Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Grumpy Monday

Yesterday was Grumpy Monday.
After my blog last week about Happy Monday I got thinking more and more about Grumpy Monday so when it came I was ready for it.

Yesterday was Grumpy Monday in the trio of Monday's because Hubby flies back early hours of Tuesday morning for work which means Monday is his last day home. I am Grumpy because I will be the only parent again for 2 weeks, Grotbag is Grumpy because I will be the only parent again for 2 weeks and Hubby is Grumpy because he has to go back to work. Usually we will be snappy at each other all day (this is sometimes and understatement!). The day is spent either not doing much or Hubby doing all the things I asked him to do at the beginning of his week home that he has left to the last minute and therefore making me even more Grumpy.
However, yesterday I was determined not to be Grumpy and we planned a day home as we had been busy everyday. We had lots of washing as we had been so busy so set about that being our only tasks. I really wanted to clean out my pantry as it had got into such a mess and I didn't know what was in there and things were balancing threatening to spill contents all over the floor every time I opened the door. So I made that my project of the day. Grotbag was happy to be parented by the new Plasma and Disney Channel which made things easier and I put the slow cooker on so dinner wouldn't be a hassle. And low and behold Grumpy Monday became bearable Monday. I was happy to have achieved the pantry which took me 4 hours!!! Hubby was happy I was happy and he got to spend time with Grotbag, Bugalugs and the Plasma. And not a cross word was had between us!
We got to spend a few hours alone together once the kids had gone to bed and chat and talk about the week and the next time he was back. We actually agreed that the week had gone quickly but had been great and we had achieved a lot!
I have no doubt that Grumpy Monday will rear its ugly head again, but having recognised it and been open to changing it Grumpy Monday might turn into I'm-going-to-miss-you Monday instead!

Below before and after pictures of my Pantry.



Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Heavy Bag

Today, Hubby & I met 2 other couples for lunch at Feral Brewery in the Swan Valley. I love the fact that even though it is Winter in Perth the place was busy with people enjoying good food and drink even if it meant co-ordinating a scarf with your outfit. This was one of a few meals out we have been too while Hubby has been home.

The difference between our table and the majority of the other tables today were the addition of kids. Small kids. Three 4 year olds & two babies (and one on the way which doesn't count as they brought their own seat)! A few years ago Before Kids (BK) lunch with friends just meant an impromptu phone call, picking a nice outfit, jumping in the car and spending a leisurely afternoon (and possibly evening) chatting, drinking and eating.

Oh how times have changed.

First you have to organise a date and make sure everyone is free. Especially for us seeing as my Hubby's job involves him flying in and out. So the date is usually set months in advance. God help me if it has to be changed!!

Gone are the days of spending an hour getting ready! I'm lucky if I manage to have a shower without an audience and its long enough to wash my hair (drying it may be optional!). There are 2 other people to get ready, well, 3 if you include Hubby. But luckily, although he can dress himself.

Then there is "The Bag" to pack! "The Bag" has to consist of everything you 'might' need while on the outing. Basics includes, nappies & bottles and other baby stuff for Bugalugs plus a plethora of entertainment items for Grotbag to keep him occupied. Because inevitably if you are at a kid friendly restaurant the kids will be fed first leaving them to be completely bored by the time you receive your meal. Colouring books, ipods and handheld game consoles have become life savers in these times of need. I can never leave Hubby to pack the bag as something is always left out and I end up having to fold origami style nappies out of paper towels!

Once at the restaurant there is a shuffle of seating arrangement to accommodate prams, men and women and kids in between. Hubby hates to be seated in the wrong position making him privy to menstrual cycles, birthing stories, the latest on Masterchef and other such girly topics. Gone are the days of political banter and mixed sex conversations. Time is of the essence and plus, colouring in while talking about Kevin Rudd can be a bit distracting. There is never all the adults at the table at the one time. They are either off supervising the kids on playground equipment or seeing to the younger set of babies.

Food turns up and you eat it as quickly as possible so that you can take the baby off your partner so he can eat his dinner which is getting colder by the minute. Meanwhile ice cream turns up for the kids so you know that the meal is nearly over before you have even looked at your desert menu. Then you look at the time and realise the dreaded 'witching' hour is close at hand and the kids heads are going to start spinning round exorcist style spewing phrases like "I'm tired", "can we go home now", "I don't want to go home" etc etc.

So you say your goodbyes, and say that "you must simply do this more often, why do we leave it so long". Talk about how you should all "go away one weekend with the kids" all while trying to get your kids to say goodbye nicely and not run in front of cars in the car park!

The thing is, I love meeting my friends for lunch out and about with the kids. We all have a great time despite and because of all the things above. Going out for a meal may not be the same as a few short years ago, but I would rather go out and have to be a bit more organised than not go!

How lucky am I that I have the opportunity to go and have lunch with friends? Having to do it differently is not better or worse than before kids, it just takes more organisation and more stuff.

In other words. Your bag just gets heavier!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's why we buy insurance....

Well, just when I think today is going to be an ordinary day and my blog tonight was going to be about my love/hate of something, the universe decides otherwise.

It started off fairly ordinary. Hubby and I got up when Bugalugs woke up at 6.30am and Grotbag followed bleary eyed an hour later. We went about our morning with breakfast and showers and getting ready to send Grotbag off for the day with his Grandma. Hubby researched plasma models on the Internet so he had some knowledge before going and buying one while using the money I had put away for skirting boards! My friend who I hadn't seen in a while popped over for a chat and to coo at Bugalugs and all was flowing along nicely.....Until Hubby decides to reverse out of our carport. I heard a horrible noise and 3 things went through my head.

1) What are the dogs up to?
2) That sounds like something has hit the car!
3) OH NO Hubby has hit my friends car!!!

But no...Hubby had caught the corner of the car bumper on the carport post and ripped the entire bumper off and then proceeded to drive down the road with it hanging on by a thread. I was is shock that he had driven away! Called him on his mobile 4 times (it was on silent) and cursed him continually under my breath. Finally he calls back and only realised it had happened when he had stopped at the shops to get money from the ATM and some woman was looking at the car. Then realised it was OUR car!!!

Now, in my previous blog I had referred to myself as hot headed and this I generally am. So you would be right in believing my reaction to this would be to shout and scream and call Hubby every blasphemous name under the sun. However the reason Hubby probably "caught" the bumper on the post was because after only having the car for 2 months I also hit the post and "nicked" the corner of the bumper causing it to stick out ever so slightly. This is the side he caugth. I also referred to Hubby as laid back, so when I had my misdemeanor he simply sighed and said "well as long as you are OK!" (He also said the same thing the year before when I reversed our other car into a post on Christmas Eve)!

So now Hubby is taking it to the assessor tomorrow and booking it in for the car surgery. This is what is the pain in the butt is about breaking things, the inconvenience of not having something that you rely on. This means that there will be a rant and rave in future blogs about how I had to borrow/hire/steal a car to cart Grotbag and Bugalugs around while it gets fixed!

I figured that no one got hurt, only our car was damaged and hey..It's why we buy insurance!

Below is the picture of my poor car post bumper...it even looks sad!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Cast

Not sure if I will get a chance to blog tonight as we are going out for dinner with friends, so thought I would take the chance to blog now while Hubby sleeps off his night shift and the baby has a nap...I say nap because he only sleeps 40 mins at a time during the day, hence why I always blog late at night!

After reading many a blog this last week since starting my own after being inspired by a friend of mine (thanks MJ!) I realised that bloggers don't use peoples names and instead use an alias. I love the idea of this and actually don't like writing Master 4 or Baby because at some point Master 4 will become Master 5 and the Baby will no longer be a baby. So have decided to give my cast of characters (of which they truly are) an alias!

My Husband will simply still be known as Hubby. I was thinking all night of what to call him (believe me many names came to mind all suitable but not necessarily to be shared!!) and realised that Hubby how I have him listed in my mobile and plus its easy to type. A bit about Hubby... He will be turning 40 next year (2010), is very laid back especially compared to my mania and a great dad. He loves fishing, watching Sky News and Green Day etc type music. Bit different from when I met him 7 years ago and all he had were Ministry of Sound Cd's!!! He loves everything I cook him and is a great guinea pig for new recipes (even the dodgy ones!). He loves simple pleasures in life and if he had his way we would be living the Busselton Lifestyle now...not in 20 years time!!!

Master 4 will be known in future blogs as Grotbag. I say this lovingly of course, just imagine me ruffling his hair as I say it to him. Grotbag suits as he is turning into such a 'boy'! I shouldn't be surprised seeing as he is a boy, but until this year when he started Kindy I had never seen him be so boisterous and pretending to be an alien etc etc. Plus he has started picking his nose and showing me the spoils of his labour...see...Grotbag!! A little bit about Grotbag...He is 4 years old going on 15. He already has an insatiable appetite and I run out of things to give him to eat daily. His mantra is "I'm Hungry" so I have to take an abundance of food with me wherever I go! He is, as my Mum will tell anyone who will listen, just like me! Poor sod! We are both hot headed, passionate, stubborn, messy but strangely organised in our own way. We both hate clowns. I know the teenage years are going to be Hell and we will clash terribly but I am ready for it! He is however loving, generous, has a great imagination, makes me laugh every day (and sometimes cry!!) and has a spirit in him I will be forever proud of. He also wants to be a policeman and copies his dads Coventry accent only on the week he is home!

The Baby in all future blogs will be known as Bugalugs. Grotbag found Hubby calling the baby Bugalugs (in a English Coventry accent, as in Boogaloogs) and has copied it every since and it makes Bugalugs giggle. A little bit about Bugalugs....at the moment he is 4 & 1/2 months old. Only naps during the day but sleeps 12 hours at night...hey we can't have everything! He is pretty content most of the time but jeez when he cries its like the whole world has come to an end. He screams until his need is met so keeps me on my toes! I am not as strict routine wise as I was with Grotbag as it is impossible so I just do what I can to make our families life easier. He is my little IVF miracle and like clockwork has just woken up so am now typing this with one hand.

So there is the main cast of my life. Others I am sure will make the regular cast, guest appearances, and there may be a few that get special guest star billing and I will give all of them their character alias' when they make their debuts! Right, gotta go before Bugalugs wakes Hubby up with his screams of attention!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Monday & The 4 o'clock Train

Monday in our house always proves to be a busy day but we have 3 different Mondays in our house. Happy Monday, Middle Monday & Grumpy Monday. But this Monday, today, marks the end of my 2 week's of "doing it all by myself". My Hubby arrives back tomorrow after working his roster of 2 weeks away, and 1 week home. So this makes it HAPPY MONDAY. My spirit's are high knowing that he is home tomorrow and I will have a week with an extra pair of hands for the kids, maybe a couple of lay in's in the mornings, be able to just jump in the car myself to quickly go somewhere, a girls night out, adult conversation and of course someone sleeping/snoring beside me at night. Master 4 goes to bed excited on Happy Monday knowing his dad will be picking him up from school tomorrow instead of boring old mum. And Hubby chats animatedly on the last phone call before he is home about the weeks events. Ah, the weeks events. We are always incredibly busy the week my hubby is home as we try and cram as much into it as possible.

By the time Happy Monday comes around I am usually burnt out from being the only parent for 2 weeks. However, it is still a Monday which means the following usually occurs. And did occur today. I always try and arrange for Master 4 to get out the house on a Monday Morning to burn off some Happy Monday energy. I usually end up at an indoor play venue, a friends house or a park and usually invite a friend with kids to join us. This also gives me a chance to catch up with a friend and have a chat while Master 4 is happy playing. Today we met a friend and her children at a local park. It was freezing but we all rugged up and the kids had a ball. I then made a trip to the local fruit and veggie market to stock up for my hubby's arrival, making a mental note of the meals I would be cooking this week. Cooking is the only thing I do not get a reprieve from. My choice. We then came home and I proceeded to tidy the mess that was our weekend and do some washing. I am not much of a cleaner. I hate it. But that rant is for another blog, another day!!

Then came, what I call, the 4 o'clock train. I don't like missing the 4 o'clock train or it can throw the whole night out!! 4 o'clock is when I start to prepare dinner. Master 4 is usually playing in the playroom while the baby is happily watching him or in his bouncer chair. Between 5 & 5.30pm we eat and about 6.15pm the boys have a bath. My baby boy is given his last bottle while Master 4 finishes his bath. By 7pm the baby is in bed (the 7 o'clock train is another one I don't like to miss!) and Master 4 is either watching his own show on Disney channel or watching Masterchef with me. 8pm Master 4 is usually in bed and I clean up all the dinner stuff, wash and prepare bottles for the morning, and because it is a Monday prepare Master 4's lunch for Kindy tomorrow, lay out his clothes for the morning to make things run smoother and then jump on the computer. The 4 o'clock train comes every night. Those that know me well, they know not to call between 4pm & 8pm for fear of derailing that train.

So here I am again on Happy Monday. I caught the train, completed my journey and here I sit preparing for another huge week. I can almost envision what my blogs will read like as I look at the calendar that's filled with stuff we are doing. I take a deep breath and look forward to tomorrow when I can pick my hubby up from the airport and we are again a normal family of 4 for another week!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Birthday's & Miracles

Well today is my birthday. I turned 36. Sigh! Where have all the years gone! I was 15 when my own mum was 36 and then I thought she was ancient. Do 15 year old's now think I am ancient? Today I am also closer to being 40 than I am to being 30. Yikes!

A month before I turned 30 I started getting heart palpitations. I was also planning our wedding and looking for a new house, which I had completely under control. I went to the doctors as I would wake in the middle of the night my heart pounding in my chest. He has been my family doctor since I was 12 so knew me quite well. He asked if I was suffering any stress and I told him about the wedding and the house hunting. He looked at my birth date and said "see you have a birthday coming up, and you are going to be 30". I must have gone white because he just smiled and said, "come back after your birthday, if you are still having them we will do some tests...I just think your worried about turning 30." And indeed I was and funnily enough, after my birthday they disappeared. Imagine how I am going to be a month before I am 40!!!

It's funny when you have little kids and it's your birthday. Master 4 was so excited and helped me open all my presents (read HE opened them all while I ooh and ahh'd over their contents). I baked my own 97% fat free chocolate birthday cake of which Master 4 blew out the candle first, helped me cut the first piece of which he also had. And not want attention to deviate too far from him was pretty much centre of attention most of the day. Being an only child, you would think that this is hard for me but actually, I think it is kinda cute and love 'sharing' my special day with my special boy.

Today was spent how birthday's should be spent...with friends and family. Had a beautiful breakfast with some girlfriends where we gossiped and laughed and lamented how it was all very SATC. In the afternoon I went to my mums with the family where she made enough food to feed a third world country. We all went home comfortably full and all with doggy bags!! I looked around the room at one point while having my baby boy in my arms and saw Master 4 playing junior scrabble with his Great Grandparents, my cousin's hubby was watching the footy, other family members were milling around the kitchen snacking on yummy food, while mum busied herself with making sure everyone had enough to eat, my younger cousin Miss 14 was texting on her mobile & my other cousin, who is like a sister, had her baby boy, only 5 weeks younger than mine, in her arms chatting away. It was a beautiful scene and I feel incredibly lucky to have the wonderful family that I have. It was the perfect birthday present. The only thing that could have made it completely perfect would have been my hubby who, because of his job, misses a lot of these occasions which is sad, but a consequence of the life we have chosen!

And finally, today is not just my birthday. On this very day last year, on the 21st June 2008, my gorgeous little 4 month old baby boy, who at the time was just a small fertilised egg, was, by the wonder that is IVF placed back from where he was taken. Inside my womb. To miraculously grow into the beautiful little 4 month old I held in my arms today. He is and forever will be, the BEST birthday present I have ever received and I am truly honoured to share this special day every year with him. Thank you for being so strong, holding on and bringing me and your daddy so much joy. I love you little guy!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

He Don't Bring Me Flowers.....

Flowers. This is going to be controversial in my opinion here but I have always been a bit funny/weird/bewildered by them. Don't get me wrong, I have had plenty of flowers sent to me for different reasons over the years and I truly believe the sentiment from the people sending them has always been heartfelt and I have appreciated every single bunch...but I just don't get it!!.

When I met my husband I told him straight away that I don't "do" flowers. He of course thought I was sending some strange female reverse psychology message and proceeded to buy me them and usually for no reason at all. And not just you run of the mill "picked up on my way home from the local BP" jobby's, these were beautiful bouquets from florists that cost him a fortune. And I think there in lies the problem. And please do not hate me for saying this but, I think they are a bit of waste of money. There I said it. Please keep reading....

Birthday flowers. I received flowers today for my birthday (which is tomorrow...more on that later) from my Uncle in the UK. They are absolutely beautiful, and a lovely thought. And it is the thought I am appreciative of because it means I have had someone think about me and remember me. However, as I do not receive flowers very often I didn't have a big enough vase for them and proceeded to hack at them, pulled a few bits out and arrange them in the shorter vase that I did have available. And arrange them very badly indeed. All I could think of was that my friend who is a florist would be horrified. So now I have this weird looking vase of flowers. They smell divine but I fear I may get a slight headache from the perfume. And I know that in a weeks time they would have all died (reminding me in the meantime that I am getting older) cause I wouldn't have changed the water. They would have dropped leaves and pollen which is impossible to remove from anything let alone the new top I got for my birthday which would have got a smear of the pollen on it from brushing past. And there will still be a smell coming from them, but it will be the smell of the rotting water. So then I will finally throw them out (after complaining about the pollen & smell everyday till they are thrown out) put the vase next to the sink to be bleached cause of the smell and the brown ring that has occurred and then that's it.

I feel the same about bereavement flowers, for most of the reasons above. But also, just them hanging around reminds you everyday of the awful thing you have just experienced. And then they too die. Flowers for babies...again no use, just have to try and find room in the car to get them home and its just more work for the new mum after the whole pollen falling etc has happened. New mums can barely throw away the pile of nappy bags piling up at the back door for the "big" bin outside let alone 6 bunches of dead flowers now smelling worse than the nappies!

But by far are the worst flowers are the "I'm Sorry" flowers! I told my husband in the beginning that if he really wanted to buy me flowers after I explained all my reasons above as to why it would be a waste, he should NEVER under any circumstances buy me flowers as an apology. The Sorry Flowers are usually sent, lets be honest, when something pretty big has gone down. And most women want to TALK about it not get flowers. A man who gave me sorry flowers would be chucked quicker than the flowers would be!

I know, I have read this back and admit that I do sound extremely ungrateful. I am really not. Honest. I just think at the end of the day they are expensive and something more original would be more exciting and memorable and preferably something that doesn't die. Maybe that's it...maybe I don't like gifts that die! Please if you are reading this and have ever sent me flowers don't think I have not gladly received them, I have and love you for sending them...even if the above was floating around in my subconscious.

Before my hubby and I were married we lived in a townhouse. And one day I came home and he had put m&m's all the way up the stairs in a little trail for me to follow to where he just hugged me and told me he loved me. Now ask me if I remember any of the flowers he bought me.....

Friday, June 19, 2009

Disco Fever

I don't know who was more excited about Master 4's first school disco - him or me. I remember my school discos plus the odd blue light disco. Crimping my hair (yes it was in the 80's!) choosing which ra-ra-skirt and thick elastic belt I was going to wear. OMG I just realised I bought a thick elastic belt the other day to try and draw attention to the smallest part of me...Trinny and Suzannah would be proud...but I digress...

My greatest challenge for Master 4's first school disco was what HE was going to wear. He has always had a great aversion to shirts...fine by me as I hate ironing, but I had a vision of him wearing cool jeans, a nice shirt (Country Road from Ebay) and his Gap black leather jacket (which I also scored off Ebay for a cool $50!). Thing is...he is a bit savvy my son...was going to have to do a good PR jobby on this one and really sell it to him. While he was at school I laid out 2 similar outfits. The one as above I wanted him to wear and another shirt & jean combo.

He swaggers in from school (I did mention he was only 4 didn't I) throws his school bag down and demands food. I am dreading the teenage years! Told him I had a 'surprise' in his bedroom. He runs in and looks at the outfits and I ask him does he want to wear "this one" (pointing to the secondary one) or (in one breath) "the cool one with the skater jeans and shirt that will match your skater shoes?" Guess which one he chose? Then I had to sell the jacket. Had to wait till all was in place...the clothes the shoes, the hair (a DB Mohawk) and then...pounce! "Hey, do you know what would look REALLY cool?" "What?" he says with a twinkle in the eye "THIS" and whip out the jacket slip it on him and race him to my full length mirror by which he then exclaims...I look cool don't I mum! Outfit. Done!

We get there 5 minutes early (I am ALWAYS early) and my excitement is building. We can hear the music and Master 4 is grinning from ear to ear. And then I remember the Wiggles concerts. And my heart sinks a little. Both years I took him he was a nightmare. Clinging on to me, wanting to go home, saying its too loud, too many people,crying etc etc all until 10 minutes before the end. So now I am dreading going inside for fear of it happening all again. His little friend turns up and they do the boy battle of Ben 10 each choosing to be a different alien. Then the door opens and he grabs the ticket and heads to the door. Stops and takes my hand...I take a breath and we both walk in. I point out the 'real' DJ and we make our way over to wait for some of his friends. He is in Awe. Then he spots some older kids break dancing, turns to me and says "I can do that" and starts cutting a rug on the dance floor. 3 glow sticks, a bag of lollies and 1 pop top later and he is in his element dancing to all his favourites. He crashes about an hour in but with 1/2 hour to go I make him tough it out. Last song is a dance with the parents to YMCA and then we are out of there, through the Macca's drive through and home. He is happy. And as he gets out the car, leather jacket flung over his arm he actually thanks me without prompt, and I smile like a Cheshire cat.

At his age he probably won't remember it, only through the photos I took and vague memories through my detailed story of the night (or I will still be blogging he can just read it!!.)

But I will remember it forever and it will sit proudly in my heart on top of all his other 'firsts' and know that tonight will definately not be his last.

The beginning of my badly written life....

I say badly written because I do not think I am much of a scribe but after reading some other blogs I think it is good for the soul and mind to just get things out there. I like the idea of writing so that people start to know more about me rather than just through my Facebook comments. I turn 36 this year so have 36 years of things to write about.

I will blog about my day (but maybe not everyday), my family, my experiences, products I like, and basically anything I want to share. So hope you do some further reading...


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