Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Only in my house...

I called out to Brad at 7:45 last night that it was nearly time for bed and he answered, in a very matter-of-fact tone:

"Yes Mum. I just have to finish killing this goblin first."

Oh fantastic! Another mess in the house to clean up. Hope the goblin didn't bleed on the floor too much. It's really hard to get blood out of the grout in the floor tiles!

(Yes, Jackie. That still cracks me up! And for those who are wondering, he was playing Runescape.)

Sunday, 25 May 2008


I have heard that dreams are the subconscious mind's way of processing and dealing with things in our lives but why are they always so strange? Cows walking through your lounge room, children that fly and buildings that keep changing from houses you used to live into a very weird shopping centre. And the people in these dreams .. don't get me started on them!

Okay, maybe the cows are due to reading this blog at 10:30 at night and the flying kids thing was due to the trampolining display at the local shopping centre last week and I do work in retail, so some of the weirdos are inspired by that, but where do the rest of the strange things come from?
On a slightly different note: I've been having a lot of dreams about people from my past lately and it's starting to really get me down. There are quite a few things I wish I had done differently, or not at all, to these people and they aren't things I can fix or even apologise for as these people are no longer in my life. Mind you, these dreams are evolving and having very different outcomes to the original ones from even a few months ago. I suppose that means that I'm working through the issues associated with them. Either that or I'm really going crazy this time!

The hardest part of all these dreams is the feelings that come with them. I still carry a lot of guilt about the things I did and said which I know, rationally, is pointless yet I still do it. It's not just the guilt though. The wondering 'what if...' and the pain of lost love and respect isn't something I want to be reliving as often as I am right now. The feelings of a life lived a certain way because it was 'expected' or to avoid causing pain to anyone else, are not ones I'd wish on anyone else.

I'm just trying to work out, in the cold light of day, what exactly I'm supposed to have learned from all these experiences. The fact that I'm still having these dreams shows me that I haven't learned enough. Or maybe, they've reappeared because I need the reminder of past mistakes to stop me making the same ones now. Thoughts anyone?

Anyway, I'm off to hang out yet more washing while I finish pondering this problem and try to talk myself out of being so melancholy.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Giving it a go

Alex has never been particularly interested in sports, apart from the occasional comment about footy teams, so I was rather surprised when he brought home a note about an after-school inter-school sports competition. Normally those sorts of notes wouldn't even make it into his bag at school, let alone make it home and into my hands.

[A bit of background: Alex has never really been good at the hand-eye or foot-eye co-ordination thing. Partly due to his gross motor skill delay, partly because it's never interested him enough to try and partly because he was afraid to try in case he "looked stupid" (his words not mine).]

He was really determined to give this a go and so, despite my initial misgivings, I signed the note allowing him to play. Once he started this, he'd be committed to it for the full term but as there's only 6 weeks remaining I figured that if he decided it wasn't for him after all, it wasn't too long a season.

Today was his first game of soccer and I was actually dreading having to pick him up. Typical over-protective mummy-bear I am, I was worried he was going to be picked on for not knowing the rules or messing it up for the ultra-competitive kids but he really enjoyed it. He said: "I don't know about the others but I had fun, even though the other team scored 9 goals."

I spoke to the teacher in charge afterwards and asked how she thought he went. Her very diplomatic reply was "well, he's not a superstar soccer player but he tried really hard and even tried taking the ball off another player. He seems to have enjoyed himself." I explained about his autism, which she already knew because she's his PE teacher, and asked if they were ok for him to continue even though he doesn't know any of the rules. Her reply was that of course he was welcome to continue and no doubt he'd be getting a book out of the library to find out all the rules. Seems she knows him well!

I'm so glad he's finally coming out of his shell/comfort zone and trying something new. Good on you Alex; I'm so proud of you!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

A busy weekend

I finished work at 3:30 on Friday afternoon and raced off to do a quick grocery shop before Bradley's friend Lachlan got dropped off for a sleepover at 5pm. Having just made it home in time, it was great to sit and have a chat with Mina (Lachlan's mum and fellow "crazy-lady"), while the very fancy dinner of oven-fried fish and chips slowly cooked. Added a bit of salad and then it was time to feed the starving hordes. Anyone would think I hadn't fed them in a week! While all this was going on, Alex was enjoying a sleepover at his friend Chris' house. Traded one boy for another one .. really need to work on those negotiation skills!

Saturday morning was like Grand Central Station around here. I slept in until 7:30am then madly rushed around trying to do the usual weekend clean, before everyone arrived to pick up/drop off various children. Mina arrived to pick up Lachlan so I sat and had a cuppa with her. Just as she was leaving, Jules arrived to drop Alex off so I sat and had another cuppa with her. After a very quick pitstop .. too many cuppas! .. I raced down to KMart to buy birthday presents for my twin niece and nephew, Kathryn and Lachlan. I'm sure every man and his mother-in-law was in Kmart and they're in the middle of changing everything around, so by the time we found what we were looking for, I wanted to click my heels together and wish for home. A very "lovely" young girl (read as sarcastic, grumpy, PMSing cow) "happily" (grudgingly) opened her register just for us so we were able to escape quicker than I'd hoped.

After dodging Andrew's repeated requests for lunch at the shops ("No. We have bread at home. You can make yourself a sandwich!"), we headed for home with intentions of catching up on the Mt Everest of washing that had managed to accumulate in three short days. Debbie arrived to save my sanity just in the nick of time, so of course there was another cuppa involved as well as adult conversation that didn't consist of telling people to stop touching/looking at/breathing on each other.

All too soon, the brief respite was over and it was back to facing the entire Himalayan mountain range of washing. How did it manage to grow from one mountain to an entire range in that short period of time you ask? Easy .. the boys emptied their rooms into the wash basket. One of these days, they will understand, if it kills me (which it probably will), that clean clothes don't actually need to be washed.

I finally managed to fall into bed at about 10:30pm (late for me .. I need at least nine hours sleep every night or I won't be held responsible for my actions!) figuring I'd be awake around the normal time of 6:00am so I didn't bother to set the alarm. Not the smartest decision I've made .. I woke up at 9:45am!! I know I must have needed the sleep but then it was panic stations to be ready to go to the twins' birthday party.

We were supposed to be at Kings Park by 10:45am and, of course, none of the boys were dressed or fed. I hadn't wrapped the presents, packed the food/drinks we were taking or charged the camera battery. I didn't even know if we had enough petrol to get there. Luckily both the camera battery and the car had enough in them to last the day. It's about a 35-40 minute drive and we caught almost every red light on the way but we still managed to make it on time .. well, only 10 minutes late. Despite that, we had a wonderful day out.

The weather was beautiful and the kids had an absolute ball playing with their cousins. They played chasey, hide-and-seek and Bradley was pressed into service as Kathryn's horse.

I managed to get the five of them to sit still long enough for a photo. It was just a shame I couldn't get them all looking in the same direction with their mouths closed and eyes open!

After everyone else left, I sent the boys off to explore a bit more in the hopes of wearing them out enough to be able to get a decent picture of the three of them. Several frustrating attempts later, I gave in and sent them to play a bit more while I slowly worked my way around the park to the ice cream kiosk. Once they figured out where I was headed, I couldn't shake them for love nor money. After an ice cream each, I tried again for a nice photo but this was the best one I could get:

Three wise monkeys .. or just three little monkeys? You decide! By the way, striking that pose was all their own idea .. this time.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

I'm not the only crazy one!

I was sitting at work today humming the tune from the "ding-a-ling" video when my co-worker Mina started singing the words. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who knows all the words to that particular one.

The really scary part was when we figured out that we both knew all the words to the other ones as well .. complete with sound effects! The store manager now thinks we're even loopier than he did last week when we were singing "Don't cry for me Marge and Tina" (the Goodies version), "There's a hole in the bucket", "The lion sleeps tonight", "I wanna go home", Would you like to swing on a star?" and various other songs from our childhoods. He actually dared to complain about our singing and that we needed to update our repertoire! How rude!!

It was good to have a bit of fun and a laugh even if everyone else is now scared to come into the office! "Be careful. Those crazy ladies are in there!!"

Monday, 12 May 2008

Twenty+ years on ...

and I can still remember the words to these community service announcements. Sad huh?

The ding-a-lings one is most appropriate for work:
"Ding-a-lings do stupid things. They don't think of others at all. Dopes and bullies; see the trouble they bring. That's what we call ding-a-lings."

Can you tell I've had another 'good' day??

Mother's Day

I had a lovely, relatively quiet, Mother's Day yesterday.

I had breakfast made for me but not in bed, 'cos I hate the crumbs that always seem to find their way over to my side of the bed. I got three huge hugs and lots of 'boy germs' (kisses) and then I got spoilt rotten with the presents they had made and bought. Alex and Drew made a little noteholder each at Scouts:

Bradley made me a beautiful card with pop-up flowers inside: Alex had also made a cheese board complete with pyrography (writing burnt into the wood): They also gave me a pair of earrings:

After a relaxing morning we headed out to see Pete's Mum and then out for supplies for lunch. Over lunch, Peter and I watched "National Treasure 2". Interesting enough to keep me awake but I'm glad I didn't pay to see it at the movies.

While we were out getting lunch supplies, we bought afternoon tea to have with my Mum. She worked Saturday night and was sleeping most of the day so we popped around for afternoon tea once she was awake. We had a nice visit with her and then it was time for her to head back to bed before working Sunday night, so we went home and lazed around for a while before I sent Peter out for fish & chips for tea .. no cooking on Mother's Day!

After tea Peter and I sat and watched "Death at a Funeral". Quite funny in a typical British comedy sort of way. "Is there a dog in the car?" Light viewing for the end of a relaxing day.

Hope your Mother's Day was as pleasant as mine!

Saturday, 10 May 2008


I love listening to the sound of the rain on the roof. I woke this morning to that sound and, even though I'd had a pretty rough night with hardly any sleep, it calmed me.

I'm definitely an autumn/winter person because I don't like the heat that comes with summer and would much rather be cold than hot any day. Snuggling up under a blanket with a good book and a warm drink is my idea of heaven. So taking a holiday down to Margaret River in July should be as close to heaven as I'm going to get while I'm still alive.

I'm going all by myself and leaving the boys at home with Peter for 11 nights of, uuummmmm ... whatever I want! I can wake up when I'm ready to, have what I want to eat, when I want to eat it, go wherever I want and whenever I want, go to bed when I want .. so why am I so scared?

You heard me, I'm scared. This will the first time I have been away by myself .. ever! I didn't travel alone before I married (at the age of 20) and haven't travelled anywhere for any great period of time without either Peter or the boys. I've been away for weekend consultant crops but that was only 2 nights away from home and less than 40 minutes drive. This time it's three hours drive and 11 nights. I have invited some friends to come stay for a few nights each if they can get away from their families, but so far I'm going to be completely on my own for at least 5 nights.

It's not so much the being on my own that worries me. It's the thinking I'm bound to do while there's no-one else around. I might actually have to think about me and who I am .. what I want .. where I'm going .. seeing a theme here? Factor in the guilt, both mother-guilt and the 'normal' kind, and I was starting to wonder if it was all going to be worth it.

Then I woke this morning to the sound of the rain on the roof and I decided it is worth it. I deserve a break and some time to just be, so I'm going and I'm not going to feel guilty ...

Well, maybe just a little bit. I'm a Mum after all!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Catch up day

Brad hasn't been feeling well for a couple of days (tummy/bowel troubles again) so I decided yesterday that I would have today off work and see if we could "sort him out". He, in typical kid fashion, perked up and was fine as soon as his brothers left to catch the school bus. So apart from the occasional reminder to "listen to his body", I left him to read and play while I finally got to have a chat and a cuppa with Jackie, Sharon and Debbie.

I was beginning to think I had imagined these friends because between my busy life and theirs, we haven't seen each other in a loooong time. It was so calming to sit and have a conversation without having to deal with the kids interrupting every five seconds. The added bonus was that it was time spent with people I wanted to be with and really enjoy being around.

After talking to these girls, I have realised (once again) how hard we women are on ourselves. Trying to be everything for everyone, and beating ourselves up when we fall short of our own impossibly high standards, is no way for us to live the happy lives we all want so much. Luckily though, we all recognise that type of thinking as the energy sapper it is and, even though it's really hard, are trying to make a conscious effort to change the thought patterns.

Something else that Jackie raised was how we are all expected to suppress our true feelings so as not to upset anyone else. 'Nice' girls/women aren't supposed to get angry or upset or if they do, they're expected to keep it to themselves. I can understand discretion and that there's a time and a place for everything, but it becomes so much of a habit to smooth things out that pretty soon you can't actually tell what you're feeling anymore. But maybe that's just me!

Anyway, enough deep and meaningful for now. The kids have been tucked in and it's nearly time to go watch House. Now he's someone who says what he thinks without worrying about what other people think of him!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008


I've been thinking about friendship a lot lately, especially about the different kinds of friends. I believe that friends are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Those there for a reason are there to help you learn or help you with a particular issue or problem and then they're gone again, sometimes leaving pain behind them and sometimes not. Sometimes it's the pain itself that is supposed to help you or teach you something.

Those there for a season endure through a particular stage of your life like when you first start work, or when your children are young. They are the kind of people you gradually lose touch with and wonder "whatever happened to .."

Then there are those who are just there, a part of your life whenever you need or want them to be, with no pressure or recriminations when life gets in the way of seeing of each other. These are the kind of friends you can not see for ages but when you do meet up, you pick up where you left off without any problems. They are the people who comfort you, challenge you and, best of all, accept you for who you are. There are no limitations on when you can meet these kinds of friends. They don't have to be school friends or people you've known all your life; they can even be people you've never met face-to-face (internet friends anyone? :P) They can just appear in your life and you know that you are made all the richer by having them in your life.

I used to feel sorry for myself because I felt like I didn't have many friends until I realised that it's definitely not the quantity, but the quality, that counts. I'd just like to say thank you to all my friends, especially Debbie and Jackie, for not forgetting about me and helping me to feel good about myself. To quote Jeff Fenech: "Love youse all!"

Monday, 5 May 2008

Look what I got!

After hanging out washing in the dark and then remembering that it's bin day tomorrow, I traipsed down the end of my 35 metre long driveway to put the bin out. On the way back up, I stopped to check the letterbox and found that I actually had some real mail .. not just bills and junk mail.

I have to admit I was a bit confused about who might be sending me mail so when I opened it and found this ...

(Remember I'm glad there is you)

... I was speechless (which is probably a good thing because no-one here is awake to talk to anyway!) The photo really doesn't do this beautiful card justice. It was made for me by Debbie and will be getting framed and hung up with the others I have received from Debbie and Jackie.

I posted on Sunday about how much I enjoy her company but Deb had already mailed this on the Friday. Great minds think alike but some think faster!

Thanks Debbie. You have made my day .. again!

Sunday, 4 May 2008

The company makes all the difference

Debbie and I had a scrapping afternoon yesterday.

I was feeling dreadfully uninspired and only managed to start, not even complete, 1 double page layout in 4 hours. Despite that, though, I had a great afternoon. It was so nice to be able to just sit and talk, or not talk as the case may be. There was no pressure to 'do' anything except enjoy each other's company. The company really does make all the difference.

Thanks Deb! You really lifted my spirits and I just wanted to let you know that you are a really wonderful person and I'm glad you're in my life.