Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I fell off

I fell off the blogging wagon for a while and needed to wait for the next stage coach to come through.. here I am, a little dusty and bedraggled but here none the less.
I've had a weird few weeks, been hugely disappointed in people and felt that horrid desperate need to fly away. You know.. the moments when you think " right! that's it, I'm gonna pack up and move, quit my job/course/life, leave no forwarding address.... blah blah pity pity pity.."
I have completed my nursing placement ( awful, just awful. enough said )
The Christmas decorations are up and we are hurtling toward Christmas at a frightening rate. My plans to blog daily, or even weekly have gone out the window and frankly, I'm feeling like a bit of a failure.
I am a planner but not a finisher. I am a list maker, but also the loser of said lists. I have awesome inspiring moments of creativity but none of the energy or dedication to see them to completion. My cupboards are stocked with half finished craft projects, empty photo frames and assorted broken toys.
Even though the bio on this blog says I'm all about inspiring you to be happy and grateful right where you are, I must confess that right now, today, this week, I am struggling.
Now don't get me wrong, I am grateful for all I have, I adore my family. We are so blessed with what we have. On the surface, in a public place I am happy, bubbly, cheerful and funny. But inside, in the house when I'm alone, in the wee small hours of the morning, I am excruciatingly aware of what I DID NOT get done today. Of what mess lurks behind the cupboard door. Of the emails I failed to reply to, and the Dr appointment I missed.
I need a way to turn my brain off. I need Christmas to wait a while. I need..... I need , oh I don't even know what I need, and if I did, I'd put it on a list then lose it!
I don't know.
Just one of those days maybe?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Speaking Out

Today across the world we are speaking out against Domestic Violence.
It is not okay.

Domestic Violence is an area of life which I can only speak out against third hand. I was blessed to be raised in a non-violent home. Sure we were disciplined, but it was with a loving hand and heart. My parents ( hi Mum and Dad !) may have argued sometimes as we all do, but there was never fear in our home.
What I have experienced is the difficulty in building a relationship with a person who has the scars of violence on their heart from childhood.

I know the fear and mistrust that person has in his own parenting.
I know how impossible he finds it to discipline our kids at all, as he doesn't trust himself to know the boundary line.
I know the frustration he feels that even 30 years later, some people refuse to acknowledge what was.
I know his vow to me that such things would never ever happen in our home.
I know the effort it must take for him to not react with that early learned behaviour when I am being a crazy bitch.
I know how broken his relationship is with a member of his family, and how he has hardened himself against them in self preservation.
I know that even though the scars have faded, they are still there. Forever.

It is time to once and for all, say No to Domestic Violence.
It's not okay to hit, to push, to slap or kick.
It's not okay to bully, to demean, to belittle or humiliate.
It's not okay to scream, to call names, to threaten or intimidate.
It's not okay to rape.

If you are in this situation, please seek help. Speak to a friend, a doctor, a help line, a women's shelter. Talk to your pastor, your chemist, talk to the bus driver. Tell someone. Keep telling until you are heard. Email me and together we will find help.

And thank you to the man I married, for being a man, for choosing differently for our family, and for breaking the cycle. I love you. 

If you want to learn more and do your part to help, please visit the White Ribbon Day website. November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, please do what you can to help the lives of many. Together we can make a difference and break the cycle. 

If you're in Australia, start here with some links: Reach Out

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Inspiration on my wall

This usually hangs on the wall in my bedroom. I painted it one afternoon a few years ago. It's very simple but it speaks kindly to me.
The man I married hates it. Too girly, fluffy BS nonsense.
His idea of art is a framed print of a Holden Monaro... Classy!

Anyhow I've been kinda stuck on what to write about. I passed my exams and have been in a limbo place. Not doing much.
I could fascinate you with descriptions of hanging washing (prefer matching pegs, never wooden ones and all underwear goes in the centre so the neighbours can't see your smalls) and cleaning up dog barf.. but I think you'll survive without that.

But this canvas here has been trying to get my attention this week. It has fallen down, been knocked down, had coffee spilt on it (don't ask!) and is generally getting in my way.

Today as I hung it again I read through the words and they just sort of 'hung on my heart'. Does that make sense? Because really these 12 words are really everything about living.  If we can find some way to implement just a tiny fragment of each into our day, then the day has truly been "lived".

So I'm going to pick a word for each post.

If you want to join me, send me an email... LOVE comes first.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I am distracted by new things

I have a HORRID laptop .. I won't tell you the brand for fear of defamation ASUS  but lets just agree that it has been a complete bag of crap since the day I bought it. It overheats, it won't load programmes, it time-outs, it says Not Responding... it is, in fact, evil and argumentative. I have lost entire essays, I have cried in frustration over a computer that just randomly turns off in the middle of a word document- it just goes to bed.. no warning, no polite "Is it okay if I get my pajamas on" .. Nothing, just a sudden black screen. And no document saved when it finally agrees to come out and play. It has been assessed and wiped and reset and refurbed and it still is a complete arse!

Now if I only needed a computer to fiddle around on facebook or twitter, I would not be as concerned but I design on my computer. I study on my computer. I run my website on my computer. My computer is my doorway into my business, and my career. I have already dealt with the total loss of my files after my ten yr old dropped a cup of hot chocolate into my first laptop (- here's the tip BACK UP YOUR FILES ! Lesson learned. Child grounded indefinitely) But I don't want to deal with that again. I need reliability. I need certainty. I need a baseball bat and 2 minutes alone with this machine.

Yesterday My hubby came home to find me yelling at this laptop. (Yes I understand it can't hear me, but it makes me feel better okay!!)  He asked me if this laptop was fixable. Now, I chose this laptop, I investigated and made the critical choice, so it was with some humility that I admitted that I'd made a bad decision.

Hubby hugged me (Yes, demonstrative act of affection- rare!) and told me to go and look on the back seat of his car.


He's bought me a new laptop, all shiny and pretty and soooooo not the same brand. It turns on when I ask it to and turns off when I say it can. It stays cool as a cucumber and has not time-outed anything. It is perfect

It made me cry.

Even when I am married to the most unromantic creature on the planet, I know he cares. I know he thinks of me. And that's enough for me... who needs a bunch of dying flowers???Bouncing and typing in my bubble of HaPpY!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Teenagers.. the perfect birth control

Hello lovely bloggy friends.- this may be too much information. Mum and Dad stop reading here....

I have just got off the phone from a friend who has 2 children. Kidlets. Fun sized. Toddlers. They are as cute as a button and full of energy. They are hilarious and stubborn, adorable and exhausting.
Mum is struggling with the day to day grind and waiting, desperately for better days. I am trying to be encouraging, to tell her that this, too, shall pass. Then she says something that has me cackling like a witch, shaking my head at the absurdness of her assumptions.
She said ” I can’t wait til they are teenagers and me and hubby can get our private time back.”
OMG- poor delusional pet. You truly have no idea, do you?
I made agreeable soothing noises whilst trying not to totally decimate all her illusions. But here my friends, here is my honest responses to her statements.

When they are teenagers we can have private time.
Yes, as long as that is in your bedroom, with the door barricaded and plenty of food left out for the carnivores.

When  Y gets his licence he’ll be able to take himself to places and I can stop taxi-ing
Yes, that’s true, then you can take to rocking in the corner worrying about his driving, his car, his friends, the cost of fuel, the cost of insurance and the other drivers on the road.

As they get older they develop a more refined palate and will eat pretty much everything.
Ummm … as long as ‘everything’ comes in a brown bag with a side order of fries and a coke. They will still tell you where you can put the broccoli. 

They start appreciating the value of money, and don’t ask for everything at the supermarket.
This is true. They stop asking at the supermarket. They start asking for cold hard cash. For shopping. Or phone credit, Or piercings,  Or whatever. Value for money is in the eye of the beholder and apparently enameled skull rings through the belly button are expensive. Cool, but expensive.

When all their teeth are here I can stop worrying about 'phases'.
Oh sweet peppermint.. are you freakin' serious? Yes their teeth are all here, along with breast and penises and boyfriends and girlfriends and hormones.. have you heard of hormones?? They are bigger better and stronger than than you have ever anticipated. It's all a phase, from the cradle to the grave, from birth to walking from learning to write to learning to hide a love bite- the whole thing is a phase.. it never never never ends!!

and this.. this final moment of sweet blissful ignorance....

We can have spontaneous sex. 

I admit I laughed. Out loud. I may have rolled on the floor. Snorting

Well, you are right there my friend. Spontaneous as in... who knows if or when it may or may not happen.. yes the teenage years are all about that. 

Going from a time when you had from 7.30pm to get your 'sexy on', to telling the teens to turn the lights out when they go to bed.
Going from wondering if the baby will cry in the midst of passion, to wondering if a teenager will wander in to the kitchen for a mid-eve snack 
Going from being very quiet so we don't wake the baby, to being very quiet so we don't gross out, horrify or generally disgust all under the age of 20.
Going from hoping for a 20  minute window between breastfeeds and baby rocking to hoping for a 20 minute window when someone doesn't ask when the internet will be up and running, can I produce a model of a volcano for science tomorrow and why haven't I taken up the school uniform skirt to the width of a bandaid. 
Going from wondering how we can be responsible for a tiny person in the next room, to wondering why we are still responsible for the 3 large people just down the hall .
Going from just needing the right time and mood,.... to just needing a back rub, a weekend getaway and four kids at friends houses for sleepovers to get in the mood....

Yep.. when they are teenagers it will be easier... or not.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Post Natal Depression -

Today I wrote this about my first days with my first baby. It's no secret that I suffered from Post Natal Depression, and have managed to walk back out into the sunshine. Depression in general and Post Natal Depression in particular is a truly personal and individual condition. I have been asked what PND feels like and I can only give you a glimpse of my own experience. This is by no means a blanket description for all PND.
Blogging is scary, hilarious and sometimes confronting. Anyone looking for a pretty, fuzzy story needs to stop reading here. I'll be funny tomorrow.


17 yrs ago

This tiny baby. In a blue wondersuit, just like in the books in the “New Mummy” bag at the hospital, freshly washed, diapered and powdered.

Except this baby is screaming. S C R E A M I N G  Red faced. Angry. Rage filled and desperate for someone, anyone , to stop the pain that digs like a blade into his belly. He is only new here, and already he knows that no-one has any clue. He knows these people have never done this before and they are clearly out of their depth.
 He cries when he’s held. He cries when he’s laid down. He cries in the rocker. He cries in the car. He cries whether he is clean or dirty, hungry or just fed.
He cries

She sits in her dressing gown, .Mismatched shirt and pants and milk stains on both breast pockets. Her unwashed hair is caught in a clip, her face void of makeup, the only nod to vanity being a quick scrub of teeth. 

She rocks the cradle. Rhythmically, calmly, humming a simple, wordless tune.

And she prays.

“Lord. I Know He will not be safe. I know that somehow I will do wrong and he will die. I will drop him in the bath accidentally. Or not hold him right. I will not recognise signs of respiratory distress, or I will choose the wrong first food. There are spiders and snakes hiding in the garden, waiting for their chance. I don’t dare take my eyes away from him. How do I decide the safest transport in a car – windows up means if we crash into a river the car will fill slowly, but it will be harder to get to my baby. Windows down mean he will be without air quicker but I can get him out through the window.”

She knows with absolute certainty, that somehow, despite her very best efforts, something awful will happen. Despite all her planning, reading, checking and second guessing, somehow this little precious life will be taken from her. 

And so all day, she prays. " Please protect him from me. Please let him die in his sleep. Let it be painless,  peaceful, and not my fault".

Yes. As horrible, unbelievable and cruel as it seems. Yes she did.


All night she sits beside his cot. Holding his hand. Watching his little chest go in… and out.

Breathe in and out.

Breathe in and out.

Watching watching watching.

Now praying that her prayers of daylight will go unanswered.

Checking and re-checking that this little person makes it to daylight, to a new day.

Exhausted, so exhausted.


Sure she’s the worst mother on earth.


Sure no-one will understand how she feels.


He cries.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Swish like a fish

Our family has spread out and it takes planning and pinning down to get us all in the same location at the same time. Last weekend was our first totally planned Wilson Family Get-together, With Me and the Man I married and our four kids, Brother and Wife, their 3 kids and there new daughter-in-law, and my Sister, hubby and their 4 kids, Plus Mum and Dad Wilson - That's 20 people.
My sister in law did an awesome job organising accommodation, meals, activities etc ( she is a Primary School teacher and I think school excursion planning has prepared her well), we all arrived, ate, played, slept and ate more. It was lovely to see all the teens hanging out together, they all tolerated and indulged our 7 yr old late addition and she responded by falling madly in love with the young bride and groom.

So, part of the plan for the weekend was to do an early Kris Kringle style present swap game. Each person brought a wrapped $5 present, to be placed on the table, and we all drew numbers. No.1 choses and unwraps a present. No2. can then chose to steal No1's present or open a new present. No3. can steal from either 1 or 2 or a new present.... make sense??  If your present gets stolen, you can steal from someone else or unwrap a new present.

Anyway I decided it would be funny to have a little goldfish as a present.
Goldfish don't do well in our house. The longest one has lasted was about two weeks. But the other households have fish and enjoy them, so I thought "Why Not, they will love it?" ... Here's Why Not...

Son and I went to the pet store to purchase a fish. I explained to the pet-shop-lady how I'm not very good with fish and she assured me I could not hurt it in a 24 hour period.
We chose a very nice fish, all goldy and swishy and happy. Pet-shop-lady gave us lots of water so he could travel happily. Off we went.
Back in the car I realised I needed to run into the nearby dollar store for Christmas wrapping paper. I put the fish on the seat, went into the shop and returned to the car.
I unlocked the car and sat down.


I sat on the fish.

Yes I did.

I jumped up and looked in the now deflated bag... no fish!
I looked in the now soggy footwell of the fish!
I opened my car door, and there he lays gasping and flapping on the bitumen.
Poor little nemo fella! I scooped him up and put him in the inch of water still in the bag.

We went back to the pet store, me ashamed, head hanging low and clutching a sad little droopy plastic bag.

The poor pet-shop-lady really was a bit stunned . She said "You can't have killed him yet, you only left 10  minutes ago".
I admitted that while the fish was still alive (just) he was possibly a little bruised, and possibly quite angry and traumatised.

We got a new fish.
I was not allowed to carry it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The first few weeks...

My good friend ( and chief bridesmaid.... many moons ago) had her first baby last week. His name is Mark and he arrived healthy and happy, via C-section in Perth, Australia.
Today, she and her hubby have taken their precious little man home.
I can't help but think back to the day the Man I Married and I took our first little blessing, Jack,  home, seventeen years ago.

He was so tiny, under 6 lb, sunshine yellow from the usual post-birth jaundice, and deliciously unaware of how inept his new custodians were.
I remember how impossibly small he looked, like a soft puddle in the bottom of the baby capsule. We drove home slower than a 90 yr old Nanna out for a Sunday Drive. We diverted around pot holes and fussed over whether the indicator was too loud.

Jack slept.

We carried him inside. (after I nearly whacked his little head off on the top of the car door jam). We placed him in the cradle. We stood back and sighed. Nine months of waiting, planning, preparing and reading. The baby cupboard was stocked with minute singlets and Babygros, nappies (diapers in the US), mittens and socks. The bookshelves were stocked with What to Expect In your Baby's First Year, Babyhood, The Johnson and Johnson Baby manual, How to Daddy, Babyfoods for Beginners, Parenting for Dummies and Positive Parenting. We had it covered.

The silence stretched for eternity. Now what? After all this time of waiting, he was finally here.

I think that moment in time... was when it all went arse-up, downhill, belly-up, face-planting, hooley-dooley, what were we thinking and what kind of irresponsible hospital lets two totally inadequate, barely out of their teens bring home a baby without even a home inspection!!!!!???

Jack cried.
And cried
And cried

My Mum had come to stay with us the night before the birth and for 2 weeks after. She was wonderful. She was kind. She was experienced.
She rocked, cuddled, swaddled and burped. I worried I'd drop him accidently in the baby bath
She held that angry little boy while he told her his worries, I fussed over how wet a nappy has to be for me to accurately measure his urine output and assess the efficiency of my breastmilk.
She held him on her shoulder as he sobbed in her ear. I sobbed in her other ear.

And then, after two weeks she had to go.

I can remember like it was yesterday, sitting on the couch with her. Mum with Jack in her arms trying to convince me to take him, so she could get in her car and drive away. To this day I can not imagine how her heart must have ached, how badly she wanted to make it okay for me
I wailed "You'll have to take him with you. He doesn't like me". She so gently replied " Oh sweetheart, he does like you, he just has to get used to everything".

She walked to her car, started it and with a wave and a smile she drove away. I have never felt so alone in my whole life. She drove to just around the bend and pulled over to bawl her eyes out.

Of course Jack and I became friends,  he has managed to survive to 17.
I discovered that you can allow a baby to cry for the two minutes it takes to get a block of firewood. Contrary to all my expectations, there were no anaphylactic reactions to apples, rice or chicken. He never did get bitten by a snake or stung by an angry swarm of wasps and thus far his little neck is intact in spite of schoolboy rough play.

I walked, waded and doggy paddled through depression. I learned I am not and don't have to be perfect. I learned that kids can eat weetbix for dinner, and a baby does not have to have a bath before 11am each day. I learned to be kind to myself. I learned that my little boy and the three precious girls really do love me, no matter what I do. And once they get used to their crazy, neurotic Mum, it's all okay.

I am grateful we have survived this far. I do not want to go back to the first baby, the uncertainty, the questioning again. I would, frankly, rather staple my head to the carpet.

Yes we survived the first baby. We as parents have raised him.  But somewhere deep down there is a little pocket in him, kept especially for his Nanna.

I know it, he knows it and she knows it.

To my Mum, who I know will read this. I love you, thankyou!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

School Holiday Day 7 (Alternative title : Always Knock First)

We made it to Day 7 of school holidays.

The sun has come out to join us today and you can almost hear the plants and grass sighing with pleasure and relief. Daylight Savings started at 2am this morning and on the surface all looks peaceful and calm.

Early morning ph call from a distressed friend saying she just walked in on her 14 yr old son. Walked IN -As know, WALKED IN !!!!  Oh MY!!!  What should she do? What should she say? How can she ever look him in the eye again? Can I come over and help her scratch her eyeballs out? Which therapist do I recommend? I believe she has learned the valuable lesson of Always Knock first. He will be off to the hardware store to buy a barrel lock for his door.  I am still chuckling.

Miss 7 seems almost recovered from her nasty cold. She has bounced back with the exuberance and energy of a Labrador Puppy. The sight of her out on the footpath on her power wing scooter is breathtaking. Oh yes, there she goes now, like a flash of rainbow, red leggings, purple t-shirt, lime green bikini bra, sparkly silver tutu, fairy wings and Barbie gumboots. Not even the neighbourhood dogs dare to bark at this enigma, as the retirees gardening smile and wave indulgently.

Miss 13's hair has, against all odds, not fallen out. She is charming and sweet, helpful and funny, as long as she has a friend sleeping over. I have always said she would be my challenge child - there is a saying that "what you say becomes your truth" - May I present exhibit A .Deep down I know it is because we are alike, we are both cynical and analytical, quick to take offense and stubborn to the end. Deep down I know I have to find a new strategy to work with her.

Miss 15 is yet to have holes poked into her ears again. We are saving that event for next week. She is artistic and spends much of her time with a sketch pad. I asked her to draw me a new avatar as a nurse.

Yes. Because that's what I wear to work as a nurse!

Master 17 has not moved out into the group house. Apparently there is no pay TV (or electricity) LMAO.

The Man I married is still watching Star Trek. How can there be this many episodes. And why do they all speak perfect English?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

School Holiday Day 3 ( Alternative Title= Shoot me Now!)

This may be a rant. I fear it will be a rant.

Spring school holidays are under way here and so far we have spent them thusly:

Miss 7 has a horrid cold and alternates between crying, coughing, snotting and snoozing. She has not been out of her PJ's in 3 days and she is operating on Panadol, Dimetapp and CocoPops. Barbie as Rapunzel is playing on a loop and I am going insane.

Miss 13 has had gorgeous blonde hair which she dyed brunette, then tried to go back to blonde resulting in a blonde halo with dark ends - kind of like an upside choc-dipped icecream. So yesterday she tried to dye it deep burgundy (slaps forehead) and ended up with lipstick pink/scary orange hair. Another two batches of hair colour today has returned her to what she started with and me $100 poorer. Of course it is all my fault.

Miss 15 helped with all but the final dying effort and her main focus over the past 3 days has been on which body part she should get pierced. She has it narrowed down to either the nose, lip or the tragus. I have studied advanced anatomy and I had to Google it ( I'll save u the trouble - it's the little bumpy cartilage bit at the centre front of your ear). You may imagine that we parents stood united in our answer of  "No".  You would have imagined incorrectly. The Man I Married said "Sure.. why not. " I could write an essay on Why Not , but instead I am taking her to get holes poked into her body.

Master 17 is all broody teenage manliness, wakes at around midday, grunts in response to all questions and expects daily hour long driving lessons. He thinks he would like to move out into a group house. He is still at school, with not even a part time job. I wonder what he will eat. I ask him what he will eat. The silence is deafening. His suggestion is he will come shopping with me when I do my groceries. I suspect I have not prepared him for the realities of adult life.

I have finally completed a massive (STUPID) Medications assignment, with 44 questions none of which asked anything about medications. The argumentative me wants to question the sanity of a non-medications medications assessment. The "I just want to pass" me tells me to suck it up and get on with it. So far I am unsure which me will win.

The man I married is oblivious to all the above. His Star Trek viewing is on track and going swimmingly.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Materialism for the evolved

It had been a hectic morning running errands, trying to get everything on the to-do list in one shopping trip, battling through the 135 pushers, prams and strollers on the street and in the store. I was tired, my shoes were rubbing and my arms aching from carrying bags ( yep - real smart planning for a city which does not have any all day car parks within the shopping precinct **rolls eyes**).
A coffee shop beckoned. It looked warm and inviting and the scent of hazelnut mocha drifting towards me was truly more than I could resist.

So I entered, ordered and sank gratefully onto the nearest chair.

In came two young things, early 20's, hair arranged to fall in carefully planned 'natural dishevelment'. Layers of bohemian hippie-ness in all shades of ecru, cream and taupe, little crocheted sleeveless cardigan to complete the look. Makeup perfectly applied for the 'nude look'.

They looked at me and lips curled. At first I thought it was jealousy. I really was sporting the nude makeup look, and my hair was disheveled without hours in the bathroom. (I prefer to call it windswept and interesting). My clothing looked dated , although perhaps not quite so bohemian...

Then I realised it was disdain. The disdain and arrogance that only comes for your twenties and is surely gone by the time you hit thirty and have paid a few more bills than your Portmans card.
They go to the counter and they order, "Yeah like, can I have like,  um an Organic, free trade, double shot machiatto with skinny soy".

Sure you can sweetie!

Then they sit behind be at a little table and discuss how materialistic their friends are, and how un-materialistic they are, and "like, did you see Kate's Bag last night, Prada. Like, how can she be so obsessed with what she wears and stuff? I'd be, like, totally ashamed of myself if I were her"  (small silent pause while they reapply lip gloss to lips you could already play slip and slide on). Girl A drops her bag to the table to look for more non-makeup products.

I recognise this bag, my daughter showed it to me a night or two ago on the internet. This eco-warrior, all natural organic hemp masterpiece has a $140 price tag. My jaw drops. The makeup scattered across the table is from 'that' brand which is all earth mother, natural ochres and hand ground in sustainable communities in some little place. It is also worth a Motza! For a non-materialistic girl, she sure has nice stuff.

Girl B starts whispering and giggling pointing at another customer, who appears to have rather less money than most. She wrinkles her perky little pierced nose and deliberately arranges herself so this customer has to side step around her. She pulls out of her carrier bag ( natural fibres of course), a truly gorgeous dress. flowy and soft and WHAT??? a pricetag of a cool $200.

Oh yes.. you know I couldn't help myself.. heehee !!

As my coffee order was called I collected my belongings. I leant over, smiled and said " If you were really un-materialistic you wouldn't give a crap that her bag was Prada and you would realise that you already have the Nude look when you fall out of bed. Oh and by the way, you probably could have provided a village with immunisation for a year with what you just spent on that dress".

See, I don't react well to smug brats who think they are superior.

(At least I didn't tell them that their Boobs are gonna sag one day too. Because they will)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Don't Judge me? Is it possible?

I recently had a fight spirited discussion with a friend who likes to say "I'm not judging you but..."
She feels very strongly about the word "judge", & says no-one has the right to judge.

So lately, she has been doing some stuff that I don't like as a character trait. That is not to say I don't like her, but I dislike some of her recent choices and behaviours. 
She asked me why I haven't been visiting or calling much and I said that some of her recent choices don't sit well with me
Then all hell broke lose.

"So you're judging me!" she said.
"Um yes."
"What gives you the right to judge me? You can't push your moral code onto me. That's not fair, I thought we were friends, and real friends don't judge"

Food for thought.

How did I decide to be friends with you in the first place? I judged and decided you were a cool chick who I could get along with. 
How did I decide you were safe enough for my kid to come and play at your house? I judged and decided you weren't an axe murderer. 
How did I decide whether I could trust you to come into my home and look after it when we went away? I judged you and decided you were trustworthy.

Whether we like to use the word 'judge' or not, we all judge. It is human to judge. It is how we keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. It is our compass of whether a person is going to be a good friend and companion or a sleazy user who flirts with our husband.

A person has every right in the world to behave however they like. Everyone else on the planet has the right to choose whether they want to spend time alongside that person.

That isn't to say I have the right to harshly criticize someone to others, nor do I have the right to humiliate them or demand they change.  But I do have the right to walk away. 

I do not choose to judge. But I definitely judge to choose.

If that's not ok with you ( and to decide that you have to judge it) then I'm ok with you not spending time alongside me.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The influence of a school.

When J-man was in Primary school he went to the public school nearby. His primary school years were grim. His school really didn't do much to support him or us to get him through.
We completed pages of assessments, took him to many many specialist appointments, had squillions of recommendations made.. and yet the school he attended did not even bother to read those reports, or to implement any of the recommendations.
The only thing they did attempt was to convince us as parents that it would be more convenient beneficial for J-man to be drugged daily.
Unfortunately, we were so busily focused on just getting through each day that we really didn't explore moving J-man to another school. I guess this was because the focus had always been J-mans problems. His issues. Never did anyone say "Well the school isn't really stepping up here either".
Looking back, the school principal would actually turn and walk quickly away when he saw me coming. At one meeting he told me he really didn't care what the plans for next year were as he was retiring then anyway. Teachers covered their arses and said they" didn't realise there was a 9 inch thick folder all about J-man". At the time there was no funding for J-man and without funding they simply were not inspired or required to do anything out of the box.
At the end of Grade 6, when J-man had been accepted to a small Catholic high school, we decided to explore Catholic primary schools for our daughters so that when high school came the transition might be smoother for them.
I rang a school and asked for some time with the Principal. I didn't tell him anything about our children or J-mans troubles as I was fairly non-commital but just asked for a general tour. He agreed and within 5 minutes I was on my way.
Here's how my eyes were opened.
He greeted me at the door and remembered my name.
He introduced me to the office staff.
We were about to enter a classroom when he turned to me and said "Now in this class is a little girl with Aspergers syndrome. She just likes to know who is coming in and out of our school. She's our little policeman."
With that he opened the door and straight away a little dot of a girl came over and shook his hand. Then she stood there, holding his hand while he solemnly introduced me!! She shook my hand and skipped back to her desk.
He didn't roll his eyes. He didn't make her feel silly. He spoke to her with respect and acted as if she had every right to be introduced to me.
My heart slowed down and I felt myself relaxing.
In the Prep building sixth grade kids were sitting with little preppies making Santa hats. There was lots of laughter. The teachers were trying on hats and laughing.
It was so very different to the school experience we had so far.
We couldn't get our girls in there fast enough.
I wonder how different things could have been if J-man had been at this type of school.
Certainly since that change 7 years ago, as I've watched my girls, including little miss 8 move through this new school system, the schools' open and welcoming attitude for ALL children has made all the difference .

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Romance is........................?

In class yesterday a friend was complaining that her husband never does anything romantic for her.
She wants to be wined and dined, would love a bunch of roses 'just because' and bubble baths with champagne featured heavily in the conversation.
I didn't say much ( which for me is surprising).
I am married to the most unromantic person on the planet.
He substitutes wine and dine with a McDonalds takeaway in front of the TV
Flowers are for when things have gone very wrong ( like when you blow the "buying a new car budget" by several thousand dollars)
Bath times are solo operations and Star Trek features heavily in his his life.
On the traditional Romance scale, he doesn't even leave the starting line.

On our wedding day the biggest compliment he gave me was "Your dress is nice" and when I expressed my fears about the impending birth of our first born.I believe his response was a slap on the thigh and "you'll be right."

Sometimes I feel ripped off, or let down by the lack of obvious gestures of love. I didn't share all this in class, I don't want to justify his life and my life and our marriage and the why's and wherefores of how it works. It just does ok.

So I came home after a VERY long day of learning.
He made me a cup of tea.

He'd been to the store and was making sausages, mashed potato, vegies and gravy. for dinner.
He had taken small child to the park and played.
He'd fixed the tyre on large teens bike.
He washed the dog.

I fell in love again.
The big showy gestures are nice,
The small acts of love are nicer.

It is the first day of spring here today.. I hope wherever you are, small acts of love remind you that you are loved, that you are appreciated,

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Homework at 39

Today I submitted my first major hurdle for my medications component of Nursing. I managed to answer all questions but one.. but this one NEARLY KILLED ME.
It's a little question, only worth 4 points and yet it has had me baffled for 2 days.
Somehow I had to explain this

and add it to this
and then somehow make it add up like this
Which made my head go like this

And the dilemma was that I could regurgitate it from the textbook word for word and pass the question , but I had no idea what it meant!! I could get a mark.. which I didn't deserve because I didn't know what I was writing.

I rang other classmates - each tried to explain it which only confused me more. I called two qualified nurses who responded admirably but gave up when they realised I was in over my head.

I have googled, I have twittered, I have offered money for a legible and concise explanation. 
In the end - I CONFESS - I wrote the textbook meaning - it was open book. and I will continue to question everyone I can think of. until I understand.

Until then, I should not be left in charge of anyone taking drugs with organ failure which may affect the protein binding properties in plasma thus affecting the volume of distribution and therefore half life of a drug and raising it's toxicology.

Hey look - I think I got it finally !

This little brain needs some craft time, some TV time, a good book and a glass of wine time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

10 on Tuesday -

Taking a leaf..twig..branch...tree

From a twitterer, today is 10 on Tuesday.
Ten things secrets about me

1. I am brave- even when I don't want to be. Even when I would choose for someone else to be the fall guy. if the arrow points to me .I am brave.

2. I am shy. I know most of my friends know me as a pretty loud, opinionated person. Don't be fooled. I'm shy, scared and desperate for acceptance. Really.

3. I am a sook. When my world falls around my ears I still want my Mum. When it's scary and dark I want my Dad. Even when my kids look to me for comfort, I am still secretly looking over my shoulder to my Mummy and Daddy for the same reassurance.

4. I LOVE food. I love everything about food. I love the randomness of it. I love that two people can have the same ingredient and create two totally different universes.Food is my friend ( and my nemesis)

5. I still feel guilty about being a mean girl in high school. - I wasn't the meanest, but for the mean things, the hurt and crap that went with it I feel truly bad. I wish there was a do-over. There isn't.

6. I think my kids really are the best in the world. Okay this is not really a secret, but it is a mother's prerogative and mine really ARE awesome. Just ask me and I'll send you some posters.

7. My husband thinks I'm a nutter.  Not in an indulgent "isn't she loopy" kind of way. He really thinks I have a screw lose. He stays married to me anyway (bless!)

8. I am a naughty student. I know at the age of 39 I should be focused and using my time wisely. I am still cramming at the last minute and slapping my forehead at my time wasting. If I pass this course it will, truly, be a miracle.

9. I don't mind if I have 1 or 1000 twitter followers. Which is good, as the number is closer to zero than a thousand. But I am confused and bemused ( are they two different things) by people who are excited by having 3000 followers - right now I have a pet shop, two shoe companies and a holiday deal company following me.. irrelevant!

10. I am scared every time I hit POST on my blog. Scared it is unacceptable, scared it will be harshly judged. Scared I have accidentally offended someone, scared I have accidentally copied someone. I am afraid of not being accepted.. and yet have no proof so far that that is the case. Paranoia is a powerful thing

Happy tenUp Tuesday,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

OHHHH there it is

I lost my groove for a little while there.
I'm in a weird, twilighty nothingness while I wait to go back to nursey school. 

I have struggled to find a rhythm to my days and seem to have wasted ridiculous amounts of time with nothing productive to show for it. Oh sure, washing is done (sometimes) and meals land on the table ( 4 nights out of 7) but otherwise I have felt... in a ..funk.  That word is under used but very descriptive. FUNK!

I'm kinda cranky, but not so bad you'd call me on it.  A bit disorganised but not enough to ring alarm bells. My study books are begging for some attention but I haven't totally dropped the ball.

And so this week I discovered Twitter. 


I have discovered a weird kind of parallel universe where people can express themselves (very) freely in 140 characters or less.
A world where a Mum/Mom writing a dinky little blog becomes an Editor-In-Chief . 
If you pop some self improvement quotes in your blog you can also claim to be CEO of a Self Empowerment E-Journal for women.
Have you ever blogged about a yummy dinner you had at the restaurant in town -Yay! That makes you a Food Reviewer.
Did you mention a baby product you used ( as in- "Thank heavens for disposable baby wipes or I'd have hosed her off in the garden)- you may now lay claim to the role of Product Reviewer.

Deep below all these "I'm so awesome just let me tell you.." descriptions are Mums. Just Mums. They have all known the bizarre insanity of 3 days straight without sleep. They all know (but may never admit) that the book they can recite by heart is more likely to be a Little Golden Book, they've had leaky boobs, and grey hairs. They worried for their babies and despaired over their teens. They've faced a school principal wondering how it is possible to still feel so small on the wrong side of the desk. They can pinpoint the moment when they realised there really is No Going Back.

I have read many blogs. Laughed, cried and puzzled. I have discovered new (tentative) friendships and found a new spark. 

One thing that stands out to me is the descriptions.. and I guess it relates back to my recent post about the AWESOME boy. We can either talk life up or down. We can be glass half empty or glass half full.

I am either a beleaguered Mum of 4 demanding kids, study-er and wifey stuff ... or I am CEO of a vibrant and dynamic group of future heroes, starting a brand new career and spending time with the love of my life

I will choose the second one thanks!!

Hope you are all happy and healthy, living in your own little bubble of CEO power.


PS you can follow me on twitter -

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Must make amends

I wrote a quote two posts ago and couldn't find the author - but now I know - 
Mother Theresa said 

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway." 

What a lovely gift she was to this world.

Friday, August 12, 2011

You are AWESOME (repeat after me)

I met a Mum today in the supermarket, with her son who is 7 on a student-free day. 
She introduced me to her son and I said "hello, how are you".
This little kid looked me in the eye and said
"I'm ADHD, OCD and ODD." with a smile on his face. 


Did you see it? can you hear it? He didn't tell me he has traits of those disorders. He told me he IS those disorders. That little boy has heard his Mum or Dad refer to him and his disorders so many times that he has learned to define himself by them.

Not for a minute am I suggesting that he didn't have those traits, or that his parents aren't doing their best, but there is a saying ( in many variations ) that WHATEVER YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS.

For this little guy, it seems that the focus of his world is his disorders and traits. 

What if his parents introduced him from now on as "This is Bill. He's an awesome little boy with an amazing memory and boundless energy."

The story of Winnie The Pooh  could have read alot differenty - after all, Pooh was a binge eater, Eeyore had depression, Tigger most definitely would be diagnosed as ADHD in the year 2011, and Piglet suffered from anxiety. Poor old Christopher Robin was suffering from hallucinations. And yet, they were all just friends living in a big forest, unmedicated and surviving just fine.

The fact is we all have traits of some disorder, we are all on the "spectrum", it's just a matter of where on the line we sit. I like symmetry and order. I like two of things in the garden, and I really dislike Random quilts. I like to see a pattern. It could be referred to as OCD traits, or maybe I just like the visual!

Our children become who we tell them they are.  If we tell them they are bad, sickly, worthless, troubled, naughty, or a list of disorder abbreviations, that is surely what they will become.
If we tell them they are awesome, wonderful, intelligent and courageous, just think how bright their future can be.

"Focus on your potential instead of your limitations."
Alan Loy McGinnis 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

prayers please

hi all,
even in my upbeat, happy, "life's great" world, there are moments that bring you to your knees.
Today I am asking for your prayers.
A Mommy, newly friended to me has found out her little in-utero baby is dying. So very sad. Please pray for her and her family. Babies sometimes don't make it and I know that, but the raw, .'claw at your heart' emotion is still as fierce and hurtful for every family that experiences this loss.
If you believe in prayer, if you talk to God (in whatever format that is) please raise this family up to him.
With thanks

Today's thoughts

I don't know who to attribute this to, but it grabbed my heart this morning when I read it. I am sure they won't mind me sharing...

Words to live by: 
If you are honest, people may cheat you. 
Be honest anyway. 
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway. 
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God
It was never between you and them anyway! 
Love Lisa

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Calling Cleopatra (s)

I have been thinking about the "past life" experiences that are so often publicised. I am intrigued that everyone claims to have been someone famous. I have read the accounts of several Cleopatra's , at least two Joan of Arcs, a couple of Julius Caesars. ...

Why doesn't anyone discover that in their past life they were a toilet cleaner, or a humble chicken farmer. No-one lays claim to the dubious occupation of grape squasher as their life's work.

Why is it that some people just have to talk themselves up, even in their past lives. It isn't enough to be honest and hardworking..

What is interesting to me is that the people who I admire most in the world, and in my private life are humble, working quietly at the chore they have been gifted. One person is simply a receptionist at a little business. She doesn't make decisions about world politics, she doesn't earn millions, she is a Mum, a wife and an employee. She is also peaceful and calm, a good friend and great mother. She inspires me to be better and do better. But I don't think 200 years from now anyone will be claiming to have been a receptionist.
Frankly I don't want my little girls to be ex-Cleopatra's- it didn't end well for her. Nor would I like my son to be ex-Julius Caesar - not a very pleasant ending for him either. ( Joan of Arc didn't go happily either!)

Nope.. goat herders and grape squashers are we... happily going about the business of the world, without the front page headline to prove it.

Just my thinking...
xx Lisa

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Back on the game

Hello lovely patient people.

Did I tell you I am studying to be a nurse?
I am and it's hard work! I am already blessed with 4 gorgeous kids, and a great husband who tolerates my scatteredness. I design for the craft industry ( although less now than in the past) and I am more than halfway towards becoming an enrolled Div 2 Nurse. I am so relieved to be over the halfway hump, but daunted by the next 10 months work. In just 2 weeks I go on placement for Acute and then straight into mental health/ district nursing placement.

For the past month I have had my head in my books, studying and writing and generally trying to inspire those tired brain cells to absorb just a little more info.

What I have learned is that evn though it is hard work, I am so much more enthusiastic about classes and assignments because I have chosen to be there...instead of because my parents said I have to go to school.
I can see where my new knowledge will be used as opposed to trying ( unsuccessfully) to figure out how far a boat would be from the cliff if the angle from the boat to the lighthouse is....BLAGGGHH.

It intrigues me that even though a teenager knows that study and schooling is essential to become independant, even then, the IMPORTANCE of that knowledge is lost on them. It isn't until often years later that they can see the point of all that algebra, analysis of written word and biology experiments.

And isn't that the same as life???? We are given lessons in life, love and learning and at the time we don't see the point or purpose. We want to skip class and go have some fun. We can't see the outcome or the relevance or the "why" of the lesson.

A few years ago we turned to IVF to have our beautiful daughter. At the time I struggled with the effort, heartache and disappointment that accompanies the journey through IVF. There were many tears. Many hopeful, heartbroken and angry prayers. Many times when I felt ripped off and let down.
And finally, our darling Sarah was born, perfect and wonderful.

Four years later I offered to donate my eggs to a couple who had no children.
Because of my experience I understood their craving.
Because of my experience I was unafraid of the IVF process.
Because of my experience I could offer real comfort when things didn't work.
Because of my experience I could celebrate with joy for them when a perfect little boy was born.

When I needed IVF for my own child I did not understand why it had to be so hard. Now looking back I see every part of it as a blessing. Lesson learned, class complete.

I hope you are happy safe and well, I hope you can see that even though times in life can be awful and unkind, there will come a time when some one else will need you to step forward and say "I've been there. It's going to be okay".

Friday, April 22, 2011

Camping Young style

It is school holidays here but also cold and rainy. I am unable to take the kids away on holiday, so we decided to camp out.

First and most important to a 6 yr old is the campfire for toasting marshmallows. I loaded up the metal wheelbarrow with kindling and redgum and we had a gorgeous fire going, with room for my vegies roasting on the side -

We invited friends around and had a ball. It wasn't perfect but it was just fine.

Next was where to sleep. Luckily we have plenty of tents and a big backyard.

But then it rained.

And rained.

And rained.

Sarah made her little campsite.

Doesn't she look cosy? She ought to with ducted heating and electric lights.
Her tent was pitched in the loungeroom.

Again not perfect, but just fine for us. She had a lovely night sleep ( except for the 13 or so times that the kitten jumped on her roof), stayed very warm and dry, and stayed in her tent til 11am the next day - awesome!!!

I felt bad that I couldn't take the kids on a "WOW" holiday, but in the end, they have had a beautiful time here in our own home. Isn't it funny how often what we need is right under our noses?

Hope you all have a happy Easter, don't eat too much chocolate,
Much love

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Human Origami

I am a mother.

I have four awesome, wonderful children, and for most of the time I am parenting by myself as my husband works away. This means I have become very skilled at multi-tasking. I can cook spaghetti while I check homework and stitch a button back onto a school uniform. I can breastfeed a baby while I chase a toddler down the hallway, stopping momentarily to throw a load of clothes into the washing machine. I can vacuum, recite favourite recipes and de-flea the dog all at the same time. I have become an expert at cooking in bulk and freezing, I am studying (and passing) my nursing degree and still managed to squeeze in a few minutes of chat time with hubby ...sometimes.

I am also proficient in human origami, when several bodies attempt to share one small space and end up wrapped up like...

Night before last, in my bed it was like a crazy school roll call, with me, small child, dog, big cat and kitten. 

As you might imagine it was cramped. It was also a ridiculously long, sleepless night for me and yet 'Mother Martyr' persevered. After all, the child was feeling scared and unhappy in her bed, Dog is used to jumping on the bed at night, big cat is doing so well to tolerate the kitten so close and little kitten is so cute - how could I say no?? But I needed to sleep and no-one seemed to care that I was uncomfortable and clinging to the side of the bed. GRRRR, why do cats have that uncanny knack of selecting the very centre of the bed?

We rolled out of bed at 6.30 am and got going for the day, and all day - I mean ALL day- I have whined about being tired. "Such a terrible nights sleep",  "I'm exhausted", "Well at least you got some sleep last night...."

Then I visited a friend of mine, my reality friend - I hope you have one. She tells me the truth even when it is soooo not what I want to hear, and doesn't allow me to get away with much.

I started my whinge ( and by now I had tale of woe well worded, having practiced it a number of times) and she stopped me. 

She asked me if I knew the bed was too cramped at 11pm. "Yes." 
Did I toss and turn and know I was going to be overtired today. "Hmmm Yes." 
Was there an empty bed I could have gone to, or could I have removed all furry critters? "Ummm Yes". 

Then she delivered the killer punch. "So you chose to spend the night like that, just so you could whine today about being tired. Stop the pity party, you did this to yourself."

It stung a bit, but I knew she was right. I could have moved, or moved the little child, or kicked one or all the animals off the bed. I chose to stay in the cramped bed, and I knew I was also choosing  to be tired. Even writing this now, it seems so silly to have allowed myself to have a sleepness night because I didn't want to disturb a cat. 
As I left her house my friend hugged me and said " If you don't take care of you, how can you expect anyone else to." 

So last night, I declared my bedroom no-go zone ( remember hubby works away- he would have been given an access pass LOL). Small child slept in her own bed, after stories and reassurance. Dog slept in her own bed ( yes she does have one), big cat curled up on the couch and kitten slept... well I don't know where but it wasn't with me.

And this morning ...I feel awesome!!!

Gonna do my best to stop the pity party events.
Have a fantastic day
much love