Soundtrack of my life

I stole this from Avitable's blog. Needed a little light relief and decided this would do me perfectly. You can read his answers here.

Here are the rules:

1. Open your music library (iPod, iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every stage of life, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new stage, press the next button
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool…

Waking Up: Don't stop The Music (Rihanna)
First Day at School: There's your trouble (Dixie Chicks)
Falling In Love: Coming Up Roses (Elliott Smith)
Fight Song: Trapped (The Living End)
Breaking Up: Jaded (Green Day)
Prom: The Dolphin's Cry (Live)
Life: Still (Foofighters)
Mental Breakdown: Oh Comely (Neutral Milk Hotel)
Driving: Audrey, Start the Revolution (Anberlin)
Flashback: Someone that you're with (Nickelback)
Wedding: As Heaven is Wide (Garbage)
Birth of Child: Every Breath You Take (Police)
Final Battle: Spiderwebs (No Doubt)
Death Scene: Sing (The Classic Crime)
Funeral Song: The Pharisee (Of Former Fame)
End Credit: Rip It Up (Jet)

Happy 1st Birthday, baby girl.

6 years ago, I started trying to conceive you, my second child. My RJ.

5 years ago, I had a dream. I was talking to a 5 or 6 year old girl in my kitchen, she was my daughter. She was telling me not to give up trying to conceive her, because if I did she would never exist, and that just could not be allowed to happen. She was so cute, fair honey brown hair, blue eyes... I assured her I'd hang on. I had renewed hope. It was you.

4 years ago, I was wilting. I was scared and I was hurting. I was angry. Infertility is soul crushing.

3 years ago I had given up. I accepted you were but a dream. I killed the dream and it broke my heart. I felt I had let you down, but I had nothing left to give anymore. Then hope whispered try again. Courage came.

2 years ago, I failed IVF #1. It hurt. I threw myself into Christmas. I denied the terrifying fear that you would never come, yet again.

12 months ago tomorrow, you came hurtling into the world in the back of an ambulance. Drama queen! Life has been dramatic since. Yet you are an utter delight. You are like sunshine, or bubbles. My heart swells every time I even look at you. That squished up face when you smile your cheesiest grin, melts me instantly. Your :-O face cracks me up endlessly. You're daring and brave, and feisty and funny. So much personality. Your blue eyes are full of emotion, your hair is fair honey brown - you already resemble that child from my dream. You are utterly amazing. I am so freaking proud you're mine. Your adoration and love for your big brother is outweighed only by his for you.

I get teary thinking about how close I was to quitting on getting you. 5 goddamn years Janey girl! I am so incredibly bloody glad I stuck at it. So glad I was a determined, stubborn, bitter, angry, pain in the arse, because it got me you. I can't imagine life without you now. You're all I dreamed of and more. And my love for you is immeasurable. You're perfect.

You were so worth that wait. Worth every tear, every heartache, every pain, every hell. You. Were. Worth. It. ALL.

Your very first birthday, I hope it delights you. I have so many wishes for you my beewee. I hope you dream big. I hope you love hard. I hope you take risks. I hope you believe in the wonder that is you.

Happy Birthday, baby girl. I luboo.

BFL wk 13 picks

Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland
New Orleans vs. Atlanta
Green Bay vs. Chicago
Denver vs. Indianapolis
Buffalo vs. Kansas City
Cincinnati vs. Minnesota
Carolina vs. New England
New York Jets vs. Tampa Bay
Miami vs. Jacksonville
Detroit vs. Baltimore
Seattle vs. Houston
St. Louis vs. Tennessee
Washington vs. Oakland
San Diego vs. Dallas
Philadelphia vs. New York Giants

Monday Night
Arizona vs. San Francisco

Tie breaker: 49

Last time I played I got 13, my best ever by about 12. ha! No, but by at least 6 or more! Kudos to the secret weapon!!

F bear's 2009 end year school report

As expected, the kid is smart. Uber smart!!!

He excels in Maths, Reading/Comprehension/Writing, and Science. He lags slightly in P.E. His effort and behaviour in every class was rated very good or excellent. Can't ask for more than that!

It will be interesting seeing him transition now from Montessori to state school. Freaked out about the decision a bit. Seeing so much potential in this school report, I hope that he continues to thrive equally well. I intend to make sure he is supported at home as much as possible in doing so.

He is reading waaaay above average. Years above, literally, according to the VELS scale. Ditto maths. I can support the reading back to front, blindfolded and inside out. The maths though!? I don't do maths. I hate maths. This will prove challenging. I know there are books I can get, fun sticker, activity books, still... Eek.

Science is his current avid interest. According to his report, he is especially interested in zoology. Life cycles, habitats, features etc of all kinds of animals and insects and so on. Coooool. Mini beasts.

He is also very interested in physics, and geography, especially social geography. So disappointed I can't take him to the U.S. with me. :(

Suggestions including getting him to map a trip we are doing, board games, adding various denominations to $1.00, give him a faux $ amount to spend and some catalogues and let him choose things to buy that will equal the allocated amount.

Also, more art and craft, more reading and discussion of the books he reads, more talking about various cultures and customs, more at home yoga (!), more physical activities (get him into a regular after hours activity), more kneading, plasticine, and juicing oranges (!) to improve his hand muscles.

The best bit, was his music report. ROFLOL. He is at the higher end of average (a decent music program at the bloody school would have helped... grr) but it says he chose drums for his compositions, and is very familiar with percussion stuff. How you can help your child for this area? Suggestions: offer opportunities for him to learn an instrument (check!), continue to provide recorded or live music listening experiences in a range of musical styles (check!), "if the opportunity arises, attending local performances or concerts can offer memorable moments (checked so hard! Woot! GREEN DAY ON MONDAY!)

So, I'm not a bogan parent. The monty school TOLD me to take him!!! HA!

So freaking proud of my boy. The potential is enormous. Because of the zoology and geography interests and the current science kick (thank you, Sid the Science Kid!) we will make some trips over the holidays to the museum, scienceworks, zoo and so forth.

Any more ideas for fostering this amazing brain, please share them. Places, activities, things that will further help him reach the potential. which at the moment, seems totally uncapped. I am excited for him!

My baby girl is turning One...

In ten days, my little RJ is turning one! It is cliched to talk about time flying, but what a year, it certainly has passed in the blink of an eye.

My dramatic birth story, which I have been thinking about this week, can be read here. So dramatic, so very RJ. The world MUST stop for her, always. She is spoiled rotten by her big brother, too. He dotes on her endlessly and is always indulging her. It is a pattern I see continuing in years to come. She adores him back - the way she says Finn is to make a pffffff sound with her lips. Shes trying to get the F right! And now she is at an age where they can interact, honestly, it makes my heart skip when I see them playing together and laughing at one another, there is nothing like it on this earth. Just gorgeous.

Her latest trick of furniture cruising is doing my head in, because she gets up, and can't work out how to get back down so stands and whinges endlessly. Really hoping that trick is learned ASAP. Argh!

The year has passed so fast, between the masters, a newborn and cancer, it was like blinking. Part of me feels really guilty that I missed a lot of her year mentally, I was not as focused on it as I was on Finn's because I was under a lot of stress. I am still heartbroken I only fed for 4 months, when my goal was longer than I had Finn (10m). I am sad that whilst I still enjoyed it and cherished small moments, it was not as I envisaged. And when I had longed for this for 6 years, through infertility hell and back, I feel a little ripped.

Perspective lands heavily, though, and I am grateful that Mum is healthy again (another all clear from the oncologist yesterday!) and that I HAVE my baby girl at all. That is truly all that matters, and I will enjoy her second year completely.

I was thinking about the 5 years we tried to conceive her, the 12 months we gave up altogether, the dream of her as a 5 year old, that had inspired me before that, the invasive treatments of IUI and IVF, the heartbreak, the soul destroying hell that is infertility. The determination. And here she is. Finally. As I write this, she is standing next to me (sobbing because she again doesn't know how to get back down!) but she is gorgeous. I am told she is like me, I call her the new improved version. She is utterly beautiful. The biggest eyes, of the deepest blue - so blue they sometimes appear violet - that melt me completely. Her hair, swept to the side with a clip is getting fairer all the time. She is tiny, but boy has she packed a personality into that vessel! Feisty and she lets you know what she does and does not want with no room for doubt (sounding familiar?) She knows "cuddle" and gives them generously. Ditto those slobbery, open-mouthed, baby kisses. She says Dadda, tucker, mama and Fffffff. Her world is summed up in those 4 words!

She is everything I dreamed of and more. My beautiful Rory-Jane, keep up that feisty, and keep up the cuddles to balance it! I promise to make the next year a special one for all of us. Bringing the happy. I love you, baby girl. Happy (early) Birthday!

Grief is a bitch.

I hate grief. With no "obvious" loss, I often fight it, because I refuse to understand that you can grieve for losses other than death. Does it scare you that I was a social worker and supervisor of 70 counsellors, for many years, too? I know these things, logically, yet I fight it.

Ever tried to fight grief? Not a smart move. Grief is coming, whether you acknowledge it and deal with it, or not. The peril of ignoring it is that it will hit harder. More impact, more force, more hell. The dilemma, with keeping your head in the sand for months on end, is that with other life stressors in the mix, you may find yourself tipped over the edge by something minute, and suddenly there is a black hole you can't get out of.

I have spent the last 10 months with my head firmly planted in the sand. I could not look acknowledge that my best friend and mum, had cancer. Was going through chemo. The fears that it will come back, that this all even happened, the emotions have been far too big to process. When they started, the depth would terrify me and I would shut them down. You can imagine that when you build a dam like that, the crack and outpour is always going to be inevitable, and far more destructive than an orderly stream.

So, I guess it all caught up. I've had 3 (interrupted) hours of sleep and I have cried myself inside out and back again. I have faced that demon, I've spent those hours in the blackest of hell, and the darkest of grief, and, thanks to a couple of understanding, forgiving and kind friends, I'm up again (Thank you Megs & Phil). I am beyond exhausted. I feel like sleeping for at least a week.

The upside is that from now on, it can only get better from here. Right???

This weeks BFL picks

Miami vs. Carolina
Washington vs. Dallas
Cleveland vs. Detroit
San Francisco vs. Green Bay
Pittsburgh vs. Kansas City
Seattle vs. Minnesota
Atlanta vs. New York Giants
New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay
Buffalo vs. Jacksonville
Indianapolis vs. Baltimore
Arizona vs. St. Louis
San Diego vs. Denver
Cincinnati vs. Oakland
New York Jets vs. New England
Philadelphia vs. Chicago

Monday Night Game
Tennessee vs. Houston

Combined MNF Score = 35

BFL picks week 10

Chicago vs. San Francisco
Denver vs. Washington
Atlanta vs. Carolina New Orleans vs. St. Louis
Tampa Bay vs. Miami
Detroit vs. Minnesota
Jacksonville vs. New York Jets
Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh
Buffalo vs. Tennessee Kansas City vs. Oakland
Dallas vs. Green Bay
Philadelphia vs. San Diego
Arizona vs. Seattle
New England vs. Indianapolis

Monday Night
Baltimore vs. Cleveland

Tie Breaker: 35

School dilemmas

At the moment, Finn goes to a slightly alternative school, independent. Initially, and up until the past 12 months or so, we raved about the place. Finn went from being clingy and shy to confident and whilst still reserved, certainly more outgoing than he once was. We accredited it to the school.

Currently cynical self says it would have happened regardless of where the socialisation took place. The fees have been jumped up enormously beginning next year, to close to $8000 a year. For primary education. That is part of the problem, they keep going up, well over triple what they were when we started at the school. How we will send 2 kids there is another problem... But, to us, it has always been that education is the best investment we can make in the kids future, so we paid it.

Lately, it feels the advantage we felt we were getting from the school over public, cheaper schools is slipping, especially when you consider what we are paying for that ever diminishing gap. But even aside from the cost, there are other concerns we are having that have me seriously questioning where he ought to be going. Initially, the school was full of these amazing teachers. Really passionate, believed in the philosophies and the kids and it was inspiring. I was excited to have them in Finns life. In the last 12 months, every single one of them has moved on. The ones left I either do not know, or am indifferent to (and in a couple of cases, not a fan of at all!) This alarms me. I wish I knew why these teachers had gone. What is going on??

The staff-child ration is excellent there, that is one thing we definitely pay for. I think in a class of 22 at its most busy (some are half day kids) there are 3 teachers. When it is just the full time kids, it is 1-2 teachers for no more than a dozen kids. Awesome.

But, I am disillusioned. Many of the families have decided to part ways with the school at the last fee rise as well, they have moved on, or are doing so at the school years end. Finn came home wanting to change schools as well (I am yet to know if there is genuine basis for his request or the general fear of change and that many of the others are going).

One family suggested to me, that 8k goes a long way elsewhere, as well. A cheaper school, an annual museum membership and zoo pass, a holiday, an after school activity - all excellent additions to a school curriculum that would still add value to the education experience. That makes a fair point, but it doesn't quite convince me.

I don't know. Finn is very sensitive, anxious... doesn't deal well with things outside his comfort zone. I thought the school dealt well with that, but lately, wonder... They seem to joke about it to me (almost patronising, or eye rolling about it) and publicly have said (in front of other parents) how they had to prepare Finn for this or that change because 'that's what he needs chuckle chuckle' eyerolly. I don't really like or agree with that. It bugs me. Yes he does, but so what?

He has a change at years end, every 3 years, class changes (not every year at this school) and this is one such moment. I feel now is a good time to move if we are going to, but I don't I wish to rush it either. We have to give 12 weeks notice (or one terms, not sure which) to get our 1k "acceptance fee" back.

I have feelers out, we may go visit one or two other schools in the area and suss them out, see what the vibe is. I want to feel I have options and not stick with this if it no longer works or is not worth the sacrifices we make to be there.

It feels yucky, I am so worried if we move him it will be the wrong decision, and so worried if we don't for the same thing. I used to be so confident in that place, so sure it was right for Finn and for us, the doubts and disappointment are a surprise, and a stress. I don't really know what to do next.

BFL picks w9

Houston @ Indianapolis

Washington @ Atlanta

Arizona @ Chicago

Baltimore @ Cincinnati

Miami @ New England

Green Bay @ Tampa Bay

Kansas City @ Jacksonville

Detroit @ Seattle

Carolina @ New Orleans

San Diego @ NY Giants
Tennessee @ San Francisco

Dallas @ Philadelphia

Monday Night

Pittsburgh @ Denver

Combined MNF Score = 48

Melbourne Cup Day!

I can't gamble. I suck at it. So much so, that when I signed up for my online betting account today, I placed my bets, then had no idea how to log back in. I had to call them and get advice.. Oh yeah I am a gambler, TOTALLY.

This is the one day a year I indulge my little gambling fetish, actually, most years I don't even place real bets, I just love looking at the form guide and picking a horse each race and imagining what I could have won. Usually I am well in the red... As I said, I suck at gambling.

But the Melbourne Cup is huge in Australia. They call it the race that stops a nation, because it pretty much does, for those 10 minutes, everyone is eye on TV or ear on radio. It's exciting, you get caught up in it, then you remember you picked based on a funny name or pretty jockey colors and you realise you're not cut out for it at all...

Still, good fun. I placed a few bets, will this be my year?!

ETA: So I won my money back. Coulda been worse than even... It'll do!

We don't do Halloween!!! #savethejackalanta

Or so I thought.

I have long been one of those who drones on and on about how annoying it is that Halloween is always celebrated by a handful of Australians. It is simply another commercialised thing that has no meaning to us, that some have adopted, mostly because of media and marketing. It annoys me. I also used to go on about how Americanised we are becoming in general.

So each Halloween I grumble this same grumble, though if children DO come knocking, I give them a treat. I have had ONE trick or treater each year. ONE. No one that I know celebrates it, and a poll done on a site I use recently showed that 93% of 95 respondents do not celebrate Halloween at all. Reasons? We are not America (apparently we blame you guys for this one wholly and solely) and we are too nervous about sending our kids in search of lollies (candy! LOL) from strangers (!!)

Personally, I think if you feel like that, rather than ban the whole idea, why not use it as a teaching opportunity for the kids about that stuff, its a great chance to explore the whole thing!

ANYHOO. Irrelevant. What happened was that Finn came home this week beyond excitement because Saturday was Halloween! We can go trick or treating and I can do a jacklanta (Jack-O-Lantern)! he exclaimed.

Umm... Dude, we don't DO Halloween. Well, let me say, my kid doesn't take no for an answer easily. He made his own decorations (a witch with braces!) and would not let it drop. So, I caved.

Only, it was not that easy. Let me say again for the cheap seats - Halloween is just not a thing in Australia. So where the hell was I going to find Halloweeny stuff?! I manages to scrape up a costume and a couple of decorations, but I could not find a bloody jackalanta anywhere. These things are totally endangered in this country - #savethejackalantas.

So, plan B - we will papier mache one, i decided. No balloons in the house. Of course. And we are pushing it for dry time as it is! So... we find one we got from school the other day (I am the half deflated helium KILLER again, bonus!) and mache "Joe the balloon" we did. Was good fun too!

Halloween day, J found some more decorations and went a little (A LOT) overboard, but Finn loved it. That night though, right around Trick Or Treat time, it started to rain. And NO ONE was coming by. Finn dressed up, sat in the garage, and waited with his treats, eager to hand them out generously. Telling me how many each visitor could have, and eager as they come. I started to fret.

All hail the joy of the SMS - A friend from school said her daughter was as keen as Finn and if we wanted to come around they had a jackalanta. FOR RLZ. Score!!! Thank god, because we had no treaters at our door at all all night, but once at their place, a few came by and Finn was able to dish out the treats - in his element. Katarina's Dad also went next door and gave them chocolates so that the kids could then go over and have their own trick or treat experience as well. Of course, then he saw the real deal jackalanta - oh my goodness he was so excited. Meanwhile those lovely, generous American twitterfolk were as keen for him to experience Halloween as he was, so excited was multiplied as the pics of jackalantas and dressed up kiddies came a steaming on the twitpics. Finn was in heaven!

Mission accomplished. One successful Halloween in Australia. I just hope he doesn't come home next week and ask what we are doing for Thanksgiving!!!

Week 7 BFL picks

Right. I have had it - unleashing my secret weapon this week. You're all going down!!! FO SHO. Picks are blue and bold!

vs Buffalo
Cleveland vs Chicago
Seattle vs Dallas
St. Louis vs Detroit
San Francisco vs Indianapolis
Miami vs New York Jets
New York Giants vs Philadelphia
Denver vs Baltimore
Jacksonville vs Tennessee
Oakland vs San Diego
Carolina vs Arizona
Minnesota vs Green Bay

Monday Night
Atlanta vs New Orleans
Tie Breaker = 52

You never stop being a parent

You know when you are 15, and you want to go out to a great party, but your parents kill your buzz and either don't let you, or set so many rules it's almost not worth it...

I'm 32 next month, and I seem to still be suffering that whole feeling of not meeting the expectations of my parents. Not making the decisions that they want me to. Letting them down by making choices they think are wrong for me.

At some point, they should realise that I know me better than they know me now. Right? I think that is not looking likely.

So, they're not happy with my US trip. I guess I knew it would be the case, but it hurts and it makes me angry. Why would you not support your childrens dreams and excitement? Why would you feel it necessary to say you think it is the wrong thing to do? Why can you not maybe think something, but not have to verbalise it?

The reasoning was not even sound, it made no sense, it contradicted itself, and it seemed hollow. So why does it bother me? There is no way it will change my mind, I am determined, and so long as J and I are happy with it, then how is it anyone elses business???

You know what, when Mum was going through treatment and wanted to avoid certain tests and even at one stage, her final chemo dose, I supported her. I disagreed, and was worried and upset about her decision, but I supported her because I felt she knew best and would do it anyway so I might as well be there for her. I am really disappointed she can't afford me the same respect.

It's taken the gloss and buzz off something that should have been exciting and wonderful and happy. That is really unfair. I am angry and upset. They have 4 months to get used to the idea and to be supportive. I will not let them ruin this for me, I will live my own life. I am an individual as well as a wife and mother and I have every right to pursue my own dreams. I can't see how it can be anything but good for me. It is not even 2 weeks away from home for goodness sake. This is crazy!!!

Right. Rant over. Where was I? Pass the San Fran guidebook please!

BFL wk 6 picks

Minnesota @ Pittsburgh

San Francisco @ Houston

San Diego @ Kansas City

Green Bay @ Cleveland

Indianapolis @ St. Louis

New England @ Tampa Bay

Buffalo @ Carolina

NY Jets @ Oakland

Atlanta @ Dallas

Chicago @ Cincinnati

New Orleans @ Miami

Arizona @ NY Giants

Monday Night

Philadelphia @ Washington 

Combined MNF Score = 52


So, I am actually nervous to even write this. But, one of the presents I got for grad from J : Um. A trip to the U.S.A. More specifically, California.


Pretty sure I am insane.

I always wanted to travel, and imagine the inspiration for writing, the growth! But, that aside, it is something I have always wanted to do. To see the world, for as long as I can remember. Everyone is aware of my Italy obsession, I guess this is a good first trip to launch my dream of seeing it all. Friends to guide me, a familiar language and culture.

Terrified of leaving my babies for 2 weeks, but it feels important. It feels right. The rest of this year is hectic, my birthday, J's and RJ's birthdays, Green Day concert with F-bear, and Christmas... so I decided to leave it until the new year, and when Finn is back at school. So... the start of March it is.


I'm a master of the universe!

I wrote an email to one of my closest friends this morning, and decided to blog it. Today I am going to my graduation for my Master of Arts (Writing and Literature). I was just reading earlier entries in my blog tagged with masters. lol. I really did struggle to get here!

I have been awake since 4am, just thinking about graduation today, and I have felt really anxious. Its bugging me, I should be excited. I mean, I AM excited as well, but there is anxiety and there is also a LOT of emotion. I think, in writing this, I have an idea why - this degree was my escape through my mums cancer battle. There were nights where I was so fucking scared that I was going to lose her and I just immersed myself in the writing to escape thinking and confronting those thoughts. Mum and I are really close. We talk several times a day, she knows all my secrets. The idea of losing her, if not to the cancer then just her mortality at all, was terrifying. One day, in her chemo cycles - chemo can affect you in terms of making you vague and out of it - I took the kids to visit for the day. Mum was playing with Finn, I had RJ in the study, settling her for a nap. The smoke detector went off, which happens for burnt toast there so I didn't react, it is a sensitive alarm. Suddenly, I heard my Mum just screaming... and thought to myself, 'oh man that's serious screaming' so I bolted out and I saw an eerie red glow, and then realised that the kitchen was on fire. She had left oil on the stove and it had caught. She forgot it was on. Chemo.

Anyway, she was standing there screaming for my dad who was outside somewhere. I had to take over, I just told her to get Finn out so she told Finn to go get my dad, Finn was 5!!! So he is running outside scared and crying calling for his pa... Mum was still screaming for Dad and just panicking, and the kitchen was still on fire. I said to her GO OUT AND COMFORT FINN. And I (thank GOD) found their fire extinguisher and start fighting this stupid fire, which when I squirted it, seemed to jump everywhere and make it worse. I started to freak out a little but just kept squirting the hell out of it all. I got it out just as dad came racing in. The smoke was so thick so quickly, and I remembered RJ was in the study, so I told dad it was out as I literally ran and got RJ out and then went and found and checked on Finn and calmed him... it was the single most terrifying moment of my life. It was an awareness that mum wasn't mum, that she had cancer, that this was reality. It was fucking awful. I had to take valium that night to sleep I was so distressed.

This is irrelevant, and yet not. I think, in graduating, I'm letting go of a bit of denial, and now that mum is okay, its still this confronting scary thing and letting go of a comfort or distraction or a denial is a little scary. Am I making any sense? I guess it is as though the masters was a bit of a security blanket because it blocked dealing with things. Now I have to give it up and its great... but scary too? And obviously, IVF was tough, pregnancy was intense, having a newborn is tough, and I did this degree through those too. So many times I wanted to give up. It took me almost a year longer than it should have. But I toughed it out, and I did it. And here I am. I'm proud of me, for this, more than anything else I have ever done. Big day. Overwhelming.

So, through a mix of emotions, today is a big one. I loved the study required to get me this qualification, I really, really, loved it, I feel I found my passion, it was a bonus that it helped me cope with other stuff - I am sure it is the same for many. So, yes I am tooting my own horn and bragging today, but I promise it won't last TOO long... Stay tuned to see how I am rewarding myself for the slog!

BFL picks

I missed them last week, so having a go. Megs did the picking for me this week! Thatnk you @MegsyT - if you do better than me, you get the job.

Houston @ Cincinnati

Detroit @ Green Bay

St. Louis @ Jacksonville

Baltimore @ Minnesota

NY Giants @ New Orleans

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh

Carolina @ Tampa Bay

Kansas City @ Washington

Philadelphia @ Oakland

Arizona @ Seattle

Tennessee @ New England

Buffalo @ NY Jets

Chicago @ Atlanta

Monday Night:

Denver @ San Diego

Combined MNF Score = 36

"I get by with a little help from my friends."

I've always said, I am not that good of a friend. I am often withdrawn and stand offish and I tend to keep to myself a lot. I'm not the kind of friend that you can just drop in on, or that drops in on others. Sometimes, I think I am sort of selfish. My friends (amazingly, I do have them!) would probably say it isn't true, but to an extent it is.

I guess as a result, the friends that I do have, are the truest of friends. Because they understand my strange little ways, and they love me anyway. They get that I often ebb and flow, and it never affects the friendship. The know that if they need me, I will be there in a heartbeat. And vice versa.

I'm currently in a social phase, and I guess I have a lot going on in my head, and in my heart. I don't usually share that stuff, I'm intensely private, but the relief I have felt at being able to share some of the big stuff with friends lately, has been enormous. That adage of a problem shared is a problem halved is kinda true. Letting someone in enough to show them true emotion and to share your fears etc with is a powerful thing. Not feeling alone with something is powerful. So why do I find it difficult to do a lot of the time?! Do others feel like this, or do you have people you can tell everything to? Good, bad, ugly, all of it? Is it difficult for you to do so, or is it a regular catharsis for most?

This coming Saturday, my best friend and I are getting away from it all for a night. A girls night. One that we probably both need for a lot of reasons. I am looking forward to a night of chatter, giggles and relaxing. Shes one of many friends I am very lucky to have, and grateful to have. Again, I don't say enough to these friends that they are important in my life. From all around the globe, my friends, I love you.

"At the shrine of friendship Never say die, Let the wine of friendship never run dry." (Les Miserables).

This is so me!

Week 4 BFL

Tampa Bay @ Washington
NY Giants @ Kansas City
Cincinnati @ Cleveland
Oakland @ Houston
Tennessee @ Jacksonville
Seattle @ Indianapolis
Detroit @ Chicago
Baltimore @ New England
Buffalo @ Miami
NY Jets @ New Orleans
St. Louis @ San Francisco
Dallas @ Denver
San Diego @ Pittsburgh

Monday Night:
Green Bay @ Minnesota
Combined MNF Score = 22

Week 3 picks

Washington @ Detroit
Green Bay @ St. Louis
San Francisco @ Minnesota
Atlanta @ New England
Tennessee @ NY Jets
Kansas City @ Philadelphia
NY Giants @ Tampa Bay
Cleveland @ Baltimore
Jacksonville @ Houston
Chicago @ Seattle
New Orleans @ Buffalo
Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati
Denver @ Oakland
Miami @ San Diego
Indianapolis @ Arizona

Monday Night:
Carolina @ Dallas
Combined MNF Score = 33

Sometimes, I must get it right.

F bear and I just went on our daily trip to the letterbox. Yes, that was the excitement at our place today, mail time. And there wasn't even any mail. I (as usual) am getting away from my point!!!

Finn turns to me and says: "Race you back!" and takes off, and I, RJ stuck to my hip, tickle his back the whole way. He runs back inside, and I stop to grab some bread from the garage freezer on my way in. When I come in he is busy arranging his wooden alphabet letters.

"Don't look at what I am writing!!" he says gleefully, so I take the bread into the kitchen and faff about a bit.

"Okay! Come and see now. This is what you are Mama!" he announces.

As I wander over, I say, "Ohhkayyyy but if it says 'the loser' I might cryyyy" (and believe me, F is capable of that one, especially when he is channeling the cheekiness of his father; the joy those two get tormenting me is just evil!)
I walk over, and this is what he has arranged:

I swear to god, I almost burst into tears. I definitely welled up. My life is simple, I don't really achieve great things, but to one little boy, I am a hero.

What else could I ever possibly want???

A lovely story about me...

I stole this from an email I got, it summed me up, so I stole it.

One day, long, long ago, there lived a woman who did not whine, nag or bitch.
(That would be me... :-) )

But that was a long time ago and it was just that one day.


What do I know about American football?

Nothing. I have no idea about Australian football, and yet... My American tweeties have talked me into participating in the Blogger Football League tipping thingy.

So without further ado, I have NO idea, I just pick the names I like... Has given me a giggle. I like the pretty place names.

Week 2 picks.

Carolina @ Atlanta
Minnesota @ Detroit
Cincinnati @ Green Bay
Houston @ Tennessee
Oakland @ Kansas City
New England @ NY Jets
New Orleans @ Philadelphia
St Louis @ Washington
Arizona @ Jacksonville
Seattle @ San Francisco
Tampa Bay @ Buffalo
Pittsburgh @ Chicago
Baltimore @ San Diego
Cleveland @ Denver
NY Giants @ Dallas

Monday Night
Indianapolis @ Miami

Points = 27

Infertility Revisited (again).

I was reminded again this morning, about the frustration people dealing with infertility face, and how misunderstood that grief is. When I was grieving my own infertility, at about the point that we decided to stop trying treatment and accept that we would have no more, I was so incredibly angry, so bitter, and you know what? I stand by it. It was hell and no one but those in it understood it, and it can be the loneliest feeling in the world. Most people I have come across with infertility issues, handle it with far more grace than I did, but do they feel the same as I did? Are they a seething mass of anger, and sadness underneath and simply handle it better? Are they better at projecting that outward, coping facade? Or was I really over the top in my emotional state? The end part of our journey is over at My Face Tube but there were 4 years leading up that last one, and it was the 2 prior that I was at my lowest and was often told I was angry, bitter and frankly, a bitch.

Funnily, it was the most liberating and freeing thing to do, was to be a bitch and to be okay with it within myself. Yes I am sarcastic, snarky, and with little tolerance for stupidity. But, I am okay with that. If you are not, see you later, thank you for stopping by. It is one of the silver linings of that whole period, that ability to accept and love about myself, that which others found so awful. I also made some of the most loyal, understanding and supportive friends anyone can make.

Someone wondered today, would they return to 'normal' when the infertility hell was over. Having waged that war, and eventually won it, I think no. Well, not the same normal as before, anyway. For me, it certainly eased, the wounds heal, but they leave scars, and they change you as a person. They change the people you surround yourself with, and they change you. It reminds me that there is a story to tell here. There is a voice that needs to be heard. There is normalising that needs to be done. The emotions of infertility are very often ugly, and confronting, especially to the smug variety of fertiles, but they aren't wrong.

They just are. And that's okay.

It is a story I am determined to tell.


The past month has impacted on me in a big way, two related events, yet very separate in my life too. Both involve that insidious C word. Last week, my Mum had her very last radiotherapy treatment. This followed several months of chemotherapy, and surgery for breast cancer. This week, her oncologist has told her he will see her in 3 months, she is done. It is beaten. The war has been won.

How momentous! It has been a very, very, long 8 months since she was diagnosed, many tears, many fears and some very difficult times. She did it though, she made it out the other side, and so have we, with her. It is very overwhelming, and difficult to comprehend that this is the end of it. To say we feel lucky is probably an understatement of the grossest kind.

Yesterday, Mum visited for the day. She still wears her scarf on her head, she is only beginning now to grow her hair back after chemotherapy. We were sitting, talking about a whole lot of things, when my friend posted a picture on twitter. I am not sure if you read Stepford Dreams (if not you ought to!); but my friend Carolyn, who authors this blog, I have known for a few years now. In all of this time, I have known of her best friend Alli and her own fight with cancer.

Yesterday, Stepford Dreams twitpic'd herself and Alli in hospital, it was a beautiful picture, a happy one. It made me smile. Then I looked at my mum, and burst into tears. Alli has not been as lucky as my Mum. I am aching for my friend Carolyn, and at the same time, I feel an appreciation, an incredible deep feeling of being grateful that I cannot express fully in words. I cried and both my Mum and I felt so sad, yet so so lucky.

I think too often, we take for granted, the people in our lives, we complain about the small things, we forget the bigger picture. We forget what matters. We don't realise how well off we truly are. We don't tell people often enough that we love them and that they matter in our lives. Today, I feel exceptionally lucky, but at the same time, a deep and aching sadness for my friend and the nightmare she simply cannot wake up from. I feel useless. There is nothing I can do, and that sucks. Please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers.

So, normally snarky, feisty me, not normally one for emotion or anything that could be construed as 'soppy' just wanted to remind you to count your blessings today, and to remember how much worse things could be.

Sam's gone missing!!!

Scary times here this week, Sam went missing. Who, I hear you ask, is Sam? Sam, is (obviously!) the name given to a helium balloon that F bought home from a birthday party on the weekend. He drew a face on him, and dubbed him Sam the grandfather. Sam was okay, at first, bumping his head on the ceiling and bouncing about happily. Everyone was happy, Sam was smiling, F bear was smiling and I watched warily, knowing Sam would soon deflate into that scary zone.

Sure enough, Sam started to lose his puff. He reached that eerie drifting, halfway to the ground lurking stage that feels me with fear and amuses F to no end. "LOOK!" F screams at the same time as Sam appears in my line of vision, next to my head, all stealth like, and I leap into the air squealing, making F giggle crazily - like a mad inventor proud of his evil creation.

The drama began when F came in a few hours later, asking where had Sam gone??? I laughed nervously, "what do you MEAN where is he gone, he was RIGHT HERE a minute ago". We looked around, Sam was nowhere to be seen. He was at my head height, he should not be easy to miss. Where the hell had he gone? We had heard no popping, we could see no earthly remains of Sam on the floor. It was as though he had simply disappeared.

We methodically went from room to room, looking for his pink bobbing head - nothing. I felt genuine anxiety build in me as I frantically went from one end of the house to the other. Where WAS he?! Would he appear next to me again from nowhere?! Was he doing this to mock me?! WHERE THE HELL HAD HE GONE?!!?!?! Part of me began to suspect Sam had somehow worked out my silly fear and was taunting me, my anxiety rose further. Several laps of the house had not yielded his evil pink head.

Finn was puzzled and decided it was time for action. He began to tape missing person signs up around the house. Proactive. Thats my boy.

I was sure I had begun to literally run around in circles now, how can he just be GONE? I couldn't understand it, and my fear began to feel genuine and real. I started to giggle, "I have a fear of helium balloons!" I cackled. F looked at me oddly. Okay. STOP I told myself. Calm. Breaaaaathe. Finn was still taping his 7th missing person sign to the wall (7 in only 2 rooms of our house, no less) and I forced myself to get a grip and instead of glance-looking for his pink head at my head height, I actually looked, properly, in each room. "He must be somewhere, logically, he cannot disappear. This is not a movie. He has not been possessed. He is here, somewhere. Just find him. Before he finds you."

Eventually, F heard me shrieking, Sam was found. He had been squirreling himself away in the toy box of his own accord. I think he knew I was onto him so gave himself up in truth. F was thrilled. Sam was back where he ought to be. I was pleased he had deflated below head height, the end was nigh for Sam.

F went about the house, and with great satisfaction, put a giant X through each of his 7 missing person signs. Peace was restored. And I plotted the notion of pricking Sam with a wee pin so his demise was accelerated a little. Take THAT creepy balloon.

Creepy silent stalkers you ought be aware of...

Laugh if you must (and everyone else does so you might as well!) but I fear some fairly "different" things. One I have had for as long as I can remember, is whales. Snicker if you will, but I find them creepy. They are so... big. And in water. Come on! Kind of like underwater ships (big ships are also just wrong). Yes, I do realise that on land, I am quite safe from their squealy Oooo-oooo noises and drifty silent stalkiness. You must see it!?!?! Just you wait, the day they grow legs and come after us land dwellers I shall be saying I told you so.

Further to this creepy underwater silent stalker type, is my other fear. Fear is perhaps too strong a word but, these things make me distinctly uncomfortable. Helium Balloons. But not the ones floating in the sky, accidentally let go, or bouncing against a roof, and not those deflated and lifeless on a floor either. It is that in between stage. You know the one I mean. The half deflated point where they sort of drift, at head height, around the room, silently. You are sitting, minding your own business when OH MY GOD! The half deflated balloon appears out of the corner of your eye, hovering next to your face like a silent stalker. Scaring the absolute crap out of you and making you jump and scream like a little girl. It is extremely eerie. It ought to be compulsory that someone suck the helium out of them at this point and amuse me with their voice squeakiness. This is the only solution I can see, to end this madness.

Just how uncomfortable these balloons make me was bought home to me recently, stay tuned for my next entry to see what happened when "Sam" went missing at our place...

Hottest 100 of all time - Well, from a TripleJ audience perspective.

What is notable about this list? Aside from nothing from the Tea Party. Correct answer gets... well.. nothing. Except my praise and respect :D

Hottest 100 Of All Time 2009

* 1. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
* 2. Rage Against the Machine - Killing In The Name
* 3. Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
* 4. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
* 5. Radiohead - Paranoid Android
* 6. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
* 7. Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye
* 8. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge
* 9. Foo Fighters - Everlong
* 10. Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven
* 11. John Lennon - Imagine
* 12. Oasis - Wonderwall
* 13. Radiohead - Creep
* 14. The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
* 15. Radiohead - Karma Police
* 16. Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
* 17. Hilltop Hoods - The Nosebleed Section
* 18. Muse - Knights Of Cydonia
* 19. Metallica - One
* 20. White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
* 21. Powderfinger - These Days
* 22. Massive Attack - Teardrop
* 23. Hunters & Collectors - Throw Your Arms Around Me
* 24. The Beatles - A Day in the Life
* 25. Pearl Jam - Alive
* 26. Michael Jackson - Thriller
* 27. Powderfinger - My Happiness
* 28. Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees
* 29. Pixies - Where Is My Mind?
* 30. Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower
* 31. Metallica - Enter Sandman
* 32. New Order - Blue Monday
* 33. Silverchair - Tomorrow
* 34. The Living End - Prisoner Of Society
* 35. Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
* 36. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Into My Arms
* 37. Tool - Stinkfist
* 38. The Killers - Mr Brightside
* 39. Pearl Jam - Better Man
* 40. Nirvana - Come As You Are
* 41. Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
* 42. Bloc Party - Banquet
* 43. The Beach Boys - God Only Knows
* 44. The Beatles - Hey Jude
* 45. Queens of the Stone Age - No One Knows
* 46. Faith No More - Epic
* 47. John Butler Trio - Betterman
* 48. Beastie Boys - Sabotage
* 49. Guns 'N Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine
* 50. Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over
* 51. Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet With Butterfly Wings
* 52. You Am I - Berlin Chair
* 53. Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb
* 54. The Cure - Close To Me
* 55. Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone
* 56. Jeff Buckley - Lover, You Should Have Come Over
* 57. Tool - Forty Six & 2
* 58. Daft Punk - Around The World
* 59. Augie March - One Crowded Hour
* 60. Johnny Cash - Hurt
* 61. Blur - Song 2
* 62. Nine Inch Nails - Closer
* 63. AC/DC - Thunderstruck
* 64. Violent Femmes - Blister in the Sun
* 65. Underworld - Born Slippy
* 66. Elton John - Tiny Dancer
* 67. Ben Folds Five - Brick
* 68. Blink 182 - Dammit
* 69. Jeff Buckley - Grace
* 70. The Prodigy - Breathe
* 71. The Smiths - How Soon Is Now?
* 72. The Shins - New Slang
* 73. The Clash - London Calling
* 74. Nirvana - Lithium
* 75. Green Day - Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)
* 76. The Stone Roses - Fools Gold
* 77. Gotye - Hearts A Mess
* 78. Smashing Pumpkins - Today
* 79. David Bowie - Life on Mars
* 80. The Rolling Stones - Paint It Black
* 81. Pulp - Common People
* 82. System Of A Down - Chop Suey!
* 83. Placebo - Every You Every Me
* 84. Bob Marley & The Wailers - No Woman, No Cry
* 85. The Dandy Warhols - Bohemian Like You
* 86. The Beatles - Come Together
* 87. Coldplay - Yellow
* 88. The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
* 89. Rage Against the Machine - Bulls On Parade
* 90. Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire
* 91. AC/DC - Back In Black
* 92. Bon Iver - Skinny Love
* 93. Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy
* 94. Modest Mouse - Float On
* 95. Stevie Wonder - Superstition
* 96. Daft Punk - One More Time
* 97. Midnight Oil - Beds Are Burning
* 98. Led Zeppelin - Kashmir
* 99. TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me
* 100. Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out


Of you 2 years on my friend.

I dreamed about you the other night. Man I have weird dreams!!! I dreamed that you had just died, and that we came to say goodbye to your body. You for some weird reason, resembled a baby, and not yourself, so I felt weird but pretended anyway and said bye. When I said "I am surprised you haven't punched me in the arm" (as you always did!) the baby did it and it was so you, and then I saw your face, normal and smiling and I hugged you for real, and said "I am so going to miss you, I never see you anymore, but man I am going to miss you" and then that was it, you were gone, and you turned into a puff of empty silk, and blew away.

I think my subconscious knew your anniversary was near, before my conscious registered the date. I still think about you lots. RIP, W. xx

Are we there yet?!

I am exhausted. Seriously, I am dead on my feet. School holidays are killing me, one week to go, he goes back next Tuesday. That said, I am going to miss him like crazy when he is back there, and so is little RJ who seems to have established a real relationship with him having had him around so much the last 13 days (7 days to go, 7 to go people, that's 7, yes 7). But who knew a child could talk that much!? Impressive really, the way he natters on almost non stop, how can he breathe? How is this possible?

He has been sending me emails, which honestly, crack me up. They are complete nonsense half the time, which is why they are funny. For example:

(Q) What do you call a crazy mum? (A) mamma!!!!

You are... CRAZY AS A COCANUT!!!! that is why YOU'RE the

I'll give you huh!

(Q) tbhnbg nfngmhg cchncfcnhej gncnncencwmemjkmlm?
(A) a baby.

And so on, utterly insane he is. I swear he does not get it from me! Such a funny little boy, he really is joy to be around, I just wish that every so often he would take a breath! His school report for last term was pretty damn awesome too, he was so far off the chart for his reading skills he was in an entirely different level, and his maths was exceptional as well. So proud, the only areas lacking were his self confidence in terms of speaking and contributing to group discussions. It's funny how incredibly gregarious he is with family, but how reserved he is at school and how reluctant to have new experiences there he is. But, being the school it is, they play to his strengths and aid his weaknesses and encourage all the right things. Worth every penny, and there are many we give for it!

Also, I changed my mind AGAIN about where to have his rock star party, and went with the play centre. I just cannot be bothered with the pre and post cleaning and organising with RJ so unsettled lately, it just felt too much. So we'll Green Day up his invites, party bags, and outfit and he is happy with that, so much easier having activities, food, cleanup done for us. I know, I know, it's a cop-out, my excuse is a teething 7 month old... Hey, I got him tickets to the concert, thats good for something... right?!

I'm hungry...

...Dinner is in the oven and I can smell it cooking - a lamb roast with rosemary and garlic. What is better is that J is cooking it!! Delish. I even went so far as to make a lemon cheesecake for dessert.

Saturday night is make an effort night for dinner here. J and I take it in turns to cook, then we watch a DVD together.

Last week I made Greek chicken casserole -

And an entree of caramelised onion and mushroom tarts. They were divine! Recipe here.

Before that, J made steak with a mushroom sauce and vegies and so on... So he has done the roast tonight - what am I going to make next week that is a little bit different, but still simple and tasty. 2 courses, it can be either an entree and main or main and dessert, what are your tried and true yummy but a bit special dishes?

Beat the chill (leave dignity at the door!)

It is a very cold winter here in Melbourne this year. We live in an especially cold part of the state, and have had some frosty nights already this year. Heating costs a fortune, but what can we do?? There is a solution. It was on television the other day, and it will solve all the warmth dilemmas.

"Do tell of your secret!" I hear you all say. Oh my friends, gather around, it is soooo worth hearing.

Snuggies. Yes!!! You must have heard or seen these funny creations, they are like a blanket with armholes. Every bit as stylish as you can imagine. Here is a piccy -

LOL Seriously, would you wear this? In public is even suggested on the ad... And one size fits all and they have kids in them, how do they not get tangled and fall to the ground straight jacket faceplant style?! Oh so chic and fashionable. Right?!

But wait, they are so cheap, only $60 AND you get a booklight. OMFG. A BOOKLIGHT. How can you NOT get one!?!?!


Ahhh F bear...

... You are awesome, kid.

ETA: I would like to apologise to the person who's search query "montessori magnetic letters" led them to my last entry... oops.

The pitfalls of magnetic letters

AKA Another reason I am a Bad Mother.

Hmm. Yesterday, F and I discussed swear words as I explained he could not play the Green Day DVD at his party because most people don't like swear words. He asked what words were swear words. I said, "the F word, shit, bloody..." (that is plenty to tell!) He said "and.. stupid!" Well okay, yes why not?

He then went off to play. Today I was making breakfast and I paused as I opened the fridge door.

"Umm, F, could you come here a sec?" In he trotted. "What's this about?" I asked gesturing my Vegemite knife at the fridge door.

"Oh, I decided to make you a swear word in case you felt like seeing one."
"Oh right. Well. Thanks?"
"You're welcome. And look, if you move theeeeese... tada! Another one!!"

"Oh so it is... Err.. clever you?"

And off he went. Please remind me to move it after showing J, but well before the party when my house is filled with Montessori parents...

Curse you debit mastercard

Have you seen the ad? It says something along the lines of how can your debit mastercard help you live the life of a rockstar? So you go out buy a drumkit with your DMC, practice, practice, practice, get your first gig, tour over seas, trash motel room and pay for it with the debit MC...

It of course, made F's little ears prick up. He says to me the other day:
"Mum, what is a debit mastercard and how do I get one?" I asked why, and he said he wanted to do a 'gick'.
"Whats a gick F?"
"You know, a gick with my drums? What is a gick, Mum?"
I thought about it for a second, then recalled the ad and explained that first gigs were often done at pubs or on the street, sometimes to only a couple of people... And that the DMC card uses his own money.
"So.. my money box has to be full then? Oh good, because it has SOME money in it already!" "Yes... and you have drums now already."
"Oh cool!! Then I can do my first gick?"
"Gig, babe, umm.. yeah but remember the ad says practice, practice practice first?"
"ohhh yeahhhh, okay Mum listen to this!"
Cue drums being bashed for oh, say ten seconds or so. That's his practice. But he does it daily at least.

I am actually wondering at what age he can get formal drum lessons? He has a guitar and keyboard as well, but it is the drums he is most keen on, and shows most aptitude for. Does anyone know or have any helpful advice? I don't want to push him at all, or zap the fun, but at what age do I take him seriously?! I want to encourage him and his dreams!

Time no time, where do i find some time?

I have writing ideas brewing, floating aimlessly around my head, and I am desperate to write but I simply do not have time. With a 6 month old just developing separation anxiety, a 5 year old turning 6 in a few weeks, school runs (or even more dauntingly from this Thursday - school holidays), Mum's cancer and treatment, general daily chores and sleep - I just do not get any solid chunks of time to write at all. I actually wonder how the hell that masters got done. I am so tired in the evenings I just want to crash and/or read and chillax. I tried to write at 5am when I got up with RJ but it prevented her from falling back to sleep and that is a Very Bad Thing. So what and how do I do this? At the moment, just a short story would be great! :(

JD I am looking especially at you - how do you manage writing your second novel with little L??? Will it be done pre-Pepper?

Green Day 21 Guns new video

Green Day - "21 Guns" - HD

Tag... you're it!

Lovely lady Belinda over at Journey to a mini B has tagged me -

1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention & add one more question of your own.
2. Tag eight other people

What is your current obsession?
This goddamn rock star party...

What’s for dinner?
Shepherds Pie, good on such a cold day too!

What’s the last thing you bought?
Some clothes (jeans, tops) last weekend I think? I don't think I have been anywhere since, how tragic!

What are you listening to right now?
lol Der. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
To bed to sleep. Yes, I am that easily pleased!

Which language do you want to learn?
Italian, I have given it a crack a few times, and I know a little, but I long to be fluent. It will happen one day too, I am certain of it!

What do you love most about where you currently live?

It is pretty, tree-ish (is that a word?!), cold (I like cold), and midway between the city and my family.

What is your favourite colour?

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
One of the shirts I just bought, very simple but pretty

Describe your personal style?
Depends on the day you catch me, lately it is comfort, but if I make an effort, I would say classic.

If you had $300 now, what would you spend it on?

What are you going to do after this?
More coffee. Always the coffee.

What are your favourite films?
Good Will Hunting
The Notebook
Little Miss Sunshine
Muriels Wedding
Gone With The Wind

Your favourite smell?
Freshly mowed grass in summer
Garlic cooking

Do you collect anything?
No, not that I can think of.

What makes you follow a blog?
Humor, interesting subject matter

Do you like to comment on blogs or just lurk?
I try to comment but I am usually too time poor to get through them.

What’s one thing you dream of doing?
Writing a bestseller from a villa somewhere in the Italian countryside...

What is your biggest regret?
Although not going ended up being worth it a million times over, I do wish I had gone to Italy the two opportunities I had.

What is your favourite thing to do on a rainy day?
Read with a hot chocolate in a warm blanket.

Do you have a tattoo?
No. As seen in this post, I am getting a cherry blossom tattoo very soon...

What are you favourite books?
Bryce Courtney: Power of One & April Fools day
John Marsden: Tomorrow series
Martha Beck: Expecting Adam
Lisa Genova: Still Alice (admittedly on 3/4 the way through but love her style)
I have gone blank, it is early, I am sleep deprived and I need more coffee. There must be a gazillion though.

Are you left handed, right handed, ambidextrous, or a little of both?
I am a righty!

What is the single most defining moment of your life thus far?
Not simply the birth of my children, but the sacrifices and things we went through to reach those births!

I tag:
Fat Mum Slim
Now With Sprinkles
Kahlee Rose
Stepford Dreams
See Merrill Write
Feeding the fire from within
Sparsley Kate

Rockstar party problems!

Oh the headache. This rockstar party is challenging me!

So, the kid is popular, he just got home from his 9th, yes 9th, party this year. It is only June! Therefore, we are looking at an invite list that may require us hiring Rod Laver Arena to accommodate. Our house is wee. Very small. It just fit 8 kids his last party. Realistically, this year will be minimum 12-15 kids, and we just won't fit them, plus any parents who wish to stay, in our house. This in itself disappoints the small man, but what to do!? Parent politics come into this! So I look at a play centre, which is okay... but then the Green Day/rockstar theme is going to be severely diluted, possibly lost altogether. This would also disappoint. So we can half arsed do the rockstar thing at a play centre...

Argh. WHAT to do!? His father seems to think that its all quite acceptable to spend upwards of $700 on a 6th birthday, but to me thats insane. Last year it was a touch less, this includes present and party. (This year we were thinking Nintendo DS and games for the present). The real problem is where how and at what cost do we do this? Less kids does not seem possible. Other venues up the cost a whack and make the theming harder.

Oh please party fairies please wave a wand and solve all my problems here, I am SO not party oriented. Should ask todays lot who held theirs at swisho posh home and included a visit from a real fire engine to complete their fireman theme... Maybe I could ask Green Day to pop along and do a number or two? Sigh...

HELP please?!?!!?

I thought I was verbose and over written!

In promulgating your esoteric cogitations or articulating your superficial sentimentalities and amicable philosophical or psychological observations, beware of platitudinous ponderosity.Let your conversational communications possess a compacted conciseness, a clarified comprehensibility, a coalescent cogency and a concatenated consistency.Eschew obfuscation and all conglomeration of flatulent garrulity, jejune babblement and asinine affectations.Let your extemporaneous descants and unpremeditated expatiations have intelligibility and voracious vivacity without rodomontade or thrasonical bombast.Sedulously avoid all polysyllabic profundity, pompous prolificacy and vain vapid verbosity.

If you are really interested to know, the above means: “Be brief and don’t use big words.”

I am told I overwrite (by my thesis supervisor, and she is dead right). But this is a new level of extreme...

From cool to not so cool... the blink of an eye.

My super cool, rockstar with his 6th birthday going the Greenday punk rock theme, knowing his drummers and his bands and generally being super cool says to me yesterday - "I know what I want my party to be the year after next year!" (note not next year, the year AFTER next year, I don't know why, he baffle sme too and he is my kid!) "Whats that?" his reply - "A Coles party!!!"

Umm. Hold on a sec...

"A what?!"

"A Coles party, you know, like the shop?"

Yes, you read correctly, Mr ImSoCool wants a party based on a supermarket. What the... ?! And what would that even involve!? He was at a loss to tell me. Thankfully, I have two years to work it out :P

ETA - new layout = comments @ post top... WHY?

Ooooh 21 Guns

The video of the new Greenday single, 21 Guns, premieres June 21, 9pm pacific time... whatever that is in Aussie!? Awesome song, one I like right off, knew it would be a single and is apparently on the new Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen soundtrack.
Teaser of vid here:

Behind The Scenes of 21 Guns

Currently Reading...

Still Alice by Lisa Genova link

From Publishers Weekly
Neuroscientist and debut novelist Genova mines years of experience in her field to craft a realistic portrait of early onset Alzheimer's disease. Alice Howland has a career not unlike Genova's—she's an esteemed psychology professor at Harvard, living a comfortable life in Cambridge with her husband, John, arguing about the usual (making quality time together, their daughter's move to L.A.) when the first symptoms of Alzheimer's begin to emerge. First, Alice can't find her Blackberry, then she becomes hopelessly disoriented in her own town. Alice is shocked to be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's (she had suspected a brain tumor or menopause), after which her life begins steadily to unravel. She loses track of rooms in her home, resigns from Harvard and eventually cannot recognize her own children. The brutal facts of Alzheimer's are heartbreaking, and it's impossible not to feel for Alice and her loved ones, but Genova's prose style is clumsy and her dialogue heavy-handed. This novel will appeal to those dealing with the disease and may prove helpful, but beyond the heartbreaking record of illness there's little here to remember. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

The Alchemy of Loss by Abigail Carter

From Publishers Weekly
Carter's husband, C. Arron Dack, was probably in Windows on the World, the restaurant atop the World Trade Center, when the planes hit on 9/11. Although she hoped he'd miraculously survived, when he didn't turn up the next day, her grieving began. Carter, who now lives in Seattle, Wash., bases her grieving process on a book by Kathleen Brehony called After the Darkest Hour: the first stage, blackening, which in alchemy strips down lead to its original alloys, corresponded to her initial phase of disorienting grief, when she hardly knew how to live day to day, much less how to comfort their two small children, ages two and six. Next, the whitening stage purified the metal; for Carter, some new routines took hold and she started feeling as though she might make it. The final stage, reddening, when the base metal turns to pure gold, corresponded to Carter's own enlightenment. She accepted that she wasn't very good at her former job anymore, and she accepted that she didn't want to live in the house or the town that she'd shared with her husband. Resilient in the end, Carter shares all her doubts and fears along the way, which other grieving widows may appreciate. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

And finally... (because they threw it in for $1.95 when you purchase 2 books... and frankly, I am a sucker for a 2 buck book!)

The Associate by John Grisham link

From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Grisham's contemporary legal thriller offers an action-and-suspense plot reminiscent of that of his breakout book, 1991's The Firm, in contrast to 2008's didactic The Appeal, which served as a platform for his concerns about the corrupting effects of judicial elections. Kyle McAvoy, a callow Yale Law School student, dreams of a public service gig on graduation, until shadowy figures blackmail him with a videotape that could revive a five-year-old rape accusation. Instead of helping those in need, McAvoy accepts a position at a huge Wall Street firm, Scully & Pershing, whose clients include a military contractor enmeshed in a $800 billion lawsuit concerning a newly-designed aircraft. McAvoy can avoid exposure of his past if he feeds his new masters inside information on the case. Readers should be prepared for some predictable twists, an ending with some unwarranted ambiguity and some unconvincing details (the idea that a secret file room in a high stakes litigation case would be closed from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. every night stretches credulity to the breaking point). Still, Grisham devotees should be satisfied, even if this is one of his lesser works.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

What are you reading right now and is it any good???

Rocker dude

Damn straight he liked it! (the shirt from THIS POST); He cuddled it and became teary when he saw it. Bless!

Yes I know I was supposed to wait til his birthday but I suck at waiting. Excuse the purple shirt under it but I insisted he be warm!!!! Even I have limits to my level of hip-ness, mothering won out on that one I'm afraid!

A crisis of (self) confidence

Maybe its a post-birth thing, maybe it is partly the result of stress, but maybe its a much bigger thing too. Actually, if I am honest with myself, it has been worsening for a long time now, this whole self esteem thing.

I think that most people have issues with their self esteem to some degree, internally or externally, and the more I think about it, the sadder I think it is. Why do we depend so heavily on external validation??? Why is it never enough for us to say "well, I think I'm okay!" Why do we care so much? I know that we have the image of perfection slammed at us from so many angles in popular culture etc.. but even so, most of us know that that kind of true perfection is unattainable for most of us, so why do we beat ourselves up over it?

Likewise the way we often take someone elses confidence or intelligence, choices or thoughts as criticisms of ourselves and our decisions, simply because they are different. It doesn't mean we are wrong, just different! And that is actually a good thing! Healthy debate, confidence in your own beliefs and choices is a great thing.

At the same time, I think its important to better ourselves. Acknowledge our weaknesses and commit to changing that which we don't like. If we are unhappy, try to fix it - but the key is to feel that is enough, trying is the important bit, surely. To feel that change is coming, I think that has to help? I recently decided for myself, to 'fake it until i make it' - so okay, I am not happy with myself right now, but I am working on that, and until I am happy, pretend that I am the me I see, the me I want, and feel the confidence that would come with that, even if I am not there yet. Because the more confident I feel, the happier I will be and it will become true confidence. Not fake. If I feel it, I will exude it, which will make it genuine. Does this make sense?!

Being comfortable in our own skin, or in our own minds, is not an easy thing. Its challenging, and at times it is confronting. We all have days we hate the mirror, we all have days we wish we could behave differently, but maybe our faults are the key to our true selves too. Maybe they are what make us us, and maybe its okay to accept them too. To a degree. Hmm.

I hate this kinda self-help style crap, but honestly, there has to be a way to change this stuff without the corn! I just haven't found it yet (except to say I love my sarcastic bitchiness so no esteem issues there :P )

What are your insights? Have you worked on self esteem issues? Have you learned to love you for you? How did you do so?

Blog block...

teehee! Okay so not going to happen here with my shrivelled eggs but still... I do have blog block, as opposed to writers block which I don't have but that's really more of a time issue thing...

Bloggy Blog Blogs

Got my set to the side I read often, but need some more, preferable writing based. Oh the writing. Someone please motivate me. I really want to extend the research creative element I wrote for masters to full length, there is loads of room for it, and all that stops me is discipline. Not my forte generally speaking though I do get things done eventually... Well, that and a baby. So blogs about motivation, writing, that kinda stuff. Writing about writing. Maybe if I read that others actually work I might consider doing it too. Maybe. If not, it will be a great new way to procrastinate :D