while Sonny Ma-Jiminy watches some kids' TV and Smoochy Girl plays with toys. That goes well until Sonny gets up and goes downstairs. Soon, he's screaming. "Mummy!!! I've hurt my toe!!!" So I get up and go downstairs. Comfort the child, kiss the toe, and haul him back upstairs.

I snuggle back into the couch. Then I realised that Smoochy is quiet - too quiet. I stagger around and then I hear her crying in the yard. She's crawled through the cold wet grass and is sitting on her swing, crying to be pushed. So I go out, push the swing, cuddle the child and haul her back upstairs.

I snuggle back into the couch. After a while I wonder why they are both so quiet and I realise they are playing nicely together at the other end of the house. Then Smoochy screams, Sonny roars, and Smoochy screams louder. I struggle down there and break it up (whatever 'it' was) and realise that there's a bottle of cough medicine on the floor.

Good mother. Left the medicine cupboard unlocked (no harm done though). Great.

At least I only have a head cold and not "The Blurts and Squirts." That would be too bad.

So I got up and decided to check my emails, hoping my body would forget it was sick.

I checked out Google Images for "sick" - I was wondering if there were pictures on the internet of sick people who looked worse than me.

I found these pictures. And yes, these guys do look worse than me.

18 August 2008

The Fall of Nazism

Everybody needs an interest. My Dad has many, including mathematics and tennis. He also likes watching documentaries on ABC or SBS late at night regarding the rise and fall of movements like Communism, Stalinism and the Nazi movement. He really enjoys delving into the reasons behind these movements, how they gained momentum and events that led to their downfall.

The documentaries are always on very late and night. They are invariably full of scratchy black and white footage backed by desperate-sounding music and interspersed with long monologues from subtitled interviews with people discussing dark periods of their nations' histories.

The content is really quite riveting. But the general tone always brings me down and sends me to bed with feelings of unease long before Dad himself shuffles to bed having had enough of the sepulchral voice of the narrator.

I could have saved him interminable hours of watching these documentaries if I had come across this vital piece of information much earlier. One of my good friends emailed me the following, and it settles once and for all the reason behind the fall of Nazism.

What's the Difference between a Verbal Kid and a Smart Alec?

She's sixteen months old.

Every now and then, she says a word that I recognise. This morning she came to me and said what I was sure was "cuddle" and climbed up into my arms and squeezed me around the neck. She stands at the open front door and shouts, "Alloo!" into the street.

Sometimes I hear say "Mum-ee" or "Dad-ee" or her name, her brother's name or her dog's name. I think she's said words like "jump" in the past.

These days it still doesn't happen very often, but sometimes I think that she is actually saying words instead of babbling strings of unrelated sounds. I think that her language development is probably closer to the average range than Sonny Ma-Jiminy's.
Sonny Ma-Jiminy was quick with his speech and language - I kept a record of the words he produced and when he was the same age (sixteen months) I gave up on the list because I couldn't keep it up-to-date. That, and the fact that he learned the words "bra" and "undies" from watching me get dressed first thing each morning.

When he was eighteen months, we went to Yum Cha for Mr de Elba's birthday lunch. Sonny Ma-Jiminy saw an elderly lady in the line waiting to be served. He leaned over towards her, tried to peer down her shirt and enquired, "baaa?" Not the time or place to assure Sonny that she probably was wearing a bra.

Smoochy doesn't promise to say anything quite like that in public. Not yet.

17 August 2008


A long time ago, our automatic garage door was broken. By one who shall remain namless. And the thing has remained un-fixed for financial reasons, and the slight possibility that we may build in our garage into a bedroom and a games room at some point in the next decade.

So what have we done about it?

Minimum Security: a broken tile.

Medium Security: a screwdriver.

Maximum Security: two screwdrivers.

I hate that we're so hopeless.

16 August 2008

Rickrolled without being Rickrolled

I feel like I've been totally Rickrolled.

Remember my most recent post? I rickrolled Sonny Ma-Jiminy and he wasn't impressed. Well the next morning he said he wanted "that guy's music" again and I reluctantly guessed he meant Beaker from the Muppets singing the 1987 Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up."

I eventually decided I was all for rickrolling my kid one more time (you only live once), so I played the video for him again. And he loved it. I have no speakers on my computer at the moment, so he sat on my lap with the headphones on being totally Rickrolled and thoroughly enjoying it.

"I could sing that song one day!!" he shouted in inspiration over the music in the headphones.

"I could bring my drums and that guy could play them!!!" His volume competed with Astley claiming that a 'full commitment' was what he was 'thinking of'.

"What's that guys name?!?" he shouted.

"Animal," I replied.


"Animal," I repeated.

"WHAT?!?!?" I took his headphones off and quietly said "Animal," in his ear.

Satisfied, he sat and soaked in The Essence Of 1987.

He's sitting there once more today, watching Beaker the Muppet lipsynching to Astley again and again and again and again, claiming to like "that guy's music" and plotting to do a cover version with The Muppets as soon as possible.

And all day at work yesterday, around and around and around in my head went, "Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert yooou...."

I feel like I've been totally Rickrolled.

15 August 2008

Not Impressed

I was feeling a little taken-for-granted yesterday. So I decided it was time I Rickrolled Sonny Ma-Jiminy.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickroll - A person provides a Web link they claim is relevant to the topic at hand, but the link actually takes the user to a video of the 1987 Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up".)

Rickrolling is the dumbest form of prank. Usually a prank involves a prankee being caught out doing something dumb by a pranker, but Rickrolling is basically just wasting somebody's time. But I figure that Sonny wastes enough of my time that he could handle having the tables turned on him.

He asked for the Happy Mrs Chicken game on the Peppa Pig website, and I instead headed over to Youtube and showed him this:

He said, "Mummy, I don't like this one. Turn it off." Which is, I believe the universal response to being Rickrolled, so I had to accept that.

14 August 2008

Flap flap flap

This is how I feel.

Imagine it. While your husband is away on conference, you attack some HUGE cleaning jobs around the house. Clean out under the deck, wash a thousand loads of 'half-used' clothes from the clothes piles in each person's room, and keep everyone's head above water during the week.

Good job! Or was it? Because the dirty clothes hamper in the bathroom has overflowed while you were catching up on all the other washing. Smells like domestic failure, really.

Then your husband comes home from conference and you have not only his clothes to wash (clean ones cannot go back in the cupboard due to the fact that a bed bug reinfestation would tip me over the edge) but also bedding. Funny, that's the same bedding I cleaned a week or so before conference. Nevermind, cleaning it again is not as bad as the horror of bed bugs, so I'll do it.

Then you head off on a three-night stay at the beach (okay, so that bit is pretty good.) It's the most expensive holiday you have EVER had bar none (the brochure says 'heavily discounted' - I guess it's all in how you define 'heavily' and 'discounted') but it's good to be away at the beach for a few nights.

Eeek! What to do? Pack the remaining clothes PLUS dirty ones and dash to the beach, forgetting many things usually important when one is on holidays.

Like shoes. But hey.

Then you spend your three-night stay feeling a little jibbed because you find yourself doing exactly what you'd be doing at home (washing, folding, getting up early to children who can't sleep, agonising about breakfast, lunch and dinner) except it's costing you so much money.

You get back home. There's nothing to wear except fat clothes for you, dirty clothes for Sonny Ma-Jiminy and pyjamas for Smoochy Girl. (I'd managed to keep Mister de Elba in decent clothes and for that, I deserve mountains of praise, a block of chocolate and a large golden medal.)

So now you have to wash:
1. clothes from your holiday
2. clothes from your husband's conference
3. bedding from your husband's conference
4. everything in the packed-down, overflowing clothes hamper
5. pile after pile of dirty dishes, because while all this is happening, you still have to EAT.

Could I have gone to kindy today to be the Mum On Duty? Hardly. There are times when a woman has to look after herself, because nobody else will. I called and said I wouldn't be able to make it. I didn't lie, I didn't make up an excuse, I just said I wouldn't be able to make it. They said that was fine.

My own mother who cares for me like nobody else came down today and helped me. She deserves mountains of praise, a block of chocolate and a large golden medal.

Me, SMJ & Smooch: Bye, Grandma!
SMJ: We love our Grandma!
Me: We do. We love her very much.
SMJ: We wouldn't like to ... loss our Grandma.
Me: No, we wouldn't. Let's make sure we always know where she is.
SMJ: Okay.

My mother, for her part, is scared I might write something ghastly about her in the blog. But you know yourselves that I keep away from things that might make others look bad. So I won't be telling you all about the green onions, oh no siree, I won't.

I am heaps behind in every aspect of my work, and it's Work Day again tomorrow! It came around very quickly this week. I'll blog now and chase my tail in the morning. That's the way it usually goes; why change the formula?

So how was the holiday? I remember washing, I remember swims in the spa (everything else was freezing because it's winter) and I remember crying. Lots and lots of crying. Mostly Smoochy Girl, who moaned from morning til night, taking breaks during her naptime and when she was swimming in the warm spa.

One morning, Sonny Ma-Jiminy was sucking his sheet when Smoochy Girl poked her finger in his mouth along with the fabric. I still believe he was unaware of this, and while he sucked the fabric he decided to chomp down on the object he found between his molars. He crunched that thing hard and watched in alarm as Smoochy Girl's voice rose to a wail, and then turned to inconsolable screaming.

Her tiny finger was purple and a little bit mashed. She screamed for ages. She screamed while I held her, screamed when I tried to distract her, screamed when I put her hand in a glass of water, screamed through the wrap that she likes to suck, screamed while I undressed her, screamed when I put her swimmers on her and screamed at the side of the spa before she got in (which resulted in a brief reprieve from the screaming).

I looked up and saw seven stories of people disdainfully frowning down from their balconies (what were they doing at the beach in the middle of winter anyway?!) trying to find the screaming child and the mother who couldn't make the noise stop.

Sonny Ma-Jiminy, for his part, was very upset. He ran to his bedroom and dived under his covers, his face streaked with tears. He hadn't known that it was her finger he was absently crushing with his Mandible Of Death, and he was very upset that he had hurt the sister he loves so much.

Then there were the nighttime wakings which reminded me that no matter how far from home you might be, or how much sand you might have in your bed, a mother is never completely "on holiday."

Mr de Elba had left a light on all night to help me in case I had to get up to the children. But I can usually see okay at nighttime, and I find it hard to get a proper sleep when my eyes are constantly sore from sleeping in light. Still I'm not sure why, when Smoochy Girl started crying one night, I turned the light off first, and went to Smoochy Girl after that. Now that I'm awake, it seems obvious that those things were done in the wrong order.

My eyes immediately felt better in the darkness, but as I groped towards Smoochy Girl's room, I realised that my eyes had become accustomed to the light and things were now blacker than black.

The first indication I got that I'd turned the corner to her room too early was when I violently smacked my face hard into a wall and I heard the cartilage in my nose crunch a little. Good Times.

I picked Smoochy up and took her to bed with me, placating the poor girl while the sound of the crunching cartilage repeated again and again in my memory and my nose seemed to drift in and out of its own consciousness.

So leaving the light on was a good idea despite the sore eyes. Humph.

13 August 2008

Flap Flap

Eeek! Sorry about that radio silence! Jen, you were right. A snap decision and a quick trip to the beach for three nights - no time to post and say "Bye!"

I'll fill you in soon in a post I'm thinking of calling 'Flap Flap', which is how I packed for four people in an hour - flap flap flap.

08 August 2008

UnReal Beauty

I just saw this today. Have you seen it? Hope you like it as much as I did.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Proverbs 31:30

07 August 2008

G8gle Searches

Shannon, who designed my new blog look, is crazy about the number eight. Her blog is called Eightcrazy. Her web design business is called Eightcrazy Designs. And she is totally Eight-Crazy.

Tomorrow, her calendar turns over to a date that is worth celebrating! 08-08-08. And all this week she is posting lists of things in eights that have been important to her like eight people who have impacted her life, eight things she loves and eight of her favourite TV shows.

I'd like to add to her celebration of EIGHT by posting a list of the eight best Google searches that have landed here at Killing A Fly recently. Unfortunately, there are too many to squeeze into a list of just eight. When I break them into four categories, I have one list of eight, two lists of one-short-of-eight and one list of half-of-eight. That will have to do.

Here are the recent searches that have ended up here:

Searches about killing flies:
1. Killing a fly blog
2. Killing a fly with a blog
3. Killing a fly with a ukulele
4. Killing in the name of ukulele
5. Killing fly ukulele wrong mistake
6. Efficient fly killing
7. Large black fly dumb fly easily swatted

Searches about ukuleles:
1. Ukulele flea hop
2. Ukulele pinup girls
3. Oxford comma ukulele
4. Fly ukulele
5. Pregnant ukulele
6. Ukulele- wait for me
7. Sitting in my room ukulele

Searches vaguely similar to words in one of my posts:
1. When did do your pregnancy tests
2. Pillowcase blood spot insect
3. Kindy failer
4. Toot toot chugga chugga big red car sheet music
5. Singular of jatz
6. Singular of weet bix
7. Jelly pool birthday cakes
8. Australian onion dip

Searches in the category of 'Just. Plain. Weird.'
1. Do nachos fly
2. Why mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears craft activity
3. Spider bites
4. Do regular flies suck your blood

I'd love to know what sort of sites they were hoping to end up at.

06 August 2008

The Best and The Worst of The Deck Cleanout

I can't stop thanking Jen for helping me with my horrible under-deck cleanout yesterday. She says that she feels a bit bad - she had too much fun to be thanked all that much. But she still deserves The Thanking and so The Thanking she will get.

The best part of the day ... was the lunch. I won a $30 voucher for The Pancake Manor in the kindy Mothers Day raffle (the most rewarding kindy involvement I've had all year!) We set a time to break for lunch, and worked like crazy until then. Then we went and had savoury crepes for lunch and shared a Macadamia Shortstack for dessert. Wonderful!

The worst part of the day ... was the dump. We had spent hours making piles of Things No Longer Needed to take to the dump. I thought hard about what to send to the dump. I hate to throw things out, but I can and will do it. And the things that went were things I have hung onto for years, hoping against hope that one day they will be used and re-loved and cherished again. But alas, they haven't. The only purpose they serve is to junk up my house.

Everyone will tell you that these things must GO. If it hasn't been used in three years, if it hasn't been used since long before the move from our old flat to our current house, if all it ever does is collect dust, then it must GO. Right? [Uncertain pause.] Right!!

There were speech pathology resources that -seriously- nobody will use again (they haven't been used in the last three years, all therapists tend to make their own stuff, and all these things do is junk up my place), piles of papers, old shoes and slippers that were too old to be saleable by charity shops and mountains of cardboard from old boxes.

We physically threw the lot into the Giant Pit of Filthy Oozing Stench. It was tremendously enjoyable for Jen, whose junk it wasn't. "Whee! What a wonderful feeling!" she shouted while flinging piles of Things No Longer Needed into the pit.

"Oh dear," I'd say, ruefully surveying well-used brightly coloured speech pathology word cards atop Filthy Oozing Stench. "Everybody else's junk is so yucky and mine is so pretty!"

"Whee!" said Jen as another box of things went into the pit.

I winced. It was one Giant Pit of Filthy Oozing Stench, now topped with my old ugg boots. Too old to be saleable, too worn-out to continue wearing, but certainly not in the category of Filthy Oozing Stench. Pretty awful to see the things you once held dear re-classified as Filthy Oozing Stench.

The job was finished way too quickly. There it all lay, just out of reach. No going back. I took one last look before I turned back to the car, hoping I'd done the right thing.

Then I saw it. In the piles of old papers I'd deemed no longer needed, there had been an old Pay Slip from work.


My father had always instilled in me a fear of allowing papers with any identifying information go to the dump without being torn into a million pieces. Heaven forbid someone should get hold of your name! Or your address! Or -horror of horrors- your Employee Number! And all of these things were on the Pay Slip which had fallen face-up out of reach, grinning at me, mocking me.

"PAY ADVICE!" it loudly proclaimed to the whole world, strongly suggesting that confidential information lay unconfidentially a few metres away.

"You've thrown things out that shouldn't be thrown out!" it hissed accusingly at me.

"Look over there," it suggested, indicating a second Pay Slip also mockingly lying face up a short distance away.

I felt gutted. I had been proud of myself - I'd thrown away areas of clutter that should have been thrown away ages ago. I had not wasted hours sifting meticulously through things but instead been ruthless and consigned it all to the dump. And now I was beginning to think that some of my stuff was too pretty, some too pre-loved and some too confidential to be thrown out!

Jen and I stood there wondering what to do. If we - okay, if I crawled into the Pit of Filthy Oozing Stench, I'd be sure to be noticed and get in trouble. (This is of course apart from the other obvious reason why I'd not be looking forward to a crawl through a Pit of Filthy Oozing Stench.)

I grabbed a rusty piece of an old bicycle that was near enough to reach, and threw it at the page, hoping it would turn upside down and disappear into the Filthy Oozing Stench. Instead it moved into a position where it was more visible. "What will I do?" I moaned to Jen.

"Maybe we could get a stick" - we found one - "and stab it" - she gave it a few savage pokes - "and bring it out that way."

And that's what my wonderful friend did. First one Pay Slip and the the other. Brilliant! We returned home, shredded the Pay Slips, and I privately vowed never to go back to the dump.

It's too traumatic.

05 August 2008

A mammoth effort

Greater love hath no woman than this - that she lay down a Day Off for a friend
and assist in turning THIS ...

...into THIS...

by helping me through such ghastly intermediate steps as THIS:

What a huge job! I have been avoiding looking at the mess under our deck post-bedbug catastrophe, but with the help of my good friend Jen, I have managed to sort out the rubbish (taken to the tip) from the items for charity (in the boot of the car) from the things to keep (slowly making their way/s back to where they belong.)

It was sad picking through some very water-damaged books to see what could be salvaged. Some were so damaged that I had to throw them away despite loving them so much. I'll be on the lookout for replacements for these:

And I won't be looking for replacements for a few others, which I decided on reflection wouldn't matter much if they were to disappear from my collection.

Pixellated to protect their identity.

I feel good about that. I think that in the next few days, I'll be doing some of the other things I've been putting off.

04 August 2008

Minus blood. Minus flames. Plus bad attitude.

Are you ever tempted to say the total opposite of what you really want to say? Just for "fun"?

"Four days until you're back from your conference? I'll be fine!"

"When will you children just WAKE UP?"

"Swing that ukulele around just like that. I'm sure nobody will get hurt."

"I just wish you'd ask me "WHY, Mum?" once in a while.

"I know! How about one of you grabs onto my left leg, and the other grabs onto my right leg, and ready, set, moan!"

"Yes I cooked it, but even I don't know what it is. Throw it on the floor."

"I guess that if her tail was in the way, you just had to ride over it with your bike."

"Yes, snatch that toy off her. She loves it."

"Hey! Everybody come and watch me on the toilet."

Excuse me, let me just remind myself of something...

And More Rules

Oooh, Oooh, I've thought of a few more!

DO NOT empty a container of dog food onto the path and drench the scene with water.

And above all, as you have repeatedly been reminded since you were one year old,

DO NOT eat dog food.

Not even if "she wasn't hungry and she was happy for me to eat it."

Another Rule

I've just thought of a new rule.
DO NOT accidentally label the Plain Flour as "Self-Raising Flour."

New Family Rules

They say when you make rules for your family, you should keep them few in number by making them broad, and you should make them positive instead of negative.

Obviously, it hasn't been working. Airy-fairy rules like "Respect each other" and "Keep our home tidy" are an absolute joke. After this disastrous morning, I propose a few new rules. They are negative and they are specific. Watch out.

DO NOT wake up at 5:00am and shout "Mummy! Come in here!" to say you've got the light on and are reading books.

DO NOT at 5:30am shout, "Mummy! Come Here! Change my nappy!"

DO NOT at 6:00am decide to feed yourself breakfast. DO NOT fill a bowl with a man-sized serve of Weet-Bix, slop it up with milk and leave 7/8 of it to sit and rot.

DO NOT at 6:30am wake up your sister and enter her room. DO NOT do anything to her that may make her scream her lungs out.

DO NOT after being brought into the big bed dare to crack Mummy over the head very hard with a ukulele. Having big brown eyes and being Very Small will not allow you leniency.

DO NOT remove from the garbage bin any item I have deemed No Longer A Useful Miniature Musical Instrument and have consigned to the garbage for self-preservation reasons.

DO NOT talk. All that issues from your mouth is either whingeing, the word "Mum" or an inquiry starting with "Why" and ending in absolute nonsense rendering it completely unanswerable.

DO NOT procure a clean pair of underpants, dip them in the toilet bowl and wipe the floor with them.

DO NOT take large handfuls of toilet paper, wet them in the bowl and wipe the floor with them. It is not helpful. DO NOT then leave half of them on the floor and throw the other half high onto the back of the toilet door so they stick there and make the place look like a public lavatory.

DO NOT go away on a conference. Ever Again.

These rules were inspired by events of this morning. It's now 9:00am. There is plenty of time left in the day to think up more.

03 August 2008


It's been a difficult four days. Sonny Ma-Jiminy and Smoochy Girl have been in terrible moods, and I have been steaming out the ears. There have been many tears (not from me) and plenty of shouting (from all three of us).

I said to Sonny tonight, "I'm sorry it's been a difficult few days. The kids have been tired and crazy. Mummy's been so upset." He replied, "We've been angry." He understands.

Now could someone please tell me why I cannot honestly tell people it's been rough without the condescending rubbish pouring forth before I've even finished speaking?

"Oh, you shouldn't be too hard on yourself!" (Hard on myself? When? I just said it's been tough.)

"You shouldn't worry about any of this." (Well, it's been quite tough on me, but feel free not to worry about it yourself.)

"Don't 'sell yourself short', you're doing a great job." (Well yes, I am doing a great job with a difficult set of circumstances, but having you patronisingly telling me that honestly admitting when it's been tough is 'selling myself short' isn't helping.)

It's all said with the best of intentions. But when did honesty amount to denigrating oneself?

02 August 2008

Mess Mosaic

There's just so much mess at my place right now. Like a giant has grabbed the house, given it a good shake, and replaced it. I think I've used that description before, but it still applies.

I was wondering what to do about it? Attack it madly, or make lists and work through it systematically?

I decided that I'd start by trying some glamour photography of the mess.

Hmm. Turns out it's still mess, however you look at it.

01 August 2008

My Favourite Mug

Do you have a favourite coffee mug? My friend Jen who will be travelling 1.5 hours to my place on Tuesday to help me with tidying the aftermath mess following the bed bug fiasco, gave me this mug years ago. I love it.

In one hour I will be starting a LONG day at work. First up is a small boy who won't do anything for me unless it involves Thomas the Tank Engine. When I modify my activities to include Thomas, he refuses to do anything I tell him, playing his own games instead. That's why I need the mug this morning.

Second Guessing

Sonny Ma-Jiminy is three. Three and a THIRD, he will tell you. He's spending two days a week at kindy. I decided to let him go this year because he seemed to be in need of extra mental stimulation. So many ideas, thoughts and questions, and such a strong will! He seemed to crave some extra activities with bigger kids and having another authority figure seemed to be helping him learn about following rules and stifling his natural desire for rebellion.

I swallowed my pride and jumped the hurdles I needed to. Sheets and sheet bag. Lunchbox and cup. Hat with loop, washer with loop, cheese sandwich served at the correct time of day.

But yesterday he seemed to snap. He had a sandwich-throwing, watercup-tossing, floor-sulking tantrum and I got a phone call. I talked to the teacher. I talked to Sonny at home afterwards. And today,

"Kindy days are not my favourite days."

And then of course, "I don't like kindy."

Woo. I was never going to send him early if he DIDN'T like it. The only reason why he's there in the year before his proper kindy year is because he LOVED it. Or used to love it.

I know in the rational part of my brain that next week, kindy days will be his favourite again. Or, "It's my kindy favourite day," as he puts it.

But just for today, the emotional side of my brain kicked in and after he was told to stop playing in the sandpit (I thought they were allowed to play in the sandpit, so I had been letting him continue!) and come inside, I gave him a hug, left kindy, sat in the car and cried.

He doesn't like it.

I don't like it.

And I start to second-guess my decisions.

PS: that shirt reads, "My Dad Rocks," not "My Dad Sucks," as it can appear when your brain fills in the wrong missing letters.