29 January 2009

"I have an idea!"

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: I have an idea!

Me (cautiously): Ye-e-e-eah...

SMJ: We could make a rowing boat!

Me: Oh, great idea. We could use these bean bags for rowing boats and ...

SMJ: No, a real rowing boat, and float it on real water. Maybe somebody's pool. Maybe we could make our own pool!

Me: Err, that sounds like a lot of work ...

SMJ: We'll do it when the sun goes down a little bit and it's not so hot.

Me: What will you need?

SMJ: We'll need lots of wood for the rowing boat. And when we build the pool we'll need a backhoe.

Me (manic shriek): A BACKHOE?

SMJ: We can just make one. We'll need metal.

Me: This is sounding like an amazing amount of work!

SMJ: We can eat some eggs. To give us energy.

[At this point I realised I couldn't even suggest that we think this through, because he obviously has. I did what all right-thinking mothers would do at this stage. I put the TV on. It's either that or cook some eggs and head out to source wood and metal, and skill-up on building earthmoving equipment.]

Those that have young

So here's the thing. Remember a few weeks ago when I found a Bible verse that seemed to be for me? It went like this:

He settles the barren woman in her home
as a happy mother of her children.
Praise the Lord. (Ps 113:9)

And I was thinking that it wasn't really in context, so it didn't make sense that it comforted me that much. But I was taking any comfort I could get at that time.

Every time I come back to it, I see that it wasn't written for me or my situation at all. The middle bit doesn't say "as a happy mother of her children" at all - it says "as a happy mother of children." It's not about the Lord promising to settle me in a home and be happy with the kids I've got, it's about the Lord giving children to a woman who couldn't have any, and settling her in the home she already had. And that is a comfort I would never grudge her.

I then came across this other one that has comforted me in the past. I am glad I was reminded of it.
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.
Isaiah 40:11
"Those that have young." That's me! (Unless I have to literally BE a sheep for this verse to be about me.)

But I have young. And so unless this is about some random mother sheep, it says that he gently leads me.

Does that mean that the questions will be answered, the loose ends will be tied up and I will be peaceful in our new home?

27 January 2009

Google Talk Messages with Crazy Sister

Me: How are you going today?

Crazy Sister: Do you ever get the feeling your brain is curled up just rocking back and forth in a corner of your head, banging its frontal lobe on your skull, maybe moaning a little?

Me: Yeah. You?

CS: Yeah. So how are you going today?

Me: Got a baditude. Managing to control strong evil desires, like going outside and shouting "I hate you!" to my neighbour when he shouts at his dog. I controlled that one today, but I am making no promises for tomorrow.

CS: you could claim Tourette's.

Me: What? "I hate you! Oh sorry, I have Tourette's." Come on.

CS: Just move.

Me: yeah okay, I'll move

CS: just post a sign in the yard.

Me: "Beware this resident has Tourette's?" Yeah, I can see that.


Me: Have you heard of Hairy Lemon? [This is an effervescent lemon drink full of vitamins.]

CS: no. Is she a feminist?

Me: wha? no

CS: or an alcoholic drink?

Me: no

CS: rock band?

Me: no, Give up.


Me: Playing hide and seek with Sonny today - he got in the blanket box IN FRONT OF MY EYES and I had to count and say COMING READY OR NOT and start guessing
so I guessed: are you in the tissue box, are you on the fan, are you in Smoochy's mouth... etc. He thought it was a great game! Easily pleased.

CS: that's hilarious

Me: He's good with Hide and Seek, you don't have to actually get up and look, you can just shout out "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, COMING READY OR NOT ARE YOU IN THE BLANKET BOX" and he says "YES" and he's perfectly satisfied and we play again. Sadly, usually the same hiding place.


Me: Still chuckling at the image of a sign in my yard saying This Resident Has Tourette's and me on the balcony shouting abuse at people

CS: It's worth a shot. You're moving. Now's your chance.

If I were a millionaire ...

I had a swim today. Mr de Elba was home and I was able to leave the children with him so I could actually do some real swimming myself, instead of supervising Small Ones Who Get To Swim.

Well, to be honest, I don't really swim. I just put on my flippers and take my kickboard for a leisurely paddle up and down and up and down the pool until my brain is clear and I can function again. It's more like hydrotherapy really, and today I noticed all my pain here had gone after 5 minutes in the water. I don't want to go on about this particular pain in my blog, because I seem to go on about a whole lot else! But it's an ongoing reality for me most of the time, particularly bad in pregnancy.

And I got to thinking, as I do. What would I DO if I had unlimited money? If I were a multi-millionaire, and had given to missionaries and charities and there was still money I couldn't seem to burn?

I realised I've got it pretty good right now:

I'd look at top-end real estate. Then I'd buy a nice simple house no bigger than my family needs, and be comfortable in it.

I'd stop working. Then I'd miss the intellectual stimulation and being able to help little kids with their speech and language, and I'd go back to it.

I'd be able to afford more day-care for my children. But I'd miss them, and pull them out again.

I'd buy my husband a large flat-screen TV like he's always wanted. Then we'd continue to never watch TV and I'd end up giving it away.

I'd employ a housekeeper to clean and do my laundry, and pay her double to show her how much I appreciated her work.

But I'd never give her up!!!

26 January 2009

Happy Lamb On Australia Day

It's Australia Day. Dee has been talking about what she loves about Australia in her recent posts, and Heather loves the idea of our weather so much that today she asked me to wear a t-shirt and shorts outside and soak up some sun! She's just saying that because it's (in her own words) "freaking FREEZING" where she lives right now, and I do sympathise with her. But I didn't go outside and soak up rays today because I feared my body would dry up, go crackly and burst into flames.

For my Australia Day Post, I will show you a series of TV advertisements that keeps us laughing every Australia Day.

The actor is Sam Kekovich. He was an Australian Rules football player and is now most famous for being the spokesman for Meat and Livestock Australia, promoting the lamb industry.

His ads are the most politically incorrect pieces I have ever seen broadcast on Australian TV, but most Australians love them. He takes brazen swipes at people, groups and situations which knock the air out of your lungs and make you wonder how long it will be before the ads are taken off air. But each Australia Day, he's back with more.

I want to share them with you. If you're easily offended, feel free to leave now. Sorry if you feel you need subtitles, they're not available. He talks faster as the years pass and something tells me you're not as used to our accents as we are to yours! We see all your TV, and all you get is Bindi the Jungle Girl. And maybe The Wiggles.

2005 I believe this is the original ad. He takes a swipe at thongs (flip-flops) and anyone who eats vegetarian or chicken.

2006 Sam shocks again. in 2006, our news was full of pretty (but stupid) Australian girls jailed for drug posession in Indonesia, riots and violence on the beaches at Cronulla and bird flu threatened poultry all over the world. The Australian Cricket Team lost the Ashes and one of our famous cricketers suffered the breakdown of his marriage after news that he had multiple affairs with English models while away on tour, transcripts of his text messages to them appearing in tabloids all over Britain.

And Sam blamed it all on us not eating enough lamb:

2007 In 2007, Sam produced an epic 3-minute ad. I'll let it speak for itself:

2008 He suggests Australia Day is replaced by Australia Week. We'd come through the horse flu epidemic, the appalling behaviour of our footballers which got far too much publicity, and there was a lot of controvery surrounding the way refugees to Australia were kept in detention on the island Nauru. Sam mentions all of these, and drew criticism for being disrespectful about the appearance of Helen Clark, the then-PM of New Zealand.

2009 Were we surprised to see another Eat Lamb On Australia Day ad from Sam? Yes we were, given the controversy that's followed his previous ads. But we still laughed. The situation of the world economy was his focus, but he also reminded us that our Olympians probably did better out of their sponsorship deals than the actual Olympics.

Where can he go from here? We have to wait another year to find out.

Please nobody tell Sam that I have planned to cook homemade pizza for dinner on Australia Day.

25 January 2009

Smoochy Love

Again, thankyou for your comments and thankyou Mimi for your story. I will try to keep it real, letting you know how I am but also trying to find the Joyful in things, as I have been recently.

I have one story that is about something lovely but it does involve a lot of crying. I will post it and then I'll schedule a few posts that are NOT about crying because I've found a few blogable moments recently.

So, to the crying. The other day I was bawling my eyes out. It was probably a combination of everything: the move, the loneliness as Mr de Elba was away all week, and feeling completely overwhelmed with love as I watched my two kids playing together. They often fight a lot, but this particular day they were running together from side to side of the living room, Sonny holding Smoochy's hand and jogging slowly as she ran as fast as her little legs could carry her (her legs only come up to his knees.)

I sat on a loungechair with a box of tissues and cried and cried and cried. Then I became aware of Smoochy standing in front of me.

"Kay?" she asked me. "Mummy? Kay?"

I said I was okay, but I was having a cry.

She took a tissue from the box and gave it to me saying,"Nuh one?" ("Another one?")

And then, because she's 1¾ years old, again and again. "Nuh one? Nuh one? Nuh one?"

"Thanks sweetheart," I said. "That's plenty."

A short pause, and then her little voice again: "Amy." And her little doll appeared on my lap. Satisfied, she said "Happy" and walked away.

I love her.

Nie is crying

Long story short:

  • In August, SITS directed us to Nie's blog and told us she and her family needed prayer. So I went.
  • Nienie, or Nie for short, is the nickname of Stephanie Nielson, a wife and mother of four who lives in Utah.
  • The day before, she was blogging about normal life. The day I met her blog, she had just been involved in a light plane crash which killed the pilot and left her and her husband Christian fighting for life.
  • Updates were available on her sister C-Jane's blog for a while, but they were few and far between. The children were looked after by C-Jane and other sisters.
  • Nie's family started re-posting her old posts on her blog while she was recovering. I learned that Nie, while living in a different country and following a different faith to mine, was a lot like me, and also a lot like who I would like to be.
  • I know I will never be just like her because she has things going for her that I never will have. But that's okay. I could do with becoming a little more Nielike every day.
  • She stayed in my thoughts all these long months, then her husband left a Christmas message on her blog. He was up and about, Nie was still recovering. So many months.
  • Then last week, a message on her blog said she would be returning and so she did, blogging every day when she could.
  • She still sounds joyful. Happy to be alive, not sad about the crash and the burns which cover so much of her body.

And then I read her recent post detailing her morning routine. Step 6 was "cry/pray" and Step 13 was "Shower/cry/pray."

I can't imagine how anyone would go through this devastation without a good deal of crying. I know I wouldn't. But somehow, to me, Nie seems unflappable. She seems to be the sort of woman who can bear any disaster with a smile, a prayer and plenty of cuddles with her kids and all the devoted, selfless, caring, attentive, LOVE she gets every day from Christian, who she calls Mr Nielson (so lucky to have each other, no wonder she is [usually] so happy!). I was so sad to hear she cries. I guess I knew there must have been tears, but to read on her blog that she really cries, she really really does cry, well it made me cry too.

And then at the end of her list of things to do each morning she said, "Tomorrow you should hear bedtime list. It involves WAY more crying."

Now I am so sad for her, and I understand that I make you all sad when I tell you that I've been crying. I should stop telling you about the crying, and I should start finding nice things to post about. Well, I know that most days, I can't actually find much to post about when the day has been so sad, but I guess I could make something up or post a funny picture? What do you think?

Poor Nie. She's crying just like me.

24 January 2009


I have many great commenters. One is "Mimi". Today she posted a poem she wrote in 1969 and I liked it. I've been wondering what to post recently because, well, I guess I just have to shrug and say that not all days can be Good Days.

So how about I post a poem I wrote in my much younger days? I think it was written in late highschool or university, so I am guess it must have been the early 1990s. The inspiration, as always, was taken from real life. Creative pauses are required for correct meter.

"I Think"

I think
I stink
Because my deodorant
Is on the blink.

I never chose
For the deodorant to dispose
For I wish to save
Everyone's nose.

No matter a lot
If it's my choice or not,
But the arms of my shirt
Are beginning to rot.

A little bit of culture for your weekend.

23 January 2009


Pregnancy nausea is gross. Probably not the worst that life can throw at you, but that doesn't make it any less awful.

Being nauseous with the first child was ghastly. I'd never encountered it before, and I was still working full-time, sometimes taking a vomit bucket to sit beside my speech therapy table as I worked in the 17 schools I had to travel around to.

Being nauseous with the second child was also ghastly. Because this time, I was battling with -ahem- the slight incontinence that comes after the first child coupled with more violent vomiting which encouraged the whole body to sorta let go and ... expel everything. Picture hanging over the toilet losing your nutrition while trying to avoid an ever-increasing puddle of your own wee. And then picture trying to swat away a toddler who is desperate to press past you (walking through the puddle of wee) to try to see what on earth was so darn interesting in that toilet bowl that required urgent viewing.

Being nauseous with the third child is weird because apart from a slight hiccup with some raw meat the other night, I haven't actually vomited. Weird. But the sickness remains, and then the situation becomes ghastly again, because this pregnancy I have to deal with picking some truly revolting things out of plugholes, thanks to my other two children.

A labour of love, I tell you.

22 January 2009


I have been blown away by the support and kindness in your comments! Thankyou all so much for being so happy about Thingamababy and so understanding! Some of you needed a response, I think!

The Blonde Duck, Louisa and Long dark hair, blue eyes had kind wishes on the news of the baby. Thankyou all very much.

Heather said "removalists" sounds so much more technical and fancy than our boring, old "movers" in the US. I didn't realise we sounded posh! In fact, while Google Talking with Heather, I realised that she said "realtor" where I would have said, "real estate lady" so I thought she was the technical and fancy one!!

Jen said she loved the name 'Thingamababy' and she wanted to be pregnant just so that she can use it. Well, I think it would be exciting to see another little one in her family, but perhaps after Hayden and the triplets she should ask Jeff first before she goes having a Number Five just for the name? Made me chuckle anyway.

Taryn said she started screaming when she read about Thingamababy, and I wonder if that's because she freaked out at the thought of babysitting THREE of my kids instead of the usual two? We can switch one or two of the kids to the "off" position when you babysit in future? And Toowoomba isn't that far away, really.

I always love comments from bfs ~ "Mimi" because she has been there and done that. She called Thingamababy a "new little kiss from God" and I really loved that. Until I can feel him or her moving, I will probably find it hard to believe, with everything else going on! Thanks also for your prayers for health and peace, Mimi.

Yes, I am nauseous, but this time around, there hasn't been vomiting (until yesterday afternoon, 12½ weeks, go figure.) So although the crackers would be a good idea, I am still just eating unwise things and regretting it. Like last night at Home Group, I ordered Bananarama pancakes with butterscotch syrup and a side order of chips and tomato sauce. Our Home Group meets in a dark quiet booth at The Pancake Manor, in case you were wondering.

Swift Jan said she was going to call Thingamababy "God's smile on Kate" which is (a) so lovely, and thankyou, and (b) a reminder to me about using real names on this blog. I really want to! Maybe when Thingamababy is born, I will tell you his or her real name (if we can think of one)along with everyone else's! Most of you know I am Kate, so that's not much of a surprise.

Crazy Sister said a whole lot of nice stuff. Thanks babe. I think that once we've found a nice home and bought it and sold our Ipswich one, we'll be able to start planning and making moves towards ... moving. And then you can visit us whenever you're in town.

Femina said Givinya - 1 / Screaming-Heap-Nervous-Breakdown - 0.
That shows remarkable insight into the struggle going on in the difficult times, and I love that you said it! I am hoping to turn my '1' into a bigger number as the days go by.

CynthiaK said that "Thingamababy" made her think of the Moomin books by Tove Janssen (of Finland). I will have to check them out!

Dee from Downunder had a great idea, one I have already had myself: Let everyone else do all the heavy stuff, and sit back with your feet up. I had decided early on that if packers weren't provided along with the movers ... removalists ... by Mr de Elba's work, then I'd just work a little extra and pay for them myself! Having going through a lot of ghastly packing and lifting last year during the bed bug crisis, I know the task is too much for me by myself. And if there's one thing I know how to do, it's when to ask for help and Make It Happen! Wow I feel powerful now. It was great to hear that Dee agreed with me!

Hippomanic Jen my faithful friend said "I wish you'd left that negative comment up so that I could have savaged the author for you." I would have loved that. The comment wasn't the usual trolling and hating, it was just a Christian who came from a particular side of the church who believed that I was choosing to be miserable, my feeling of distance from God was obviously because I'd moved away from God, and that I should just be thankful that I don't live in Gaza of Afghanistan.

Well, I've heard all this sort of rhetoric before, and deliberately distanced myself from it by delving further into the real God.

The truth is that I needed to express my thoughts and God can take it and nurture me to a healthier place if I am honest, the great Biblical and Church fathers have all experienced their dark night of the soul when God seemed distant (Chapter 2 of "Prayer" by Richard Foster was helpful), and countries like Gaza, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, East Timor, Sudan, etc., are often in my prayers. I ache for those nations, I pray for those nations, and yet my own problems still seem quite real.

I had many thoughts on how to respond to that comment, but in the end, I just hit delete and tried to forget. A Hippomanic Savaging would have been interesting to read though!

Mrs. Tantrum said "I think that Thingamababy is the PERFECT addition to the DeElba crew!" We don't really know Thingamababy yet but we think you're probably right. But as I've elected not to have a scan until 18 weeks, we just can't be really sure it's not actually Thingamababies in there, and we know you've had those dreams about someone close to you having twins. Well, if it IS, then (a) thanks for the dream, my friend, (b) they will be the perfect addition to our crew, if a little surprising, and (c) I will need a lot of help.

She also suggested that I try bacon for my nausea. Believe me, I am trying everything in large quantities. Nothing makes me feel better but nothing makes me feel worse either so I have been eating pretty much everything and have given up on Operation Skinny Cow.

Adelaine had some stories showing that I'm not alone in juggling a pregnancy with tricky life situations. It's good to hear from others who have done it and come out the other side alive!

Joy in the Burbs... "I think you have timed this perfectly. Now Mr de Elba has to do all cleaning and major pushing around of furniture. Don't want to upset baby Thingamababy." I liked that!

stefanie said that Thingamababy was perhaps the longest name she'd ever heard of for such a tiny little person. It is a bit long, hey? But still shorter than I name I saw on a message board once: A prospective Mum was asking people if they thought it was a bit much to call the baby girl "Emmaleighyanna" pronounced of course like "Emily-Anna" - most people replied that yes, it was absurd.

I loved the comment from Sassy Britches: "Oh MY!!!!!!!! Look at YOU!" (Yes, look at me [wry smile.]) "I'm so happy that Thingamababy is coming into your life and into your family." (Thankyou so much, it reminds me that there is actually a real baby in there and I should remember to thank God more often too!)

"I know people say things like "I'm praying for you," but I have never been a remembering-to-pray-specifically kind of gal...BUT I have prayed for you every night and morning since you told us about your move! So, we're all here with you!" this meant a lot to me. I too am not great at remembering to pray so I understand that when you say you will or you did, it MEANS something! I really appreciate it!

Carol said "Congrats!! That is such awesome news. I'm praying for you, and your new bub and your existing family. Praying for a new house for you too :)xoxo" and this was so special to me, because I didn't even know that carol read my little ole blog! I've been amazed to discover the people who have been reading and caring. Thankyou so much my dear, it means so much that you're praying for exactly what we need.

It was great to hear from Aunt Debbi/kurts mom, who graciously reads my blog even though I can't grow a garden to save my life. She said "Only idea I have for the pukes is figure out what time of day you've got it and avoid anything that smells during that time." Good idea, but that would be all day .... :) "And drink water, lots of water." That is very good advice, the baby has already been ordering in lots of water. Two litres a day? Pah. I could pretty much do that by lunchtime!

As usual, everything tinsenpup said was precious - you know - words you want to hang on to and read often. She told me to"do whatever you need to to process this terrible blow." So I will. People, if tinsenpup says I may, then I will.

GreenJello suggested protein for the nausea (maybe I should try Mrs Tantrum's bacon?) and then said that when she moved, they didn't have packers and movers, she had to do it all herself. It gave me cold sweats.

Hairline Fracture has remodelled a house while pregnant, and that would be a similar sort of upheaval, I think!

Thank you all so much. I really appreciate that you have been reading and following, and that you left lovely comments!

18 January 2009


Thankyou all for your lovely comments of care and support over the recent weeks. I didn't know if I should actually tell you I was struggling, for fear of hearing you all say, "Get up. You sook."

I had one disappointing comment which I promptly deleted, but the poison remained and discouraged me from sharing anything for a while. But most of you do have a basic understanding of how people deal with grief and loss on many levels, and were able to support me as I worked through the feelings which were natural.

I thank God -literally- that I have many trusted and wise friends and mentors who have all echoed each other in allowing me to work through the stages of grief, all of which are still very confused and only partially completed. In the same day I still feel the initial denial, even though anger and acceptance have been vying for supremacy only hours before.

But enough. And now on to some other issues.

There is a third tiny de Elba on the way who will be called Thingamababy for the rest of his/her life unless a better name comes to mind. This is a much loved and prayed-for de Elba, but when Thingamababy was breathed into being, the new job and imminent move were nowhere on our horizon at all. In fact they didn't come screaming at us from left-field (for that's what they did) until a good 18-20 hours later. I

won't sugar-coat the nausea, exhaustion or stress, but I won't go into it either (not today anyway). Just imagine scraping yourself through a thick pall of desperation to vomit, the need to sleep so long until you're in danger of starvation, and managing blood-pressure problems while pregnant and moving.

We have a few tentative dates: move what we need into Temporary Accommodation in the week of 16 Feb, get removalists to pack, move and store the rest of our things later that week, clean the whole house around the same time, have everything ready for tenants to move in around 25 Feb and arrange a home to buy or rent in our new town before the baby comes, preferably in May or June. Any earlier would be a bonus.

It all seems rather surreal.

Is it real?

13 January 2009


Having two kids is fine until the little one gets old enough to steal the big one's toys.

Let me say that the Toy Rage gets on my neves a little bit. He's happy to play with toys he hasn't seen since he was a baby, she wants to take them off him because she thinks they're hers, he wants to take them back to teach her not to snatch, etc.

So it's great when Sonny Ma-Jiminy became old enough to play some big boy games that babies wouldn't be interested in. The computer is good for this, but it does provide too many of the "Mummy can you come and help me use the mouse and keyboard"-type-games, or the "I clicked outside the window and the game went away"-type-games. The computer held promise until it became obvious that Sonny required constant one-on-one assistance. And then the computer was stolen.

But with Mr de Elba's iPhone came a trillion little games that Sonny can play without much help.

iPhones have a touch screen, so it's easy for Smoochy to play the games like the one where little bubbles fly across the screen and she pops them by tapping them with her finger.

They also have an accelerometer inside, so they detect movement. This means that Sonny can hold the phone sideways (landscape) and "steer" it like a car's steering wheel when he's playing car games.

Sonny's only problem is that sometimes his little fingers hit buttons they shouldn't, like when he called Mr De E's boss yesterday (the thing still is an actual phone. We keep forgetting that.)

And there are the times when he gets out of his game and opens a completely new one. "I can't get the chickens to move, Dad," he said one day. Mr de Elba replied, "I thought you were playing cars. Did you open a different game?"

"Yeah. A chicken game," Sonny said.

"Lemme see. Oh. That's a ... err, what ARE those creatures?"

I can't even remember what they were, to make this post more interesting. Alpacas or some other animal never before seen in a computer game. Something very unlike chickens, anyway.

Today he was playing one of his usual games, perhaps a car game, and Mr de Elba left him to it for a while. Sonny emerged after a few minutes, trying to form a question about what he was seeing on the screen. I noticed that the cars were making odd sorts of engine noises, spluttering loudly in short bursts when Sonny's thumbs hit the screen.

What was on the screen? What "game" was he playing? This:

Yep. A Whoopee Cushion game. Touch the screen and ... Whoopee!

(I realise that continuing to post Life As We Know It may result in the loss of some of my favourite and most classy readers, and but for the lack of other material, I'd stop.)

12 January 2009

The New Family Rule

We have a New Family Rule. Simply: "When you wake up in the morning, you are not allowed to help yourself to any food or drink before Mum and Dad get your breakfast."

So you know exactly where we've been in order to end up making that New Family Rule. You also know to whom it is directed, given that two de Elbas are the parents and a third one is confined to a cot and is therefore unable to get out and wreak havoc.


I was hoping for a nice sleep-in this morning for my birthday, and dear Mr de Elba got up to get Smoochy Girl out of her cot.

I heard him say, "Oh no, Sonny, what have you done?" and I knew I had to get up. Then I heard "Why is there corn in the cot?" and I actually dragged myself into a vertical position.

As he does every second day, Sonny Ma-Jiminy had broken The New Family Rule. Today he did it by going to the pantry, purloining a can of corn (!) opening it with the nifty new ring-pull thingo, and taking it into Smoochy's cot. They had a messy sloppy, feast of tinned corn in the cot before we were up.

This is precisely why we have the New Family Rule, people.

It was interesting too, that he had messed up her bedsheets 12 hours after she messed up his bedsheets. Yes I know I should have dressed her immediately after her bath instead of letting her play naked there. This I knew for sure when she jumped out of bed shouting, "Weee! Weee!"

Never let it be said my kids aren't an ORGANISED TEAM. They appear to be careful about exactly whose sheets they're soiling, they give as good as they get, and they ensure that all the sheets need to be washed on the same day. Happy Birthday, Me.

10 January 2009

How to make an American ... Vomit

This post was inspired by Dee.

Sorry about that everyone.

08 January 2009

Just a normal day

I head loud crashing noises so I went to the window and looked down into the yard.

Me: Sonny, what are you doing?

Sonny: Not anything.

Me: What?

Sonny: Not doing anything.

Me: But the old clothes dryer we were going to take to the dump is in the middle of the yard ... and your bath towel is lying out there on the grass ... and you're naked ...

07 January 2009


The picture can't capture the funky driving music thumping out there.

06 January 2009

Happy Wee Bro Day

This blog was always about funny stuff and interesting stuff. So in order to counteract the seriousness of recent posts, today is Wee Bro Day!

He was born in 1983, after me (1977), Julie Maree (1979) and Crazy Sister (1981). He calls himself "Wee Bro" when he leaves his occasional comments on my blog, which makes him sound like a Scottish Gangsta. And although he is an engineer of great talent and skill, I am sure that deep down in his heart, Scottish Gangsta is his true metier.

Rather than wait for his birthday on 14th March, today here are Killing A Fly and also over at Graze, it is Wee Bro Day!

In honour of this day, Crazy Sister and I have decided to post a recent picture of Wee Bro doing a typically touristy thing on one of our Queensland towns which is found between Miles and Goondiwindi. His drive from his home town of Mt Isa to our parents' place in Toowoomba took him via an unexpected detour hundreds of kilometres south-west of Toowoomba, and I suspect now that the tourist activities of Moonie were a large part of his decision.

I guess Moonie must be a bit of a hole...

[Disclaimer: Wee Bro has given permission to post this picture. He even encouraged me in this email: "...and I’d hate to have laughed that hard all on my lonesome in the car before and after taking the pic for only a few showings to random family members and workmates. Why not share the love with the hole… I mean whole world?"]

Put that on a high shelf

Sometimes, when I complain that Sonny Ma-Jiminy makes messes or uses stuff he shouldn't, I receive the insightful suggestion that I should store the problem object/s up high. "Find a high shelf," you say. "Stop him getting it in the first place."

But in reality, increased height of storage only encourages acts of increasing daredevilry in the retrieval.

Me: Sonny, I see you're playing with those little cars. It's okay, you're allowed to, I just wondered ... I thought I put them up high. In the highest shelf in the house. In your cupboard, up near your ceiling.

Sonny: Yeah. I got them.

Me: What? Show me.

Sonny: Well, I just get up here...
And then I ... eh! ...

And I just need to ...

Then I can ...

Me: Okay, I see. So what if I put this green box up there? What would you do?

Sonny: I can reach ... eh! ... Now for the tricky bit ... re-e-each ... eh! ...
Me: Okay yeah, I've seen enough. A shelf up near the ceiling isn't high enough. Fine.

05 January 2009

Settled and Happy

God has seemed awfully silent and distant for weeks. The last time I remember really being "with" Him was just before news of this Toowoomba job. I seemed to be getting confirmation every day that this is exactly where he wanted us, and that he had provided this house, Sonny's new kindy, our local school, and everything else for us. I had such a sense of His provision in those days.

Since the decision was made to move us to Toowoomba, I have lost all sense of communing with Him. Where has He gone? I miss Him. It has become a habit to "hang out" with Him, most often done when I'm in the kitchen trying to clean the uncleanable and tidy the untidyable. He always seems to watch me work there.

Not recently. And I've been doing my daily readings, trying to find something from Him that might give me an indication that He's still beside me, happy in some slight way that I've agreed to the move despite being shrouded in tears.

Last night I read a few things that seemed to comfort me, even though they're not really in context. I usually worry about things being out of context, but I'm going to take this for what it is.

Firstly, I had to catch up on the reading for Saturday because I spent all that night in tears. The "Respond" bit said this:

What difficulties do you face today? Before you tell God about them, first focus on him, reminding yourself of his greatness and goodness. Ask him to reveal himself to you, then pray about any and every problem you're facing.

But He didn't reveal Himself to me, and I felt lonely in an I-Miss-My-God sort of way.

But then yesterday's reading was from Psalm 113. It was one of those joyful 'Praise the Lord' ones, and the ending was about God's care for the poor and needy. The final verse seemed to be for me, although I am not a barren woman and neither poor nor needy in the sense it was written.

He settles the barren woman in her home
as a happy mother of her children.
Praise the Lord. (Ps 113:9)

If that's for me, then that's very good. He will lead us to the home he has for us, and we will settle there. I like that word: settle. It's the lack of it that has had me in tears. Will He really settle me? Settled. I like that thought. I need to be settled by May-ish, and the long and convoluted reasons for this can wait for another post.

Then it says "as a happy mother". Oh my, that's exactly what I want to be again. I dream of having our own place, being settled and being happy!

Please pray for us, that God will lead us to the place He has for us, and that we will be settled and happy.

04 January 2009

Because Killing A Fly is my place

I tried to write on 1 January, but I didn't want to be negative, so I left it. I tried again to write on 2 January, but all I had was misery, so I didn't write. Again on 3 January I wanted to write, but I didn't want to start 2009 that negatively. And on 4 January, I despaired of ever writing again.

But I really need to write about what's going on. It's my therapy. I'll try not to ruin my life by disclosing stuff I shouldn't. But if you don't want to read this, it's going to be your responsibility to click that little 'x' at the top-right corner and read something else.

Seriously. Go and read this or this or this or this or this. Anything. Heck, even go and read this. Just don't read what comes next if you don't want sad and grumpy stuff. (Also: I can't help but notice that the number of followers of my blog is dropping slowly as the Funny has dried up and the Sad has entered. I guess we'll watch it go down further!)

I will start with telling you that this move has shocked the socks off me.

Mr de Elba and I didn't have enough time to talk it through properly before we had to give an answer. They offered the job on a Wednesday afternoon and wanted an answer by that same Friday. Mr de Elba, rightly, said he needed longer than that and said he would give his answer the next Monday. But as you can imagine, that is not enough time to consider such an unwelcome life-changing move. Perhaps if we were both desperate to get moving, if we'd got itchy feet and were ready for something new, then the time-frame would have been okay. But given that the exact opposite was the truth, a mere 5 days was completely inadequate. Unfair on me.

I have been deeply hurt when people have expressed unbridled joy at our uprooting. With complete disregard for my utter devastation, they have danced on the grave of my hopes and dreams here, thinking only of what they can achieve or gain by having us move. Unfair on me.

I will be losing my job, my home, my friends, my locality, my everything. In their place - nothing. Not a new job. Nothing. Unfair on me.

I feel sad and angry that I have to leave. I feel betrayed by the powers that be. I feel very confused because I was convinced God had placed us here for a reason, for a long time, too. I feel useless and disposable - after all, what use was my career? What use was my happiness?

And yet, like the consummate doormat I've always been, I am prepared to accept it all. I am now ready to start writing a list up the top of my right sidebar of the things I need to embrace about living in Toowoomba. And I'm not going to lie. Many people have told me things that THEY will think are good for me. And I've smiled and agreed, thinking, "You have no idea what it's really like, do you?" And because Killing A Fly is my place, I'm not going to put these things on my list. I can sacrifice my own opinions on the alter of politeness while I'm talking with you, but I won't force myelf to pretend up there in my list.

And there it sits. The one solitary thing I am looking forward to. Ipswich has put on a few completely ROASTING hot days over the last week, and I know that Toowoomba, no matter how hot, is always cooler and more pleasant than Ipswich. For that, I am thankful.

I will make no mention in my sidebar of the things that rip the guts out of me regarding moving. The fact that Ipswich winters are gorgeous and Toowoomba winters are 6 months of congealed misery will hit home to us first after the move, before we get to enjoy the benefits of our first Toowoomba summer. The losses will be real. But this time, they don't get to make it into the sidebar.

For my sanity, only the good will make it onto my list. And so far, that means: The Summers.