Monday, September 30, 2013

Slapdash Mama turns one.

So I just realised something - today is Slapdash Mama's first birthday!


Where has the time gone? I remember the day she was born. This time last year, she came screaming and ranting into the world and frankly we haven't been the same since.

Don't try and tell me you aren't moved by this momentous date. I know you would be lost without her.

I'm sure you will agree that Slapdash Mama has Spleen Venting down to an artform.

Here's some of the highlights in pictorial form...

Sorry about the sideways one. No matter.

In true spleen venting fashion, I thought I would vent the hell out of some spleen for your reading pleasure, as a sort of thank you for reading and being part of the GLOBAL PHENOMENON that is this here blog.

OK, so here is me, venting some spleen.

God I feel so emotional.

Pull yourself together woman.

OK. I can do this.

Just to mix it up, I thought I would offset the spleen venting with some POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS, you know because I would hate to be a freaking downer all the time.

Deep breath.

And away we go. Dot points FTW.

  • Last week M was away in Sydney for work and I was holding the fort parenting wise. Fucking hell.
  • This was offset by the face my Mum cam and rescued my by DOING ALL OF THE THINGS! Why can't she be here always.
  • For the second part of the week I drove up the coast to stay at her place, and on the way B vomited all over himself in the car. After I'd pulled over, cleaned him up, and used my mobile to ring the parentals to tell them I was late, I strapped him back in again and took off, only to hear a "CLUNK!" as something slid off the roof . When glancing behind me I saw my little black iphone in the middle of the motorway. Presumably smashed to smithereens by now. I didn't, as advised by friends including the hairdresser, play chicken to retrieve it. Which means I am phoneless. 
  • This was offset by M ringing me to tell me he had won an Ipad mini at the conference. Easy come, easy go.
  • I congratulated someone at work for successfully getting the job they had applied for. Except they hadn't. Been successful that is. Awkward.
  • This was offset by the fact that. Um. Well nothing really. It was just stupid of me.
  • I hated all my clothes and wanted to burn them.
  • This was offset when my mum gave me some money to buy new clothes. I know. Ridiculously lucky. I am spoilt to the max.
  • My hair was feral and shaggy.
  • Offset when Mum sent me to the hairdresser. I know. Isn't she the best.
  • I really, really, realllllyyyy hurt my back on the weekend. SO PAINFUL. Doing exercise of course.
  • This was offset by the fact I have been doing exercise. So, you know, yay for me.
  • Despite my beach anxiety and crippled back, I went to the beach on SUnday because M wanted to and I am awesome.
  • Offset by SEEING WHALES off the coast! I have never seen that before! SO AMAZING! Just on the beach! Totally worth dragging my injured body over the hot sand.
Look, I could go on, but I am boring even myself.

Anyway, to celebrate my one year blogaversary, I have decided to HOLD A COMPETITION!

That's right readers! To enter, just vent your own spleen in the comments or on my FB page. The best spleen venting, as judged by myself, will win.

What will they win, I hear you ask?

Good question. Unfortunately I have been unable to identify an appropriate sponsor for this event.

So, in keeping with my first ever giveaway, I have decided to make up the prize myself.

The winner of this giveaway will get the highly sought after privilege of having a poem written about them. BY ME! THAT'S RIGHT PEOPLE!

I think you will see from previous blog posts here and here, that I have an extremely solid record of pome writing.

Also, this one time, in Grade 7, I wrote a pome about Gallipoli and won some competition.  Some of the lines were;

They fought a futile war
Many soldiers died
We cannot count the score
Their families often cried

I think you will agree that my words are deeply moving and reminiscent of a young Yeats, or perhaps some of Shelley's early work. Can't you just FEEL THE EMOTION? I am basically striding around the Lake Country feeling feelings like there is no tomorrow IN A METAPHORICAL SENSE!

SO there you have it! Enter away my Slappy friends!

And thank you. Thank you all.

*weeps delicately*

Here's a first birthday cake I prepared earlier for your enjoyment...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bedtime routines.

M was at a conference in Sydney last week so I was getting my single parent on.

OK, ok, so maybe I called in the help of my mother, like the sook that I am.

No mum is an island, right? Certainly not I.

Even, I, super bedtime routine person, become challenged in the face of flying solo during the witching hour.

 Despite being a naturally scatterbrained individual with a virtually routine-free (aka disorganised) child rearing habit, I have always maintained a strong commitment to a finely tuned bedtime routine.
These days, mostly it works. Except when it doesn't, if you get my drift.

Anyway, this is what I do.

1. Cook dinner while kids are watching TV. B still doesn't really watch TV, I am trying to encourage it. For a while there I got excited about the concept of sending P to a Steiner school, until I read that they discourage television viewing because it discourages imagination. They can shove it. Imagination is not something my girl lacks *gets bossed around by 4-year old, wears costume, plays Kangaroo mummies*.

2. Serve dinner at 5pm. Kids eat/throw/smear it.

3. 5.30pm. Bathtime for B. It took me freaking ages to develop a proper bathing system for both of the kids when B was born, but now they are a bit older I tend to do them separately. P watches more ABC2. God bless it.

4. 5:45pm. Get B out. Jammies on. Goes out to say goodnight to P. She ignores him because TV!

5. I read him a story. He has three that he chooses from every single night, sometimes we read all three. They are "Each Peach Pear Plum", "Peepo", and one called "Toddle Waddle".

6. Then he has a drink of water, I turn the light off, and I stand rocking him and singing his regular lullaby which is this song that Dad used to sing - it goes like this;
                       Ally bally, ally bally bee
                       Sitting on your mummy's knee
                      Waiting for a wee bobby
                      To buy some Coulter's candy....

This is B's favourite lullaby, but some of our other classic bedtime hits also come from Dad.  Here's one old faithful;

                    Well me Ma, she said to me
                    Would yer like a cuppa tea?
                    I said, no no.
                    I want cocoa
                    Down in the glen...

I have argued with him that the last line seems incongruous and that it sits uncomfortably with me. Surely it should be something like "Down by the sea", which would rhyme with "tea"? But he asserts that his version is correct, as his father sang it to him.

Another chart topper is;

                Wee Johnny's lost his marleys
                Wee Johnny's lost his marleys
                Wee Johnny's lost his marleys
                Down by the Linfield Way.

               He lost them down the gratin'
               He lost them down the gratin'
              He lost them down the gratin'
              Down by the Linfield Way

And so forth. Mum says that when Dad used to sing this to us as children, it was Wee Sammy who had lost his marleys, but Dad denies it. Also, he didn't lose them in a potato gratin, rather down the GRATING, but with the G cut off. That is very important for the FEEL of the song. Also, marleys are marbles. Obviously.

OK, back to the routine.

7. 6 - 6:30pm. After singing the song, I put B down in his cot and say "Night night, love you." These days he often say "Nigh, nigh" back. Sweet.

8. 6:30pm - P in bath. Usually have to drag her screaming from the TV.

9. 6:45pm. Jammies on. Read her a story. She takes about twenty years to choose one. She doesn't have a particular favourite.

10. I lie on her bed and sing her a lullaby. Since she was a newborn baby I have sung Edelweiss to her. I suppose this is probably a weird choice, what with its associations with the Anschluss and the von Trapps escaping Nazi persecution and what not but it was the first one that came to mind back in the day when P was tiny.  We have done the hardcore hard yards with P. She has been an erratic sleeper and has gone through stages where I had to hold her door shut while she screamed and yelled at me at bedtime. Calming. These days we have it down pat. Yay. That's not to say she doesn't creep out a few times and scare the life out of me when she's supposed to be asleep, but truly she is mostly pretty good. TOUCH WOOD OMG!

What does your bedtime routine look like? Do you keep the kids up til 10pm and go to sleep on the couch with them? Do you lie on the floor until they drift off to sleep, waking stiff and uncomfortable hours later? Do you all pile in together? It's a broad church. What's good for the goose ain't necessarily good for the gander. Many hands make light work. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I could go on with the meaningless idioms, but I won't.

Bon nuit fair readers!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lounge. ProBlogger. Triple J.

Hi everyone! Welcome to The Lounge. I've been AWOL a bit. But here I am again keeping it real, as usual.

I  have written this post at the last minute and have not proofread it. Am too KNACKERED! Apologies for any typos.

So, there was this conference on the weekend.  Something to do with blogging. Apparently it's very big these days and some people even make money from it.

Haha I am so funny. Anyway the ProBlogger conference was held at QT on the GC, which is a hip happening hotel at Surfers. As I am a blogger, and I make a cool $50 a month blogging (see that little video down there? It's the MONEY TRAIN PEOPLE!), and I live on the GC, then you might be forgiven for thinking I would be participating in said Problogging COnference.

I hate to disappoint you, but I didn't go. Because MONEY! My $50 a month didn't quite cover the hundreds of dollars for the conference tickets. I have sworn not to miss it next year though.

In a sort of stalkery move, fellow lounge lizard Rachel and I took the opportunity to meet up with our out-of-town Lounge compatriot, Tegan! She was clever enough to organise herself tickets to ProBlogger, so we went to the Stingray Bar at the QT to share a few drinks with her. While lurking around opportunistically we also ran into Rachel from Redcliffe Style, Lisa from Mrs BCs House of Chaos, Carly Findlay, Twitter friend Jatosha and others were floating around. Cool man.

I've never actually indulged in a night out "on the town" Surfers Paradise style, but gosh, Stingray is a cool joint. I was driving so I behaved sensibly, and made a getaway fairly early on when I realised the whippersnapper to mutton dressed as lamb (aka me) ratio was getting out of balance and NOT in my favour. If anyone is wondering if their dress is too tight, or short, or low cut, for a night out on the GC, fear not. You will have found your people.

On the way home, as I do when I am in the car, I cranked the radio. Feeling old as I was, it made me think of recent developments in my increasingly complex relationship with Youth Radio Network Station type thing Triple J.

I love listening to the radio. I have already waxed lyrical about my love for Classic FM, but my first radio love will always be Triple J. I LOVED listening to the Js as a high school student. When I discovered it, my whole world changed. THE MUSIC! THE COOL! It was quite the revelation.  I still listen to it, and actually these days there are HEAPS of bands and DANCE OUTFITS and whatnot that I like. A number of years have gone by where I couldn't have told you a single song that appeared in the Hottest 100, but I am back in touch with the KIDS these days. I mean, I think I am.

As much as it pains me to admit this, however, I am veeery slowly realising that I am edging ever further outside the target demographic. Signs I may no longer be part of the "Youth" are presented to you here. You be the judge.

  • Recently, wunderkind breakfast presenters Tom and Alex had this quiz where people had to ring in and they played songs from Hottest 100s of yore. And they had to guess them, right. Anyway, they played a song from the 1998 Hottest 100. Now, 1998 was my freaking hey day, people. I was all over the Hottest 100 like a rash back then. Anyway, neither of the gormless twits participating in the quiz knew the song they were playing.  I was screaming at the radio "Regurgitator! OMG! Regurgitator you fools! WHO DOESN'T KNOW THIS??". One of the participants said grumpily, "Aw, fair go guys, I mean, I was only 4 years old". Cue my brain exploding. I mean, shit. I almost spat my coffee out. OMG that means he was born in 1994 which means there are ADULTS out there who were born in 1994! HOW OLD AM I EVEN ANYWAY EVEN?

  •  I've developed quite the fondness for Macklemore. I like to shimmy along in the drivers seat of the car whilst rapping out some sweet rhymes like a veritable mofo. I was doing just that when I realised the inconguity of a white, Australian, thirty-something mother of two rapping along to the "Can't Hold Us" lyrics "And that's what you get when wu-tang raised you!". I mean, they didn't, you know, raise me. Really if I'm going to sing along I should probably change the words to "And that's what you get when Steeleye Span raised you!" which arguably doesn't have the same street-wise ghetto ring to it. Although some may say the words to "All around my hat" are hella radical and subverting the dominant paradigm like there's no tomorrow. I mean, it would be tricky argument to make, but some may. If they wanted to.

Google them, people. You won't be sorry.

  • The other day, I found myself increasingly enraged by subsitute breakfast presenters Veronica and Lewis, who thought it would be terribly AMUSING to ask Veronica's Great Auntie Joan or someone to review the feature album. The album happened to be London Grammar, which I am totally OBSESSED WITH. I love them sick. And I guess the point of the segment was to get an OLDSTER to listen to some MUSIC THAT THE KIDS LOVE and then report back on how SHOCKED they are about the youth of today, and the SWEARS, and the LOUDNESS etc. Things didn't go according to plan for Veronica and Lewis, because Great Aunt Joan or whoever she was totally loved the album and said she would recommend it to anyone, particularly people of an elderly persuasion. Poor old tween hipsters Veronica and Lewis were a bit thrown by that. It seemed to put a spanner in their works. I was infuriated, and embarked on a rant filled with righteous anger at nobody in particular, that may have gone along the lines of "OMG did you hear that! Bloody kids these days think they INVENTED music and sex and drugs and rock and roll and that. Gen Y hipster upstarts, who says old people won't like London Grammar, or Daft Punk or the Amity Affliction. Seniors are people too! In my day we respected our elders and had good manners and moshing was mandatory and at concerts you were covered in other people's drinks and sweat and were grateful for it and you can't tell me what to like and oooooh me gout's playing up......".
Anyway, despite constantly being confronted with my own mortality at every turn (OMG! When Prince George is King that will mean Prince William is DEAD and he is YOUNGER THAN ME THAT MEANS I WILL BE DEAD TOO OMG!) I am determined to remain young at heart, and will continue to tune into the Js right on into my middle and late years. Hopefully when I am in the nursing home I will still be able to freestyle it Macklemore fashion and dare anyone to stop me!

Anyway, I've said too much. Talk about raving. Yourr turn. Maybe you've got something actually USEFUL to share! ENLIGHTEN US PROBLOGGER TYPES!

Monday, September 9, 2013

May you live in interesting times.

And don't we just! Live in interesting times, that is.

It's been an eventful week or so.

Last week I was told I was moving to a different team at work, and on the same day I accidentally went to a Trivia Night with Mother Down Under, Housewife in Heels and Faux Fuchsia. The next day I had a post published on Mama Mia, was a bit OVERWHELMED by the broohaha in the comments on said post, had a social media break over the election weekend, voted, watched the votes roll in, and recovered from a weird sinus infection.

I had organised to have today and tomorrow off work for some ME TIME and of course what happened? Baby B has come down with some foul lurgy and is feverish and sad. So no chillaxing for mummy.

Anyway my first foray into being published in the MAINSTREAM MEDIA MAN was a bit freaky, I sent them that post I wrote about going to the movies with P and having an impromptu beauty pageant up the front. It caused some people to lose their proverbial marbles and write some unpleasant things, or just generally disagree with me. Which made me feel EWKY but I decided not to read the comments because meh. I mean,  I was just writing about a thing wot happened and some stuff wot I thought about it. No biggie. Once I got over the shock of the reaction I decided it was very exciting to be published and that was that. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, if you will.

I'm thinking of writing a non-controversial piece next time. You know, like maybe about how paedophiles should be neutered or how all citizens should have the right to bear arms. Or bare arms. Even tuckshop lady ones.

I don't want to UPSET anyone! GOD NO!

*Makes farting sounds*

Anyway, how about that election, eh? I for one welcome our new Red Speedo clad overlord, and would like to remind Brother Abbott  that as a trusted blogging personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in his underground sugar caves.

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