Thursday, September 24, 2009

Clean up begins

Dear South Australian Farmers, I'm extremely very sorry that I'm using precious water to rinse away your equally precious top soil. I dearly wish that it wasn't glued to the car by the one mil of rain we got the night before the dust storm, and the usual daily sprinkling of possum wee that I receive when I park under our Paperbark Tree. If I could think of a way to send the soil back to you I would do it.All is back to normal today after the excitements of yesterday. Though I can still taste the dust, and walking across the lawn kicks it up and makes my bare feet filthy. The weather people say that there is potential for another storm this weekend, but that it is unlikely because there isn't any soil left to be blown away. Still, this gives me an excellent excuse not to clean anything for a day or two.

The water people have relaxed water restrictions for a while...
Minister Costa has announced that hoses can be used to clean premises following the recent dust storm. Under Water Wise Rules, hoses with a trigger nozzle or high pressure water equipment can be used to clean vehicles, walls, windows and driveways over the coming week - from the Sydney Water website
Which is good news as the dust is impossible to sweep, it just floats around for a while and then settles somewhere else - if only the same cleaning technique could be used for the inside of the house though. And yes, non-Aussie residents, we do need government permission to hose our own driveways. Sad but true.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dust Storm in Sydney

Woke this morning at about 5am to a sinister apocalyptic sky...Huge dust storm has hit Sydney and a lot of NSW. The screamies are not sure at all, they want to know where the dust came from, and is it a bushfire. Hubby miffed because spotless cars washed two days ago are filthy.
It smells really dusty and everyone is sneezing, even Sebby the spaniel.
Also, because its been so warm we had a lot of windows open last night. Whole inside of house covered in a thin layer of dust as well. YAY. More to clean.
Have to go and get emergency zombie destroying kit ready now. You know. Just in case it isn't a dust storm...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sweet Peas

M' painted ladies are blooming.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

They happen in threes...

OH. MY. GOD. Excuse me, but I'd just like to make the point that SOMEBODY/ANYBODY should have warned me about the things your children dream up to age you faster. I mean seriously. They know I have a High School reunion in a few weeks and after the last week of my life, any lingering smugness that I may just look just a smidge younger than I actually am (let's say 35 rather than 37 years, 9 months and 17 days) has been vaporised.

I am convinced they're doing it on purpose btw (that's trendy youff for By The Way, Diana).

Oh I shouldn't make light of it. That would make me sound like a worse mother than I actually am. You see it was horrible and serious. Miss 3.5 was bitten by a spider. Mmm. Nothing quite like having your husband tell you that your child is hysterical because she has been bitten by a spider that she is describing as black and red and has fang marks in her arm. Trust me interwebs it ages you.

We calmed her down, and whilst hubby hit google for advice, I tried to ease the story of what happened out of her. No easy feat, as anyone who has chatted to a pre-schooler will understand. She was climbing a tree in our front yard, came inside and there was a spider on her, which bit her and she knocked it onto the floor. She is was red and black, but then changed her story and said it was gold with red and black on it.

Meanwhile hubby had done a heap of research, and we knew that if Miss 3.5 had been bitten by a red-back she'd be in serious pain by this point. She clearly wasn't. We kept her calm and under close scrutiny, but once a band-aid had been applied to the bite-mark she continued as if nothing whatsoever had happened. Okay, now with a very healthy respect for creepy crawlies, but fine nonetheless.

See here she is, just fine...
Of course, having two disasters in the space of a week (see below for visit to hospital story) has led to many many people kindly pointing out that these things happen in threes.

Weeeelll - as Sam from Bewitched used to say - actually the spider thing technically could be counted as our third disaster of the week. We did have another one. A poo disaster.
A poo disaster involving my personal nemesis - the playground equipment at McDonalds.

Many of you will remember the incident at McDonalds where Miss 3.5 took off all her clothes and refused to come down from the highest heights of the McDonalds play equipment. Full horrible story here. We do not eat Maccers much, but lately hubby was lured back by the McAngus burger.

Everything was going smoothly and so when Miss 3.5 asked to go and play I only hesitated for a split second before saying okay. Well, hubby and I finished our burgers and went to get her. Grinning from ear to ear she whizzes out of the slide and into our arms. Awww. A kodak moment.

Until I glance in the direction of her trousers, and wonder out loud to hubby, "What's that coming out of the top of her pants?" Pretty much at the same moment he says, "What's that smell?"

Oh crap.

We rush her into the bathrooms, and quickly ascertain that this is one that we're not going to fix easily. We stripped off her bottom half, bundled up the clothes and threw them in the bin - trust me, you'd have done the same thing - cleaned her as best we could, wrapped her in hubby's jacket and made a run for it.

I still have the compulsive urge to wash my hands every single time I think of it.

So. One week, three disasters. I've aged.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Urgh - Afternoon at the hospital

I've been having dramas.

Yesterday afternoon I was potting out my tomato seedlings - oh how I want to rant on about my home made potting mix with compost from the worm farm in it - but I shall restrain myself. Barely. Miss 3.5 was playing the swing. She's just learned how to swing herself without being pushed and is as pleased as punch about it all.

Well, I heard an odd thump and glance up to see her in a crumpled heap on the ground. I'd like to say I kept a calm head and walked over to see what the problem was, but no, I sprinted over there, falling over the dog, swearing and yelling at hubby not to pick her up.

She'd fallen off the swing. She was swinging very high, and when she was at full height from the ground she'd let go - It was a two metre drop and she'd landed on the back of her neck. My god. There is no reality check like seeing your child lying on the ground. Not screaming or crying, just still and pale. She didn't fully lose conciousness, but was kind-of drifting in and out for a few minutes. After about five minutes she wanted to get up. I was fussing about neck injuries, but she wouldn't stay still.

Anyway, we got her inside on the couch in front of the fire, but 45 minutes later she was still a dreadful shade of white and listless - so off to the emergency department we went.

The emergency staff at Hornsby Hospital were awesome. They kept her under observation for four hours, checking her eyes and whatnot regularly, but as time went on it was clear she was improving. Her colour came back and her main complaint was that she was hungry - as they wouldn't let her eat or drink. She'd been complaining about a headache and chest pain to me, though she wouldn't admit it to the nurses - so I was so glad to be there, just in case something developed.

After hubby fed Miss 5 he brought her down and we ended up in the pedes ward with both girls tucked up in the bed together and us sitting and watching the goings on in an emergency ward on a Wednesday night. This kid, I'd say 13 or 14, in the bed next to us had come in, barely able to breathe with asthma and had not improved so they'd decided to put in a drip to get more steroids into him, but his parents weren't there. Where were they? Gone out to dinner - I ask you. Suddenly it felt like I wasn't doing such a bad job after all.

They discharged us at about 9.30pm, and we all came home and had a feast of warm milk and peanut butter sandwiches and then fell into bed. When I woke up this morning everyone was in bed with me and I hadn't even been disturbed when they arrived!!

Miss 3.5 is doing well this morning. She's insisted on going to pre-school, but we're picking her up in an hour as she really should be at home.

I'm not one for moralising or pontificating on about the things our children teach us about the world and ourselves. So let's just say that I've realised I'd rather have a child that thought my cooking was "disgusting" than no child at all. :)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Parenting FAIL - again

My children are impossible. Completely and utterly impossible. Please excuse me whilst I rant...

I spent two and a half hours cooking dinner this evening. We had the most beautiful piece of prime rib and I wanted to make the most of it. It was intended for Father's Day dinner, but we ran out of time, and so I promised to do it today. Having baked some madelines for afternoon tea, because I promised Miss 3.5 that I would, I got the prime rib into the oven, reduced some home made beef stock from the freezer for a red-wine gravy, chopped up the pumpkin, potatoes, sweet potato and parsnips, made cauliflower cheese and my piece-de-resistance... made teeny weeny yorkshire puddings in a mini-muffin tray. I knew the kids would just love them.

Now you see why it took so long! Also in the middle of all that I made some yoghurt, tidied up, ran the dishwasher twice and did the washing up as I went along.

It all came together perfectly at the end. Well apart from me being still dressed in sneakers, velour trackky pants, the t-shirt I slept in and my fleece jacket (inside out as it turns out, which must have amused all the neighbours who chatted to me this morning when I was in the front garden). I'd wanted to get all dressed up, because such a spectacular meal deserves dressing up, and I was going to get out some tea-light candles and have some wine and it was going to be lovely and civilised.

So, I called everyone in for dinner, and they charged in like a herd of elephants screeching and whining and running around, and for some reason best known to herself Miss 3.5 is under the table screaming about something. They're asking me what 's for dinner and telling me they don't like it and refusing to sit down and I was trying to serve so it was still warm and nobody had set the table. And they were fighting about who was going to sit where and hassling the dog.

And all of a sudden it was too much. I'd had completely enough of my screaming whining family for whom I work day and night, and - like any mother - make sacrifices on an hourly basis. I was feeling used and taken advantage off, and just like Cinderella only there was no Prince and there never ever would be. So I threw a tantrum of my own.

"Enough," I bellowed. Flinging my oven gloves across the kitchen. "I have had enough you ungrateful shits. Do you have ANY IDEA AT ALL how f*king hard it is to produce a meal like this." Then I stormed off and refused to come out of my office until hubby crept in waving a glass of merlot at me. The merlot had a bug in it, but I drank it anyway.

By this stage the kids had eaten and were playing happily - apparently going to the aquarium to meet Santa - as you do, and hubby was finishing off the last of the washing up. So I was left to watch Talking Heads on ABC1, sip my wine and contemplate the fact I'd called my children ungrateful little shits - which, I believe is the honest truth, but that phrase is going to come back at me, its only a matter of time, and said f*king (again).

Well, as cool calm parenting goes, I've failed once again. And I'm wondering if I'll ever get it right. Pre-schoolers are such hard work. Mine fight endlessly, neither is ever happy about anything, and its like the bad times go on for ever with so few good times in between.

They're both at school next year. I'm trying really hard to treasure this time we have left at home all together. But to tell the truth, I'm actually hoping-to-god that our best years are yet to come.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Snipping of the Fluffy Dice - the revenge

Happy Father's Day everybody, hope yours wasn't completely unbearable. Right, enough platitudes, I feel like I'm on a bandwagon.

Father's Day did not feature at all in my childhood - simply because it wasn't my mothers cup-of-gin. However in the last couple of years I have inserted it into my own family's calendar, just because of all the advertising made me realise I was missing something in my life, something that could be bought from Bunnings or DJs or Myer. Oh alright. I inserted it into my own family's calendar because...
  1. It means I can demand expensive presents on Mother's Day,
  2. It means I can buy hubby some t-shirts that Are NOT Grey,
  3. Because Hubby is a great Dad and I think the kids and I should acknowledge the patience and sacrifices he makes for us without ever expecting anything in return. YES. There it is. I've said something nice about him. Wait, was that a cold chill? Did hell freeze over? Of course not. That's not going to happen until I show a certain someone (let's call him DW) my breasts.
Anyhoo, I'm sure you're all gagging to know how the testicless one is. Er, no not hubby (yet - snigger). The dog. Sebby.

Picked him up from the vet yesterday morning where, upon seeing me, he threw himself upon the floor - legs in the air to better display his brazilian - and started the most ear splitting yelping. Alarmed vets abandoned their appointments and came hurtling into the waiting room to see what the hell was going on. Of course it was only me. One of the vets checked him over to make sure he was okay and then the dog was deemed a Big Girl's Blouse.

Sebby however had not yet made his point. He sprinted from the vet to the other person in the waiting room - a burly bloke with a fluffy bunny - and made friends, licking and wagging and admiring the bunny and all big spaniel eyes begging to take him home because SHE is the EVIL ONE and who know what she'll be amputating next - maybe with her TEETH. Then he looked at me and started the yelping thing again (the dog, not the burly fellow).

Yes. Clearly I was the one to blame.

After he'd calmed down a bit - shut up long enough to get to the car - I whisked him home and administered love, strokes and food - most of which was barfed up on the kitchen floor. He was pretty quiet and slept a lot, but started to perk up in the evening. The yelping only happened on one more occasion (and this was when he got into next-doors back yard and had to be passed over the fence to safety from their boisterous Kelpie).

This morning was, of course Father's Day. And to celebrate I was doing my famous (at my house anyway) chocolate breakfast - hot chocolate, chocolate croissants, nutella on waffles etc... Sebs watched proceedings for a bit from his mat, and when he judged that the entire family was present and enjoying the heady aroma of chocolate and baking croissants, he positioned himself under the table and with a small grunt, produced the most offensive smelling poo I have ever encountered.

End of breakfast.


Friday, September 04, 2009

Cute huh?

Sebs at the beach after slightly misjudging size of wave.
He was off on a playdate with wonderful Peta and her two beautiful boxers Ham and Pearl.He rather fancies Pearl - that's the lovely lass on the right. Rather more than is seemly. So, today he's off for the snip.

Bye balls.

I wonder what happens to them after they're snipped off? Made into a coin purse or something I suppose.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

New Lappy

It has been pointed out to me that perhaps the rest of the internet is not as thrilled by pictures of lettuces as I am. sniff. I find this extremely difficult to believe. Extremely. Next you'll be telling me that photographs of my clean laundry pile, or before and after shots of my desk when I'm in tidying mode are equally mundane. Pfffft. As if.

So, you have suffered with me through the loss of lappy. Well, disaster upon disaster and the billion year old computer that I was using to replace lappy had spat the sodding dummy as well. Bastard. Hubby is still job-hunting and finances are tighter than a rodents behind around here. The plan had been to hold off on buying anything except take-away food, ice-cream, chocolate, alcohol, waygu beef and gadgets that fit into the cigarette lighter of the car etc... until hubby was once more gainfully employed. BUT, faced with the prospect of sharing hubby's half-size laptop that is still not quite right after he poured a cup of coffee into it, we realised that a new laptop for me was going to be less expensive than a divorce and the resulting counselling bills for the children.

So, I am now in possession of a MacBook. Yes. Not only is it a new lappy, but we've gone to a Mac. Why? Actually I have no idea why. The discussion about what to buy went kind-of like this... (kind of)

Me: Stupid bloody f*king bloody wretched half-assed bloody machine
Hubby: I think its borked
Me: Har, har, har. Also, don't mess with me, I'm doing re-writes and PMT is approaching along with a full moon...
Hubby: No, seriously, its borked.
Me: Did you know Bron keeps misreading borked for corked and having a drink when I write in on the blog? I'm going to have to start timing putting up my posts better (not at 6am). OMG THE BLOG THE BLOG. Will I ever be able to update it again? (this is where I went from denial to er nial, or something. Hmm. That sounded funnier in my head).
Hubby: Calm down
Me: No, waaah, pass me chocolate, waaah.
Hubby: You are on a diet
Me: AND SCREW WEIGHTWATCHERS - this is a disaster. You get extra points for disasters. I read it somewhere.
Hubby: Its time for a new laptop
Me: (Calming quickly) What sort of laptop?
Hubby: Well you could get a Dell, or another Benq
Me: Do they come in purple?
Hubby: Er
Me: If you were me what sort of computer would you get yourself?
Hubby: Well a Macbook, without question, they are the best.
Me: So that's not good enough for me? Hmm?
Small bickering session ensues with hubby getting defensive and me taunting him about walking so easily into that one - I mean you've been married to me for six years now love, and that was a seriously amateur mistake.

So, I have my macbook. Its very lovely, but not having really used a mac properly since around 1987, I'm not yet up to warp speed. Also its quite easy to delete things on a mac. Who knew if you put the shortcut for the program in the trash it deleted the whole thing and then your husband had to be all 'ner ner nee ner ner' before he reinstalled it. Ahem.

On a serious note...

Writers; twice in the last month I've nearly lost access to all my work. However I use to automatically back up all my work to the internet. It is FREE and EASY and has saved my sanity, my marriage etc... Use it to back up your precious manuscripts. That is all.