31 May 2009


Every now and then, a whole family goes downhill and gets sick. For us, that time seems to be now.

Sonny's certainly been the worst, and his fevers, night terrors and vomiting has had me and Mr de Elba exchanging worried looks with our hearts bleeding in sympathy for our little man.

Smoochy is mostly okay except for a runny nose and difficulty breathing at night. Her own concern is the "crusty snot" on her face in the morning. She's a bit particular, so that bothers her a lot. She scratches it off and gives it to me to hold.

Mr de Elba has been tired and has aching muscles, which is his classic symptom of being sick. We have to wait and see if he will get better or worse from here.

And I have felt pretty sore in the tonsils, and my glands are swelling and eustachian tubes are blocked. So I think it will be a pretty difficult week.

The dog, however, remains well.

So this week may be more of a case of NoBloPoFothMoToDoPoPicInst. Here's my first one. Pictures taken on my phone (the one that sinks all its non-phone skillz into being an awesome MP3 player, leaving no room for decent photo quality.)

29 May 2009

Code Red in Sector 4

It was worse than being dressed up as "Mrs Nesbit."

I knew things were going to be tough when, after being happy and healthy when put to bed at 7:00pm last night, Sonny Ma-Jiminy woke up at 9:30pm talking gibberish with a raging fever and spaced-out nightmares. We made it through the night with Panadol and sleepless hours, and were at the doctor first thing to discover tonsillitis and gratefully accept an antibiotic to help our first-born get over the illness that crept up on him so quickly.

This morning, the vomiting started. I've been a mother for 4 years and 2 months now, and I can guarantee that when they say, "You get used to the smell of vomit - it's okay when it's your own kid" that they're not talking about me.

Today there was one unsuspecting victim of the collateral damage that a surprise vomit can deliver.

When the vomit came flying out of Sonny's mouth with not much more warning than, "I feel so bad!" poor Buzz was lying in the trajectory.

With his helmet open.

Face up, so his backpack created a little reservoir underneath, only to be discovered in transit from the Place Of Vomit to the Place Of Cleaning. Drip, drip, drip.

Buzz, with his characteristic stoic grin plastered on his face, caught a large amount of curdled milk. In the flurry of cleaning the floor, couch and blanket, and getting two children showered, dressed and ready for a quick trip to the doctor's office, Buzz was forgotten and left on the kitchen sink awaiting cleaning.

When we returned, he had not cleaned himself up so I decided to do the job for him. I did it in between gagging, choking, retching, running for the vomit bucket myself and ... yes, you know me all too well ... clinging onto the last vestiges of continence with determination borne of desperate necessity.

Buzz's helmet has a front panel that "does that WHOOSH thing" (as Smoochy says when quoting Woody) - it swings upwards and retracts behind the rear portion of the helmet. Which meant that cleaning vomit from the inside of the front portion (how did it get there, if the helmet was open?) was impossible in both the open and shut positions, with or without Buzz threatening, "I have a laser, and I'll use it."

As if it wasn't hard enough cleaning the inside of the rear portion of the helmet behind Buzz's head with a toothbrush while he declared "Somebody's gotta stop that Evil Emperor Zurg."

I grasped his little Space Ranger body and scrubbed the curdles out of the nooks and crannies while Buzz proclaimed that "I don't think we're in the Gamma Quadrant anymore" and threatened, "Never tangle with a Space Ranger, my friend."

He then spent a day lying in the sun. I was worried that all the washing and scrubbing may have damaged his mechanical bits causing him to lose his power to verbally command the Universe, instead able only to deliver deep-voiced messages from Satan: "Loooook aat myy iiimpreeeessssive wiing-spaaaaannnn."

Yet Buzz lives. His power of speech remains with him. He reeks of vomit and has been banished outside. We don't know what to tell the small neighbour who actually owns him.

But Sonny continues to vomit, only once keeping his Panadol down and twice keeping his antibiotic down. I hope he sleeps well tonight, his temperature decreases and he can keep all his medication down.

The poor little superhero.

27 May 2009


Heard of NaBloPoMo? It's short for National Blog Posting Month or something. It's when bloggers decide to do a post once a day for a whole month. Disciplined blogging.

Well, I've decided to do something different. NoBloPoFothMoToDoPoPicInst. You'll be needing a phonemic transcription of that, so I've included that here:

And of course, that is short for "No Blog-Posting for the Moment - Too Dopey - Posting Pictures Instead." I could call it "Wordless Wednesday" but "NoBloPoFothMoToDoPoPicInst" is growing on me.

I loved that the spelling of "DIESEL" was altered from the original "DIESAL" to "DEISAL."

At least the Courier "GOES GOOD."

25 May 2009

Spiders Translated

Sorry - I thought I should have translated it, but didn't in the end. Spiders are fizzy drinks with ice-cream. Maybe you call them "ice-cream sodas" or as Tracy suggested, perhaps some sort of "float"? Sarsaparilla is our favourite, and that's what they're having here.

The colour effect is really simple - it's the "Focal B&W" effect in Picasa. Sometimes for a richer effect I put a little saturation in the colours first, then with Focal B&W I can pick the coloured focal point, and Picasa fades the surrounding bits to B&W.

I also love this effect - I tint the whole picture in Sepia first, then use the focal B&W so that the focal point is sepia, with B&W around the edges:

I also am using Picasa to do my photo collages these days - much quicker than uploading them into the Mosaic Maker in Flikr.

Thanks for all your kind comments. I'd love to sit around having sarsaparilla spiders with you all!


24 May 2009

Caller ID

Crazy Sister: I got your message and rang your mobile, but you didn't answer.

Givinya de Elba: Oh - that was YOU. I had just strapped a moaning kid and a not-moaning kid into car, and was driving and my mobile rang in my back pocket and I had to pull over and get the mobile out from under my giant backside, then you hung up and didn't leave a msg so I just gave up and drove on.

Crazy Sister: Mum's trained me to hang up when it goes to message bank, even though I don't agree with that philosophy. And the dumb thing is that when you called me at mum's place the other day, I ran past the nearest handset to the one with Caller ID so I could peer at the readout first.

Givinya de Elba: You didn't!

Crazy Sister: Yep - just like Mum does. It's learned behavior.

Givinya de Elba: That is very sad.

Crazy Sister: I know that.

Givinya de Elba: Whenever Mum and Dad get a call they peer at the caller ID, then get their glasses and peer at it again, then discuss at length who it could possibly be, and if they recognise the number etc., etc., all this time the poor schmuck is ringing and ringing! I think Mum and Dad could do without caller ID. One of these days it will ring out while they are reading the number out loud and asking if it's one they recognise.

Crazy Sister: But I can't imagine them deciding not to answer based on not knowing the number.

Givinya de Elba: So there's no point in using Caller ID to screen calls, is there?

Crazy Sister: No. I have caller ID and talked to a pervert for over a minute.

Givinya de Elba: Er-what?

Crazy Sister: I'm not too bright sometimes.

This is where the conversation got weird. I will let her tell you in her own words. For an account of how she managed to talk to a telephone pervert for over a minute, you'll have to head over to her post on

"Graze if you want to, but don't eat dirt."

23 May 2009

Things that go "To Infinity And Beyond" in the night

Wow. You, my readers, are awesome. Thankyou for your comments on my last post. I really appreciate your thoughts. It's all the same stuff that I tell other people, it's great to be reminded of it myself. Thankyou from the bottom of my heart.

And now my thought for the day.

It's a bit weird to have a small child who occasionally sleeps with a Buzz Lightyear toy. Recently, I was woken at 2am by Tim the Toolman Taylor saying, "Our mission is to rescue our Little Green Friend!"

That's all I've got for today. Thanks for reading.

21 May 2009

Dumb Broad = Dumb + Broad

This is how I parked at the hospital on a very rainy day.
Don't forget Thingamababy is growing and my girth is increasing accordingly.

20 May 2009

This Week

Tired. Pregnant. Grumpy. Impatient.

Washing. Raining.



Filthy floors.

Whinging, moaning, demanding, complaining.

Serving, serving, re-serving.

Still raining.

Dog bored.

Large wall mirror broken. Four hours old. Glass shards in carpet.

Feet aching. Very sore. Can't bend over. Tummy giant.

Nie still suffering. Not fair. Shouldn't happen.

Still raining. Mud. Wetness.


16 May 2009

"Every hour we spent together, lives within my heart"

The Movie: Toy Story 2.

The Song: "When She Loved Me"

The Basic Idea: A discarded toy, singing about her now grown-up former owner:

When somebody loved me, everything was beautiful
Every hour we spent together, lives within my heart
And when she was sad, I was there to dry her tears
And when she was happy, so was I, when she loved me.

The Problem: A pregnant 32 year-old woman choking back tears, vowing never to let her children's toys be sold or given away and never to let her children grow up, for fear of hurting their toys' feelings!

The Dialogue:

TV: When somebody loved me, everything was beautiful...

Me: (choke)
Sonny Ma-Jiminy: Why is Jessie sad? Why did her owner give her away?
Me: (choke) Because she grew up, sweetheart.
SMJ: I'm never going to grow up and give my toys away.

TV: So the years went by, I stayed the same / And she began to drift away, I was left alone...

Me: (choke, sob) But that's normal, Little One. We grown-ups don't tend to do a lot of playing with toys.
SMJ: I always will. I will never stop.
Me: But if you ever do, it will be norm-(choke)-al, and your toys would prefer to go to little children who will play with them always.

TV: Still I waited for the day, when she'd say "I will always love you..."

SMJ: I will never ever ever stop playing with my toys and I will never give them away!
Me: O-(sob)-kay sweetheart. That's fine by me.

15 May 2009

Ironing Lady Wanted

I'm sorry, but I hate you:

I also hate you:

And I hate all your buddies.

I hate you because you all represent THIS, which I hate Very Much Indeed:

I'm good at a lot of things, but I am not good at ironing. I am terrible at it.
I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, and it totally gives me the John Schlitts.

(John Schlitt is famous for fronting the Christian rock band Petra for nearly two decades. So when I say that something "gives me the John Schlitts" it's my goody two-shoes Christian way to use Rhyming Slang to swear. Cos I'm a bit rough round the edges like that.)

I spend 15 minutes on one single shirt (that's worth $30 to me in the world of Earning Money) and at the end Mr de Elba (who is not a critical man) is forced to hesitantly ask, "Er - is this one of the ones you've -er- done?"

And I come to inspect it and am reluctantly forced to admit that yes, although I've spent a quarter of an hour with the iron on the correct setting and using the Fabulon and doing it the same way that my Mum does it, it still looks like I needn't have bothered.

I am often at a physical and emotional disadvantage when I iron because it usually happens after I have:

1. promised my beloved that I would iron his shirt for tomorrow
2. forgotten to iron his shirt for tomorrow
3. taken my contact lenses out and gone to bed
4. put hand cream on
5. remembered about the ironing and got out of bed, mumbling Christian-referenced rhyming slang swear words as I go
6. realised that my hand cream would have to be washed off otherwise I would put cream onto my lenses causing my eyes to sting
7. decided that the 'easiest' way forward would be to iron without my lenses in
8. and commenced ironing way past my bedtime, grumpy because I should be reading, and with such poor vision that my nose needs to be so close to the iron that I could burn it.

Moving to my new town caused me to lose many good things, and the loss of my friendly ironing neighbour has been a prominent feature on the list. Asking her to do my ironing in exchange for some money freed me from pouring fruitless hours into a chore I hated and completed slowly and badly. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement.

One great immediate need I have here is to find a nice local ironing lady - one who will take money so I always feel welcome to ask her to do more ironing for me instead of feeling like I am imposing.

If I can find one, my nose is in less danger of severe burns, and my family will find me a nicer Mummy. Their shirts will look better too.

14 May 2009

Finder's Fee

Sonny Ma-Jiminy: Hey MUM! Do you know where my Buzz Lightyear is?

Me: No. Do you know where it is?

SMJ: Yes! (Runs off to get it.)

Me: I know that being a Mum doesn't pay you any money, but I'm unsure if I'm underpaid ... or overpaid.

13 May 2009

Another go at Rehab

Remember last year when I needed to get away and visit my Crazy Sister? She decided to name her brand-new house "Rehab" so I could tell people that things were getting on top of me and I was off for a quick visit to "Rehab."

Well, Sonny, Smoochy and I have just been for another two days at "Rehab." Unfortunately, this time we had our naughty Puppity Doggity as well as Crazy Sister's dog Dash to keep separated so that Dash didn't lose her life. (My dog is naughty, and I don't like her very much.) So after a few days of worrying about dogs, I feel like I wouldn't mind a quiet little rest in a real rehab facility. Rehab For People Who Don't Like Their Dogs, for example.


While I was there, I discovered to my immense dismay that it appears that my belly button is turning into an outie.

I hate that.

I had an outie when I was a young kid, and I hated that too. There was much rejoicing when it decided to become an innie.

There was again much rejoicing when my first two pregnancies did not cause it to become an outie.

And at the best of times, I am a bit "thingy" about my belly button.

I don't CARE that those who have carried babies will all say yours turned into outies but went back in. I just don't think I can handle this.

So Crazy Sister and I decided I'd better put a marble in there and put some strapping tape on top.

It's the only way ... unless you guys have any better ideas?

12 May 2009

A Whole Box o' Buzz

Remember how Sonny Ma-Jiminy bought a Woody with his birthday money?

That day, he decided he would also get a Buzz Lightyear with his birthday money. Problem: his money only covered Woody.

Since then, he has been saving up. None of our shops are sticking Buzz right now, but I have high hopes that they will soon. Ebay has some pretty expensive second-hand Buzzes, but I'm keeping my eye on them anyway.

Then JOY oh JOY a small neighbour lent Sonny his Buzz! (Imagine the fights between Sonny and Smoochy over Buzz! They only replaced the fights over Woody.)

And a few days later - JOY oh JOY - the same small neighbour didn't want Buzz back right then, but instead lent Sonny a different coloured Buzz! (Imagine the fights over the NEW Buzz!)

Then we went to visit 'Rehab,' also known as Crazy Sister's house, and JOY oh JOY, Harpo had a Buzz too! Identical to one of Sonny's borrowed ones. And both mothers thought, 'How are we going to return the correct Buzzes with all pieces intact later in the week?'

Our first strategy was to put all Toy Story-related items in a box:
But they didn't stay there for long.

Our second strategy was to cleverly notice that one of the identical Buzzes had a distinguishing mark on it. We're nothing if not clever.

And then we were clean out of strategies.

Now a piece is missing from one of the soon-to-be-returned Buzzes, and although it MUST be somewhere at Rehab, we simply can't find it.


07 May 2009

Analyse This

It doesn't take an expert to analyse my current dreams and work out what's going on in my subconscious.

I have one recurring dream that we're leaving our lovely house in Ipswich and I'm feeling desperate, knowing I'm leaving behind an awesome place, and a really good property investment. I just feel sad, believing the best has been and gone. (Life's more fun if you believe that the best is is yet to come.)

I have another recurring dream when I'm leaving my Ipswich house and the last final little things to pack number into the squillions. I am frantically trying to get the place ready for the new people, and I don't have enough time. The squillions of remaining items litter the entire house and cannot be categorised except as "miscellaneous."

Last night I had my first birth dream for this pregnancy. Or was it? As I type, I am having déjà vu about having dreamed this before ... or is that déjà rêvé? I dreamed that I was in the early stages of labour and all of a sudden I was in full-blown labour and nobody was quite ready for that. (Did I ever mention that at 2:58 pm on 14-04-2007 I was at my washing line getting comfy pants to labour in, and 18 minutes later Smoochy Girl literally blasted out of me? By then we were in birth suite, but I'll never really know how we got from A to B in 18 minutes. Afterwards, I felt I was in shock regarding the time-frames, and that's a shock that I've never fully resolved.)

Analyse this. No, wait, there's no need.

Poor Vision

The writing over at my sister's blog, Graze, has been brilliant recently. She's kept me laughing, and she's interesting too.

It started with Polka Music, moved on to Small Smalls and odd library books, including "The Pox." Then yesterday she posted about her dreadful vision. And this got me thinking about my Dreadful Vision.

I don't have any astigmatism, but am fairly short-sighted. Not quite as blind as Swift Jan, but getting there. Contact lenses make it all okay. Without the contacts, I am hopeless. I'd lie in bed all day. Seriously. I just can't function without lenses. AT ALL.

I have blogged about this before:

When I was a brand-new first-time Mum, I learned that the worst part of being terribly short-sighted is changing dirty nighttime nappies. Without contact lenses, you have to get extremely close to the -err- project to do a good cleanup job. And of course, 'extremely close' is the least desirable place to be.
I remember once having an afternoon sleep while I was on a camp. For once, I'd taken my contact lenses out (I usually leave them in for short naps, but was hoping for a LONG sleep this particular afternoon.)

I slept face-down on my sleeping bag (this must have happened so many years ago - no Thingamababy, nothing else either) and when I woke up, I squinted through the familiar myopic hazeat my reflection in the mirror.

I'm not sure why I did this. I can be fairly sure I won't see anything. But this one time, I noticed a dark brown welt extending across my thigh that I was sure hadn't been there before I fell asleep.

It looked like a three-day-old burn, and it looked terrible. It gave me a huge shock.

Then as the fuzz of sleep cleared, I realised what had happened.

I'd fallen asleep on a chocolate sultana, and the chocolate had melted and smeared across my leg as I'd slept.

05 May 2009

While Daddy's Away ...

Mr de Elba headed off this morning for three days at a Prayer Retreat. I stayed at home with the children, fulfilling our marriage vows.

I, Mrs, take You, Mister, to be my husband.
To have and to hold, for better or for worse,
For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish; from this day forward.
All that I have I will give to you:
While you are on camps in The Whitsundays, I will clean up poo and vomit,
When you go to hear the Dalai Lama speak, I will wrestle small children bent on my emotional destruction,
While you are on Prayer Retreats, I will suffer abject humiliation at the shops.
I will accept demands for early dinners and subsequent aggressive refusal of those early dinners
At the hands of small tyrannical children bearing your physical likeness.
This is my solemn vow.

Today I limped and hobbled around the supermarket while Smoochy's behaviour sunk from "DREADful" to "ABsoLUTEly disGRACEful." She threw the most AMAZING tantrums. She ran away and got lost. She demanded to be picked up and demanded to be put down and demanded to be picked up. She sat down and when I walked away, strangers thought she was a poor little lost girl.

Sonny's behaviour was okay, but he had a tendency to run after her which only made her run away faster. I was in so much pain from you know what and from lifting Smoochy and Sonny in and out and in and out and in and out of the trolley and pushing the trolley and twisting as I manoeuvred it around corners and bending down to pick up my shopping list. I didn't have the physical strength to chase them down or the emotional strength to break through the pain barrier, knowing that doing so was only causing more damage.

Then they both lost sight of me at one point and bawled their eyes out while friendly strangers bent down low to "help" them. I stood 10 metres away in the place where they'd absconded from, beckoning them to come, grossly pregnant and in extreme pain.

Strangers passing heard me mutter, "Stay close to me children, and you might get the opportunity to see Mummy cry."

I then headed into KMart to get a broom that I really want -need- with Smoochy screaming and absconding all the way. Sonny bashed his head on the trolley on the way in and wailed. It only took me five minutes to ascertain that:
(a) Smoochy was not going to stop screaming,
(b) Sonny's head was so badly injured that it was possibly going to fall off, and
(c) that KMart didn't stock the broom that I wanted.

I then declared that we were going home, and hurried my travelling circus back out of KMart as those who had stared at us on the way in stared at us again on the way out.

After limping rather unsuccessfully through the rest of day, I struggled through The "I want fruit" - "You can't have fruit, you're waiting for dinner" - "I need dinner" - "Use your manners" - "But I NEED food because I'm getting SO WEAK!" - "Look, I've cooked you early dinner so you can eat now and forever hold your peace" - "I don't want it, I'm not hungry" - "You are hungry, eat it up" - "This food hurts my neck" - "DON'T push your food away and don't YOU throw your drinks across the room" - smacks - bedrooms - silent scream - Fiasco.

I hate that particular Fiasco.

I decided to do "the sensible thing". I locked myself in my bedroom (for I now have a lockable bedroom door) and take a shower (for I now have an ensuite) and wash my hair (for I have hair, and it was greasy.)

Yes, that was "the sensible thing." My other options involved violence and smashing stuff up.

I came out of the shower and noticed that the screaming had stopped. Slightly worried that they might have died, I walked towards the door. It was then that I noticed some small fingers pushed under the gap of the door, reaching in my direction. Then they disappeared.

I didn't know whose fingers they were, because both my children have small fingers. These small fingers re-appeared, this time beside some impossibly tiny fingers. Suddenly there were twenty small and tiny fingers reaching under the door towards me.

I dressed and opened the door. "We were reaching for you," he said.

"I saw that. I liked it," I replied. We hugged.

And now as I type, they are demanding hot drinks and biscuits.

03 May 2009

A Movement of God?

You know I'm not ready to get into the church-shopping roundabout, I know I'm not ready to get into the chuch-shopping roundabout, but the rest of the world is being a PITA.

"And which church will you be attending now that you're in Toowoomba?" they ask. I wonder how many people know right off which church they will fit with, be comfortable in and be able to find a niche in this soon after moving? It's ridiculous and unrealistic, but hey, so are many Christians! Not you or me, of course. We're perfect.

So, taking the path of least resistance, I thought it easiest if we just picked a church - any church - and started going. I didn't pressure myself to really get into it, but I did want to go. That way, I can tell people that I'm actually going somewhere, without having to have been intellectually present during the 2 hours of actual church. Sorry that's not particularly triumphant or spiritual, but it's honest. I figure that if God can take my honesty, so can you (or stop reading my blog!)

I'm glad I went. I had a wonderfully refreshing experience that helped me enjoy being in a church that wasn't, you know, my church.

I met a lovely girl who introduced herself at the beginning of the service and we chatted a bit. During the service, she got up to pray for issues that had been mentioned to her over the week.

Some people (like me) use real, everyday language when we pray. We might ask God to "comfort someone" or to "show someone the right choice to make in their situation" or to "encourage someone by showing them Your power and love."

Other people like to use The Lingo of their particular church. They might pray that in certain situations, God will "do a mighty work" or that we'll "see a movement of God's spirit." Whatever wording floats their boat.

But never before have I heard someone - up the front of a church - into a microphone - in the solemn genre of prayer - ask God to "do a movement."

"...so Lord, we pray that you'll, you know, do a movement there."

"Do a Movement?"

Did I hear that right?

Yes, I did.

And lo, under the roof of a church, I once again had great joy.

02 May 2009


This was in today's local paper.
It's also been around the net recently.
Can you believe that? Wow.

01 May 2009

Boxes OR Real Life, take your pick

Today, like most days, I got up long before my body was happy to scrape itself out of bed. I'd been up a few hours earlier after hearing Sonny Ma-Jiminy crying in his sleep. He'd said, "I had a dream. It was a good dream. But I cried." And being unable to work my way through the fuzz of that logic, I told him it was okay and he could now close his eyes and wake up when it was morning.

After getting up, I cooked a big pot of porridge (oats) and mixed in grated apple and sultanas and sprinkled cinnamon on top. Tasty and healthy, and also filling because my kids ask for seconds of this instead of refusing and wasting food, which is what they do with cereal and milk. I packed Sonny's kindy lunch box, wrestled him into kindy clothes, loaded the car with kids and bags and off we went to kindy.

I then went across town to a bank branch to sort out a mortgage rapayment fiasco that I couldn't sort out on the phone due to my interlocutor being an unhelpful man with a thick Indian accent. Spoke to an extremely competant Australian lady, and all was sorted in 20 minutes. I went to the council to register the dog, carrying Smoochy Girl who practised saying "reg-mumble gog" as we went.

I went to the town library and got a Library card and 15 books, 5 of which are for ME, ALL FOR ME and will save me from re-re-reading the selected few of my own books I've yet found in the bowels of boxes.

Home - Smoochy aggressively resisted a nap - lunch - out again.

Grocery shopping which is essential for me, and patting The Plastic Dog which is essential for Smoochy. You know The Plastic Dog? The Guide Dogs donation box? I went looking for a picture of one, just so you knew what it was at the shops that was so essential to lavish love on before we left. Mr de Elba found these 3 pictures of similar Plastic Dogs that I had to share with you.

So yeah, that got patted and climbed on and "ridden" then the two mechanical rides at our local shops were ridden (without money or actual movement), the Leaving Tantrum was had and we went off to Grandma and Grandpa's house to offload recycling that won't fit in our bin, to reclaim baby clothes that were stored there and to water their plants, because they're away.

Time to get Sonny from Kindy and begin the endless roundabout of "I need an apple - I need an apple PLEASE - I need more apple - PLEASE - I need a different DVD - I was going to say 'PLEASE' but I was only taking a breath and you didn't give me enough time to say 'PLEASE'" while I was trying to cook a meal, clean a kitchen, get clothes off the line before they got damp, and manage a small girl who hadn't slept all day.

Early dinner, pumpkin soup liberally dripped all over two small children (some in tummies too I assume) and off to the bath, Crazy Play sans clothing, Crazy Play with clothing, and head bumps and tears resulting from Crazy Play.

Demoralising time putting Smoochy to bed, getting Sonny in trouble for disrupting the sleeping process, Sonny's tantrum and locking self in room, Smoochy again aggressively resisting sleep and screaming herself into a puddle of fatigue in her cot, then silence as both children fell asleep from sheer exhaustion.

Mr de Elba came home and I heated up pumpkin soup for him, tidied a bit, had a shower, and now I sit here with my head in danger of thumping down onto the keyboard as I fall asleep mid-sentence, partly from utter fatigue, partly from the desperation of knowing that tomorrow morning it all starts again. Early. And without the benefit of 5.5 hours of kindy.

Where in the middle of all that is time (or desire) to open a box and deal with a hundred similarly-wrapped packages, many of which enclose assortments of objects like this?

Every. Single. Day. For. 31. Days?