31 December 2008

Happy New Year

I was the only person who cried at the fireworks. I suppose it was because I was enjoying myself and let my guard down. It was also because I really love the city I was born in, that I live in and gave birth to my children in. Soppy.

Our mayor and councillors put on a wonderful New Years Eve party in a park opposite the St Marys Cathedral which is beautifully lit up at night. There were some huge carnival rides, a giant bouncy castle, a huge slippery slide and rock-climbing wall. Can you imagine this floodlit at night, the backdrop to the carnival?

They played the movie "Alvin and the Chipmunks" at 7:15 pm on a big screen and had the kids' fireworks at 9:15 after our mayor spoke about Ipswich and why it's such a great place. I don't want to be corny but I agreed with everything he said and then cried when the fireworks started.

I was remembering my Happy New Year post from last year. Remember? I did this in gingerbread:

I also got stung by a wasp. Goodness I was young and naive back then! Such fresh-faced hope simply oozing out of that gingerbread. I had no idea:

- my itching would get so bad I would ruin my arms and legs from the scratching
- I would discover it was due to bed bugs, and spend many months getting rid of them
- the dog would cost much money and plunge me deep into stress with her habit of biting other dogs
- my blood-pressure problems would come back with a vengeance and I would have many tests to determine it was simply essential hypertension and not something sinister, and go on long-term medication to manage it
- Sonny Ma-Jiminy would encounter some challenging times on the road to complete toilet-training
- our sewer would burst
- Sonny Ma-Jiminy's kindy experience would nearly send me round the twist
- I would superglue my fingers to a plastic dinosaur
- we would get burgled
- we would bite the bullet and remodel our kitchen...
- ...only to be moved away to a different city.

It's been a bit of a ride, 2008. I'm not in a place where I can do some cheesy saying in gingerbread this year.

In fact, I had an idea to write in gingerbread what I really think to usher in 2009, but it included language so frightful it would have caused a scandal among my friends who read. Mr de Elba may have lost his job due to his association with me (heh, no move! yah!)

But despite intense pressure from the two most unshockable friends I have in the WORLD, Mrs Tantrum and Crazy Sister, I have restrained myself from using gingerbread to ruin my reputation.

But I'm happy to talk about YOUR 2009.

May the Lord bless you and all who are special to you. Delight yourself in Him, and the Bible says He will give you the desires of your heart. And if you're not a praying sort of person, I hope the year is just as good, and that you don't stop reading Killing A Fly because I just said that bit from the Bible.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ... Happy New Year!

30 December 2008

Somebody tell me what she means ...?

Smoochy is talking. Yes! Talking. She has been talking for a little while now. But sadly, she's not making much sense.

One of her favourite things is brushing her teeth. She LOVES it, well, she used to love it until she -err- stopped loving it. I can't work out why, and I need your help.

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

Smoochy: Teess! Teess!

Me: Okay, let's do your teeth. Again.

Smoochy (with brush in hand): Payss, payss ...

Me: okay, we'll get some toothpaste on. Hold out your brush. Help me squeeze some on. There.

(Smoochy smiles a little then her face falls and she lets out a scream that would make your ears bleed. She gets uncontrollably angry and starts wiping the toothpaste off the brush onto the bathmat and walls.)

Me: I have absolutely no idea why you're upset.

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

Another thing she has always loved is milk. She's a milkaholic and has drunk buckets of the stuff from the same sipper cups for months.

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

Smoochy: Mook! Mook! Peeeze! Cup! Need! Peeeze, Mook!

Me: Alright, I'll get you some milk.

Smoochy: Yayy! (Claps hands.)

[Smoochy often cheers Yayy! and claps her hands when a parent finally understands her. It's not a little patronising.]

Me: Okay, here we go, pouring your milk. You look happy about that. (Smoochy nods head.) Here's your milk.

(Smoochy takes the milk and smiles a little, then lets out that ear-bleeding scream again and throws the sipper cup on the floor.)

Smoochy: No! No! Pinty! Pinty!

Me: Wha-? You mean 'plenty'?

(Smoochy nods.)

Me: Are you saying you need more in the cup?

Smoochy shakes head: Pinty! Pinty-y-y!

Me: Do you mean you've already had plenty?

Smoochy: Pinty! PINTY!

Me: Again, O Small and Powerful One, I have not a clue what you're saying.

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

Help me. What am I doing wrong in these scenarios? I have no idea.

Addendum: As I wrote that final sentence, Smoochy woke up. After I'd carried her and three obligatory dolls from the cot-room to the living room, she said, "Mook?" and I asked her, "Oh, no, are you going to scream and say "Plenty" again? And she smiled and nodded.

29 December 2008

So very tired

I've always made the kids sleep in their bed or cot, but sometimes they get so tired ...

28 December 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Mrs Tantrum and Crazy Sister ...
Happy birthday to you!

Two great blogging buddies, one I share a family with, the other I've never met, but I will when I get a kayak, 42 spare days and some level of physical stamina.

Tis Birthday Season here in December. I try to make birthdays special for my December buddies because I know they can sometimes feel a little ripped off as their festive season melts into one big blob of present-opening frenzy and then they sit and wait for another 350 days until next time. This year I've dropped the ball on a few of my good friends, which is what December Birthday People get upset about, I guess. What can I say? I'm hopeless.

Happy Birthday to:
My nephew (3rd)
My mother (7th)
My other nephew (8th)
Our small friend (15th)
Both our Good Friends (his: 18th, hers: 27th) and their baby girl (also the 27th)
Mr de E's cousin's little boy (25th)
Mrs Tantrum (27th)
My own dear Crazy Sister (28th)

... and in amongst that, there is Christmas and about four wedding anniversaries, including our own.

And then we start on the January birthdays.

Is anyone exhausted? (Alt. title: "Let's Never Do This Again")

Is anyone exhausted, or is it just me?

My brother-in-law said it very well when, after a quick visit on Christmas Eve en route to The Grandparents' place, he left saying, "Sorry this was a bit of a rush, but you know, that's The Spirit Of Christmas."

And it is, really.

What would Christmas BE without the packing and the rushing and the travelling and the family issues and the managing-children-in-the-car and the managing-children-at-The-Grandparents'-place and the re-packing and the coming home and the unpacking and the assimilating of presents into our house (somewhere, anywhere...)

I wonder what it would be like not to have to worry about the trip away and associated hassles on top of Christmas. To have Christmas largely at your own house. Perhaps pop out quickly for ONE meal to The Grandparents' place then for ANOTHER meal at The Other Grandparents' place, then back to your own place for your own space with your own people and to shower in your own bathroom and sleep in your own bed.

We've never done it. But because we're moving to the same town as both grandparents, it's what we'll be doing from now on. No more sleep-overs; I've always found them hard, now that I'm a grown-up and all.

I confess, I'm a little excited!

24 December 2008

Too many words

Sonny Ma-Jiminy's language developed early. He has always interacted with his environment using words, words, words, words, words. It's good to see a kid with strong language skills, but wow. Sonny Ma-Jiminy makes my head spin.

The other night, I served up some scrambled eggs for dinner (yes, I'm on top of things here) and this is what he said, "This is a yummy dinner! I love these eggs! Eggs are the awesomest dinner. These eggs taste great. Mum, these eggs taste really nice..." and on and on and on.

It was great that he was enjoying good food, but there's a limit.

I said, "Sonny do you find it difficult to eat them with your mandible flapping about like that? Or are you okay with that?"

He grinned at me and said in a joyfully surprised voice, "I'm okay with that!!"

And last night I gazed dumbly at him as he described something about his new Tonka truck in minute detail. A veritable WALL OF WORDS was issuing from his mouth without a break. There was nothing I could do but sit, hostage-like, listening to it all. This is why I was so amazed when, through sheer force of habit, he was compelled to punctuate his rapid monologue at intervals to shout at me as if I wasn't listening.

"The cab is up here and the driver can sit in there but he can't get in this side, there's no door, he has to ...MUM!!!... he has to climb up in here and get in the back and then he can drive the truck over here to pick up a load of ...MUM!!!... he can drive over here to pick up a load of rocks and then he can ...MUM!!!"

As if I wasn't sitting there, my eyes glued to his face, hanging off every word because his very manner demanded complete attention.

23 December 2008

Potential Fireball in my Kitchen

I'm pretty mad. When buying the appliances for my new kitchen, was was sort-of talked into, sort-of tricked by the salesman into buying the most expensive model, even though I wanted the mid-range model.

He managed this by asking me some dumb question about oven cleaning (it might have been the time he asked, "Do you enjoy cleaning your oven?" with such seriousness on his face, as if I might have said, "I do, actually, it's one of my guilty pleasures.") When I answered that I wasn't all that keen on cleaning my oven, he surreptitiously changed my choice of oven to the pyrolytic cleaning model. So that's what I ended up getting.

I was a bit shocked to see the price of the overall package jump up, but I thought, what the heck, I'll live here and use my oven for MANY more years to come, it might end up being worth it."

And of course, you know that a fortnight after the kitchen was finished, it appeared we were indeed moving, a fact I still haven't come to terms with.

Now, what does the "Pyrolytic" model do that other ovens don't?

Well, the salesman claimed that I would have have practically NO CLEANING to do in my new oven, as the pyrolytic feature heats the oven up to something ridiculous, like 500 decrees C (that's 932 degrees F, I kid you not) and it blitzes all grease to kindgom come. At worst, the only residue is some ash that can be wiped out.

That temperature is HOT. It's like having a controlled fireball in your kitchen. It's like the surface of the sun. It is so hot that the light doesn't work during cleaning and once a certain temperature is reached, THE OVEN LOCKS ITS OWN DOOR and will not unlock it until it cools down to a more reasonable temperature.

Would that be worth the extra money, you think?


That is, it would be worth it IF the included oven trays could be put through the pyrolytic cleaning process.

IF the included wire racks could be put through the pyrolytic cleaning process.

IF the side-rails could be put through the pyrolytic cleaning process.

IF you didn't need to do the abovementioned items the old-fashioned way, with elbow grease and oven cleaner.

IF it did not say "After every use, wipe the oven with a solution of washing-up liquid and allow to dry."

IF it didn't say, "First, remove the worst of the residue manually."

IF it did not say, "Residue that is not removed may cause changes to the surface colour when Pyroluxe is used."

How glad am I that I spent the extra money on it?

Not at all.


22 December 2008

Torture By Duck

I thought it was a good idea at the time.

I recently remembered that when my siblings and I were young, we loved the 1971 movie "Million Dollar Duck." I wondered if Sonny Ma-Jiminy and Smoochy Girl would be interested in it, and I went about getting a copy.

The first few times the children saw it, it was a success. Sonny seemed to understand the storyline and made clever comments so I knew he 'got it'. But as with most movies and DVDs that Sonny has, it got old quickly. He became sick of watching it and complained whenever it was on.

The problem was, Smoochy Girl is IN LOVE with it. She asks for it all day, starting with first thing in the morning. Straight after "Ook! Cup! Need! Peeze? Peeeze? Peeeeeze?" she starts begging for "Guck! Guck! Need! Guck! Peeze? Peeeze? Peeeeeze?" And I made a rule that we only watch Guck once a day.

I am sick of it.

Sonny is sick of it.

Mr de Elba is sick of it.

And Smoochy herself is sick of it by the time the opening credits with the cute little animated duck are over. That's all she seems to like. Every time the duck makes an appearance, she shouts, "Dere ee iz!" Once the credits are over, she's grumpy but she gest even grumpier if you turn it off.

These days, life has me beaten iunto submission to a point where I leave Guck on until everyone is so sick of it they leave the room.

It's Torture by Duck, and I can do without it.

Yeah, yeah ...

You are so right.

Photos 1 and 3 were indeed the same, in the original post where that series was used I was just using it as an illustration to show how I expected the place to be destroyed soon after I finished my 90-minute tidying odyssey. I wasn't going to deliberately mess it up for the photo, but I wanted to illustrate ... Hope you didn't think I was trying to fool you!

Yes, it was the decorated half of the tree Sonny frought to me, sadly minus most of the decorations. We're spending some time this morning trying to straighten out the tree and re-decorate it.

It is quite warm for cocoa, you're right, but we are suckers for punishment - we keep up the warm drinks in summer. I personally drink fewer of them, but still, cocoa is nice when the day has been a huge hassle from start to finish and you finally get to sit down!

21 December 2008

Rate of Messing > Rate of Tidying

WHY are there two shifting spanners on my bathroom vanity? Because the children put them there. That's one example. I have a trillion more. Yes, a trillion.

When Sonny wakes up in the morning, he just walks around and tears up the house. Smoochy is forced to whine and cry, "Muh-yee! Muh-yee" (middle syllables are too much bother) until I get her up, change her nappy and release her to join in the tearing up of the house with her big brother. She loves it and laughs, and he claims he "has" to continue tearing up the joint because she's laughing and therefore it must continue.

By the time I become functional and put my contact lenses in, the house is barely recognisable.

If I go back to bed for a few more minutes, they appear at my side (MY side!) of the bed regularly to give me things I don't want to hold, remove items from my bedside table and demand drinks (Smoochy Girl, the milkaholic: "Ook! Cup! Need! Peeze? Peeeze? Peeeeeze?")

This morning, Sonny appeared beside my bed lugging the Entire Top Section Of The Christmas Tree. Wh-? Huh? "I need you to stand the Christmas Tree up. Smoochy knocked it over." Yeah, right.

I was sorely tempted to get mad and accuse the kids of "ruining Christmas" but I realised in time that that was a stupid thing to say, and refrained. Just as I refrained from accusing them of ruining Christmas when our box of tree decorations was outside on the deck during the Horrible Bed Bug Plague and they opened the box and threw the decorations down onto the ground one by one to see them drop. This happened day after day after day, owing to the fact that there were no high-up storage place available to me once my home became a disaster zone.

And another thing - with a toddler in the house, you either have to set up your Christmas tree on a little table to keep tiny fingers away from the decorations, or you have to decorate it like this (see it in the side of this picture):

Recently, I put that picture into a post about our new kitchen table, and a very astute commenter (Tracy) said, "I'm especially taken by your half decorated Christmas tree. :) Don't worry, you'll be able to decorate the whole thing in a few years." Here is someone who GETS IT. You're right Tracy, spot on.

I found my credit card, by the way (hooraaay!) It was UNDER the waste-paper basket in my office. Relief! But seriously - under the waste-paper basket?!?

All day. The picking-something-up and putting-it-somewhere-else. I'm not keeping up, and I'm losing my desire to try. Remember this?

Busting my guts over this will only make me mad, won't it? I should put my feet up and have a cup of hot cocoa, shouldn't I?

19 December 2008

I honestly think your blog is scrap

That's NOT what this award means, if I understand correctly. Dee from Downunder was kind enough to offer me this award.
Here is a short explanation about this award: "Scrap means left over, fragments, discarded material. Many times truth and honesty are discarded material, considered fragments and left over. People like us need to tell it like it is, and let the scraps fall where they will."

And if that wasn't enough, Sassy Britches honoured me with this award:

The translation I believe says, "Please donate much in gold to this blogger, her writings will change the world." Either that, or "This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY" which has to do with ... "nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

In total, the tasks I must complete in order to accept these awards are to list 10 really honest things bout myself and nominate a grand total of 15 other bloggers to pass the award/s on to, preferably people who have not already received them. This is far too much for me to contemplate on a Friday.

Argh! Who hasn't received an award like this yet? Please tell me and I'll nominate you!

Tinsenpup? Mrs Tantrum? Adelaine? Help!

16 December 2008


I want to say Grace at my place. I want my kids to get into a habit of thanking God for everything, including the food they eat. Not necessarily singing grace, I just really hate that, but saying a quick heartfelt thanks is what I'd like to foster.

The other day, we were having eggs on toast and Mr de Elba said (I believe 'off the cuff'),

"Thankyou God for eggs and wheat.
Thankyou for the food we eat. Amen."

I loved it! Honest, short, fun and it rhymed! Top marks.

I got to thinking about other graces I could write for different meals. My first one took an unexpectedly disturbing turn and needed to be abandoned:

A Husband's Grace for Roast Lamb
Thankyou for my kids and wife
And this dumb beast who gave its life
Who fell to rise and bleat no more
Lifeless on the killing floor...

Obviously that wasn't going to make the grade. I was heading towards the vegetables, and ended up in a pool of blood.

I tried some more, but they came out sounding awkward:

Grace for a Frittata
Thankyou loving Holy Father
For our vegetable frittata...

That rhyme is too tenuous.

Grace for a Pizza
Zank you Lord for now we eat za
Tasty roasted pumpkin pizza...

Way too silly.

Grace for Fish and Chips
Lord we pray these fish and chips
Do not go straight to my hips...

Getting too far away from the spirit of giving thanks for the food.

And then creativity struck and with a change of meter and a change of focus came this scrap of promise:

Grace for Sunday Morning Breakfast
Gratitude for tea and toast
Breakfast that I love the most
Comfort and simplicity
Being my priority
This Sabbath of tranquility
Thankyou, Holy Ghost.

And God would know I was talking about him, but was scratching for a rhyme there. He'd smile though, because I never call Him "Holy Ghost." It lends a dazed, ethereal feeling to the grace which is rather appropriate as that is how I feel on Sunday mornings after being woken far too early by my kids.

Speaking of which, I think there needs to be a grace in which they feature.

Grace for When I've Put Too Much Effort In
You gave me time to plan this dish
You gave me money to buy the fish
You gave more time to cook the lot
And serve it up all steamy-hot

You gave us two most lovely kids
To look at the food and hit the skids
To whinge and moan and pick at the food
To make some comments that are really quite rude

But all of these things I thank you for
And for the kids, I'll thank you more
Let me not begin to resent
The time and money and effort I spent

Let me thank you as I enjoy
My food, my husband, my girl and my boy
And remind me next time that I must be nuts
When preparing dinner to bust my guts.


And here's a final one for meals the children actually do eat:

Grace for Anything With Rice
Lord I think it's really nice
You gave the human race its rice
Feeding those from every land
Filling tummies as you planned.

Make me thankful as I scrub
Rice from table, boy and bub,
Floor and carpet, fork and plate.
Teach me to appreciate.



Thankyou for your lovely comments. You make my day on a regular basis (as regular as I post anyway!) Can I share with you what Shelley said? This is priceless:

"My husband says that if you put our two boys in a padded, locked room with no windows and put two bowling balls in there with them, they'd lose one and break the other."

Oh that's so true at our house! Thanks for the laugh, Shelley!

Thanks to Joy for your suggestion of finding a higher shelf to put things on when I don't want Smoochy to touch them. I have often fantasised about a house with shelving up in the highest part of the room and putting every single thing we own up there. Nothing at floor level except the children.

Many people suggest I put things up high, but the higher I put things, the more daring and dangerous Sonny has to become in order to get them down.


There are dolls in our bed. There's a measuring cup in Sonny's room. There's an aerobie (frisbee) in our living room. I don't know why.

If I picked up 50 items before breakfast and put them in their proper places, my children would scatter 70 items. I cannot keep up with the rate of messing in this house.

A few months ago, Smoochy Girl (I assume) lost my credit card. There was no activity on that account, so I was fairly sure the card wasn't stolen. I searched high and low for a fortnight but in the end, I cancelled the card and had it replaced.

Unfortunately I forgot to change my details on a few direct debits. This (coupled with slackness on the part of my phone company) caused my mobile to be disconnected and some costly fees were charged to me before I got all cranky and demanded a reversal on the grounds that they didn't give me any warnings that my payments were being declined.

I have finally sorted out the chage of details on that and several other accounts. And yesterday, Smoochy Girl went through my purse again. Cards everywhere. And wouldn't you know it - my credit card is missing!

I'll just add it to my list of things to stress about.

12 December 2008

Ten Years: good for the marriage, murder for the table

Today is our 10th Wedding Anniversary. Congratulations, us! Thanks to God for giving Mr de Elba to me to have and to hold these 10 years, what a loving God you are! Please can I keep him?

I post this picture again because Blogger isn't uploading anything for me tonight, and I've had to pinch the HTML code for this from my post on 6th September. Crikey, look out for the crocs just left of camera.

Ten years ago, an old teaching friend of my father's gave this table complete with 6 chairs. It belonged to his father who had recently passed away, so it had supported many dinners already. It was in pretty good shape, and then it came to us.

For the first 7 years, it remained in fairly good condition. The extension insert looked like the rest of the table.

Then Sonny Ma-Jiminy became old enough to eat at our table. I will never understand how a child can create such a mess on a table, and I will never understand how wiping the table won't result in a complete clean. Gack.

At some point, the legs went from wobbly to dangerous, with one leg frequently hanging at a shocking angle to the floor and table, which miraculously remained parallel.

But the real damage was done a few months ago when our kitchen was being renovated. The table spent a few weeks outside on the deck in the elements covered by a flimsy green tarpaulin. Then came the storms. We've had some pretty severe storms in the south-east corner of Queensland recently, and during a heavy hail storm, the tarp blew off the table.

We decided not to brave the hail to go and re-cover the table, otherwise we would have been killed by the hailstones. So we let the table get thoroughly wet, and then dry the next day. By this stage, we'd decided the time had finally come for a new table, so our old one may just have got wet and dry a few more times before being brought inside after the kitchen renovation.

Once it came inside, the veneer started peeling off and the chipboard dislodged in showers onto he floor regularly. And that's how it got to be in such bad shape. The extention insert is now unrecognisably differet from the rest of the poor sad table.

Ten years. The marriage thrived, the table didn't.

11 December 2008

300th post

To celebrate my 300th post, we got a new kitchen table.

Actually, that's not true. We got a new kitchen table because our old one looked like this:

We bought our new one in faith, having only seen a picture of it in a catalogue with chairs, not the bench seats we wanted. We really didn't know what it would look like. But we like it. Just as well.

Sigh. Such a nice table, such a shocking phone camera on which to take pictures of it. All I want for Christmas is ... this. (I just have simple tastes.)

Let Them Eat Nectarines

I'm on strike. I'm not making dinner for my family until further notice.

I'm a little tired of wasting my time and my grocery budget planning, shopping, preparing, cooking and serving, only to scrape the lot off into the bin.

So I told my family yesterday that I was not going to be organising any dinners for them until I was ready.

The children did as they usually do, swiping fruit from the fruit bowl and begging and pleading for many cups of milk. I said, "Whatever, go for it."

Then they went to the freezer and found some half-finished frozen yoghurt. Normally I'd step in quickly and stop that sort of nonsense, but yesterday, I said, "Whatever, go for it."

They found a giant slice of watermelon in the fridge and took it to the table, along with a sharp knife. The Good Mother in me was on strike, and the Other Mother said, "Whatever, go for it."

Then Mr de Elba phoned. I told him what I was doing (nothing) and what the children were eating (everything). He thought it was all pretty amusing. Then he hatched a plan to come home via the grocery shop and save the day by making nachos. He asked me to stop the children eating stuff, but I wasn't too happy to include that in my description of Mummy On Strike.

Overall, I was pretty happy with this plan because by that stage, I was getting a little hungry myself.

At that time of day, a small trip for groceries can take a very long time. It was about Sonny's bedtime when Mr de E came home and started cooking. But it didn't bother me, because I was on strike. Mr de E made the nachos and we all sat down to eat long past both children's bedtimes. Delicious.

Then Mr de E headed off to a meeting and I bathed the children, dressed the children, cleaned the children's teeth and put the children into bed (one of whom had great trouble staying in bed.)
I fed Puppity Doggity, and then came upstairs and attacked THIS:


08 December 2008

Prints in the Sand

What sort of creature makes these prints in the sand?

Ah. That sort of creature.

07 December 2008


This photo was taken when Sonny Ma-Jiminy was two years old. I gave birth to Smoochy Girl three weeks after this photo was taken.

Me: Look Sonny, there's a picture of us making meatballs. That's you sitting on the bench rolling some meatballs. That's me there. And look at my big tummy! Why do you think it's so big?

(long pause for thought)

Sonny: Rubbish Food!

05 December 2008

Meme from the burbs

Joy In The Burbs was doing a little meme I thought I'd like to try. Here it is:

Ten years ago I:
* was 21 years 11 months old
* was preparing to marry my best friend in 7 days time, and this means our 10th anniversary is coming up next Friday
* had worked for a year
* had lived in a little flat by myself for a year
* suffered most terribly from horrible panic attacks. But don't worry - God is currently busy restoring the years the locusts have eaten.

Five things on Tomorrow's To-Do List:
* fill our spare beanbag with trillions of little tiny beans so that the endless fights over our one beanbag will be put to rest. (Fights between my kids, not between me and Mr De Elba.)
* 10am - 2pm: go to Mr de Elba's work Christmas Party in the park. We're expecting a scorching 38 degrees C (100 degrees F) and it will be humid too. So a party in the park in the hottest part of the day might just kill us.
* endless pottering about the kitchen
* endless pottering about the laundry
* perhaps my parents will drop in for a little bit, but maybe the heat will keep them up on the mountain in Toowoomba!

Five snacks I enjoy:
* crackers and dip
* chips like Tasty Jacks (Louisa blogged about these and now they're on my mind. Mmm.)
* corn chips too
* macadamia nuts
* dark chocolate

Five things I would do if I were a millionaire:
* Give to the mission organisations and charities I'm interested in
* Make sure that our parents, who have supported us from infancy to independence are well taken care of
* Set us up to be comfortable but not over-comfortable (yes I know I know, that's all relative, my idea of 'comfortable' is the third world's idea of 'filthy-rich'. Don't make me any more guilty of my blessings than I already am, okay? I'm working through it with God.)
* Set up my children for their education and a little helping hand with their first homes
* See if I could find something wise to invest in.

Five places I have lived:
* Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
* Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia
* Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
* St Lucia, Queensland, Australia
* Ipswich, Queensland, Australia

Five jobs I've had:
* An ill-fated three days' employment at Hanna's clothing store before I realised that they gave me a full-time job when I wanted a casual job over Christmas.
* Receiver of paper cuts in a Back-To-School Bookstore.
.......A step up because I knew what I was getting myself in for.
* Speech Pathologist with Disability Services Queensland.
.......A step up because it was what I was trained for.
* Speech Pathologist with Education Queensland.
.......A step up because there were no lying scheming manipulative managers trying to bring me down.
* Speech Pathologist in my own private practice.
.......A step up because I am my own boss, I set my own hours, I see as many clients as I want, and I manage my own workload and professional development.

That was fun. I enjoy memes, probably because I like talking about myself. In fact, I enjoy BLOGGING because I like talking about myself.

Wanna do the meme? Go ahead, then tell me so I can pop over and check out your dark secrets ... about ... your employment history and your snacking habits ... which I could learn from having morning tea with you while reading your CV.

04 December 2008


I need to thank all of you lovely readers for your kind words on my blog. Especially since I've been crying at the washing line and stupid things like that.

Femina, Dee, Tinsenpup, Musing, Jen, Heather, Longdarkhairblueeyes, Alison, Joy and Mrs Tantrum all were so kind and thoughtful, and Hippomanic Jen even offered to come and help us sift through some of the accumulated stuff that has overgrown various dark corners of the place in the last 5 years.

When I confessed to crying while hanging out washing with a blue party hat on my head, I received such lovely hugs and thoughs from Heather, Swift Jan, Hip-Jen and the Jen with the 3 babies, Crazy Sister, and LDHBE.

Tracy P pointed out (and she's right) that my dearest treasures will be coming with me, and I'm glad that they're all able to throw their arms around me and make me feel much better.

Groovyoldlady was also correct in her observation that my drawings are indeed mediocre. I'm thankful that she enjoyed her first visit here even though she stepped into a sad post. For more of a laugh, read about the nipple-pinching kitchen scissors.

Mrs Tantrum said she felt my pain. It's good to know there's a good friend a short 42-day kayak trip away who understands that party hats are painful. She confessed: "I had to wear a CARS movie party hat to the grocery store the other day on the command of Bacon. It was horrifiying. Every time I attempted to remove it, he screamed like I was beating him within an inch of his life, so I left it on and took in the random stares and smiled. I see now that I should have just put on the waterworks instead."

Funny how some friendships will be changed forever by this move of ours because we'll be further apart :( some will be strengthened because we'll be closer together, and others will be unchanged, because the blogging will go on.

PS: I can't help but notice how under my post about the letter "O", nobody has commented! You've all ganged up on me to leave a big fat "0" down the bottom, to prove that "0" isn't that hard to achieve! Thanks for the lesson, point taken.


There's a meme floating around right now which asks bloggers to list their ten top favourite things that start with a particular letter. Jen at Buried With Children inspired me with her wonderful list of things that start with "S" so I asked her to give me a letter and I'd try.

She asked the handsome Hayden to assign me a letter. Hayden chose "O".

So now I'm in real trouble. Thanks Hayden. A vowel.

Where to start? Obviously, the first thing was to google "things that begin with o".

This was hopeless. Most of the hits were for other bloggers who attempted this meme, and here are some of the uninspiring things thay have listed:

Osama bin Laden, Oprah, Obama, Opossum, Outhouse, Old School Friends, Ostrich, October, Offers of Marriage, Onyx, and Oil paintings.

Ya what?

I'm struggling with "O".

03 December 2008

Men think differently to women

How does one begin to think about getting rid of heaps of junk, and then packing all that remains into boxes? How does one remove every single item from their first real home and transport it all to their new home, ready to start some new memories?

And what about when all the boxes have gone? When everything has had its final clean and you stand together in the empty house you have loved so much, all alone apart from the light fittings and the echoes, what do you DO?

Do you sit down in the middle of the bare floor and cry together?

Do you buy a packet of chips and a bottle of red wine and celebrate a final few moments before you move on?

Do you shut the door, turn around and walk away without looking back?

I thought it might be good to ask Mr de Elba.

"When everything is packed and gone and we stand together here with nothing but the memories, what will we DO?" I asked.

"Sex in the kitchen!!" came his gleeful reply.


02 December 2008

Party party party

I saw something funny today. I didn't have my camera on me, so I'll have to re-create it and because I'm not good at Photoshop, I'll have to use MS Paint.

I looked out the window and saw Sonny Ma-Jiminy climbing the neighbour's fence with a red party hat on his head. He looked a little bit like this:

I thought that was pretty funny until I thought about what I must have looked like at the time:

Cooking with a blue party hat on my head.

In fact, since Sonny had the bright idea that we should all put party hats on, I've done a few weird things with a blue party hat. Here is me at the washing line:

Yeah. That's me crying at the washing line with a blue party hat on my head. I was crying because I wrote that previous post, and things were getting real for me. By 'real' I mean 'real sad'. I was feeling miserable and alone. So I did the only sensible thing: I hung out washing while crying.

At least I was dressed for a party.

01 December 2008

Blogging it into existence

I once said, "If I don't blog it, it doesn't exist."

I have avoided blogging about this, and therefore it hasn't really existed so far. But at the risk of bringing it into the realm of reality, I need to blog about it, so I don't go mad.

A few weeks ago, Mr de Elba was offered a job in a different town. It it a good job for him, and I think he's the right person for the position. So it looks like we're moving.

I've had to keep this under my hat until Mr de Elba could tell the people who need to be told (it would be terribly poor form if they found out from his wife's blog!) That's been very hard for me, because I have been feeling shocked, devastated, bereft, and just plain reallyreallysad,
and without the benefit of my cathartic blogging, I fear the stress has eaten me alive.

Woody Allen said, "I can't express anger. That's my problem. I just grow a tumor instead." And so I've wanted to express all the feelings I've had the last few weeks, but instead I've just - broken up inside.

Question and Answer Time
Here are the answers to some questions people have asked me.

How far are we moving? Not far. Our new place will be a little over an hour away. But leaving this place that I love so much is ripping the heart out of me at the moment.

Where is it? We are moving from Ipswich (red dot on map below) to Toowoomba (blue dot), the town where I grew up. It means that our children will grow up living very close to their grandparents ("The Grammas", as Sonny Ma-Jiminy calls them) and this has to be a good thing. Here's a map to show how ridiculously close our new place is, and also to give you the heads-up on the states of Australia in case you were wondering.

Are your parents delighted you'll be moving closer? To be honest, they have been very kind and understanding about how devastated the move has made me, and have sympathised with the amount of crying I have done over the last few weeks. They are not using my time of grief to kick up their heels and celebrate in my face. They've been really supportive.

What is wrong with you? Pull yourself together. Why are you so upset? I admit, this is my own fault. It's because I love this place so much. It's because I've become so jolly thankful for all that God has given us that saying Goodbye to it all is really hurting me at the moment.

If I hated Ipswich, I wouldn't be so sad. If I didn't like my friends and was glad to see the back of them, I'd be cool. If I was getting itchy feet and ready for a move, I'd be more excited. But none of that is true.

How is everyone else taking it? Yeah they're fine. Mr de Elba has an exciting job to go to, and Smoochy is too small to be worried at all. Sonny is loving the idea of moving. He puts his arms around me and says in a really sympathetic voice, "It's okay to move, Mum. It's really good to move because our old house is just about to fall down." That's a crazy thing to say about or lovely house. He's also said, "Having new trees is much better than having old trees. When you look at them, it makes ... your brain ... better." And this I believe proves he has no clue what he's talking about.