Wednesday, August 14, 2013

One Door Shuts, Another Opens....Five Years Today!

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD  | Five Years Today
This little person turns five today (bless her little cotton socks). She's equal parts awesome and eccentric, with a generous dash of off-the-wall crazy and although I know I'm totally in for it in about eight years time, I love all of her individuality, spark and bullishness (keep an eye out for future posts that completely contradict this).

So does that mean I'm officially leaving the pre-school parenting phase?? Holy Crap. (or "Oh My Giddy Aunt" as the birthday girl pictured right, says when caught by surprise). That is actually pretty significant to someone who knows there are no more children on the horizon and if I really think about it, the idea of this fills me which much more joy looking forward than it does sadness as I leave the last of that phase behind. I loved having babies and the roller coaster ride of having toddlers was mostly pain free. Having said that, today I celebrate both of my kids having a little more independence and a slightly more self- sufficient routine that gives me a little (Goddamn) freedom. 

Happy Birthday to the cheekiest monkey in town. May the next phase of your life be filled with the joys of growing up, learning your ABCs, sharing my love of the written word and most importantly learning the art of friendship. (And may the next phase of MY life be filled with the ability to attend a doctor's appointment or a leg wax without the 'mouth from the south' in attendance).  Woop!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Happy International 'WTF' Day.......!

So I've labelled today 'International WTF Day'. Anyone else celebrating it with me? We put most of this in the first world problem category but here's how it's been so far (and it's only 2.00pm).

Miss A has been home for three days generally coughing and spluttering and insisting that all of my usual work attention be directed to her instead (today being no exception). Totally fine, I can cope with that. I can also cope with the 9am phone call from Miss O who's at school but feeling equally as unwell and therefore needs to be collected. Again, fine. Whatever. In the car, pull up at school, chuck her in and we're done there for the week.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Watch This! (TV Is Good Sometimes) ...

IMAGE : WIKIPEDIA.ORG | Watch This! (TV is Good Sometimes)
Who else is LOVING The Time Of Our Lives on the ABC at the moment? It's so nice to have an Australian series that doesn't make you cringe with unrealistic storylines and cliche, one dimensional actors - these cast members complement each other brilliantly and there's such a mix of old and new faces, all of whom meet the incredible standard of the most experienced players. I have a particular affection for the characters played by Stephen Curry and Shane Jacobson who have the wonderful combination of comedy and mateship seamlessly present within their relationship. Hats off also to Justine Clarke and Claudia Karvan, personifying all the stuff that women and mothers wrestle with in our real, everyday lives. Thank you Amanda Higgs and Judi McCrossin - you ladies really know how to connect with an audience. I read somewhere that The Time Of Our Lives is like The Secret Life Of Us for 'grown ups' which really rings true and I'm lucky to have been able to appreciate both of these extraordinary series' in two relevant 'times of my life'. (I'm obviously fortunate enough to be in the 'bullseye' of their target audience).

So watch it! It's totally worthy. Catch up on ABC iView or Sunday nights, 8.30pm AEST.

(Offspring, I'm not cheating on you, I'm just dabbling in an open relationship).

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Status Of Childbirth (My Media Bugbear)

IMAGE : KATE, WILLS AND GEORGE - BLESS 'EM | The Status Of Childbirth

Let it be said that I love Kate and Wills and new baby George. I love what they stand for in these modern times and good on 'em for announcing that they'll be doing the hands on parent thing (although I'll bet my left ovary that Mary Poppins will be called upon before too long because why wouldn't you after a string of sleepless nights if you had the choice?).

Perhaps I'm being over-sensitive (and I do write this post with my tongue pressed gingerly into my cheek) but does anyone else find the above statement accompanying the photo slightly pointless and a teeny bit insulting? 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Taming The Beast - Social Media And Pre Teens


Social media: the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.[1] (Wikipedia)

 Sounds harmless enough, doesn't it? Sounds almost necessary and educational according to the above definition.

As a parent, if I was asked to visually define social media, the first thing that comes to mind is an enormous, towering transformer - like beast, casting a large dark shadow, complete with heavy doors which open and close allowing only the brave to enter, loudly slamming shut behind them. Okay - I concede it's a little dramatic but despite my own familiarity and understanding of said beast, I feel as though I need to go back to seeing it as something new and fearful in order for me to navigate it as a parent of an almost ten year old girl who in the coming years will will commence her journey into the online space. I may not like it, but it's going to happen unless the internet blows up so I figure I might as well do it correctly, right?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New York - The Most Beautiful Catastrophe

New York is the most beautiful city in the world? It is not far from it. No urban night is like the night there…. Squares after squares of flame, set up and cut into the aether. Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will. Ezra Pound

With the sounds of the New York subway trains and the continuous honk of impatient taxis still pulsating in my ears, I sit here back at my desk once again absorbed in the routine of everyday life and yet I'm now grinning with sly satisfaction as I recall the awesome memories and experiences I have banked from the past two weeks of (childless!) travel. My New York bucket list was long and I feel as though out of complete obligation to myself and by a certain degree of luck, I've finally ticked off a countless number of experiences and for this, I'm silently high-fiving the travel Gods for allowing me the chance.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Voices Of 2013 - A Masterclass In Fulfilling A Goal

 IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Voices Of 2013
You may or may not have gathered, but I am very much a routine kind of gal, who generally sticks to a well-considered plan and regardless of my life's predictable path, I tend to overthink everything.  I don't easily try new things or step out of my comfort zone regularly, so I'm especially pleased to announce that I did something completely out of the ordinary this weekend. Yay me! (Save your applause). On Saturday, I attended the Voices Of 2013 Blogger's Masterclass in Melbourne. (Okay, it's not bungee jumping or sky-diving, but can we just celebrate small steps please?).

Let it be said, that there's nothing more valuable than being surrounded and educated by like-minded people who are reaching (or have reached) their writing goals and who have great wisdom to share about how I can reach mine.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Day With O.N.J..

IMAGE : O.N.J FAN WEB | The Day With O.N.J
When I was growing up, it wasn't particularly unusual for me to cross paths with reasonably well - known celebrity types; in fact some of them were regular members of my childhood. At the time, I thought nothing of Guy Pearce appearing on our doorstep, of Dad being away on tour with ABBA or performing with his mate Sammy Davis Jr., or indeed of a phone call from 'Johnny' Farnham (don't judge me please - it was 1980).  I attended my fair share of big name concerts as a shy underage V.I.P and watched on TV as Dad bowed before Prince Charles and 'Lady Di' after the 1983 Gala Concert in Australia. I guess looking back that was pretty special although its significance was somewhat missed on me back then.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Harrison Saves The World...

IMAGE : MORGUEFILE.COM | Harrison Saves The World
I watched The Voice Australia finale last night and I grinned like an idiot all the way through. I grinned, I said "bless" more than once and I teared up at the end when Seal gave his proud fatherly speech to his newly adopted fifth child, Harrison Craig. Let it be said that tearing up during a reality TV program is not something I usually do, nor easily admit to, but COME ON! It was Harrison, with his little stutter, constant smile of gratitude and his big voice! After such the ridiculous cacophony of bad behaviour displayed mostly by men this week wasn't it nice to see such a lovely, humble, courteous little fella from Melbourne who adores his Mum and Brother take out the prize? C'mon, say it with me. Bless!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

To Hell In A Hand Basket : A Week In The Politics Of Being A Woman

IMAGE : MORGUEFILE.COM | To Hell In A Hand Basket
Let's just agree now that political commentary is not my thing. It's not something that I usually have strong opinions about (despite the fact that I do quite enjoy 'Q and A' on the ABC and feel VERY grown up when I watch it). So while I won't be making a habit of sharing my views pre-2013 federal election, I do want to acknowledge this particularly grotesque chapter in our political history which has seen one portion of the population celebrating the fact that we have our first female Prime Minister while the other portion works tirelessly to embarrass and humiliate her at every opportunity,  usually using her gender as their vehicle. I don't write this to attract anyone's views on Julia Gillard as a Prime Minister - if that's your response then either I haven't been concise or perhaps you've missed the point entirely. I simply wish to state that this week in particular, Australia has taken a turn for the worst and although I feel proud of the country I live in, I feel a huge sense of disappointment and faithlessness in the people who are meant to call themselves prospective leaders, or objective media messengers.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Overthinkers Anonymous - Meeting In Progress

IMAGE : PINTEREST | Overthinkers Anon.
I have recently come to realise that I'm a chronic overthinker.

I think, then I worry, then I stress, then I internalise. I hang onto things for as long as I possibly can, wringing every troublesome detail out of my initial thought. Mostly I do my worrying at night.  Sometimes, when there are many trivial thoughts to process, I finally get a little sleep just as the birds start to make their 5.00am noises alerting the 'normal' people that it's time to arise from their blissful, non-thinking slumber. (This actually goes a long way in explaining my unconditional love of morning caffeine). It often begins with one little thing that happened that day. How did my day go? How did I treat other people generally or how was I perceived? Perhaps I said something to someone which could somehow possibly be misconstrued? Did I overstep a boundary? Or perhaps I've forgotten some minor detail about an up and coming school project or dance rehearsal? God forbid.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Your Natural Calling (A Tale Of Career Confusion)..

IMAGE : MORGUEFILE.COM | Your Natural Calling (Career Confusion)

Do you ever feel as though you've missed your natural calling? Is the career that you're in, something you kinda fell into, seemed to be pretty good at, but not necessarily the thing that lights your fire? Do you often have the 'what if' conversation with yourself about the choices you made when you were at the beginning of the career crossroad? I do. Since having kids, I've given a great deal of thought to this because quite a bit of re-assessment happens if or when you decide to return to work as a parent.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Good Lesson Learned..

IMAGE : ADELAIDE NOW | A Good Lesson Learned
It's very easy being "white", isn't it? Seriously! Give it some thought because really, we don't usually need to. We drift ignorantly through our lives never truly giving any thought to how our God - given features are perceived by the outside world on a daily basis. I was fortunate enough to switch TV channels at the perfect moment last Friday night - just in time to witness the devastated reaction of indigenous Australian AFL player Adam Goodes when a young female spectator hurled the word "ape..." at him as he neared the boundary line. I say fortunate because in that split second I felt something a little life - changing. I felt that (like Adam Goodes) I too had been hit by a bolt of lightning. I watched as he turned and pointed an accusatory finger directly at the young female culprit (equally as shocked by her youthful demeanour as all of us) in order to have her removed. Then I watched him deflate like a man - sized balloon suddenly jabbed violently by a giant needle. I felt the humiliation and a lifetime of discrimination come to head in a moment. And I watched despondently as Adam promptly left the ground, unable to celebrate a win at the final siren.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Thoughts From A Random Mind

Miss A this morning: " you feel a lot like yourself today?"
Me: "Well, yes actually I do. Do you?"
Miss A: "Of course! Why wouldn't I?"

*looks at me like I've gone mad then skips away*

Um - what just happened? .....

Monday, May 20, 2013

The "Ugly" Baby Sealed It For Me.....

OK. Over the years, I've managed to tolerate and largely ignore the stupid, childish, often misogynistic rubbish spewing from the various male dominated sports shows currently broadcast on Australian commercial TV. I don't like them, but I can usually roll my eyes and simply scoff at the rants of certain boneheaded ex- football players because my partner often tunes in (admittedly more for the sport discussion). But tolerating these shows is getting harder, and this week I think they've just turned me from a reluctantly tolerant female viewer to a ranting, raving oestrogen - dominated hater.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


As I enjoy my last few days of my thirties, I'm reflecting upon the many things that have changed within me over the past decade, which I'm sure will go down in my history as my most significant, life-changing and challenging era. If only we had the chance to go back to our younger selves and tell them some home truths about the wisdom you gain as the years peel away. So, in the spirit of being a 39.98 year old, my open letter to myself reads as follows:

Sunday, May 5, 2013

My Private Freedom Of Choice - We Chose Private Schooling

IMAGE : MORGUEFILE.COM | My Private Freedom Of Choice
There is a debate raging in many online forums and TV panel programs currently which tends to get me a little worked up. Although I'm not an expert in the field of its data analysis or the indeed the official pros and cons, I feel very strongly that I'm in a slightly judged group; I've often considered public comment in the past (usually in response to comments made by the Jane Caro audience), but I've never followed through due to the inevitable backlash I'm sure I'd receive. Instead I've done the cowardly thing and 'unfollowed' Jane in social media, not at all because I dislike her (I quite like her in actual fact), but because of the narrow - minded comments from some of her virtual audience members that usually accompany her campaign messages. 

Sunday Thoughts From a Random Mind

Miss A slid into bed with me this morning and announced that she'd had a lovely dream about eating spaghetti (food often features rather heavily in her consciousness). Before I had time to answer, she asked me the following:

"Mummy, did you have a dream about picking up a friendly worm?"
"Or did you dream about a giant broccoli tree that you needed lots of stools to reach the top?"

Um, no I didn't. But I like the way you think.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tales Of Public Humiliation (Parenting 101)

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Tales Of Public Humiliation

I was reading an article recently about the most embarrassing moments people have experienced with their kids and the more I read, the more I found myself scoffing at the stories, knowing that if there had been a competition my four year old would have won in outstanding fashion. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

And That's All I'll Say About That...

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD| And That's All I'll Say

Today, I feel a strange sense of calm and reflective finality. It's like that feeling when you close the final page on a life-changing book that is full of highs and lows but doesn't necessarily have a fairytale ending. I feel as though we're closing a door on cancer for the first time in years. I must note that no one in my house has it and for that I'm incredibly grateful (particularly given I've observed the kind of bravery one requires to navigate its journey and I'm convinced it's not in me) but I've lived relatively closely with it for years, on and off.

Yesterday we said goodbye to one of our dear family members, aged 46, mother of two beloved teenage boys who fought the bravest of battles for twelve years. In February, we said goodbye to my dear friend, aged 41, mother of three beloved children who I was lucky enough to share a wonderful five year friendship with as she battled so galantly. Both had cancer, both were incredibly positive and brave mothers, and both left us with many important life lessons while they were here; lessons that mean even more to us now that they're gone.

So perhaps it's time for cancer to just sod off and give everyone some health and happiness for a while, eh? We need to now focus on the healing of our friends and loved ones who remain, instead of living with the impending grey cloud of sadness, the roller coaster ride of test results, and the private dread that comes with observing (or living with) a terminal illness.

And that is all I'll say about that. Much love to the two special people in my world who are now at peace. Always with us, remembered with love, never forgotten.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Lingering Lessons From Great Ormond Street

IMAGE: MORGUEFILE.COM | Lingering Lessons Of Great Ormond
Wow. Has anyone watched the BBC documentary, Great Ormond Street? It follows the day to day ups and downs of a children's hospital in Britain and it's enthralling and heart - wrenching all at once. If you ever need to re-group and find that sense of appreciation for the fortunate life you lead (if indeed like me, child illness is not a part of your world), this is the program to watch (complete with the aloe vera tissues - you'll need 'em). 

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Legacy Of My Friend, The Warrior Woman

IMAGE: THE MOTHER LOAD | The Legacy Of My Friend, The Warrior Woman

Although I don't feel the usual upbeat sense of creativity and enthusiastic desire to pour words onto the page for the sake of good therapy, I feel it's important to make a note of this time, this strange time I'm living where my dear friend is gone. The house is quiet, there are no random phone calls, emails or text messages containing the usual enjoyable nothingness of our everyday life. There is a void now which was always filled by our wonderful female 'friendship-py' things. And it's that I'm having such trouble getting used to. The quiet. The absence of our daily, often very personal conversations. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Are We There Yet?!! My School Holiday Mantra

Okay - need some serious, urgent school holiday therapy. STAT. Breathe in and out with me. Repeat. A little better, until someone comes and asks me for the 23rd time if they can have a chocolate biscuit. Nonetheless, breathe again.

My kids are officially driving me NUTS. It's mid January and we have exactly 19 days left before the school routine kicks back in.  We're having some nice lazy days at home, getting good rest, sometimes swimming, eating and supposedly enjoying each other's company. While it sounds good in theory, something's wrong - GET ME OUTTA HERE! Who are these noisy, lecherous, demanding creatures who require loud, inane conversation with me at every possibly moment of the day??! A moment's peace - PLEASE!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Back Away From The Mirror (And Other 2013 Resolutions)

IMAGE: THE MOTHER LOAD | Back Away From The Mirror
Happy 2013! Our little family has had such a Christmas break this year. It's been so nice spending time at home for a change enjoying a quiet, almost empty city while everyone else is seemingly doing battle in the car park of their favourite beach side destination *wink*. Having a backyard swimming pool for the first time ever made for some lovely, lazy days with good friends, happy children, gallons of sunscreen and most importantly, copious amounts of leftovers. Which gets me to my next point. Given that the New Year is in its infancy, the term 'resolution' is still fresh in my mind and I still feel I have a fighting chance of fulfilling mine despite my continuous attempts to sabotage myself at every turn. This year, I went with the old female favourite: 

"Lose weight, get some exercise and eat less.". 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Employment, Child Care And The Ultimate In Mother Guilt

IMAGE: THE MOTHER LOAD | Employment And Childcare

 I was chatting to a girlfriend recently who is the Mum of an eighteen month old little boy and she mentioned that she was toying with the idea of returning to work, under the right circumstances. It made me remember what it was like making similar decisions 8 years ago when Miss O was the same age. For me, the decision was like solving one of those annoying puzzle tile things where you have to shift each tile around the box in order to reveal the big picture.