Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Road Ahead

I'm in a pondering mood today. 

Even though I'm at work and have just worked diligently for the last 2hrs on a PowerPoint presentation I'm giving this afternoon, I'm having 10 minutes to bludge, drink a skim hot chocky and ponder the road ahead.

Today's road (unlike this lovely image from here) is a multi-lane highway. 

There's the terror of knowing that we've just commenced a kitchen reno and when I go home tonight I will be kitchenless and potentially have no plasterboard left either!  Will the kitchen reno road ahead be pot hole free or fraught with dramas, scope creep and more costs than we've budgeted for?

Then there's the 'geez my boss is giving me the shits' lane and the blinking neon sign off on the left that says "get off here" and chuck in my job to get away from her.  This is a complex road with many twists, turns and blind corners!

Lane #3 is the slow lane that involves considering whether Sydney is the place for our little KAT's and us to be living - no family, limited support and the constant pressure to aspire to something better.  There is a couple of roads we could branch off onto, we just need to decide if that's what we want and which one to take...

Okay, 10 minutes up...blog time and navel gazing over for a little while...back to working on my next priority task for 'she who must be obeyed' :)

Hope everyones' hump day is going well!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Monday Musings - How Many Hairbrushes Is Too Many?

I am surrounded by hair brushes.  Not just the brushes, but the ephemera that goes with them.

This should not come as a surprise to me as we have three girls....but sometimes the obvious just hits you in the face like a wet fish...and today, it's a BIG wet fish!

Brushes, clips, hair ties, headbands, ribbons....we could support the entire population of a small country with the amount of this stuff we've accumulated.

When our oldest KAT first started school she had a brief flirtation with ballet.  I don't think I'm alone in wanting to embrace the pale pink girliness of the full-on ballerina retinue....but I realized very quickly that I didn't have it in me to be a 'ballet mum'!  I started out as an enthusiastic pupil of the ballet bun and very quickly slipped into the mode of resentful ballet mum before eventually concluding my ballet mum career as a recalcitrant participant in the art (and it is an art) of constructing the acceptable ballet bun.

In my defence, I should point out that we were a bit hair challenged with our oldest KAT...she must have been up the shallow end of the gene pool when the hair fairy was handing out long and lustrous locks...fine and wispy were the order of the day...the enemy of the ballet bun!

So now, a few years on and more progressed in the follicular department we have hair stuff coming out our wazoos....I really don't mind as I love a bit of color and variety....but some days it just strikes me that this is the lot in life of the family with ALL girls...!!

What is the equivalent I wonder in the homes of multiple boys??  Is the grass greener?

In the meantime, I like this quote....

Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like.  ~Author Unknown

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blue & Green Should Never Be Seen?

SM and I are renovating failures.

We have cumulatively spent over six thousand dollars (I'm being really conservative) over the past four years progressing plans through council and toiling through the bureaurocratic nightmare that is renovating.

We have collectively destroyed at least one forest with the revisions upon revisions to our plans and driven our draftsman to distraction in the process.

Finally, when we were excruciatingly close to turning the first sod....we decided we didn't have the heart for it and have advised the builder we are not proceeding.

The reasons are numerous but it all boils down to the simple fact that we just didn't have the heart for it.  The most we've renonvated  previously has been a bathroom...and ripping off the back of our house and stripping what remains was just too big a prospect for us.

Instead, we've been 'prettying' up the small house we are now sticking with and proceeding with plans to do some 'minor' renovations like the bathroom, kitchen and new porch plus some outdoor 'improvements' like...a driveway that is not an OH&S risk!!!!

This will probably take the rest of the year but we will be left with a perfectly comfortable and 'quaint' cottage that has our stamp on it and hasn't stripped me of the last vestiges of sanity that I still possess!!!

The 'prettying' has involved a bit of painting (thanks mostly to SM), some DIY shelf building (also SM) and decorating courtesy of moi...collage above is a selection of my changes:
  • reupholstering a lovely chair we inherited from an elderly neighbor a few years ago when he moved out of his home and in with his daughter
  • a new wizz bang retro light pendant in pale blue over my favourite hand me down item from my childhood, the kitchen table (will post about this another day)
  • new shelves built with love by SM and now holding file boxes in ORANGE from Ikea and assorted pale blue and green ceramics that I've collected over the years
  • new cushions (green one from Table Tonic, blue/white one from Ikea) on our old and crappy 'demin blue' couch which I would LOVE to turf but don't have budgetary approval yet for a new one...amazing what new cushions will do!) 
  • Hand-me-down 70's lamp from my mum (I have coveted it for EVER) with new lampshade I had made
I am a very happy camper in our little space...what do you think??

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Me Interviewing Me

Thanks to Maxabella for an easy peasy japaneasy Tuesday post :)
My earliest memory is...
Having my split chin sewed closed - 1 annoyed doctor and 5 nurses holding down one VERY cranky 18mth old    
My school report usually said...
I can't remember but am sure in high school it said something about needing to apply myself in Maths...hated it then, hate it now!  It may also have mentioned my tendency not to suffer fools gladly...
My first relationship...
Like Bron, it was in my head...involved a very cute schoolboy and a fantasy of him alighting from a tram just to be with me....I'm pretty sure what I interpreted as held eye contact was in fact him marvelling at how one girl could have SO much acne!!
I don't like talking about... 
Budgeting...I'm as elusive as the Scarlet Pimpernel in this regard according to SM
My most treasured possession is... 
Sony camcorder tapes of my dad playing guitar and singing nursery rhymes with my oldest two girls and me
My father always told me... 
That if you wanted to talk in the movies then go home and watch a video...the cinema is for SILENTLY watching and enjoying the cinematic experience....to this day I'm the person who will take on the noisy people in the darkened cinema...I don't care who they are!
In the movie of my life, I'd be played by... 
Deborah Mailman...except I'd have to be indigenous and I'm not!!!
I wish I had...
Been kinder to myself when I was 30 kilos lighter
I wish I hadn't...
Been so hard on myself when I was 30 kilos lighter
My most humiliating moment was...
Trying to coolly disembark an old Melbourne (green) tram in the 1st month of high school by jumping off the running board as it came to a stop...except it hadn't slowed down quite enough and I had too much momentum...fell over, smashed my teeth (broke one) and grazed my knees...all in front of a tram full of high school kids (boys and girls!!)
My guiltiest pleasure is...
Vanilla ice cream and M&M's...lots of both :)
My last meal would be... 
Probably the above just more of it!
Thanks Maxabella for the chance to reflect on me!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Musings - Treading Softly

"I have spread my dreams under your feet; tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

William Butler Yeats

Love this quote....so many ways to interpret it (completely out of context of course!)

Makes me think of my little KAT's and the way SM and I are privileged to have them for the precious time they are in our care...being ever so careful what we imprint on them as they will carry it like a stamp on their heart for the rest of their journey through life.

Have a great week :))

Image of my gorgeous nephew Tom's newborn feet

Friday, July 8, 2011

Our Oldest KAT - The Crash Test Dummy

Nature versus nurture?

If ever there was a perfect study for this debate, our oldest is it.  She is cursed with being the oldest which makes her our very own crash test dummy. 

Her eleventh birthday is looming and she is blossoming in front of our eyes.  She is bright, inquisitive, loving and an excellent conversationalist.  She is personable and empathetic.

She tells people that her aspiration in life is to be a historical novelist and own a fromagerie.

She wears her heart on her sleeve just like her mama and will be useless at card games as she is completely lacking a poker face.

We adore her.  But I also worry about her endlessly.  This may be the lot of a mother but for me it sometimes feels like it's all I do in regards to her.

You see she has what one might benignly describe as anxiety issues. 

A less tactful person may describe her as a completely neurotic psycho who drains her mother of her energy with the amount of 'worry' that she finds in the pursuit of daily life. 

As her mother, I naturally blame myself for her boundless anxiety levels and often ponder what I have done to 'nurture' this creature who still sucks her thumb going on 11 and on a bi-monthly basis has anxiety attacks about sleeping alone in her bedroom and has had one successful sleepover in her primary years to date.

Who knows if it was my overenthusiastic applications of the 'sleep nazi' techniques that I had assiduously learnt from an applied study of the Robyn Barker baby book. 

In retrospect, this could be one of those 'nurture' moments where mummy insisting that she go to bed and leaving her all alone in her bedroom in that enormous cot may have created insecurities virtually out of the womb.

Or maybe the toddler years...where still getting used to life with one child (her) we introduced another one into the mix who happened to hate sleep and refused to co operate with any of my well practiced settling techniques. 

I seem to recall being veeeeeery unhappy and overwhelmed...memories a bit vague as I did get diagnosed with post-natal depression and ended up on the happy drugs which helped immensely.

Was it during this phase that the anxieties bent started developing...pyscho mummy,  no one in charge of the plane...pilot asleep at the controls...oh oh!!

I'm buggered if I know.  We love her dearly, I just wish she would take a chill pill every now and then :)

Is it just me or are all oldest children neurotic...even if slightly less than mine?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Don't Care If It's Smart...It's Not An iPhone

I want an iPhone.

I want it like KAT 1 wants to be liked.  Yearningly.  Obsessively.  Adorably (at least to me it's adorable!)

I want it like KAT2 wants breasts (yes that's right people, she's a smart one KAT2).  Desperately.  Covetously.  Transfiguringly (OK perhaps that's a tad creepy and not a word!!)

I want it like KAT3 wants a lolly in the supermarket.  Irrationally.  Impulsively.  Unreasonably. 

Unfortunately, SM is acting infuriatingly responsible and dare I say it frugal (aaaaaah run for the hills).  He keeps reminding me that I already HAVE a smart phone and don't NEED an iPhone.

I in turn remind him that SMART PHONE is an oxymoron and whoever invented the term should be summarily sought out, dragged to the nearest shopping centre and put in stocks so that every multi-tasking mummy can whack him really hard with her handbag (you can see I'm a real extremist can't you). 

My smart phone has been anything but intuitive!  At the very moment when I NEED it be easy to use and intuitive it instead behaves OBTUSELY and obstinately refuses to co operate with me...it's mistress!  This will usually coincide with a moment when the entire universe is plotting against me and giving me the shits and the phone aggravates instead of calms me...now a SMART phone would know how it should behave, shouldn't it?

I've had the aforementioned 'smart' phone for about 6 excruciating months and it has proved itself to be a dumb ass piece of crap!  I have even conducted my own scientific experience giving it to the KAT's to play with and even THEY think it's a piece of the proverbial!!!

Leading up to the end of the financial year, I actually persuaded SM to 'window shop' for one to see if there were any deals on...alas, it was a fruitless endeavour! 

Unfortunately although I may curse SM and harangue him every chance I get, my lack of an iPhone is more a product of one of my Top 5 character failings - my inability to resist a telephone salesperson.

This is a blog post in and of itself, suffice to say that I took a call from our current 'plan' provider and was talked into 'upgrading' my crap blackberry to a whizz bang smart phone.....I wish I could say I had some excuse (ie the KAT's were rampaging around our tiny house, a strange man that looks like Don Draper was ravishing me) but no...I was simply Sold with a capital 'S'.

6 months into my purgatory with another 18 months remaining I weep with regret every time I miss key, miss dial or miss manage my stupid smart phone.   Bugger, bum poop!!

Image from katespadeloveaffair.com  
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