Sunday, May 31, 2009
image credit smh.com.au
You know those pushy show biz parents that round their kids up and bus them from activity to activity? I vowed never to be one of those. You know those poxy fathers who take up the loser spot in the last 2 minutes of a slow news programme banging on about their 1 year old with the killer golf swing? I vowed never to be one of those...
And now here I find myself at 10.30pm on a Sunday night googling for a sports class for my 1 year old child. Have I become one of those? Gosh I hope not.
See the thing is, my daughter adores playing ball, she throws, catches, kicks and even manages to dribble the ball halfway across the room. No I am not talking saliva either! For someone like me (sports challenged to the extreme) this is incredibly impressive.
Tinker and I were playing with the ball this afternoon and she called out to me "pass!" I looked at her and she pointed at the ball. So I kicked it to her and she said "catch" and bent down and picked up the ball. So in a nutshell my 17 month old baby has better balls skills than I will ever have. I am so hopeless.
I was thinking she would really enjoy some sort of sports class where they all get together and play throwing and catching and so on. All I can find however is toddler tennis and toddler soccer that start at age 3. Nothing for a little wee one of 17 months.
All of a sudden I got this terrible guilty feeling. What is the lack of classes telling me? That I have become Jelena Docic's Dad? That I have become Bindi Irwin's mother? Please tell me it isn't so...
I'm not on the hunt for these classes because I want my precious Tinker to become some sort of sports star I just thought it might be a fun activity that she'd enjoy more than her unco mother kicking the ball to her every night. Plus I thought it might be something she could do with her Papa. See, all roads lead back to me trying sneak an hour off to myself on Saturdays. The audacity!
What are your thoughts, do you think the lack of classes for her age group indicates my becoming a freak sports-showbiz mother? Or is she just super duper advanced for her age? Ha ah I'm pulling your leg with the last one. Of course I don't think I have a prodigy on my hands, I just want to make her happy and if kicking balls around with other toddlers is fun then why not?
Friday, May 29, 2009
A.) This is my blog and I can say what I like (insert 4 year old child symbol with hands on hips and tongue poking out)
B.) I've had a grumpy week so why not end it on a grumpy note?
C.) I *think* some of my lovely readers might just agree with me. I hope so anyway.
Ok so some of you might remember THIS post of mine a while back? Where I mentioned buying a little backpack harness for my sweet Tinker. Well I ended up buying the Panda. Tinker absolutely loves her "Pahndah" and it means that shopping with her is no longer a battle. Strapping her into a pram meant she would sob hysterically begging me to let her walk. Unfortunately she refuses to hold my hand for more than 30 seconds so letting her walk basically means letting her run in front of cars. So not going to happen.
With her little Panda on she can toddle beside me and touch things, pick up leaves, pat the dogs as we walk them to the park. You get the picture. I hold the end of the Panda's tail and she toddles in front. No dramas, no tears, only little chuckles as she trots along enjoying our walks.
Recently I read an article written by Wil Anderson, published in the Sunday paper and HERE on his blog. It really upset me so I decided last night to shoot him an email. I'm not normally one for wasting my time with such bickering but having been one of "those" people mouthing off about parenting before I actually had my daughter, I thought I should give Wil the benefit of the doubt and offer him the chance of enlightenment.
Here is a paragraph taken from his article:
I mean what is next? A collar with a bell and their phone number on it? Or why stop there, if you are that worried about them going missing take them down to the local vet and get them microchipped.
I’m sorry, but every time I see this it makes me feel uncomfortable. Surely a child is not a dog, despite how tempting it must be when they go to the toilet on the carpet to grab them and rub their nose in it.
So for me, the leash is one step too far.
How are you going to exercise your child, take them down to the park, throw a stick and get them to fetch? (Or will they be too busy sniffing the other kids’ bums?)
Then it’s only a small step to tie them to a pole out of the front of the shops while you duck in to grab the newspaper, and when they are crying too loud just put them in the backyard with a squeaky toy and a bone.
Again, I stress that I am not a parent, but I hope that if I am lucky enough to be one I will teach my kid boundaries and not just tie them to a rope and five them a three-metre radius.
I mean if you are that worried about letting them out of your sight then why stop at the leash, why bother even cutting the umbilical cord in the first place?
Then they will never get too far away, and for fun you can bounce them up and down like a yo-yo.
In fact while I am on a roll, maybe it is time we considered bringing in a parenthood test before we let people breed.
Here is a copy of the email I sent him:
Hi Wil, I like your blog and I really enjoy your column in the paper.
Your piece about "baby leashes" really irked me.
I thought I might invite you to spend some time walking with me and my toddler. I'd like to see how you manage without the "leash". Seriously.
I live in (my suburb) Sydney and my daughter is 17 months old. See attached. Really cute, really sweet but full of beans.
She won't hold my hand for more than a minute. She will throw herself on the floor and scream hysterically and then sob for 15 minutes if I do not allow her to walk.
So I let her walk and she runs off. She is too young to be trusted to walk on her own, she will run in front of cars. The "leash" is the only answer. This is her "leash" it is a backpack one: http://www.goldbug.com.au/collection.php?s=56
Let me know if you are up for the challenge. It might be funny.
He replied this morning and this is what he said:
hey carolyn,yeah that column has certainly divided people. and certainly i have had some negative feedback (admittedly only from people who use them, but they- like you- have explained their reasons why).all that said, i must admit that my position remains pretty much the same. i acknowledged in the original column that i am not a parent i think it's fair that we all have the right to have our opinions. it doesn't make your decision wrong, but it's also okay for me not to dig it. and i don't dig it.all the best,wil
So what do you my lovely readers think? What should I have sent in reply? This is a copy of my reply:
Fair enough Wil. It was just pretty harsh, what you said about needing a license to parent. I certainly know all about bad parents having been a Children's Court lawyer...I'd love to hear your suggestions though, an alternative? Perhaps the prison on wheels- The pram?Strapped into a pram, my sweet little Tinker will sob hysterically. She misses out on touching leaves, picking up sticks, running up to our dogs and generally toddling about. It seems such a cruel thing to do, but perhaps more palatable for the nonparent to see a hysterical child in a pram than a happy one in the backpack harness.Carolyn
Now for my Fast Friday Funny. I'm not entirely sure of the veracity of this one but it is pretty funny anyway.
Here is the original article. An Indian defendant waiting around in court removed a slipper from his foot and threw it at a judge because he felt the court process was dragging on too long. In response the judge threw a paperweight at the defendant.
Okaaay. This tickled me for a number of reasons:
1. How funny that the defendant was wearing slippers in court.
2. I am all too familiar with the painfully slow court process and have at times fantasised about hurling things at the judge. Maybe not slippers maybe my really big fat Halsbury's.
3. The fact that the Bar Association protested in DEFENCE of the judge. What the? If that happened here, I can assure you we would be complaining about the behaviour of the judge. A paperweight thrown at a defendant?
4. Surely this a simple case of "setting the right example" and the judge was totally out of order in my opinion.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Ok so we all know about THAT talk, the "how did I get here mummy?" talk. Now don't panic, my 17 month old isn't THAT inquisitive. One day, she will be. And as with all things I do, I have thought about it, researched it and now I'm opening it up for discussion with you, my lovely readers.
Is it as soon as the child asks you (this usually follows the child hearing something about it in the playground) or do you prempt this and just give your child the talk before that happens to ensure your child is properly informed before they hear rubbish in the playground?
Let me just say that our playgroup is daily so if I *had* left Tinker's painting there mum, it would have still been there for me to collect the next day. So when I say "abandoned" I mean on a temporary basis.
There, all better? I hope you can enjoy the rest of your day in the knowledge that your #1 daughter is still Mother of the Year. Well, second only to you.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
A piece of art that only a mother could love.
The picture above was taken today, my Tinker tried her clever little hand at painting at playgroup today and that was her creation. It was quite an ordeal. The paint, the children, the paint, the children. Have I mentioned the wet paint?
I'm not good with mess as you probably gathered when I confessed to arranging spices in alphabetical order in my pantry so toddler art was really a realm of playgroup that we really shouldn't have entered.
While the other mothers were saying "Oh darling use blue for the sea, blue. Oh how pretty that is just wonderful Johnny" I was also saying those things loudly, or something similarly supportive all the while in my quiet-don't-let-other-parents-hear voice I was saying "ok this white cable knit cardigan is hand wash only sweet lamb lets try not to lean onto the paper as we paint it ok?"
Then we had the ordeal of putting Tinker's wet paint hands into this big tub of murky paint water that all the other little wet paint hands had been in and then drying them on a communal towel. Since I'd made no friends at our new playgroup I managed to bite my tongue and hide my horror and even managed some small talk with another mummy while my talented artiste plunged her precious hands into the grubby paint water abyss. Oh I'm so not cut out for ikky work sans anti-bac gel let me tell you.
Anyway I was then faced with a dilemma. The painting was wet and had to dry before it entered my car let alone my house so we had about 30 minutes to kill while it dried. Being the awesome team-player type that I am, I had timed our playgroup attendance down to the minute so that we would be able to leave before the closing bell where (I'm told) all the uber chipper mummies get together with their kids and tidy up all the toys and activities. So not for me.
So there I stood. Mother of the Year wondering whether to ditch the Tinker's first ever painting because there was no way it would dry before closing bell, or whether I'd be the team player and pitch in with the massive clean up. Hell I could have even started the whole group singing The Wheels On The Bus... It was quite the conundrum. I was torn. Tinks and I distracted ourselves with some time on slide and then we read Possum Magic about 16 times. I checked on the painting and of course it was still wet. All 1 square metre of it...
I was gearing up to go, abandoning her artwork at the centre like a girl child in Yemen when Tinker piped up "painting where are you? painting?" so I gathered her up, proudly reclaimed her stellar artwork from amongst the talentless offerings of the other children and marched to my car. That's the kind of gal I am. Selfless, stoic and totally honourable.
Meanwhile I felt a slight pang of guilt about the clean up but when I got home and discovered some wet teal coloured smudges on the grape Dazzle stroller that lives neatly in my car boot I felt that all was fair in love and war. I spent a good 15 minutes cleaning the paint off my car, Tinker got her painting and I'm sure that Kumbaya type mother who had skipped over earlier to jabber a welcome to my daughter in tragic baby talk had happily done my share of the clean up anyway.
Medal? Anyone want to give me one?
Monday, May 25, 2009
Until now every sewing project of mine has been a mish mash of naive ambition and the sewing skills of a gnat.
Well, thanks to my lovely friend Wynona who gifted me with a pattern kit from the very wonderful Little Fish Big Pond and the generous sewing books and supplies from Theoretic Gal, I managed to make something she can actually be seen in at Playgroup tomorrow. Complete with a skivvy and matching tights- because it is rather chilly here right now.
Step back people, an amazing piece of fashion history is being rolled out of the showroom. Here it is, my masterpiece dress for my little ruby haired girl:
I hope everyone had a great weekend and a not too painful Monday. Anyone get up to anything exciting? Probably the most thrilling thing that happened for me was hearing my very clever 16 month old count to ten, and ask me "papa like work?"... so perceptive my child.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
image credit Sydney Morning Herald via Channel Nine
So when I read the news story earlier in the week about the young woman who went on the news saying that she saw a shooting in Sydney's Kings Cross area (for my OS readers this is our 'red light' district) I found it strange that she shot to cyber fame almost immediately.
Then I saw her photo, a very glamorous girl. Then I saw her name. I read the story title declaring her the "bogan" who witnessed the shooting and I instantly sniffed a rat rat ratty.
Werbeloff is no bogan surname in Sydney. It's a money name. Find me a poor Werbeloff in Sydney, there isn't one. I knew right away she was no bogan and once I saw how attractive she was I knew it had to be some weird PR stunt set up to grab her some instant celebrity.
Within hours of her You Tube video going live she had representation from Sydney PR agent Adam Abrams and it has now been revealed that she has previously worked for the agency. So there you go. Another rat.
It is pretty crude when you think about it. A young man has been shot and we have this silly c-grade Sydney socialite making false statements. It is all very sad if you ask me.
Is fame really all that? I don't think I'd like to be famous at all. I know when I was a little girl I really wanted to be a famous actress, who didn't?!
Gosh I have enough problems in the mornings working out what to wear and the only person who usually sees my outfit is the Tinker who usually smears it with with some sort of gooey food item and then maybe Toula the lady at my corner store where I buy my emergency groceries.
She is the person who constantly says "he very nice boy, what his name?" I say HER name and she says "oh very nice name, good boy" so it's not like she is going to notice a fashion faux pas is it?
I'd hate to have to get ready every day knowing some paparazzo will probably snap a picture of me in my inside out leggings and dress with baby yogurt on the pocket, a few half chewed sultanas on the hem and a peg on the zipper.
**Edited to add a funny clip of local MP Anthony Albanese comparing Malcolm Turnbull to the Werbeloff girl http://media.smh.com.au/national/national-news/chkchk-boom-in-parliament-539706.html it is kinda funny.**
Saturday, May 23, 2009
The rules of the Premio Dardos Award are as follows:
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I read THIS news story. A couple has fled New Zealand after their bank accidentally gave them access to $10M (that is just under $8M Aus). Oops.
Ok so I know it is stealing and all, but I couldn't help but laugh. Especially in this climate where banks are really being portrayed as the bad guys ripping off the little guy, I quite enjoyed having a little laugh at the bank's expense.
It got me wondering, what would I do? Well, I'd definitely tell the bank of their mistake and not touch a cent but that is because I know I'd be caught otherwise, and because I like living here and would hate to spend the rest of my life in hiding. You can't exactly live the high life if you are hidden. Though I guess Skase did in Majorca and what's his name the guy with the bad wig in Greece...
So then I started daydreaming about what I'd do if the bank accidentally gave me $100Million and then things got a little more interesting... You can tell the Tinker had a long afternoon nap today can't you?! I was thinking that for me to do a massive runner and live in hiding like that, it would have to be a truckload of cash. $10M wouldn't cut it. I'd blow that much just sneaking out of the country what with the hair extensions and Nicole Kidman nose prosthesis a la Virginia Woolf.
No, I'd need some serious cash. I'm thinking maybe a minimum of $100M and then what would I do? Where would I go? What would my name be? How could I wrangle an amazing education for the Tinker while we are on the run? Would I have to go all fake Rockerfeller and assume another identity? How would I sneak the friends and family into the suitcase...
My husband can fall asleep any time, he just needs a slight recline and zzzz he is asleep. Me on the other hand, I struggle. I can, however, launch myself into an intricate daydream at any time, anywhere. These are some of the crazy things that I think about. I also have regular daydreams that I turn my mind to from time to time. Like the 'if I could be anyone who would I be?' and the 'if I was a real life princess what would I wear?' (think Letizia from Spain not wanky Mary of Denmark...
So tell me, do you have 'regular daydreams' like me? And what are your thoughts on the couple who skipped all the way from the bank in New Zealand into the dodgy underground life of the incognito wig wearing crim.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
So I'm using an old faithful of mine. Because Wednesday is the middle of the week and probably the low point in terms of imagination for me in the kitchen I tend to go for easy meals relying on ingredients that I always have in the pantry/fridge.
Today it is Pasta with Chevre Cheese, Prosciutto & Peas.
We are really lucky where we live because we have a different market every week. Saturday was the farmer's market and we went along after swimming class with the Tinker. I usually buy milk and cheeses from the goat farmer and this week was no exception. So that's why we are having it for dinner tonight- the ingredients are already here. Easy.
~About 200g of prosciutto or pancetta, chopped.
*If you don't eat pork, this recipe works well if you replace with capsicum aka bell pepper)
This is something I always have because I buy it in the vacuum packs and it keeps for a long time. I suppose you could also use regular ham or bacon but the flavour won't be as good.
~2- 3 cloves of garlic crushed
*This is one ingredient I'll only buy if it is organic Australian garlic because the Spanish/ Chinese imports are so tasteless.
~1 cup of frozen minted peas
*Or you could use fresh peas and fresh mint leaves, but who has time for that?!
~200g / 1 cup of fresh chevre cheese.
*I like the one I buy at the market which is marinated in garlic and olive oil but any fresh chevre cheese will work really.
~1/2 cup chopped onion
You already know I love the pre chopped frozen variety but that is just my laziness!
~1 cup chicken stock
You may only use 3/4 cup, depends. I buy the liquid stock these days and keep it in the pantry. No time for making my own.
Whatever you have in the pantry, we are having fusilli tonight but any small-medium pasta will work. The shells are great with this and on the weekend whe you have more time you might want to make some gnocchi and serve with this sauce. Or you could just eat out on the weekend like me.
~Lemon if you have it, otherwise don't worry.
~While the water is boiling for the pasta you throw your garlic, onions and proscuitto (or capsicum if you are not having the pork) into a pan and cook in olive oil til soft, not brown.
~Get your pasta into the boiling water.
~Add the peas and cheese to the other pan and add the stock slowly so it simmers. Take it off the stove.
~Drain the pasta when al dente. Add to the pan with the sauce and stir through.
~To serve squeeze some lemon juice over and add some freshly ground pepper and salt. Easy.
My poor Dad, God love him is very sweet but always seems to find himself in really funny situations. Take for instance the time he came home in the middle of the day to find two men had broken into his house stealing my mother's jewellery. He chased them down the street, they jumped on a train. My Dad ran home, got in his car and drove to the next train station guessing they'd alight there. He called the local police on his mobile and told them what had happened and where he was headed.
He got to the station and saw one of the thieves. He grabbed him and held him by his shirt collar against a wall. What happened next is terrible but so typically unfortunate it HAD to happen to my Dad. Two young undercover female police officers crash tackled my dad and sprayed him in the face with capsicum spray until he had trouble breathing and needed to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. The guys got off and my Dad got a "please don't sue us" from our dodgy local police.
My poor Dad. That was a few years ago now. Fast forward to late last year when my parents went on a round the world trip. They were in America when one of the LAX NorthWest check in staff tried to charge them for excess baggage despite the rules on their ticket allowing them extra baggage. Dad said- look according to my RTW ticket I am allowed X number of bags and X kilos of luggage. She said- "well we don't do kilos here. You will have to pay excess baggage fees." My Dad complained to the check-in lady's supervisor who fixed the problem and my parents checked in. When they got to customs my dad was pulled aside, questioned and searched for a while before finally being allowed to board the plane. He was again pulled aside in Vancouver airport and then Lansing and then Detroit and then Newark.
It was getting silly. So he made some enquiries and he was told that check in staff at LAX had marked him a security risk who needed to be searched and questioned before boarding all planes in the US. Poor Dad. All he wanted was to check in the extra bag of gifts for the Tinker as per the baggage rules and he ended up in the same category of traveller as an Afghan student pilot.
So tell me, do you have any funny or not so funny bad luck stories like these?
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
That's the thing. People keep mentioning in the comments section that they given me an award but now I've lost those posts and I can't find the awards so I thought I'd say thanks very much and I'm sorry I haven't quite got my techno savvy brain switched on to post them up properly.
It's the thought that counts though isn't it?
Monday, May 18, 2009
Obviously because of her age, the assisted pregnancy has attracted a fair bit of attention and criticism. She says " don't have to defend what I have done. It's between me and my baby and no one else." She also says that "It's not my physical age that is important; it's how I feel inside. Some days, I feel 39. Others, I feel 56"
The photo above shows Ms Adeney, she certainly looks fit. Maybe even fitter than me and she could be my grandma. Apparently she is still working 5 days a week.
It got me thinking... So many of my friends and close family have endured painful struggles with infertility. Many have found success with fertility treatments and have gone on to have children. Some much later in life than they had initially planned. Others have not found success yet and maybe when they do, they will be of a certain age. When I think of how much they want to become parents and how wonderful they will be when they finally get their blessing, all notions of "age appropriateness" go out the window.
Well, to a certain extent. I think having a baby at 66 is very dramatic and vastly different to having a baby 46. But then when I challenge myself I wonder if maybe I am being unfair. If I apply the same principles to the argument in favour of the 66 year old woman having a baby to the argument in favour of my 46 year old friend having a baby then I am a hypocrite.
Is 66 as absurd to us as maybe 36 was to our great grandparents? Is my disapproval of the 66 year old just a sign of the times moving quicker than my attitude? Or is it just too old to even entertain the idea?
What are your thoughts on this? I suppose in my mind the biggest stumbling block is the fairness for the child involved. It seems cruel to imagine an 87 year old planning her son's 21st birthday. It seems cruel to imagine the little 10 year old trying to play cricket in the backyard with his ailing 76 year old mummy... but maybe I am being ageist and awful. Maybe it is smug of me to deny this woman the right to feel the joy that motherhood brings because I happened to be in my twenties when I was blessed with my child...
Would love to hear your views.
My friend Jess posted this video on Facebook this morning and I couldn't help but share it with you. It is so terrible!
Here watch this news video.
I have a number of concerns:
1.This is why I like school uniforms.
2. Why is a 16 year old worried about a panty-line in her school photos? Do they take bum shots or what?
3. It may be my eyes but it looks like she is wearing a minidress. Do people really wear those clothes to school in America?
4. In the interview with her mother on the couch she is again wearing a mini skirt. Did she remember her knickers that time? I know it is summer over in The States right now and maybe it is really hot but why does she need to get her thighs out all the time? What is going on there?!
5. If you are worried about a panty line showing through your dress then A.) the fabric is too sheer; B.)the dress it cut too close; C.) Wear a different dress.
6. We don't have "junior year" and "sophomore year" here in Australia so I don't really understand what the girl is saying about "junior year being so important" but I daresay if academic concerns were really on her mind, then the ridge of her knickers wouldn't really rate a mention on photo day would it?
7. Why are the parents suing the school? On what basis? The new legal argument "my daughter is a skank please pay me"... that old chestnut?
8. If you were the mum going on TV would you really wear a tshirt and short shorts like that? I can see where the kid gets her dress sense!
9. The girl is wearing a pair of thongs on her feet. (For my American readers I think you say flip-flops? Those sandal things) I can't believe she is wearing beach footwear in her school photos. I reckon that is just as horrible as her going bare-bum!
10. Another reason to buy my child a burkha and home school her.
I was chatting to an old friend this morning. We haven't seen each other for at least 10 years and she now lives a gorgeous life in the Caribbean. She is out here visiting family and we are going to catch up. I can't wait. While I was talking to her on the phone this morning the poor Tinker climbed up onto my lap and calmly deposited about a litre of spew all over me, wiped her mouth on my shirt and climbed down to finish playing with the shape sorter. I had been folding the towels while I was talking so I used a face towel to wipe down the couch and managed to juggle the child, the phone and the cloth to catch the second deposit in a Tupperware container the Tinker uses to carry her shapes.
I said to my friend- oh she has just vomited all over me. She said "Oh my gosh do you have to go? Are you ok? I can't believe you are so calm!". Tinker was happily playing with the shapes, I removed my pants, started spraying the Preen and continued my conversation. I guess it is funny when you think about how nonchalant you become when you have a child. Spew shmew, doesn't gross me out anymore. 10 things at once? No worries. It becomes second nature doesn't it? Not much panics me now. Except of course finding the right preschool but that is a post for another day.
We don't have a great deal on today. I am visiting my friend at the chemo ward and I'm hoping to finish cutting the fabric for a gorgeous baby PJ pattern my friend Cathy bought for me.
Speaking of sewing, I have finally made the two little cushions for Tinkers red chair. I decided against buttons and zippers and went for a pillow case closure because it was the easiest option for talentless me. It turned out ok. Not great but ok. Here is my first born child modelling with the cushions on the nursery chair.
I am 95% finished sewing a little dress for the Tinker but at midnight I discovered one of the two ribbons was missing so I now need to buy a new pair before I can complete that as well. Bugger. I will bore you with photos of that once it is done.
Now... onto a more serious topic. How to get the eau de spew off my couch? I'm opening this up for suggestions now. There must be an easy way. So far all I have done is clean it with Preen for Carpets and the stains are gone but the smell, oh the smell. Help!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The dentist wouldn't let me have the gas. He said doing a filling in a top tooth makes it too awkward to have the gas tube in the patient's mouth. So I basically had to suck it up and be brave. "You have a baby don't you?" Ummm yeah, so? "So you've been through childbirth you can handle a filling!"
Well, see that's just the thing Dr Chipper Pooface. I have been through childbirth and despite what people say I have not forgotten the pain, in fact I am remembering that pain right now and I think I'd like to take that dental drill and ram it up your chirpy cakehole.
I've found, as I get older I have become more and more resistant to 'being a big brave girl'. The way I see it, life is short why spend time and money on things that hurt? Dammit I wanted the gas this morning.
The twitty nurse who kept calling me Karen and bumping those big ugly sunglasses into my eye said the cost of the gas was double the cost of the filling. I didn't care, I wanted the gas. I did my very best adult pout but it had no impact. Not sure what angered me more at that point- that I couldn't have what I wanted or that my once persuasive pout had become nothing but a tired facial expression on a tired adult face.
A few weeks ago I was scheduled to have minor surgery on my eye under local anaesthetic but I chickened out and cancelled the surgery because the surgeon thought it would be a lot easier to avoid a general anaesthetic. Giving the probing receptionist a half-hearted rambling excuse I cancelled my appointment the day before and then I ended the conversation with- gosh I'm so sorry my baby is crying I really must hang up now.
Thing is, I have had plenty of operations and medical procedures as a child and as an adult and it wasn't until I gave birth to my daughter that I really became a sook about pain. I guess today I just figured, life is short, you can't get moments back so who would rather sit in the dentist's chair in agony having injections into their gums when they could be sitting there high on the happy gas dreaming about marshmallows and pony skin hobo bags?
Bravery is overrated I think. Are you brave? Have you become braver as you've become older or are you like me? A great big giant sook now?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Minute Steaks with Lemon and Green Beans and Passata
2 minute steaks (100g / 3 1/2 oz each)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic crushed
250g (8.8 oz) tomatoes chopped
250g (8.8oz) trimmed green beans
Salt & pepper to serve
Ok so for the steak I just have my local butcher thinly slice Scotch Fillet for me or Sirloin but it doesn't really matter. You just want a really nice even thin slice.
Brush your steaks with olive oil and salt, cook 1min per side. Serve with lemon wedge and pepper and the beans as described here:
Over a medium heat add your olive oil, garlic and salt, add tomatoes reduce to low heat for 5 mins.
Bring water to boil throw beans in for 2 mins. Drain and add to tomatoes. Sprinkle with pepper and if you have some flat leaf parsley throw that in.
Serve with steak and a glass of vino.
Do you have a nice simple mid-week recipe? Email it to me and I'll post it up next week!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I really hate that expression "be the bigger person." Whenever people think you should roll over or walk away they finish their advice with "be the bigger person."
I have had a couple of situations lately where I've been told to "leave it! Be the bigger person". Why? Why should I? Am I lesser of a person because sometimes I choose the path of most resistance? Maybe I am.
Let me paint you a picture. My beautiful spirited little toddler doesn't like being tied down. can't blame her. She is who she is and she certainly isn't sedate. She won't sit for long in a pram unless it is moving. Fast. So walks to the park are fine, but meandering around a mall is not fine. Not at all. She contorts and screams and does not stop until she is freed from her Quinny or Silvercross prison.
It is not my fault. I am not her. I am me. So when strangers roll their eyes at me and tut tut at me and say things like "shut that child up" and "what's wrong with you, why don't you discipline her?" I tend to blink back embarrassed tears and wonder why I am so lousy at this parenting gig. That was until a few weeks ago when the Tinker and I were out shopping with my mother and I suddenly grew some spunk.
Tink was walking beside the pram but we had approached the escalator and I needed her to sit in the pram for her own safety. So I got down to her height as I do and I said "it's time to sit in your big girl pram now just for a minute." She pulled away and wailed "noooo big girl pram" so I put my chipper voice on and said "yes it's time for the big girl pram and because you are such a big girl you can even have some cheese!" just as I said this a woman walked up to me and said "pfft. You are pathetic!"
So I put the Tinker in the pram and chased after her. Going fast was just the treat and Tinker started giggling. I called out to the woman "sorry I missed what you said before. I think you were giving me some parenting advice?"
She turned back and glared at me and slowly shook her head at me. The way I might slowly shake my head at a pair of stirrup pants perhaps. "I'm really open to suggestions, I'm trying my best with her, what else would you suggest I do?"
She swore at me. My mother appeared then, apparently her search for Sussan had failed. She was horrified to find me in the midst of an altercation with the woman in the stonewash jeans and bleached poodle perm hair. "Just leave it Carolyn. Be the bigger person."
Nope, no bigger person that day. I was the little person. The littlest person in that whole bloody shopping centre. Littler than my Tinker and littler than the Iggle Piggle toy I'd bought her when she cried near the check-out. I called out to the swearing woman "Really, tell me how I can improve my approach to toddler tantrums, seriously tell me I will take all the advice I can get."
You know what she said? She said "Fuck you, I'm a child psychologist" and then she ran into Big W. That's our Aussie version of Wal-Mart for my American readers.
Now obviously she isn't a child psychologist, or maybe she is? I really feel for the parents forking out a hundred and fifty bucks an hour to expose their children to such an inarticulate therapist if she is. I think she was just some nutjob who picked the wrong mummy to humiliate that day. Maybe I should have just left it, but she was straw that broke this mother camel's back. People are always rolling their eyes at me and criticising me when my Tinker throws a tanty in public and until that day I would usually just look away embarrassed or shrug my shoulders but that cow set something off inside me and I snapped.
Are you the bigger person in these types of situations?
Sunday, May 10, 2009
As my Mothers Day gift my Tinker bought me an ipod with the arm band so I could wear it during the race in order to cement my image of the uber fit mama. Ok fine, that isn't true it was so I could tune out my internal dialogue while running. I carefully selected a playlist that included such tracks as "Fat Bottomed Girls" (for obvious reasons) and "The Eye of the Tiger".
Approaching the start line it began to pour with rain and within minutes it was torrential. I alternated between worrying about my cancer stricken friend getting pneumonia and my new ipod dying. Fortunately they both fared ok.
Despite my best efforts with the music my internal chatter continued and for the 4km it went like this~
This is actually not too bad. I'm totally fit and cool, and the rain is kind of helpful.
No, no it's not that helpful I'm cold. I'm really cold. And wet. so wet. I wonder if I'll get pneumonia I'm totally soaked now and my feet are squelching. I knew I should have bought proper running shoes. Great my toes will freeze and slowly drop off this is shit I hate this run.
Runners each had a number pinned to the front of our shirts and on the back a dedication card with a note saying who we were running for. I couldn't help but read the notes in front of me. Being the pathetic soppy twit that I am, each note I read made me cry. I had to tell myself not to read them.
Stop reading the notes. You can't cry in a bloody fun run. Stop reading the notes. Look at the ground. No stop looking at the ground you'll totally trip. Surely I've done 1km now? Stop reading the notes.
I had to switch positions and start running on the inside edge so that there weren't people in front of me with notes I could read because as hard as I tried, it was like a train wreck. I couldn't stop reading them and it kept making me cry. I'm not good in the mornings. I needed to focus. Fortunately it was at that point that Fat Bottomed Girls came on and a bunch of fit looking tweens jogged past me.
Ok fatty move it. This is the halfway mark. Brrrr it's freezing, I wonder what the wind chill factor is. You can't even see the Harbour Bridge the rain is so heavy. Maybe I'll be lucky and slip and get stretchered out of here. Suck it up, you don't have cancer. Why is it all uphill now? What a dumb idea, they should have made the uphill bit the start not the end. Run fatty run for goodness' sake 4km really isn't that far. Those poor bastards doing the 8km run...
At the 2k mark I was a bit over it and at that point I happened to run past the 3rd parent so far who was chastising their child for slowing down. It was so awful. There were so many parents, obviously proper runners you know the type that wear those ugly shorts that come up really high on the hip? Who forces a child to run in torrential rain in Winter anyway? In a fun run for cancer. So many sobbing young people being bullied by their parents I was so unimpressed.
I am so going to thump that Dad. How can he speak to his son like that? No leave it it's not worth it. Save energy 1 k to go. Stuff that I'm going to say something. Keep running fatty stop trying to switch the focus. OMG is that lady wearing stirrup pants? Am I hallucinating? Maybe my blood pressure is too low. I'm going to faint I'm really going to collapse. No, they ARE stirrup pants. I know 80's is kinda cool now but that is going too far.
Then my Dad arrived and joined me for the last part of the race. Bless him he knew I'd slack off at the end! Not many people have a 59 year old father who whoops their ass in the fitness stakes. Coming around the bend toward the finish line I saw my husband who did not have the camera ready. He was too busy waving at me so he only snapped me from behind. Probably a good thing really because by then I was looking super red in the face.
Being the fantastic mother that I am, I slept in this morning so had to get ready for the run in record time. I realised I wouldn't have time to hire a timing chip at the race so I set about finding a watch to wear. With only 3 mins til we had to leave I decided it was more important to pack the Tinker some food to entertain her while I ran. So my run time isn't accurate. I had to go off my friend's time and she was after me. It took me about 27 minutes to do the run. I'm quite sure if I didn't waste time pondering some poor woman's choice of stirrup pants and some crazy fit parents decision to force their kid to run that maybe just maybe I could have run a little faster. All in all though it was a good enough effort for me.
The winner of the race in my mind was my best friend Alli who finished a couple of minutes after me and she ran the whole way with cancer, a collapsed lung, hardly any white blood cells, lousy red blood cells, during chemo treatment, in the torrential rain. I was quite prepared to quietly trip her over if she dared overtake me but luckily she didn't. I don't think I could ever live it down if a cancer patient beat me in a race.
So there you go, that was my Mothers Day morning, I got a medal! Following the run I came home to a hot shower, and breakfast made by my husband who not only made his way to the kitchen but actually used the stove. Brilliant effort. Later in the day I taught him how to make me a cup of tea and the Tinker presented me with my other gift. A huge power tool for the garden. A leaf blower vac. I love it. I was at it all afternoon. You can totally eat off the ground in my garden now, not a speck of dirt or a stray leaf in sight.
How was your Mother's day?
Friday, May 8, 2009
My best friend and her husband recorded this documentary and put it on YouTube because this clip is just too horrible not to share.
How WRONG is this fellow "Rosco" and what's with his mother? Holy moly there are some freaks about! I can't believe how hideous this clip is.
It isn't a joke either. It is a real documentary, this is a real family and this really happened. Oh and how fugly is their house, it is like some sort of nasty Australian time warp. It is all so awful.
"in some ways she looked like a Chinese version of Mum."
It is just every kind of wrong. Funny though because they are all so gross!
So there you have it. A Fast Friday Funny for this week, and a horrid one at that. Don't say I never give you things. I have now given you nausea for the rest of the day.
Have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend.
On Sunday (Mothers Day) I am doing the 4km run for cancer as part of the Mothers Day Classic. I'd love it if you could get behind me and spare a few dollars, to sponsor me you just click here though I can't guarantee my survival! As you know I've had this horrible flu all week and have not done any exercise for about a month and even then it wasn't really exercise. I did have a trial run a couple of weeks ago and only made it 1.2km so how I'll get through 4km on Sunday I do not know! I promised photos and I will deliver. They won't be pretty!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
It's a sad day when the mention of the word 'mafia' conjures images of random Russian gangsters with gold bedazzled D&G t-shirts isn't it? There was something kind of charming about the Italian Mafia. Maybe it is all the movies, maybe it is Al Pacino and maybe it is Tony Soprano but whatever it is, I like thinking of Sicily and spaghetti and chinotto in smokey wood panelled meat shops when I hear the word mafia. I don't want to think of grunting Russian men called Vladimir .
So today I had another one of my conspiracy thoughts. Just when I was pondering the fall of the Italians when it comes to mafiose and the rise of the Eastern Euros I discovered something very disturbing in my pantry. As some of you know, I am pedantic about my pantry being crumb free and I like to wipe the shelves constantly making sure everything is nicely positioned. My spices lined up in matching jars with labels I made for them all in an alphabetical row... Today I noticed my little jar of ground porcini was alive. Alive!
It had been infiltrated. An army of wheat weevils. Weevils. In MY pantry. On the very shelf I had wiped down with bleach yesterday as I tend to do every few days to kill germs. I was horrified to say the least. I only bought that packet of ground porcini last week. I had only recently very carefully siphoned it into the jar that I had labelled with the label machine I made my husband reluctantly borrow from his PA.
Now what does this have to do with the Italian Mafia? A lot. Only twice has my pantry come under fire by weevils. Earlier this year I found them in a brand new unopened packet of flour. Not just any flour. Molino Caputo tipo 00 flour for pizza dough. It was outrageously expensive but made for some amazing crusts. Anyway I had to throw it out and from then on I have stored my flours in the fridge. Never would I have imagined these evil weevils could get into my porcini powder but what do you know? There they were.
Coincidence? No. I think not. I think the Italian Mafia is making a comeback. By stealth mode. They are striking where they never used to strike. In the home. Right where it hurts, into the heart of the good mammas everywhere. The pantry. They are smuggling flour weevils in, obviously they are going for world domination on a massive scale. They are known for their love of the traditional female role so nobody would suspect them of this. But not me, not a single trick gets past this quick witted lawyer turned housewife. I'm onto them.
Don't forget people, you heard it here first. Oh and buy a bigger fridge if you buy Italian imports for your cooking. You'll want to keep it all in there from now on. -4 degrees C stops weevils.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
I was going to start this post by noting that breastfeeding has been in the news a bit lately, what with the tragic suicide of Katy Isden but then when I thought about it a little more I realised it has been in the news for ages. It is always in the bloody news! Breastfeeding is one of those topics that always draws a crowd and usually an opinionated one at that.
For as long as I have been reading parenting magazines and perusing parenting/childbirth Internet forums I have found the term Breastfeeding Relationship a little hard to swallow. I can't quite say what it is about it that I dislike, but it really annoys me. Not as much as Birth Rape though, that is one term that really gets my goat. I'm getting angry just thinking about how much I hate that term. Don't get me started! Another concept I have never really grasped is the ABA Meeting. I don't feel the need to attend a get together with a bunch of mothers who breastfeed. It seems off to me, like we should also have meeting for mothers who push red prams, or others who feed formula or mothers who don't eat meat. I don't know, it irks me.
My little Tinker is now 16 months old and still breastfeeds. Well, that was the case until I got sick last week and discovered that 2 days of vomiting not only dehydrates a person but it also stops lactation. My daughter has never been a good eater, so she is quite attached to her 4 daily breast feeds. I had no intention of weaning her, my plan was to allow her to self wean when she was ready. I had guessed it would be from around age 2 but I didn't really know.
Now that I have had to wean her all of a sudden I have had to face some unexpected feelings. Guilt is one of them, of course. I think mothers are just programmed to feel permanently guilty aren't they? Feeling bad that the child tripped and fell, feeling bad that the nappy wasn't fastened correctly so it pinched her skin, feeling bad that the garden still isn't finished and the child doesn't have a lawn to run on yet, feeling bad for parking the child in front of Teletubbies so Mama could have a shower alone... It goes on. Feeling guilty wasn't a surprise but what was surprising was my grief.
It wasn't because Tinker was throwing herself at my chest 20 times a day yelling "mama please, mooolk? all gone mama? mooolk all gone? Nooooo!" because that was sad and it did break my heart but I think the sadness that I felt at the loss of... dare I say it... our breastfeeding relationship was actually real and it wasn't felt in response to her being so upset. I felt sad for me. I felt sad that I could no longer be the ultimate comfort for my baby and I felt sad that I couldn't allow her to gradually stop doing something that came naturally to both of us.
Being of average emotional intelligence I can't put my finger on why it is so important to me, but it is. All the other overwhelming feelings you get as a new mother were not surprising to me. I was not surprised at the protective lioness I became nor the completely irrational sleep deprived nut case I became after a year went by and I still didn't have my baby sleeping through the night. However this grief about having to wean her, and wean me has been a real shock.
I'm torn between getting medication to kick start the lactation again or just persevering with this weaning process. So far I have managed to get her to a point where she isn't hysterical about not having the breastfeeds in the day time but she is still hanging on to the 7pm and 7am feeds. For now there is a small amount there but it won't last so I guess in a few days it will be gone and I suppose she will then have to accept that she has weaned. And so will I.
I'm interested in your thoughts on this topic.
Would anyone be interested? I'll post one each Wednesday. It has to be something easy, quick and reasonably healthy. I often find myself feeling slightly Iron Chefish when I have no idea what to cook for dinner and no time to nip out and get ingredients so I need to make do with what I find at home.
Tonight I had some fresh corn fed chicken breast fillets and not much else. For a change, I had a shot of brilliance and remembered an easy weeknight meal recipe I read at the doctor's surgery on the weekend. I have been known in the past to do a cheeky rip and steal of a good magazine page but with a bouncy toddler to entertain, thieving pages just wasn't possible. Fortunately it was a basic recipe so I managed to store it in my mind. I amended it and tried it this evening,
BBQ Balsamic Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Veges
2 Chicken Breast Fillets
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Soft Brown Sugar
Mashed Potatoes- I keep riced potatoes in my freezer and when I need them I just add them to some boiling milk with a spoonful of butter. You have perfect mash.
A potato ricer is a great tool to have, you really should get one if you haven't already! To use the ricer you boil the potatoes with the skin on. When cooked you peel and put through the ricer. This is the only way to make good mash, I've seen people boiling peeled potatoes and I don't like it. You fill your potato with water and it doesn't taste so good.
Anyway the frozen riced poato freezes perfectly and I always try to keep a little stockpile for nights like tonight when the little one went to bed late and I wasn't in the mood for cooking much.
Steamed veges- whatever you've got in the fridge/vege patch or freezer.
I had some broad beans in the freezer tonight so I shelled them and gave them a quick steaming and I had a couple of carrots that I cut into little Julienne strips and steamed quickly. Simple!
Now for the chicken you cut it horizontally so you have 4 steak-like pieces. You add the oil, balsamic vinegar and sugar to a bowl mix and add the chicken. Let it sit there while you prepare your veges and set the table.
Throw the chicken on the BBQ about 5 mins per side and serve with the mash and steamed veges.
Healthy, low fat and quick and easy. Everyone has a bottle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar at home and brown sugar of course. Chicken breasts are easy to freeze so you should have them on hand as well.
So there you go, it was really good and really quick. If you have a recipe you wouldn't mind sharing please email me and I will post it next Wednesday. If you have a photo that would be fabulous. I only thought of the picture after we had eaten so it was too late, sorry!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
So what kinds of websurfing does one do when one is curled up in bed surrounded by snotty tissues? One reads the NSW State Government Name & Shame Site. What on earth is this? This is an awesome site dedicated to telling the people of our state which restaurants and cafes have been busted for unsafe cooking practices!
For a clean freak like me, this is the ultimate train wreck. I can't look away but I feel sick as I trawl through the restaurants reading what kinds of ikky food handling offences they have committed.
Take Bourke Street Bakery for example. For my non-Sydney readers let me tell you a bit about this place. It is a bakery that seems to pride itself on amazing pastries and being too cool for school. It is a kind of grungy, trendy place with aloof and often unfriendly staff.
The type that study Kierkegaard at university and wear skinny jeans and have keffiyehs around their necks positioned to look as though they'd just been thrown on, when really we know they spent half an hour fiddling. Unless you are equally cool they just grunt at you or raise their eyebrows when you place your order.
They have delicious pastries and yummy sandwiches but their prices are not so delicious. I've been known to spend a small fortune there. They use lashings of butter on everything so the brown paper bag is always see through by the time you take your first bite. Mmmm fatty goodness. Anyway I found them on the site!
It says their violation was that they "Failed to display potentially hazardous foods under temperature control - Ham, cheese, chorizo and pancetta displayed at temperatures of 19C-20C" Come to think of it, I have noticed that their sandwiches are on the shelf behind glass but they are not refrigerated. Shame on them. I have been reading all sorts of offences, some are more revolting than others. I have a rapidly growing list of places I don't want to try.
It got me thinking, what kinds of weird and wacky research do you get up to when you have spare time online? My mum tends to favour the auction sites. Often telling me of obscure items I could get for a bargain. My husband has been known to waste hours on IMDB looking up random film facts. So, tell me where do you find yourself wasting time on the web?
Monday, May 4, 2009
credit zany images
Please forgive me dear readers, I haven't had a lot to say lately.
Been up to my ears in snotty tissues and a sickly little baby. We've been hit with the flu (not the oink oink one) but hopefully we are seeing the tail end of it. Will be back soon with some posts and some pictures too.
My Tinker has been quite the artiste of late and I have been working on a cute little sewing project. Also should have some news on my giveaway as well. Just working on details with the supplier.
I hope you all had a great weekend!
Friday, May 1, 2009
She loves to hug her toys, her soccer ball, her sippy cup, our dogs, and today a new one- my shoes! She said "oh cuggle shoes, nice!" have I mentioned how cute she is?!
Anyway it got me thinking about that creepy guy who offers free hugs in the city. Who hasn't seen this guy? He was even featured in a music video!
New age positive thinking types adore him. He is their new loved up Che type character. I'm surprised there aren't masses of t-shirts with this bloke's head on them really.
You can read about him here if you aren't up to date already.
Yes I'm a cold hearted cynic! Am I what the rap singers would call a "hater?" I don't know. I just find that kind of stuff really cringe-worthy and I'm not into it at all.
Just for a laugh because it is Friday and I like to give you a Fast Friday Funny each week. I have found you THIS video. It really is good. I love that this guy has decided to take the mushy free hug guy on and the free hug guy really hates it. Gold!
Enjoy your Friday and your weekend!