Friday, October 10, 2014

Daily Positive - Sheila

Back when I used to work in a bookshop, I worked with a lovely lady named Sheila. Sheila was divorced, lived with her cat Ollie and loved to read. She read spiritual books, new release novels, pretty much anything. Sheils had no pretensions about things she did and did not know. I learned some huge lessons from her that I'm sure she never had any idea she taught me.
  • Sheila was humble and unafraid to show it. She showed no ego about being blown away by things that others would find mundane.
  • Generous. She would write you a note because she was thinking of you. She'd bring you a book to read if she thought you'd enjoy it, even if you'd be challenged by it. She'd bring you a plant cutting from her garden because she thought you'd like it. Wonderful, yes?
  • Curious. If Sheils didn't know something she'd ask you all about it, in a simplistic 'Wow, I had no idea. Tell me more about xyz, or more specifically, why is the xyz about the xyz?'
  • She also had a wicked, dirty sense of humour that seemed so at odds with her religious beliefs but were absolutely hilarious.
  • Sheila was so honest about her feelings, yet also delightfully tactful. I never wanted to disappoint her because she respected everyone so greatly that I always wanted to show her the same respect. In a society where it's often easier to gloss over that someone has hurt your feelings, or express it in a passive aggressive way, Sheila's simple yet workable approach was such a breath of fresh air. The environment that we worked in often left me guessing as to where I stood with my superiors, but never with Sheils.
Unfortunately Sheila stopped working with us at the bookshop after a back injury. I haven't seen her since I was pregnant with Millie, and she didn't have the internet when I last saw her. I hope she's well, I think of her often.

Is there someone in your life who inspires you? Why?

Totally unrelated to this, but I wanted to know - do you care if there's a picture in a blog post? I don't because I tend to read blogs on my phone and pictures never flow properly in an RSS feed. What do you think?

Very related to this: I think my Daily Positive posts need a name. Any ideas of something snappy?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Daily Positive

A few months ago I deleted Facebook off my phone, un'followed' all my 'friends' on Facebook, forgot my Twitter username and turned my phone back into a phone. It was glorious for a few weeks. I still haven't put FB back on my phone nor found my way back to seeing what everyone ate for lunch, all the time. But I've been dipping back in to finding 'things' to 'do' on my phone.

I read an entirely fabulous book called 'Enough' by John Naish at the beginning of this year. I then promptly loaned it to L, she loved it, I got it back from her, read it again. And then I started reading it again. He waxes lyrical about our society's obsession with celebrity, linking it back to our primal ages when if we heard about someone's exploits or success - we probably knew them. It makes sense to me.

So I try to not be so involved in the world of people I don't know and more involved in the world of the very few very awesome people I DO know. However, I still love Project Runway and other escapism television shows. I'm pretty sure I saw every episode of 'Kim and Kourtney take New York' complete with 72 day marriage and Kourtney's obsessive coupon clipping.

I still love to read the news. I refresh several times per day and it has really started to grate on me. I have begun to grate on me. Sheesh. But are getting Mamamia'esque in the clickbait headlines and I can't quite stand it anymore.

Surely there's some good daily positive news kicking around?

A quick google search revealed Dale Partridge's Daily Positive. Partridge is an entrepreneur, father, husband, and maintains a wicked beard. He reminds me a little of JB Glossinger's Morning Coach. I was a subscriber and lover of Morning Coach for years, and then I dipped out and dipped back to find it a paid platform - hardly surprising given that Glossinger was transparent about his desire to be a millionaire in a given timeframe.

Dale Partridge's articles are so concise and I love his storytelling style. I am not a religious type, so the fairly frequent God mentions do turn me off a little bit... but it's not stories about mutilated humans like the newspaper so I can live with it.

This week I watched and LOVED Felicity's Mental Mission on iView. She was so transparent about her mental health journey and her obvious empathy to others in similar positions was so difficult to watch without sobbing along to the iPad whilst doing the dishes. Felicity is terribly inspiring and has inspired me to be the positive I want to read about. No frequent refresh clicks, but having my own mission to find and share happiness and positivity can only be good for everyone, right?

Sidenote: I couldn't have been prouder to see my cuz, Chris Wagner being interviewed by Felicity. I know that both of our Dads would have been so chest puffingly proud to see Chris making a difference in his new role at the Mental Health Council of Australia.

So today I point you toward Dale Patridge.  Enjoy his gentle words and stories. What will tomorrow bring?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A short break in transmission...

We are all sick at the moment. Pip has a middle ear infection (the dead giveaway was screaming in her sleep whilst holding her ears), Mil has a random snotty cough and cold. Two days later my throat began to burn... thanks kids. Now Mr S is falling downhill too.

It's a quiet time to the outside world here and I'm exceptionally thankful for ABCKids. I however am here to point you towards some beautiful and thought provoking writing.

Daniel is a musical friend from way back when. His band played at my album launch, and mine at theirs. We shared stages and songs for a very long time. He released a solo album this year, and whilst I'm still yet to get my hands on it (Sorry mate, I'm very slack sometimes) I've heard bits and pieces and it's beautiful.

His writing is also sublime. Short snippets that pack a punch. Make you think. Make you smile. Grab a coffee and pull up. I love to read the writings of songwriters. It's like hearing songs without the music, yet equally as haunting and beautiful.

Go and check it out here. Meanwhile, send tissues.

Friday, September 5, 2014

FFS Friday - My Co-workers Yell At Me A Lot

  • It's pretty safe to say that now I'm not in the thick of newborn sleep deprivation that I'm struggling a bit with my definition of a Stay At Home Mum. FFS.
  • There's been no posting here because I feel like I should be worried about valid world-changing things like world hunger or genocide. FFS.
  • A fellow blogger called me out on this when I saw him at the shops last week. He suggested to get over myself and push through it. Thanks, Steve. Here you go. NO FFS.
  • Instead I'm over the moon about vacuuming my house daily and how I cleaned my microwave. Is that completely self indulgent? FFS.
  • And before you say 'Raising children is The Most Important Job'... well, don't. I get it, I do. FFS.
  • I wouldn't change a thing about raising children except for I wish I knew how to deal with the epic tantrums that seem to have appeared. FFS.
  • Like, right now Pippa (22 months) is hanging off my leg screaming 'MAAAAAKE! MAAAAKE! CUUUDDDDLLLLE!' and then running off to watch The Octonauts. FFS.
  • I took the two handfuls of playdough off her that she had swiped from Playgroup and fallen asleep clutching in the car. FFS.
  • It's a pretty strange feeling that I'm not just wading through motherhood on sleep deprivation and coffee fumes anymore. My kids sleep at night and so do I. Except when I can't sleep because I've drunk too much coffee because OMG tantrums. FFS.
  • So, shouldn't I be going back to work for someone else because there's no immediate need (boobs) for me to be at home with my babies? FFS.
  • WAIT. I don't have a job anymore. They made me redundant (NO FFS) and didn't tell anyone so I still fend questions two years on about when I'm coming back to work. Awkward. FFS.
  • So, instead we craft, paint, clean, play and create. It's pretty sweet. NO FFS.
  • We're getting better at leaving the house too. We go to Playgroup every Friday and the girls LOVE IT and I get to talk to grown ups. NO FFS.
  • Lady Pip falls asleep in the car 10 minutes from home afterwards and it's often the Nap Of Death. FFS.
  • Still, it beats staying at home listening to calls of 'Mum, can you get me some food please? I'm hungry.' NO FFS.
  • The dog next door loses her mind when she sees foreign people. Yesterday she barked at me, a tree and some leaves through two fences and my sewing room window for an hour. There is also no nice way to say to your incredibly lovely neighbours 'Your dog hates me and always barks at me. PLEASE MAKE IT STOP.' FFS.
  • I rang Millie's ENT receptionist this week after she sent me an email asking me to call her. It took 10 minutes of her trying to work out why she'd emailed me two days prior. She couldn't open the email attachment I'd sent of a health fund form. If she'd said that I could have resent it two days earlier and saved us both the hassle. FFS.
  • I did a complete freezer inventory of my second 300L chest freezer yesterday. We have enough food for 30 meals in various forms. Thank god, because I have spent the most ungodly amount of money for my food shopping over the past month for some reason. Turns out I'd just been cooking and hoarding an inordinate amount of food. I then made a colour coded list of 'Meals Ready To Go', 'Meals with Minimal Prep' and 'To Be Cooked'. I was overjoyed. NO FFS.
  • When I proudly showed Mr S, he was not as excited as I was. FFS.
  • Thankfully my BFFAARBF Louise was as excited as I was. NO FFS.
  • I have been sewing some cushions in preparation to sell and perhaps begin a crafty business. When I finished one on Wednesday I showed Millie. She said 'OH it's lovely Mummy! Is it for me?' 'No honey, it's to sell.' 'OH MUMMY you are so funny! No one would want to buy a cushion. Who'd buy a CUSHION?! Silly Mummy!' WTF?! FFS.
  • When I relayed this to Mr S that evening, he laughed and got it straight away. Who'd buy a cushion when your Mummy could just make one for you? After all, Mummies make your clothes and can make anything you need, right? We don't buy presents because we can make them! NO FFS. (I'm doing this parenting thing right, after all.)
  • Also, my microwave is SO CLEAN. NO FFS.

Friday, August 1, 2014

FFS Friday - The Business Edition

Short and sweet this week. It's freezing here (FFS) and both girls have snotty noses (FFS). Cuddles are required. But before I lose my train of thought...

M requires a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. FFS.
Whilst she has private health insurance, she hasn't held it for twelve consecutive months yet, meaning that she's ineligible for this surgery in a private hospital without a certificate from her surgeon and our GP saying it's a non pre-existing condition. FFS.
I prefer the public hospital anyway. NO FFS.
But their waiting lists are known for being atrocious. FFS.
With this in mind we put the request form for her surgery the day she was given it.
I called the next day to make sure that the form made it's way to the right people. The response was 'Well M'am, if you put it in the box we would have it. OK?' FFS.
Fast forward to yesterday. Four weeks after I'd called and we hadn't heard anything. I called again, got put through to a lovely lady who couldn't find M in the system anywhere. She offered to call me back immediately after she'd done some research. NO FFS.
She called me back about three minutes after we hung up. 'I'm so sorry, but I've just been downstairs to double check and your form was still in the box. It's been there since you put it in there. I've added her to the waiting list now and I've backdated your request. Did you happen to take the tape off the box opening to put your form in?' 'Nope.' 'Ah. Well, I'm sorry about the mix up.' FFS.
I'm glad it's not urgent surgery. Perhaps the public servant who condescendingly told me 'Well M'am, if you put it in the box we would have it.' COULD HAVE CHECKED. FFS.

In June I subscribed to RedPawPaw, a new Australian business offering a box of grocery sample products delivered for $5. Sure! Why not? It was fun getting a big box of groceries. NO FFS.
I am so old. FFS.
The second box from RedPawPaw took an extraordinarily long time to arrive, and the company doesn't answer their phones and wasn't replying to their Facebook page queries. FFS.
Towards the end of the month with no tracking number available my parcel arrived via Australia Post, not a courier as explicitly stated. FFS.
Mighty first world inconvenience - AP parcels need to be signed for and picked up. Courier comes to my door. FFS.
Filled with glossy printed brochures, the RedPawPaw box looks lush and high end. NO FFS.
What is FFS-Worthy is the email that arrived the week after the last box, stating that due to high demand they were relaunching in two month's time. And then the email saying that due to customer complaints they were changing their delivery partner (to Australia Post). They also stated that they would unfortunately have to pass on their delivery cost. FFS.
This brings the new cost from $5/month to $19.25/month. FFS.
No no, it's cool. You can cancel. NO FFS.
So I did. NO FFS.
Then overnight I got an email thanking me for my continued business and a receipt for the charge of $19.25 for my August box. FFS.
They aren't answering their phones. FFS.
Nor replying to questions on their Facebook page. FFS.
I have cancelled my box again on their website. FFS.
Who knows what will happen next? FFS.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ParentRadar (tm)

I like to imagine that in most family homes the children can be calm and collected. Then a little jolt zaps them and their ParentRadar (tm) has been switched on.

No idea what I'm on about? I'm sure you're lying, or instagramming a prettier version of the truth.

Let me walk you through it. Grab a coffee folks, let's go.

In my house the ParentRadar (tm) is activated when my children hear me talking on the phone, closing the bathroom door, taking off my glasses to go to sleep at night, going to get a piece of firewood from outside or attempting to make conversation with Mr S. It is not activated when I cook in the kitchen, hang out the washing, vacuum the house, go and stand by their beds to say goodnight when they are asleep, or make a cup of tea.

Recently ParentRadar has been activated when they see me pull on my workout gear. A 7 minute workout last week wound up with both children crying after 2 minutes. This morning I got up at 5am after M crept into our bed at 4.55am (THANK YOU FOR LEAVING THEIR BEDROOM DOOR OPEN MR S, IT WAS DELIGHTFUL LISTENING TO BOTH YOU AND M SLEEPING IN MY BED.) and decided to go for a run.

I cooked the porridge, hopped in the shower. Pippa's ParentRadar (tm) was immediately activated and by the noise she was making when I got out of the shower, she'd been awake for a while. The weather turned rainy and I still planned to go out, but the galeforce winds changed my mind.

I decided to do a Fitball workout instead. I found the DVD, pumped up the Fitball and put the DVD in the player. It made a REALLY strange noise. I asked Pip if she'd put anything in the DVD player... I was met with 'Ummm..... Mum.... ahhh.... Ummmmm...' I discovered a paddlepop stick in there. Pliers in hand, stick removed, I began the DVD.

Approximately two minutes in, Pip lost her mind because I wouldn't give her the Fitball. This kept on for a few more minutes until she realised she could do this.

Extra resistance

Rider aboard, I kept doing my pushups and supermans. We then sat on the Fitball doing reaches and lunges. I thought 'Oh my god, my quads'. Pip said 'Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!'

Everyone was happy. M was doing the workout with me, then ran past me, tapped the ball, tripped over her own feet, on to her nose. 'OUCH MY NOOOOOOOOSE NOOOOOOOSE OWWWWW'. Pip was unhappy again that I wouldn't let her take the Fitball. 'NOOOOOO MUM MUM NOOOO'.

18 minutes of workout. Every child screaming. Mr S looking a bit worse for wear. But truly, ParentRadar (tm). Has anyone got an antidote?

Friday, July 25, 2014

FFS Friday - A Comedy of Errors

It is 9.39am here as I tap away on my computer. The girls are entertaining themselves with a puzzle and a wind up mobile. Let me tell you about the last two days as I laugh hysterically on the edge of sleep.


The girls are both in filthy moods all day. There's snatching of toys, raised voices, throwing self on floor tantrums and surprisingly none of those behaviours were mine. After swearing black and blue that she does not need a sleep M crashes out in the beanbag for 40 minutes. P has an unusually long sleep and looks a bit worse for wear when she wakes up. I realise that perhaps she is coming down with a cold or tonsillitis again. I hope not. Tomorrow is my six hours of freedom of daycare.

Overnight M wakes up twice saying her throat hurts and winds up sleeping in our bed wearing no pajamas but instead a sparkly princess dress. Sure.


P looks awful when she wakes up and appears to have a fever. I hope that she's just warm from sleeping. She refuses to eat breakfast, and throws a few epic tantrums over life ruining events like "Daddy won't let me eat my cereal standing in front of the stereo". Half an hour before we leave for daycare I check her temperature again and sure enough, it's 38.3, up from the 38.1 when she got up.
We have a discussion about the correct days of the week to get sick. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday are fine. The day in uneventful and P accompanies me to the Dr for my appointment. She is ok for now, but her throat is pretty red and we have a script at the ready.

Overnight M wakes twice. Mr S brings her into our bed where she promptly sets up camp on my side of the bed and Mr S goes bACK TO SLEEP. P IS SITTING ON MY LAP as I am typing. Can you tell?


At 5am P WAkes up AND I RESETTLE Her and decide that I might as well stay awake as P's bottle leaked all over my dressing gown and ergo, leaked all over me. I'm cold and I calculate the odds of an uninterrrupted shower and a hot cup of coffee are pretty good. I decide that's a stupid idea and I could have more sleep. I go to get back into bed and discover M snoring on my side. Shower and coffee it is.

I shower in peace, have a hot cup of coffee whilst watching the Commonwealth Games. I decide to put some wood on the fire and get the porridge going. This is when my day gets laughably interesting.

The fire smokes somewhat and after putting the wood on the fire I head off to the kitchen to get the breakfast started. Suddenly the smoke alarm starts binging away madly. It's not the one in the dining room (near the fire) but the one right next to my bedroom. Where everyone is sleeping. I race through the house and wave a cushion at the smoke alarm hollering 'IT'S OK IT'S OK' to Mr S and Millie. I poke my head around the door and explain briefly what happened. M is shaken but has several explanations of Fireman Sam and what she would do if there was a real fire. As Mr S tells M that Fireman Sam won't be coming because he has realised we were just having a practice, M explains to us both that Fireman Sam isn't real, he's just on TV. I tell them both to go back to sleep and go back to the couch with my coffee.

Twenty minutes later I hear M still chatting to a half asleep Mr S. I encourage her to come out the lounge with me to let Daddy sleep. He grumbles that his alarm will go off in two minutes anyway... but still manages to bring himself to closing his eyes for another half hour.

M and I settle down to breakfast ("I DON'T LIKE PORRIDGE MUM I WANT CEREAL PLEASE") and watch the Rhythmic Gymnastics. Mr S strolls through to the shower giving me a "TV with breakfast?" eyebrow. M immediately abandons her breakfast in favour of a shower.

P wakes up and demands breakfast immediately. I'd hope so after the sum total of the food she ate the day before was a cookie, a banana, a bite of sandwich and a few crackers. M is getting dressed (again) after her shower and I try to make P's breakfast before M realises that she is eating the abandoned breakfast.

Too late.

P snarfs her breakfast, M snarfs her breakfast. P throws a tantrum when I don't encourage her to use a peeled banana as a rolling pin. M throws a tantrum when I don't let her have her dummy "BUT I AM SO TIRED" (THEN YOU SHOULD STAY IN YOUR BED AT NIGHT AND SLEEP).

I attempt to put away Mt Washmore after vacuuming, dishes, bathroom clean and making the beds. P finds me to tell me 'No more wateer?'. I foolishly think that she's drunk it all. Thirsty girl! I make my way back to the loungeroom for more clothes to put away when I see that the water is actually all over the couch. Remove couch cover. Blot couch with towel.

Hey Mr S, let's buy a cream microfibre couch. Yes, we don't have kids.
Only idiots would have a cream couch with kids.
We'll totally not still have this couch by the time we have kids.
We now own two rotating couch covers.

M is yelling for me from the bathroom. Sit down and talk her through her morning ablutions, help her get dressed again. She is screaming and I'm not entirely sure why. She scraped her knee on Sunday and she says at top volume that it is HURTING HURTING HURTING. Continue with the washing.

P finds me and I realise she needs a nappy change. Go to change her nappy, Mr S announces that he is leaving and can't wait for me to change Pip before he has a cuddle. Sure thing. They play a game on the bed and I take over Mr S's part in the game. At the punchline of the game P looks at me like I'm an idiot.

We agree that Mummy is indeed an idiot and I get back to the washing.


I finally finish the washing, which took a surprisingly long time given that it was only half a load. FFS.

I head to the kitchen to do the dishes where I am found and repeatedly asked the following question and I'll let you decide who is who (whom is whom? Whatever.):
'Mum? May I have a cookie please? And a macaron?'

We agree that after I've done the dishes they may have ONE cookie or ONE macaron each, not both. It takes a few more reiterations of this before the message is clear.

One cookie is had by each child and parent. I hang up the next load of washing. I have also sat in front of the couch drying it with my hairdryer.

Coffee again.

It's now 10.11am and I have been out of my chair four times to witness M putting together the same six piece puzzle by herself 'AWESOME WORK! HIGH FIVE!' and winding up the music box for P 'MUM WORK WORK WORK'. I am about to hit up another coffee.

May I also just mention that Mr S asked me to bake 'A lot, like LOTS of treats' for his staff on Stocktake Day. I did.

He told me when he got home that day that they weren't actually arriving until 3pm. He also 'forgot' the macarons. I know he doesn't like them, but I don't really either and I thought his workmates would enjoy them. FFS.

I gave the macarons to my neighbours last night. They said they were lovely.

Yours in Fridays,


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Really Useful Things

When we need something like this, it's usually 3am and Mr S and I are tag teaming the sick kids and medication thereof. We have a hastily scribbled piece of paper on the bench for each kid detailing their dosage and times of paracetamol, ibuprofen, antibiotics or all of the above. Don't forget the teething gel too.

Usually we sleepily mutter 'It's Nurofen time' to the awakened parent, but I thought that there needed to be a better. So, demonstrating that I am still a graphic designer at heart, here is my hastily put together (THE KIDS ARE SLEEPING AT THE SAME TIME OMG) Medication List printable.

I've put two sheets on each page, so you can fill out the relevant information and have a few on hand. There's some pretty basic stuff on there too, like name, age and weight. I'm hoping that you can remember these things off hand, but in a pinch or emergency it is so handy to have this right in front of you in bold type. It's pretty basic, but I know I'll be reaching for it if my girls both go down with illness at the same time. Again.

I've got a few more Really Useful Things to put into a printable format for y'all - so stay tuned.

Until then, I hope your kids are really quite well and you never need this.

Click on the image above to download, or click here.

Think this is Really Useful? Please pin it!

Friday, July 18, 2014

FFS Friday - The Kid's Show Edition

Norman Price

The main protagonist on Fireman Sam, Norman Price, is a young 'mischievous' lad who makes trouble at every turn. Station Officer Steele is the only character with any sense who wishes to 'set him straight' whilst his mother Dilys mutters things about him being a good boy, truly. It's also what I imagine the mothers of misbehaving rugby players must say. Also, the closing credits to The Great Fire of Pontypandy state 'It's the safest place we know, Pontypandy by the sea' - LIES. It's clearly NOT the safest place if there's a fire every day requiring the help of expert firemen. And whilst I'm at it, I'm surprised Elvis and Mandy haven't taken out Sam on the quiet. They seem to be competent firemen but Sam's always there barging in to fix everything. FFS.


I have grown to enjoy the 'new' Wiggle line-up. Lady P is somewhat Wiggle obsessed and comes sidling up to me saying 'Mum? Wiggles PWEEEEEASE?'. I find myself humming 'Apples and Bananas' and realise that its 10pm and my kids are nowhere in sight. FFS.

Wiggles vs Tasmanian Tiger

Whilst watching said Wiggles, I heard a song about the Tasmanian Tiger. I was visibly disgusted to see what they used for a Tasmanian Tiger costume. WTF Wiggles? SHAME ON YOU. FFS.

Let It Rain

I live in a high rainfall area. So much so that I haven't watered my vegie garden in months. There seems to be one spot on my deck that does not get wet, no matter how horizontal the rain is. The first I realised of this was Mr S asking 'Amy? Have you been watering the Jasmine plant?'. The answer is no, Mr S, I have not. I have begun watering it, but I noticed it had been moved to the middle of the deck today. Perhaps to catch some of the 30mm/24hr rainfall we've been experiencing. FFS.

Hangry Hangry Hippos

M is a never-ending toddler pit of hunger. Between 7am and 9.30am this morning I was asked 'MUM. I'm hungry. What can I have to eat please?'. After breakfast, which was two courses of cereal, a piece of toast and a drink. I cracked the shits with this and at 9am made two gigantic lunchboxes with the instruction 'When this is gone, you may have something else to eat.' This would usually buy me a few hours, and perhaps by lunchtime I would help them finish up so we can eat lunch. Nope. By 11am 'Mum, I've finished this, may I have something else please?'. OMG FFS.

Reasons My Toddlers Are Crying

Me: 'I asked you if you wanted it cut in a dinosaur shape, and you said yes.'

P: Threw herself on the ground at the park between Mr S and I. Face down in the tanbark, making tanbark angels whilst screaming hysterically. Why? I wouldn't let her drink my latte. I KNOW. FFS.

Is it warm yet?

M loves the warm weather. She loves to splash in her paddling pool and wear as few clothes as possible. Every day for the last month she asks me slyly 'Is it warm yet?' The first few times I fell for it and as it was indeed warm in the house, 'Yes, it is warm.' 'GREAT! Let's get out my blue pool!' Er, no. This was met by much sadness on her part. Now I know that the answer is 'It's nice inside in the sun, but outside it is still winter. It's not warm enough to go swimming outside yet.' But seriously, every single day. FFS.


When she was ill, Lady P was regularly up at 5am in our bed, either screaming or wanting cuddles. She was almost better but still having these 5am jaunts. I was trying to settle her back to sleep and she rolled over, sat up, ripped the covers off Mr S and yelled 'CAKE CUP OCKY'. Immediately we both realised what she was doing. Yep, her own version of 'Wake Up Lochy'. Thank you Wiggles. FFS.

Now, if you don't mind, I've got some Wiggles to dance to.

Friday, June 27, 2014

FFS Friday - Wintery Whining & Customer Service

Wintery Whining

  • It's cold. I know I live 43 degrees south. My freezing temperature is not helped by the load of wood I've currently got, which requires a Very Hot Fire for it to actually burn. OH, the logic. FFS.
  • My house resembles Mt Washmore. I'm into load 2 of 4 or 5 for the day. FFS.
  • I hate folding washing. FFS.
  • It's deceptively sunny outside, which means Millie asks me approximately 5 times per day 'Now it's warmer, can we fill up my little blue pool?' and my answer of 'No, it's winter.' is not met with happiness. FFS.
  • Can I get a weary 'what what?' from my parental colleagues about Threenagers. FFS.
  • In the interest of my personal ethics, I responded to an email about a paid but undisclosed post for the blog with the request of higher payment and disclosure. The client does not do disclosed sponsored posts. FFS.
  • I used to work in newspapers, and that sort of thing HAD to be labelled 'ADVERTORIAL'. FFS.

Customer Service

  • I am huge on customer service. When I worked in retail I was always shocked at how surprised my shop's customers were about the high level of service we displayed. FFS.
  • It shits me that good service is a rarity. FFS.
  • I am the annoying person that rings a business to say what good customer service I had today. NO FFS.
  • I ring Coles Online all the time because their drivers are consistently AWESOME and Coles need to know this. They are doing it right. NO FFS.
  • My driver thanked me and said that he'd been given a box of nice chocolates from his boss for a job well done. NO FFS.
  • I've been trying to source some clear vinyl for a sewing project. It appears to be available in the states, or not at all. Perhaps Spotlight? I haven't tried there yet. I avoid The Big City where possible. FFS.
  • I've been ringing a few small online sewing supply businesses to source said vinyl. One had not returned my call, five days later. FFS.
  • Another did, and was thankfully very helpful. NO FFS.
  • Guess where my business goes next? 

You Like to Laugh at Me (it's ok, I do too)

  • Sometimes Facebook Page schematics do my head in. FFS.
  • I know that I have a loving attentive husband, however it seems that when I bake he is blinded by the delightful scent of freshly baked goods. FFS.

You all on Facebook seemed to like the Ridiculous Spousal Conversation (tm) that ensued this week.
Ridiculous Spousal Conversation of the Day (tm): Mr S: 'Can you please bear in mind that I need food for work when you do the shopping?'Me: 'What do you mean? There's a freezer full of muffins in the laundry.'Mr S: 'You did not tell me.'
Later... I rang him.
Me: 'When I baked you twenty four delicious muffins I SAID 'I will put these in the outside freezer for you. You said 'Okay'. OKAY?'Mr S: 'Okay...'
Never let it be said that I hold a grudge about baked goods.

I'm glad my baked goods, pre coffee frustration is a great source of amusement for everyone.

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bean Bags: A Scrap-Busting Tutorial

My kids are hands on, tactile kids. They love to kick balls, throw stuff and investigate the consequences of each and every action.

I decided to make them some beanbags, in the hopes that perhaps I could make a felt target for the floor and they could amuse themselves for a few minutes with it. I didn't expect the extent of their imagination. The beanbags have been in use for about a week and in that time they've been building blocks, hats, Pip had made them into a bed for her cars and then one was a blanket on top of the cars. In short, we love open ended toys. Gross motor skills, sensory experiences and so on and so forth. Or: they feel really cool in your hands. You can heat one up to fix an ouchie, throw one in the freezer for an ouchie, pile them on top of each other and knock them down. They also look pretty snazzy.

Gather materials

Fabric either 7 inches x 14 inches OR 2 x 7 inches
Wheat to fill the beanbags
Coffee to fill your tired brain
Scissors/Rotary cutter (I rotary cut mine)
Pins/ Safety Pins

Notes: I got my wheat from a local animal supply shop. I got my coffee from my kitchen pantry. I have also heard of people making calico beanbags for their inner beanbags. I didn't do this. The wheat I have used isn't particularly pointy and I used a small stitch to make the seams as durable as possible. If you were making these for very young children or to sell, I would be more inclined to overlock/serge seams as well as perhaps making an inner bag. I think this is a great way to use up odd shapes of material you have kicking around. You could also make a giant patchwork piece of fabric and cut it into the rectangles. Have fun!


1. Cut fabric for your beanbags. I used one piece of fabric per beanbag and cut it 7 inches wide by 14 inches tall. This is going to give me a square beanbag.

I meant to cut just a few... 
2. Wrong sides together, sew around the edges using a small stitch length (2.2mm) and a 1/2 inch seam allowance leaving a gap at the top. Trim your corners as demonstrated to make a crisp corner.

It took me 10 minutes to put the red lines on the picture.
I got Pippa a drink, broke up a toddler fight, got everyone
an apricot ball, explained that when you clean up the toys
we can watch ABC and thought about coffee.
3. Turn your beanbag inside out and press the top gap seam allowance to the inside.

I deliberately took these pics the day after I'd painted my nails.
Take heart that they no longer look like this.

Prepare your beanbag filling area. Take note of the important items.

5. Scoop some wheat into your jug from the bag and holding the beanbag open over the bowl, carefully pour the wheat into the beanbag. Pin the opening closed with one or two pins. This step can be done with toddlers underfoot but is exponentially faster without. That is why there are no pictures of this step.

A visual of how much I filled my bean bags.

6. Sip your coffee and ensure that you drink it before it's cold. Priorities, please.

7. Stitch your opening closed, going back and forth at the ends a few times.

8. Oh my goodness children, stop yelling at the cat. Pip, here's your dummy.


I initially meant to sew just a few up and when I began sewing the fabric I'd cut I noted that it was taking an extraordinarily long time. When I counted the cut fabric I'd cut 34 beanbags out. We have a plentiful supply now and I have given some away as a gift. Which brings me to:


I can hear the refrain of 'Humpty Dumpty' coming from my bedroom. Will I be putting a pre-emptive beanbag in the freezer?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mrs Smyth Made This

I stopped writing about craft, and well, everything for a time. My life just didn't seem interesting enough to devote the time to sitting down and collating posts. I was tired and blogging was on the wane for me.

This has started to shift again. I suppose everything has it's seasons and now it's time to write a little bit more. This shift began when I realised that in the past 5 days I have made...

Deer and Doe Plantain with long sleeves

Deer and Doe Plantain with 3/4 sleeves

Bolster cushion for my bed

And I have continued quilting my Marmalade quilt but have run out of thread until I can make another trip to buy some more. I have also begun a charm square mini quilt with M, who asked oh so politely if I could teach her to use my sewing machine. So far she's sewed together three rows of squares, I pressed and joined the rows for her. She's very good at sitting on my lap and patiently guiding her fabric through the machine, keeping her hands well clear of the needle. She knows how to raise and lower the needle and put the foot down. I control the foot pedal and she guides. I'd never leave her alone with my machine, but I'm so proud that she wants to learn to sew.

The Juniper pants by Colette are next. I've had the pattern and the fabric for almost twelve months, but I kept waiting for the next 5kg, or to feel brave enough to try. The time has come where I feel confident, and my only pair of jeans have developed a second hole. It is time. 

What have you been making? Tell me everything.

Friday, June 13, 2014

FFS Friday - Mother, Mediator, Jaw Clencher.

Dear My Dentist,

It's been awhile since I'd visited one of your ilk. In fact, I was unmarried the last time I saw you. In that time I had two babies, which roughly translates to:
3 years of no dental attendance FFS.
3 years of eating after I'd brushed my teeth at night FFS.
3 years of eating high sugary foods, usually in the night FFS.
Drinking far too much coffee FFS.
Not flossing regularly FFS.
However, I do religiously brush twice per day. No FFS.

I'm sorry. I don't know that you are sorry. Perhaps you are sorry on a human level, but I hear your internal cash register ringing loudly.

At our visit this week you were the bearer of bad news. There are four wisdom teeth, three of which need to be removed. FFS.
Two of my molars touch at the top but not at the bottom, making a nice pocket for germs to multiply and cause a cavity. FFS.
Indeed, I do clench my teeth. I suspect it's the stress of mediating two headstrong toddlers all day. FFS.
Yes, I do have TMJ syndrome and yes I have a splint to assist my jaw. FFS.
I do not know where my splint is. It's also about 10 years old. FFS.
You kindly suggested I purchase a Waterpik to assist in the cleaning of said tooth. It costs $160. I was not at all surprised to discover that you conveniently sell them. FFS.
I do not own a Waterpik at this point in time. FFS.
You inspected my teeth, told me all the problems and told me to book back in for a thorough cleaning. I imagined that was WHY I WAS THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. FFS.

We did however get a branded welcome pack. I now own two toothbrushes, mini dental floss, mini mouth wash and two mini toothpastes, for the cost of $250. FFS.

However, my new health insurance saw your inflated bill and came to the party bringing balloons, streamers and a bottle of champers. NO FFS.
So really, it was only a $50 pack of toothbrushes. NO FFS.

My dentist, I will see you in a few weeks time once I've had a Medicare funded 3D jaw xray to assist in the location of my facial nerves before we proceed with talking to surgeon about the removal of my wisdom teeth.

With the money that you extract (PUNTASTICO) from your patients may I make a suggestion?
PLEASE heat your surgery. It's freezing.

Yours in regular flossing,

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

All runs bright and beautiful, all major muscles sore.

All runs bright and beautiful,
All major muscles sore.
Tennis balls and foam rollers,
My lounge room has them all.
Nurofen and frozen peas,
I'm stretching on the floor.
Running shoes gathering dust,
Forlornly at the door.
My friends are running marathons,
and I can't run at all.
My shins ache, my arches burn,
No runner's high at all.

To the tune of 'All Things Bright And Beautiful'. I know, I missed my calling as a jingle writer.

You may recall I 'came out' of the running closet and confessed that I was training for a half marathon, with plans to go to the Sydney Blackmores Running Festival with Sarah.

My BRFAABF (Best Running Friend All Around Best Friend) Louise and I were running 3-4 times per week and all was noodling along nicely. I mean, my shins hurt but if I wore my calf sleeves it seemed manageable. My chiropractor, GP and Physio all muttered about resting and stretching and icing and I was doing most of those things. They also mentioned cutting down mileage, and perhaps not doing a half marathon.

Say what?

Mummy needs endorphins.

I mentioned to my chiro (also a trail long distance runner) that my shins hurt a lot, a lot of the time. As in, I couldn't rest on my shins on the floor and if anyone touched them I felt punchy and stabby. This is apparently indicative of a bigger problem than basic shin splints.

I've had biomechanical issues for quite a few years, lots of iTB problems and hiking injuries. Mostly I put it down to a lack of basic fitness and kept on rolling. I fell in and out of love with regular exercise for years, but this time something clicked. It became important for me to be fit and healthy to keep up with two loose cannons moving toddlers in my life. I realised one day how important it was to me when I jumped up off a chair and sprinted to the top of a park up a steep hill to rescue M from a gigantic slide. It was a great feeling to be able to BE THERE, pronto. I can also chase them endlessly despite it being endlessly boring and bounce up off the floor when needed. I'm active, damnit.

The Mother's Day Classic arrived and despite having been 'on rest' for a week I ran it anyway. At 4km I had a mini-meltdown because it was SO hard, and I've run further than that before. It was a horrible feeling. Louise fed me jellybeans, we put some music on my phone and powered through the last 4km. We clocked in at 1:02 and I promptly came home after lunch and iced, rested, snoozed and took lots of ibuprofen.

My name is Amy and I have shin splints, plantar fasciitis, tight calves, tight iTB and in the words of my (female) chiro, a nasty ass. Read: tight glutes that don't 'fire' properly. I prefer nasty ass.

As of last week I had a good conversation with my chiro and made a decision about my running health.

There will be no half marathon this year, or next year. There will be no running until I can walk 16km per week with no shin pain.

I bought The Five Minute Shin Splint Cure which sounds like a total crock but has diagrams of how to foam roll your shins and legs properly, which was very useful. I also bought Tennis Ball Self Massage which was really quite amazing for me. My chiro looked at me like I was an idiot, but I truly didn't know anything about trigger points for major muscle groups, so for a few dollars these two Kindle books were eye opening for me.

At present my routine goes:

  1. Foam roll shins (front, right, left)
  2. Foam roll calves
  3. Foam roll hamstrings
  4. Foam roll iTB 
  5. Tennis ball anterior shin
  6. Tennis ball interior shin
  7. Tennis ball quads (helps with my knee pain)
  8. Tennis ball arches
  9. Tennis ball calves
  10. Tennis ball any other tight spots
  11. Stretch calves
  12. Stretch hip flexor
  13. Stretch glutes
It's so boring that I watch trashy television or text with Sarah whilst I'm doing it. It seems to be helping.

Once I can walk 16km without pain I'll begin with the Galloway run/walk/run program for tiny amounts, increasing my mileage slowly and steadily.

I'll work up to a 5km run, then a 7km run, then a 10km run. I'll continue that for 12 months so I have a solid running base together, then I'll think about other races. 

I've currently got a pair of these Asics GT-20002 running shoes, and I bought them when my knees were bad. They've got perhaps 100km of running on them, so I'm not looking to replace them any time soon. I know that replacing shoes is usually the first step in dealing with shin splints, but I really want to try everything else before laying down another $200 on shoes.

So there you have it. That's my plan at the moment.

Are you injured? How are you rehabilitating yourself?

Friday, June 6, 2014

FFS Friday - Hidden Vegies and Cider

My fortnight has been a perfect mix of light and dark. In plainer speak, a great mixture of FFS Material and Shiny Things.

Let's go way way back...

  • Last Tuesday morning I was on my way back to bed after resettling Lady Pippa when my iPad and iPhone started binging loudly. And continuing to bing loudly. I couldn't find the blessed iPad and my iPhone was on the dock, next to Mr S's head. I went in to the bedroom to find him staring bleary eyed and very confusedly at the phone. 'Make it stop! What's going on?' I HAVE NO IDEA.
F**k you.

  • I spent the next hour working out how to unlock my iPad. My iPhone was unaffected because it has a passcode. Rest assured that the iPad now has a passcode. FFS.
  • My children are on a dinner strike. FFS.
  • Pippa's vocabulary is skyrocketing daily. Her response to dinner is 'Yuck'. FFS.
  • I wonder where she learned that, Millie? FFS.
  • I mean, it's fine. NO FFS.
  • Nope, I lied. IT IS NOT FINE. I spent an hour blitzing vegies and making a pasta bake with spaghetti in it because last night's dinner soundtrack was a toddler screaming because the spaghetti 'WAS NOT BIG SPAGHETTI I WANT BIG SPAGHETTI'. So a pasta bake with spaghetti instead. Sure thing. The response: "It's ingusting. So ingusting. I WANT SPAGHETTI.' FFS.
  • Guess who will eat a big breakfast tomorrow because there's no other food anymore. You can get out of bed and EAT YOUR DINNER. FFS.
  • I have started drinking after dinner due to the stress of dinner. Cider is my BFF. NO FFS.
  • Millie is big on sounds at the moment. She spends all day making SOUNDS. Just, SOUNDS. Usually some variation on a raspberry. ALL DAY. FFS.
  • I am still suffering with shin splints and ITB injuries, plantar fasciitis and various upper back issues related to carrying heavy toddlers around and being tall. FFS.
  • My girls lie down on the floor with me, do their 'strachies', steal my tennis balls (plantar fasciitis) and my foam roller (ITB and shin splints) and try to eat my frozen peas (ice pack for shins). FFS.
  • They won't eat cooked peas so I'll take what I can get. NO FFS.
  • Pip's new favourite sound is her version of a siren, which is somewhat both ear splittingly loud in volume and quite an... unusual sound. FFS.

  • Millie's favourite song is "Roar" by Katy Perry. In case you're not sure of what is is, here you go.
  • We listen to it at least a few times per day. Pip was standing behind me when I was putting music on Spotify this week saying 'Oh oh oh oh-oh OH OH OH' and I wasn't sure what she was saying... then I realised she wanted to listen to "Roar". Child musical genius. NO FFS.
  • There are far worse songs with far worse messages that my children could want to listen to. NO FFS.
  • My third toddler (THE FREAKING CAT) refuses to sleep in past 5.30am if one of the two occurs: 1) Her food bowl is empty or 2) She has food in her bowl but wants you to show it to her. I'm getting well trained at sleeping with my fingers in my ears. FFS.

  • It's now three hours later than when I started writing this. I have now been fed, watered and cuddled by my family and feeling decidedly less stabby... this does not make for good writing. FFS.

Friday, May 30, 2014

FFS Friday - Where My Heart Broke For a Stranger

I have the most long winded, whiniest FFS Friday post for you, but now that is for next week.

I will keep this short for you today because I don't think I've got enough words without tears that I could properly explain how I feel about this.

I have two of the most beautiful, kind, generous, cranky, stubborn, happy, bouncy and healthy children. They drive me endlessly crazy, make me endlessly happy and their tiny little hugs and fingers and toes, cheeks and ears and eyes and hair and arms and shoulders make me so squishy and happy inside. They are also two of the healthiest kids around.

(as I type this, one of them is snoring and the other is banging on the wall in an attempt to tell me that she is not tired and does not with to sleep and that her teeth and ears are hurting.)

There was a little boy named Leo who suffered from Rhabdomyosarcoma, a form of childhood cancer that I know nothing about. You can find some info here. His family have a Facebook page set up to document his well-being as well as connect with caring people.

His family are friends of a friend, and I checked in from time to time to offer support and see how Leo was faring. Today, they posted this and my heart just broke.

This afternoon we said goodbye to Leo. While his Granny, Uncle Jade and Aunty Anna prayed over him, Leo breathed out and just didn't breath in again. We know our family will be re-united in Heaven but right now, as parents, we are utterly heartbroken.

I cried and cried. Leo is around the same age as my kids and I cannot fathom what it would mean to watch one of them suffer an incurable, painful illness and to watch them lost their battle. Not even a little tiny bit.

I'm a huge supporter of The Kid's Cancer Project. If you can spare $5, send it their way. I would love to help ensure that no parents or carers ever have to experience what the Fogarty family are experiencing right now.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dot Points.

In lieu of a proper post (as if I do those anyway) here's my life in dot points.

Drinking : Black tea, coffee, decaf coffee, decaf tea, water. Oh, and the yummy yummy Strawberry Lime Rekorderlig.
Reading: I've just finished 'Running and Stuff' by James Adams. It's one of the most enjoyable books about running I've read.
Wanting: Sleep. Sewing time. Quiet time.
Looking: at the girls eating pasta with tuna and watching a movie.
Playing: hair washing games with Pippa. Comprises of Pippa 'washing' my hair with a dry sponge. Feels delightful.
Wasting: Toddler food. Still.
Sewing: I've cut up my Marmalade Fat Quarter bundle to make a me-quilt using this pattern. Exciting!
Wishing: People would stop turning up at the door when I'm wearing my size 16 preggo trackpants.
Enjoying: Caitlin Park's album, The Sleeper. Beautiful.
Waiting: For my runjuries to heal.
Liking: My new chest freezer. I know. Nerdy, right?
Wondering: What sized tubs I could fit in the new freezer to properly categorise the incoming meat?
Loving: Pippa's beautiful hands and feet, and the squeezy hugs she gives everyone.
Marvelling: At the fact that when I was pregnant I fed my body food and it made babies. Way to be weird, bodies.
Needing: Patience.
Smelling: Tuna pasta.
Wearing: Aforementioned trackpants, a comfortable shirt and hiking socks. All glamour.
Following: Toddlers, issuing gentle reminders of cleaning up pipe cleaners and cotton balls.
Noticing: My girls are beginning to look more alike.
Knowing: that everything is okay.
Thinking: About coordinating fabrics.
Feeling: Happy but infinitely thankful that it's almost bedtime.
Bookmarking: Health fund options. Rock and roll. I went with in the end. Their customer service is fantastic and prices amazing. After 12 years with Bupa they wound up making me feel manipulated and fearful for my health if I didn't have cardiothoracic cover. 
Opening: My eyes.
Giggling: At Millie's Millie-isms. She'd like some 'pricewhee' whilst she goes to the toilet, please. 
Feeling: All the feels. Post race endorphins have worn off, pain receptors are firing and I am feeling all the feels.

I leave you with this amazing quote from Kate Gordon's blog - 

'Life can be so many bricks on bricks. They are hard and they are heavy and they are too solid to break. But between them there are slivers of courageous light and it’s in those slivers that, if you squint hard enough, you can see fairies dancing.
Of course, with me, there always has to be fairies.
And you can’t be sad, not really, knowing that there are fairies. And if you don’t believe in them, not any more, just ask my small, sweet girl. She’ll tell you that they’re real. And, when she tells you this, you try and tell me there’s no hope in this world.'

Friday, May 9, 2014

FFS Friday - Cancer Can Bite Me

  • I've been meaning to write a FFS Friday every week since my last one. FFS.
  • I remember at about 12pm (children need food and attention) and 6pm (dinnertime, children need food and attention) and then as I'm climbing in to bed at 10pm (too late, whatever, next week) FFS.
  • I will never be a professional blogger. FFS.
  • Before I continue on my interesting, worthy story plot ranting let me tell you about cancer and how it's touched my life.
  • The biggest one? My dad died from metastatic melanoma in 2007. FFS.
  • Mr S has had two BCCs on his face. FFS.
  • Mr and Mrs S Snr have had various BCCs removed. FFS.
  • My paternal grandmother, Norma, has had breast cancer and mastectomies. FFS.
  • My friend Marija has beaten breast cancer (NO FFS) and is about to become a mother (ABSOLUTELY NO FFS IT IS AWESOME).
  • Friends of friends have cancer.
  • I have just had a mole removed from my back that looked suspicious enough for me to tell me GP, and suspicious enough for her to remove it. FFS.
  • It stings like a bitch. FFS.

Cancer, you can bite me. By the time my children grow up, I want cancer to be in the same sentence as polio, smallbox, rubella and measles. You know, ailments we used to get.

I started running seriously at the beginning of this year. I run for my mental health, I run for cake, I run for wine, I run to get away from my children and I run because I love the feeling of my feet taking me wherever I want, and the promise of there perhaps being a coffee at the end of that run.

This is my BRFAARBF (Best Running Friend And All Round Best Friend) and I after we finished our first race together, the Mona GASP run.
Best. Fun. Ever.

This Sunday is Mother's Day. Instead of a sleep in (HA) and breakfast in bed (HA) we will be sweating, red faced (Louise) and swearing (me) whilst making up new song lyrics about running to popular songs (me, Louise wants no part in that). We'll be running the 8km course of the Hobart Mother's Day Classic. I've set up a little fundraising page and I would appreciate it dearly if you could head over there and kick in a few dollars. Every dollar counts and every dollar means that we could be one step closer to making cancer a preventable illness.

I've helpfully linked all the 'FFS' tags to take you to my fundraising page, just to make it easier for you.

So, let me enlighten you with some of my running FFS, just to keep you amused before you click over to the fundraising page and help me spread the word!

  • I have barely been running for the last two weeks due to horrifically painful shin splints. FFS.
  • My chiropractor, who is also an ultra distance trail runner suggested I not run at all for a fortnight, ice, stretch, foam roll, see a sports physio and get a bone scan for stress fractures. FFS.
  • My GP, who is also a runner, said the same thing. FFS.
  • I lasted 7 days without running before I wanted to stab everyone within a 5 metre radius of me. FFS.
  • The girls have been helping with my ice routine by taking the frozen peas out of the zip lock bag to eat them. FFS.
  • They won't eat cooked peas. FFS.
  • I trod on a soft squashed pea the next day. FFS.
  • On carpet. FFS.
  • The mole I've had removed is stitched up nicely. My Doctor had removed it and was chatting away merrily to me when I saw the needle and stitch thread. 'WHAT ARE YOU DOING?'
    'Putting stitches in. What do you mean?'
    'You have a GIANT hole in your back. You need stitches.'
    'Ok, it's not that big I suppose. It's only 5mm, but it still needs stitches.'
    '5MM OH MY GOD.'
    At which point I buried my head in the pillow and thought about coffee. FFS.
  • It itches. FFS.
  • I have to go back in 10 days and have the stitches taken out. FFS.
  • If it's anything like having my C-Sec stitches taken out (I'm sure it won't be... right?) I want a full general anaesthetic. FFS.
  • I am being a total girl about this, especially in the light of people having mastectomies and having loads more stitches... FFS.
  • I'm quietly terrified it's cancerous. FFS.
  • Before I went to the Dr yesterday I went for a 2.5km run to clear my head. NO FFS.
  • It was awesome. My shins ached for less than 5 mins and then I was flying again. NO FFS.
  • I looked super cool stopping in at the shops, buying milk for Mr S and then delivering it to him on foot, running through the fog holding 2L of milk. It was very very cold. FFS.
  • I need running gloves. Suggestions? 

So, despite my shins, despite the hole in my back, I will be running 8km on Sunday with my BRFAARBF, and my two gorgeous girls and Mr S waiting at the finish line. Then I will hug them and be so grateful that despite my whining and runjuries, I get to run. That's the amazing part. I. Get. To. Run.

Please give what you can and tell your friends.

Here's my official blurb....
I am participating in the Mother's Day Classic and raising funds for breast cancer research. Every extra dollar I raise through fundraising goes towards vital research into the prevention and cure of breast cancer. Along with thousands of Australians nationwide, I will be making a difference on Mother's Day and taking steps to save lives by helping fund breast cancer research. It is through research that we will find a cure. Help out, every dollar can help. Cancer sucks. 

I'd love to see that my children will only know of cancer the way that my generation knows of polio, rubella, smallpox and measles. You can also think of me sweating and swearing it out around the course whilst you're tucked up in your nice warm beds... unless you're there shouting at me to KEEP ON RUNNING WITH YOUR ROBOT LEGS and enticing me with ice cream at the finish line.

Friday, April 11, 2014

FFS Friday - Counting Biscuits and No Sleep.

  • I recently subscribed to Runners World magazine, iPad edition, through Amazon. It is a great read. This month's issue is dedicated to the 2013 Boston Marathon. I read it non stop and realised what a privilege it is to have a working, moving body. NO FFS.
  • I've been paying more attention to my body and actually enjoying moving it. In fact, getting downright non-endorphin'd when unable to run. FFS.
  • M calls them 'Dorpins' or 'Dolphins'. It took us a few days to work out what she meant when she asked Mr S 'Daddy, do you get dorpins from riding your bike?'. NO FFS.
  • She throws a lot of threenager tantrums at the moment. FFS.
  • I thought 'Terrible Twos' was... terrible. It was not. FFS.
  • A lovely young couple have bought the house next door to us and have been renovating a storm before their wedding this week. They are completely lovely. I'm certain they think I'm a stalker, as I offer them cookies, tomatoes, zucchinis. I feel like a bit of a stalker doing it, but it's how we roll in the country. I just have trouble remembering their names, and I mixed it all up again today. I get nervous meeting new people and then I'm pretty much convinced they hate me. FFS.
  • I'm not getting much sleep at the moment. Daylight saving can go and get f... take a running jump. M & P have been greeting the world between 5-6am most mornings. FFS.
  • They're both a bit unwell, and last night went a little like...
    10.30pm: lights out.
    12.30am: M awake. Mr S attends. M asleep.
    2.30am: M awake. Making a strange sound. Realise she's sounding like she's got croup. (FFS!) Mr S brings panadol, a vaporiser and a drink.
    3.30am: lights out.
    5am: P awake. Feed, nappy change and back to bed.
    5.30am: lights out.
    6am: Mr S's alarm goes off.
    6.07am: Mr S's alarm goes off.
    6.14am: Mr S's alarm goes off.
    6.21am: P awakens. Mr S's alarm goes off.
    6.40am: M awakens.

  • M and I baked cookies today. I froze 3 dozen dough balls, baked 2 dozen and gave M a sheet of non-chocolated cookies to decorate with sprinkles. She ate a lot of sprinkles, licked the beater, tasted the butter, tasted both kinds of sugar and lost it when I wouldn't let her eat any more ANYTHING. FFS.
  • We baked them, they cooled, we had one each. NO FFS.
  • We were outside and I noticed that M suddenly had a neverending biscuit. I asked how many she had eaten. She said 5. FFS.
  • Her counting is excellent, but 5 could actually mean 7. FFS.
  • She then threw an awesome tantrum about her socks, her shoes, how neither fit, her feet hurt, she didn't want to go outside, her socks, her shoes, her feet hurt, she didn't want to go outside... FFS. It made me think of this:
  • She locked herself in her room. I thought seriously about continuing to garden outside and leave her to it. However, I tucked her into bed, said 'nite nite', closed the door. I came back 15min later to see her snoring. NO FFS.
  • It was 4pm. FFS.
  • I came back again 15 min later to hear screaming. FFS.
  • And finally, M is trying to drop her day sleep.

    I'll let the gravity of that statement fully sink in for you.

    I KNOW. FFS.
Dear Baby G

Sunday, April 6, 2014

100 Days of Happiness - Run, Girl, Run.

In 167 Days I will hopefully be lining up at a start line in Sydney, with Sarah and HB close by. At least, until the starting gun goes off and HB will be off running 4 minute kilometres, with Sarah not far behind.

A month or so ago Sarah sent me a message and said 'I'm doing the Sydney Blackmores Marathon'.
I said 'Wow! Awesome!'
She said 'You should do it with me.'
I said 'uhhhhhhhh what?'

Sarah listening to all of my excuses, declared them null and void and advised me to harden up. Actually, because she is delightful, she did nothing of the short. She listened to my excuses, said encouraging exciting things and left me to it. So I talked to Mr S about it and I didn't let the fact that I've been running for less than 6 months intimidate me (too much) and I said yes.


I am somewhat genetically predisposed to running. As in, I've got gigantic long legs that like to run fast. Now they aren't particularly speedy but they like a good run. Since I've been exercising regularly my hips don't hurt anymore. I know, right?

I downgraded my initial enthusiasm to a half marathon after reading lots of training manuals and books, which advised to be running for longer than a year before committing to a full marathon.

My BRF and I began to up our training, and pretty soon we were running 2km non stop. Then we did the MONA GASP run, which was 4km, non stop.

This week I cheated on my BRF, abandoned my family on Saturday morning and went for a solo run. It's rare that I run in either daylight or solo, so it was such a treat. I aimed for 5km, and after flagging a touch at 3.5km, I looped back to the car, ate some jellybeans, drank some water, found a toilet and kept going. I packed it in at 6.6km - my furthest distance ever!

My recovery has been awesome this time. Usually I'm suffering with shin splints that ache as much as newly engorged breastfeeding boobs (sorry boys, but it's true) and various joints complain. This time? Nada.

There was something funny on my leg the other day when I was getting dressed. I was concerned for a few seconds, and then I realised it was a quad muscle. Oh! An actual muscle! I have great Lady Guns from tending to my veggie garden and lifting two toddlers, and I've had Runner's Calves for a while, but Actual Leg Muscles are very exciting.

Mr S is endlessly patient listening to me waffle on about my Personal Best times and Heart Rate Zones, with a good serve of 'OMG MUSCLES'.

I have not lost significant weight in numbers, but my clothes are fitting nicely these days. My BRF is actively trying to gain weight after our exercise has seen her lose weight! She also looks amazing.

So my 100 Days Of Happiness can begin here. Running makes me so happy. Sewing makes me happy. My little daughters make me happy. My Mr S makes me happy. I love this song - it makes me happy.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

I used to be a grown up.

When M was a tiny baby who cried a lot and I was a new mother who also cried a lot because my baby cried a lot and why can't I fix this... well, my aunt called me and said 'She is learning to be a baby and you are learning to be a mother. That is all. It is okay.'

I still remember the timbre of her voice as she said those words to me and the relief I felt then is still the relief I feel now.

In many ways I suppose I am still learning to be a mother. As M grows into a toddler/little girl/tiny dictator/threenager I am again at a loss as to best roll with the punches. P is strangely enough a different person, so she's not exactly the same as M, making her journey different too.

I went back to my job when M was 20 weeks old. It was agreed upon that I would work from home, and ten days out from my return to work, it was decided that that would't work for my employers. I bandied about with the option of freelancing for them, but that wouldn't work because they feared it would be viewed as a 'sham contract', despite my having been a sole trader in my friend for the past ten years. So we reluctantly found a daycarer and I reluctantly went back to work, and hated it. So tired. Stressed at leaving my non crawling baby with someone else. Tired.

Then I began to enjoy it. Coffee alone! Shopping alone! BEING ALONE! I struggled with my workload and balancing short days with continuity of projects. I struggled with my colleagues who couldn't understand which days I was working, week to week. (I worked the same days every week.) I loved being a grown up again, but I found it so difficult.

I fell pregnant with P when M was 10 months old and my morning sickness was revolting. I carried a bottle of soda water in my handbag at all times and snuck out of the office at 10am every morning for a pair of potato cakes with chicken salt. I ate a lot. Some early pregnancy complications meant that we didn't feel like sharing this pregnancy with the world until we were certain everything was progressing ok. I mean, my gigantic bump at 6 weeks should have been certainty enough, but I hid that sucker under a scarf. At week 14 I handed in my maternity leave form to surprised employers, who looked even more shocked when I took my scarf off to show them that indeed, I was eating for two!

Surprise! Not just fat.

It was a difficult and tiring pregnancy which took it's toll on me early on. In hindsight finishing work in my second trimester would have been a lot easier on my body, but my financial situation didn't allow it. I balanced everything pretty poorly and forgot everything both at work and at home. I pinned a lot of things and spent a lot of time staring blankly at a wall trying to stay awake. At week 35 I finished my last day at work. Two of my colleagues remembered, made me a card and organised an afternoon tea.

Best. Card. Ever.

As the time to return to work approached I still wasn't ready. I extended my leave and thought about what I might like to do come September for my return to work.

A few phone calls later from my employers and I was offered a redundancy. I accepted and all lines of communication ceased, and on the last day of the financial year it was finalised. After five years of service, a place that was a huge part of my life suddenly wasn't anymore. It was a strange feeling. Even though it was an outcome that I was happy with, it still really felt like I was fired.

I'm not entirely sure that my employers actually told anyone of my final departure. I still run into my lovely ex-colleagues who ask when I'll be returning from maternity leave. It's safe to say I don't feel the love!

However I digress. Today I realised something important.

M and I were making brownies in the kitchen. She was sitting on the bench covered in chocolate, licking the beater and grinning at me. There was music on in the background, the kitchen was warm, P was snoozing peacefully in the other room and we were happy.

Photograph (c) Andrew Smyth

You can tell I love her, because I share the beaters and spatula.

I don't have a 'career head' on me at the moment. I'm here, enjoying the moments that make me smile, make me sad, drive me bonkers and make memories. I'm able to enjoy this time fully because this is what I do in the mornings. I get up and spend time with my family. It's because of the ailing print book economy and small business decline that I'm able to do this. I'm so grateful I live in a place that allows us to live and thrive on one wage. M and P are tiny for about five minutes. It's five minutes that I want to grab, bottle and hold on to forever.

Pretty nice, eh?


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