Monthly Archives: November 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Feet

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After a hard day these sleepy toes make me happy to be alive.


11.45am

I’ve been flying under the radar this week, keeping busy with family obligations and the start of the silly season. 

 

Doctors have featured firmly in our lives of late.  We’ve had sick, sniffily kids, adults and grandparents but thankfully, a few prescriptions later, most of us are the mend.

 

In the manic whir that was the past fortnight, I also discovered that I have a cyst (again), on my ovary.  The last time was back in my teens, where it was removed via a c-section type cut and never thought of again.

 

Complex Ovarian Cyst.

 

I’m telling myself it’s probably nothing. 

I’m telling myself it’s just something that will be looked, at dealt with fairly swiftly.

But this time, as a Mum and Wife, I’m nervous.

 

At 11.45am today, I have my appointment with a recommended specialist, so I am very blessed to have a noble pair of hands to manage my problem.

 

I hope it’s nothing.

I pray it is something that will be dealt with quickly.

 

But as a Mum and Partner, I’m a little afraid today.

 

 

If you’ve had an ovarian cyst can you tell me about it?

 


Driving and crying

Every day I call my babysitter to check on my kids.  During today’s call, I was told that my son was not well.  He was a little warm in the morning but I gave him Panadol and he seemed to settle. Now he was running a fever and he was asking for his Mama.   

 

Within the hour, I received a call telling me that Mr 4 had vomited and had to go to the doctor.  He was still asking for his Mama.

 

Admittedly and I hate to say this, I was annoyed. 

I know my son is sick, I know he needs his mother and I know he must visit the doctor. 

But in that moment all I could think about were deadlines I need to meet and the entire role I need to learn before I change position next year. 

I was so incredibly busy at work, I could barely even stop to take the phone call telling me that my son needed medical attention.

 

Guilt.

I felt that stifling guilt a working mother feels when she’s torn between children and her job.  I visualised the eye-rolling and knowing glances that some staff members would share.  

‘I’ll show them’, I thought, Robomumming out of the office with an enviro-bag full of marking and lesson preparation.

 

 

 Mr 4 was asleep on the lounge.  He was frightfully hot and groggy.  His face was burning and his usually perfect lips, were dry.  I picked up his frail little body and rushed him to the GP.

“I missed ya, Mama”, he said when he woke up in the waiting room.

 

My heart sank more than it usually does when he says this.

 

I stroked his hair away from his hot little face and held him tightly in my arms.

I noticed some spots near his neck and on closer inspection I saw that they formed a rash that stretched across his torso and between his shoulder blades. 

 

My God in Heaven help me

 

…..

It turns out that Mr 4 most likely has a throat infection, (we’re waiting on results) and the rash is something that should be monitored closely but more than likely is temperature related.

 

Thank you, God.

 

I cried all the way home. 

Driving and crying. 

The more I saw that sleepy boy’s head bobbing around in his booster seat, the more upset I became.

 

 

I wouldn’t ever put anything before my children but today, the prospect of leaving work was intolerable.   Even if just for a few brief minutes, why did I put fucking deadlines before the health of my child?

We’re home now.  Mr 4 is a bit better and I’m just hanging out with him on the lounge being silly and making him giggle.  His temperature is still high but he’s improving and the rash is fading.  The enviro-bag of work is still on the front seat of my car, destined to stay there until tomorrow. 

Instead of working, I thought I’d take a few brief minutes to reflect and share today’s lesson. Parent, partner, sibling or friend, it’s important to slow down and consider our priorities, ensure they are in the correct order.

 

Am I alone on this one?  Or are you willing to admit you drive and cry too?

 

Robomum X

 

 


Happy Hour

About two months ago I made a new friend and for me, she really couldn’t have come along at a better time.  I met her as we soccer-mummed on the sidelines at kids sport.  She has really good energy and is lots of fun.  Being 35 years of age and having recently moved to a new area, I was quite proud of myself to make a brand new friend, independent of everyone I know.  She is 31, has kids the same age as mine and she happens to live just off my street.  Score on many levels.

 

 

We caught up a few times at the local park and watched our kids play together.  We related well but as our conversations progressed into a more personal realm, I noticed how she was very forthcoming with details about her private life.  She would tell me about her parents in law, who are in fact, well-known locally, her own family, her past.  It was, at times a case of, too much too soon.

 

I’m talking big slap-you-in-the-face details. 

Things I would consider telling my friends but only after a considerable amount of time. I teetered between admiring her openness and feeling compelled to say, “Hey mate, be careful who you tell shit to”.  

 

 

At our last kiddy play date, we agreed to make our friendship official by wetting the proverbial baby’s head, with dinner and drinks down at our local.  I invited another two friends of mine and the date was set, Friday 16 November.  A date that will now be known as, “That Night”.

 

 

So last night, the married with kidlets versions of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha each got dressed and headed out for a much needed and much deserved night on the town.  We arrived promptly for Happy Hour where I stupidly consumed a Vodka AND two and a half sugary Caprioskas.  ‘Dumb’, you say.  I know.  But I blame the excitement on finally being out in public with a handbag, not a nappy bag.

 

 

I got myself comfortably numb early and although I wasn’t completely plastered, I had consumed the first lots of drinks way too quickly, thus failing to pace myself for the rest of the night.  I’ve paid for it today, I assure you.

 

With liquid courage, my old friends got to know my new friend, the ‘Samantha’ of our foursome, very quickly.  There was quick rhetoric and lots of laughs as we shared stories about our kids, husbands and colleagues; the usual victims of conversation when four friends get together.  It was shaping up to be a great night.

 

We went to the dining area and sat down to order.  In retrospect, I wish I’d stopped drinking at that point.  Over the course of the next hour, Samantha transformed into someone completely different.  One of my old friends remained sober throughout the night, so she was able to help me piece together my blurry recollection of the evening.

 

 

Without elaborating too much, straight, married Samantha, although mostly outrageously funny, became sexually suggestive towards my straight, married friends.  She was inappropriate throughout the night in more ways than one and made my sober friend, in particular, feel very uncomfortable.  My sober friend told me, that if I wasn’t so drunk I’d have probably ended the night early, which is what she did.  One of the husbands’, who picked up his wife, my other old friend, qualified my sober friend’s story with his own, very similar version.

 

All in all, what was meant to be a night for the four of us to relax and do something different, quickly because something reminiscent of Schoolies Week. 

 

 

My dilemma

 

I’m pissed off. 

Although we got home safe and sound, there are many minutes I can’t account for during the night, the short cab ride home for example.  I’m not taking the moral high ground on this one, I was just as irresponsible with the teenage binge drinking moment and I’m pissed off that I let it happen.  I’m also pissed off because I feel like I can’t trust my new friend’s character.

 

 

I’m concerned. 

I know my new friend enjoys a drink.  I do too.  But I’m a laugh-my-head-off-and-fall-asleep drunk.  I’m worried that if she’s the what-I’ve-just-described kind of drunk, then she might, in all likelihood, find herself in a situation that she may end up regretting.  I care about her and I don’t want to see her potentially lose friends or worse because she can’t handle her liquor.

 

If I behaved how she did, it would kill me to hear it but I would want to know and I would expect my ‘friends’ to tell me.  I think I’d be upset if they didn’t. 

 

This is what I want to do. 

 

I want to tell her about the night without making her feel like she’s the worst person in the world.  I want to say something like:

“hey, this and this happened and it was pretty full on.  Everyone’s cool but it was mentioned and I feel bad coz I organised it.  I’m just worried that you might not realise it and I don’t want you to find yourself in trouble.  I can understand if this makes you uncomfortable but I’d feel like a shit friend if I didn’t tell you.  Don’t be embarrassed, I’m a walking embarrassment when I’m pissed too.  If you think I’m a bitch I understand but I’m telling you because I care about you”.

 

 

One of the cardinal rules of blogging is never to write something about someone that you can’t say to their face.  I can say this to a friend.  But obviously it’s something that no-one wants to hear. 

 

Wrong or right, I am going to say it, the next time I see her.

I know the friendship is at stake but that will be her decision. 

 

 

I would love nothing more than to continue the play dates and soccer-mumming, with the odd Happy Hour thrown in, for good measure.

 

 

Please leave your thoughts below.  I’d love to hear constructive advice on how to be honest without being hurtful.

 

 

 


Wordless Wednesday: Absofreakinglutely AMAZING

A Solar eclipse is something I’d love to experience. Alas, this is as close as I get this time.

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I know…. Crap pics.


My love affair with Twitter

I first joined Twitter in 2009 and have been having a love affair with it ever since.  My Man is known to walk into the room and demand in a whiny voice, “What are you tweeting about now?”

 

It’s a powerful feeling to know that I am in control of my influences, sources of knowledge, who I listen to and what I read about.  I love getting my news first hand.  I love subscribing to the NY Times instead of SMH, hearing about the Middle East from Mona Eltahawy instead of News Limited and following Mr Ricky Gervais for my daily belly laugh.

 

By following hashtags on Twitter, I’ve lived some of the most amazing news stories from my computer screen.  Some recent tags that have stayed with me are #qldfloods, #olympics, #collarbomb, #syria, #obama2012, #japan and #neighbours, for a little weeknight satirical beat-up.

 

I think what I love the most about Twitter is just hearing about Stuff.  Instant and unedited, from real people who are living in the moment.

No edit, no gloss.

Spelling mistakes, finer details, truth.

Reality.

The perspective of people just like me.

 

One of the most unforgettable hashtags was in 2011, #prayersfortony.

 

At home, in the final stages of pregnancy with baby number 2, I followed this hashtag intently, walking around with my phone in hand, waiting for updates about this sad, horrific story.  It was the unfortunate catalyst that sparked my interest in blogging and led me to follow some incredible (and previously unknown to me), Australian Women Writers.

 

Women Who Blog became an entire new realm of reality.

Mothers, grandmothers, single women, women without children; each blog tells a unique and important story.

Some of these stories stay with me for an hour, or a day.  And some of these stories continue to haunt me for much longer; occupying my thoughts as I perform the most menial daily tasks.

As my love affair continues, I thank Twitter for these incredible stories that have helped shape my life and freshen my perspective.

 

When has Twitter had a profound effect on you?


Today’s View

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Today’s view is brought to you today by, Flat On My Back In The Backyard. I hope my pic does this view justice.


My Melbourne Cup Arvo

This afternoon, while the rest of you Melbourne Cupped, I quickly and quietly slipped out to see my pal, Nhung.  Our local, trusty beautician.

Nhung is like the barman who knows your name but better.  She knows your name, your partner’s name, your kids names and your sister’s husbands name.

Nhung rocks hard.

 

“Why you cut your nails short?” she yelled at me, as soon as I put my shocking feet into the little white bath.

Shit.

 

“Nhung!” I pleaded convincingly, “I had an ingrown toe nail and had to cut them all because it looked funny if I just cut one!”

I know it was a poor excuse but it was the first thing that fell out of my head.

I lied to Nhung.

 

The real story is that I attempted a quick DIY nail job at home and got Cajun Shrimp everywhere.  Anyone who has their own Nhung would know that I mean here, Cajun Shrimp the bright orange OPI colour, not the food.

Anyway, my pedi looked like the work of my 22 month old daughter.  Not only could I not get the orange off my nails, I couldn’t get it off my cuticles or off the skin around my toes.

So I had to cut my toe nails pretty bloody short and scrub my feet during every shower for about a week.

Idiot.

 

“They so short”, Nhung kept saying, “I can’t make longer!”

 

Although she shook her head more times than I care to remember, and called a colleague over to discuss the matter of my short toes nails, Nhung worked her magic and now my ugly feet look like a million bucks.

They’re still hideously ugly but at least they’re a tiny bit prettier.

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I hope your Melbourne Cup arvo was a bit more interesting than mine.

Robomum X


Please, no photos

I love reading blogs with photographs.  It gives me a sense of who the writer might be and it adds depth, another aspect of authenticity to their important story.  The blogs with which I am most familiar, have each shared images with readers.  Some I follow, involve the writer sharing images with each post, daily some of them.  Over time, I have read about their experiences and I have witnessed them grow and transform, become better mothers, fathers, partners.

My favourite blogs are not the highlight reels, to borrow a term from my pal, Chrissie Swan.  They don’t just share the best bits of life, A La Facebook.  The blogs I like are the warts and all, candid, scary at times, true accounts of someone’s reality.  It’s an honour to read about someone’s reality, the good bits and the not so good bits of life.

I admire the way these bloggers share their images, especially photographs of themselves and their families.  This type of writer is an intrepid writer, courageous.  To find the words to write about your life is one thing, however to include photographs is downright gutsy and an incredible gift to give to humanity.

I cannot be so intrepid.

I cannot reveal myself in the physical sense. 

I just can’t. 

I have thousands of excuses:  I’m a high school teacher.  What if my students read it?  What if my kids find out?  My Man doesn’t really like my blogging.  What if no-one reads my blog?  What if someone reads my blog?  I don’t want someone I know reading my blog!

A thousand excuses, thousands of stories…

The real truth is this:  I’m embarrassed to share the pieces of me that I’ve spent years trying to hide.  I’m incredibly proud of some things, but frightfully ashamed of others.  Some parts of life I want to relive, celebrate, wrap with a huge bow and give to the universe.  Other parts I want to hide, I act as though they didn’t happen, I ignore them, try to forget them.

If you’ve read my blog, especially the very first post, you will know that I am writing for Clarity and for Me.  Achieving clarity will involve writing about all of those truths, the good bits and the not so good bits.

The dilemma is that if I’m just sharing my stories, I don’t have to hide and I can tell you absolutely everything.  But if I tell you who I am, I may shut down and perhaps never write again, never utter another word.  What irony!

So to those who need to connect with a visual here is my response:

I’m not as hot as this:

And I’m not as bad as this:

I’m somewhere in the middle.

I’m just not that courageous yet.

So for now, please, no photos.

Robomum X


A little bit of help

I chucked a sickie today.

Admittedly, I woke up with a shocking headache.  I couldn’t get it together for long enough to even get dressed.  So I called in sick, took two Panadol and went straight back to bed.

An hour and a half later, on my second attempt at waking up, I felt like a million bucks. Headache gone.  You Little Ripper!

On Fridays, Mum looks after my kids while I go to work.  She arrives early and spends the whole day here, at my place.  On Fridays, I often return home to happily exhausted kidlets and a pot of dinner bubbling away on the stove.   Sometimes she’ll run a quick vacuum, or fold a basket of washing.

My kids adore their Grandmother and love her visits.  My mum is gold.  I don’t know how she does it but this weekly gift she gives me and my family is priceless.

Today, as usual, she was here right on time.

She fed the kids breakfast before the fun started.  All morning, I could hear squeals of laughter, silly stories and lots of songs.  The TV and tablet were off but the imagination was in overdrive.  Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing my kids a disservice with all the technology they access but more on that in another post.

For my kids, Fridays are obviously all about talking teddy bears and going outside to play in the garden.  Good old-fashioned Grandma FUN.

Mum being here today and my not-so-sickie-after-all, allowed me to get to two things I hate doing.  Packing away clean laundry and cleaning up the little area where we dump backpacks, handbags, shoes and jackets.

Now they’re done!

I even got to shower and blow dry my hair without interruption.

4.30pm and I’m sitting on the lounge.  The kids are playing with their toys on the rug.  I feel pretty good right now.  Invigorated, uncluttered.   Ready to tackle the weekend of birthday parties, swimming lessons and grocery shopping.

A little bit of help goes a very long way in Mumhood.

God bless Mental Health Days but more importantly, God bless our Mums.

Thanks Mum.  I love you.  X