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


I don't blog a great deal about Mums breast cancer because its a fairly private thing, and she is very private also. But without going into details, it has been hard in lots of ways. Mum had a tough week this past week, so it was extremely gratifying to have a great old chat yesterday and really tap into where she was at, how she was feeling and feel as though as much as possible - I really understood and was able to convey that and make her feel understood.

In my own experience, that is fairly invaluable, when someone can truly "get it" and know where you are at, and right when you feel completely alone you suddenly see you are not. It can often save you. It often saved me - and my experiences are nowhere near that intense as hers are right now. Has that ever happened to you?

She and I are very close, she is the one who knows EVERYTHING about me. I can talk to her about anything and everything, things I cannot and would not talk to no one else in the world about, she hears! I am so lucky to have that, and it was really nice for me to be able to feel that maybe for once I could do that in return for her too. The woman is absolutely amazing. Honestly, the strength (cliche, I know, I am wincing even writing it) but really, its impressive stuff.

Halfway through the chemo now, then radiotherapy. After that, cancer can fuck right off for good.

Rock star party

T-2months and counting until F's 6th birthday extraordinaire. As discussed EARLIER, he wants to have a Greenday party. I like to be super organised and I often mail order stuff so I am thinking ahead now...

PLEASE if you have any great party planning sites that can sell me some kick arse rockstar party type stuff - preferably Australian sites - please link me to them ASAP! I found vinyl record decorations but F looked understandably baffled by them.

He wants posters/pics of the boys, especially BillieJoe around the place he has instructed, and I am thinking guitar cake... But I still need more decorations, favours, other thematic punkrock, Greenday decorations/goods/ideas. I am not the worlds greatest party thrower but if I am organised enough early enough I can usually source some cool stuff to get away with a cool enough party to keep him happy. So, HELP PLEASE! :D

Vampires and Werewolves and PITA chicks

The trailer for New Moon.

So, the Twilight thing. I have mentioned it before in my books post HERE, but just on it, I was not a huge fan. IMO, it is fairly poorly written, but then maybe i just forget it is meant for a teen audience predominantly. It is almost ridiculously unbelievable in some places (Breaking Dawn especially) - but I was still suckered in! I resisted for so long... Curiosity got the best of me.

The protagonist, Bella, does my head in. She is annoying. Clumsy. Doofus. Needy. And the actress portraying her annoys me as much. So I guess... well cast?!

Jasper, in the movie, is SO Edward Scissorhands-ish its weird. I wonder if he modelled himself on Edward? The scissorhands one. Not the vampire. Okay thats confusing.

The guy playing Jake is the only actor playing his age (okay thats a generalisation I don't actually know that but its a guess).

It all annoys me! So WHY have I still on some level, enjoyed it, and why am I still looking forward to the new movie?! It truly perplexes my small little brain. Whats up with that?!

*PITA = Pain In The Arse (for those not familiar with my weird acronyms!)