Wednesday, July 27, 2011

what's in your lunchbox today?

Those nutritional experts who go on about kids taking healthy lunches to school clearly don't have any actual kids.
Or they have one child, who willingly wears knee-high socks and enjoys playing croquet with Father after dinner of an evening.

My kids, on the other hand, would happily have a Nutella sammitch every day of every week for an entire school year. And sometimes it's really tempting to let them, because the reality of making healthy lunches for two children with varying tastes is a head-doer-innerer.

For example -- this morning, making a ham-and-salad sandwich, I must remember that:

Mr 9 does not eat butter. Under any circumstances.

The Princess loathes lettuce.

Mr 9 won't have one even tiny skerrick of cheese.

The Princess won't have dijonnaise. Mr 9 will, but it has to be next to the ham.

Happily, they both like grated carrot, and cucumber, so they get plenty of that.

Now -- fruit.

The Princess likes RED apples. Easy.

And Mr 9 likes GREEN apples, but they have to be really green, and tart, and the supermarkets just don't sell them like that. Grannies are now quite sweet, and often floury, and Mr 9 spits them out. But he also likes mandarines, and happily we have plenty.

A snack for recess? -- ahhh -- Bad Mummy gives them a slice of cake. Not even remotely healthy, but really, what's the point to life if you can't have a little slice of chocolate cake once in a while? At least they didn't get it for breakfast!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Uh-oh. I knew this would happen. I started re-reading all my Stephen Kings, and now I'm scared to go to bed.

The worst book he ever wrote (scariest) is The Shining. Scared the CRAP out of me both times I plucked up the courage to read it. And I read it in Jack Nicholsons' voice, which made it even worserer.
I don't know that I'll ever be brave enough to give it a third outing.

I've finished IT, and I'm half-way through From A Buick 8, and then The Talisman is looking good -- it's been a long time since I walked the Territories with Jack Sawyer.

Friday, July 15, 2011

food freak

I have a lot of food issues.

There are many, many things I can't eat, and when I say 'can't' I really mean it. I don't mean that I'm a fussy eater. I have Issues.

I can't eat at most peoples' houses, and it's not always to do with the cleanliness of the house, either. It's like a switch clicks over in my brain, and I just. Can't. Do it.

Any leftovers that have been in the fridge for more than 24 hours go in the bin. Can't eat 'em.

If I think something might have been out of the fridge for too long (like in the shopping trolley and then home) I might not be able to bring myself to eat it. And the thing is, I know it's stupid, a lot of the time, because I can give it to the kids. But I can't eat it myself. And that proves it's in my head, because no way would I risk the kids with food I seriously thought was bad.

It's the same with the pantry. Tin of baked beans been in the pantry for 3 weeks?? bin it. It might be 'bad'.

I can't bear food smells on my hands.
I shudder when I have to cut up chicken, because the smell will be on my hands. I have to scrub and scrub to get all the smells off.
I bought a box of gloves, those thin ones you can get, but I couldn't deal with the smell of them, either. Maybe I'll try a different (unscented) brand.

I use a lot of rubbing alcohol, to kill germs on my hands. See, I totally get how Howard Hughes managed to wig out and become germ-phobic. I'm not a mad house cleaner or child sanitiser, but I have to keep my hands clean-smelling.

I become fixated on certain things I do enjoy eating. And then I eat so much of them, I get sick. Or fat. Or both.

Part of the problem is that I can taste the chemicals in many foods. Sauces, packet foods, tinned foods, pre-prepared stuff -- it often tastes metallic, or overly sweet or too salty. Preservatives in bread, cakes etc make me dry retch.

I avoid anything with a strong odour if it's at all possible. Sometimes I seriously have to tie cloth over my nose and mouth so I can make the kids something to eat, because everything, everything, smells hideous to me.

Sometimes I drive my husband mad. He has a cast-iron stomach, not quite in the Bear Grylls category, but he never has to stop and think about eating. He just enjoys it.
I'm lucky that he really tries to understand, because it's embarrassing and annoying for him that no matter where we go, I'll likely stay hungry rather than eat something that might be 'bad'.

We hear a lot in the media about eating disorders, but I've never read about anyone else like me. I don't know what's wrong with me... and I'm not asking for solutions (unless you really have one).

I just want to know ---- am I the only one?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

sleeping in till noon

I could like mornings a whole lot better if they didn't always start so freakin' early.

No school today -- it's Saturday -- and the kids slept on the sofa bed last night, and they were up really late watching King Kong (why, yes, I AM in line for that Mother of the Year Award...) and so they let us have a little sleep in too, and it was

No leaping up, dazed and bleary-eyed, at 7am, no lunch making, no shrieking at people for the sixteenth time to just-for-the-love-of-God-put-on-your-bloody-uniform, and no shoe searching.
No frosty drives in the car, no walking small people through the school gate, no frosty drives home again, home again, jiggety-jig.

Just peace. Warm snuggles. The sort of silly conversations you have with the man you love that make no sense and would embarrass you horribly if News of the World published a transcript. Coffee. Snuggles with the kids who kept coming in to hug Daddy because they LOVE HIM and oh, hello, Mum, I didn't know you were there.

We ended up getting up before 9 but it was because we WANTED to, not because of some hideous time restraint forcing our poor tired bodies out into the cold uncaring dawn.

There should be more of this Gentle Awakening, in my view.

And -- oh wait -- there will be -- because tomorrow is SUNDAY.

And then -- well, then, two whole weeks of school holidays stretch out in front of me, like a promise.....

if only Fabio wasn't leaving next week, life would be pretty near perfect.

Friday, July 8, 2011

enter chaos

When Fabio is away, things are very different.

The kids have eggs or baked beans on toast for dinner, I stay up late on the PlayStation and the lawn doesn't get mowed.

Also, things stay more or less where I put them. More or less.

Take our bed, for example.

When he's away, I sleep neatly in my own side of the bed, and his side remains virtually undisturbed, cushions and all. I get up in the morning, smooth up my sheet/doona, and replace my pillows. That's it. Our room is always tidy. The bathroom is neat and dry.

When Fabio comes home, he's like a cyclone. He himself is all calm and happy but all around him is chaos.
He drops all his clothes (and possibly shoes) at the side of the bed, and throws all the cushions off the bed, any old where. He climbs in and the first thing he does is throw his feet up so all the sheets come untucked at the bottom, and then fusses over his pillows, deciding which one he'll sleep on tonight. The unwanted ones get tossed onto the floor.

He rustles around all night and somehow the doona always ends up half-slithered off the foot of the bed or on one side, so that one person is shivering under the sheet hem, and the other person has a whole doona bunched around their neck.

I have to completely strip and re-make the bed every day when he's home.

The bathroom has wet towels hung higgledy-piggledy, the top of the shower screen is booby-trapped with toothbrush, toothpaste and a very large, heavy bottle of shower-gel. The floor mat is soaked and scrunched into a ball on the floor. And the door stays closed to keep in all the moisture and the heavy cloud of spray-on deodorant.

He spreads newspapers all round his chair, and leaves coffee-cups in his office. He seems to be physically incapable of putting the coffee and sugar canisters back into their proper spots.

I lose control of the Wand of Power and have to suffer through incessant channel surfing or sudden volume changes.

(this is not us - but it could be.)

Yes, when he's away, things are very different.


And so, so lonely.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

well I'm glad I'm not paying for that.....

Since The Big Rain (last week? whenever that was, anyway) two of the toilets and my washing machine have been draining slowly so the plumber arrived today and has dug up half the front yard, and he's now telling me that he thinks the rain pushed the tank up out of the ground and has broken some pipes etc.

So now my front yard looks like an artillery range and my drains are all exposed to the view of every passer-by. How embarrassment.

The hunt for the tanks and the pipes was interesting though. While the plumber and his apprentice wandered around the yard, several of the neighbours stopped to say where they thought everything might be. Is it kind of weird that random strangers think they know where your sewage lies?

Anyway, WHY DON'T PEOPLE LEAVE SOME KIND OF INFORMATION ABOUT THIS STUFF? You would think it would save a lot of time (and therefore, money) to have plumbers able to go straight to the part of the yard that might need digging up.
AND -- it looks like there is drainage under the paved driveway, which will need to be dug up as well.

** NOTE TO SELF --plan the drainage well if we ever get the chance to build...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

my kids are turning yellow

So, last night at karate, The Princess and Mr 9 got the results from their grading last week.

The Princess received her 10th kyu white belt which means she has a white belt with a yellow ribbons round each end. Here she is receiving her certificate from her instructor -- I can't show you his face because we have to protect his identity as Super Sensei.

Mr 9 received his 9th kyu yellow belt, so he gets a full yellow belt. And a certificate.

They were SO excited. They love karate, they love training, and the group is almost like family, with funny 'uncles' and some nice 'aunties' and a bunch of 'cousins' of all ages. I'm really glad I made the decision to take them, and seeing them do so well at something they love is worth all the effort. Even the ironing.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

in my Sunday best

I've just had a good look at what I'm wearing today.

Brown trakky dacks, a blue t-shirt, a black and white hoodie, and purple and white striped socks.

Well. I'm warm, anyway.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I'm so grateful for fire...

It's been cold. And wet. For ever.

We have a tile fire in the house, similar to this one (although admittedly not as clean)

and I love it. I don't give a rats about carbon except when it gets on my hands, or global warming unless it means I am no longer freezing. The fire is my True Love in winter.

Of course, to have a successful wood fire, you need wood. And wood doesn't just grow on trees, you know.

Oh .. wait...

.... what I mean to say is, you either have to run a trailer and a chainsaw and go out into the forest and cut up logs, and load them into the trailer and bring them home and unload them and stack them neatly in your shed, or pay someone a lot of money to bring you loads of wood, and then stack it neatly in your shed.

Either way, Fabio provides. His hard work means that we are toasty warm and comfortable all winter, and as I look out onto grey skies and pouring rain, I am ever so grateful for fire. And my Fabio.