Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Prideth goes before a SMITE

Did you notice a few things about yesterday's post?

Yes, yes, I was a bit of a smug expletive, wasn't I? Don't worry, I paid.

And yes - the unborn was not mentioned ONCE - and today, I blame him/her (because heck, as was advised on the weekend, it ain't forever I can use the excuse).

So where were we? Oh yes, all feeling righteous because I had BLOGGED about my foolproof To Do List Strategy (tick), I had worked my way through that list (tick) and the day was still fresh enough for me to shower (tick), grab some groceries (tick), go up to the school to hand in fundraising money (tick), hand over some poetry CD's to 'Salina's teacher (tick) and have a great afternoon with my darling daughter.

Do you hear all that tick-tick-ticking?

Is it starting to sound ominously like a bomb to you?

I hit the showers and was happily being all self-satisfied and soapy when one of the synapses in my brain "twanged".

It twanged to the melody of "newsletter comes out today" (and yes, Rhubarb, it should have twanged when you mentioned your newsletter on Twitter in response to my righteousness) which set off a whole domino-effect of twangs.

Twang - P & C meeting was last night.
Twang - it was a great meeting.
Twang - someone was meant to write a report on the meeting because there were REALLY vital bits of information to be imparted.
Twang - darn - that would have been me.

One serving of VERY humble pie was eaten by me to the delight of the school staff and now I have a new rule:
    Rule Number 11:
  • Do not pay 100% attention to Jeanie, because her head is currently affected by the Unborn and is flat out remembering ... darn, I forgot - it was a good rule too

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How To To Do

Pickle-me-Kate at has a gripe with her to do list strategy.

Now, as you know, I am the Queen of To Do lists.

In fact, of late I have brought them to an even higher art-form than formerly imagined - because I have a WHITE BOARD and I have FOUR COLOURS of whiteboard marker.

    Rule Number 1 of To Do-ing:
  • Your first list entry should ALWAYS be "Make to do list". This gives you something to immediately cross off and give you that huge feeling of accomplishment.

  • Rule Number 2:
  • Break up the day with tasks that you gotta do no matter what. Therefore, breakfast, lunch and shower are all valid entries on the list.

  • Rule Number 3:
  • Give your list some headings - therefore washing is not just one entry, but a whole heading with entries for taking the washing to the laundry, sorting the washing, each individual load, pegging, unpegging, folding and putting away. That way, if you only get through half of it you still have that sense of accomplishment from all the ticks, rather than feel like a failure from looking at the pile of folding awaiting your attention.

  • Rule Number 4:
  • If all of those "oh also" moments that nobbled Kate kybosh you, there IS a solution. Use a different colour pen (or font if you are fond of computer listing) which mean that they are to be included in future lists but are not mandatory parts of your day's equation.

  • Rule Number 5:
  • Have measureables. I myself am a tickbox sort of girl, and with my headings system I can have a domino effect of up to 7 tickboxes for small completions. It is soothing, and if I really NEED extra validation I will do lovely swirly cross-out through the whole section on completion so I don't even need to look at it any more.

  • Rule Number 6:
  • Pace yourself. Allow for coffee/tea/cold water breaks because your fluids are important. In fact, a good to do list is best brewed over a beverage or two.

  • Rule Number 7:
  • Allow for contingencies. If a friend happens to pop by, do allow 20 minutes for the pleasure. If you feel the need to catch up on all your best friends in blogland, again, do not feel guilty (but set a timer).

  • Rule Number 8:
  • Things that HAVE BEEN DONE are allowed on the list. How else do you get that satisfaction for a breakfast clean up if your to do list comes a moment or two later? This rule also applies to things you inadvertently do during the day that weren't on your list.

  • Rule Number 9:
  • Listing is not a group activity. If anyone wants to "help", give them a pen and paper (or boxed off space on the whiteboard) to create their own.

  • Rule Number 10:
  • You are allowed to have long range goals on your list, but use your colours (or bolds or underlines or CAPS) to notify that these are logs to be split as kindling, not to be digested in an hour.

Here endeth the lesson - and starteth my day.

Blog? Tick.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Polishing the silver

halo here today.

I WAS going to get a hair colour (and the various bits and bobs that had been overlooked on the grocery list) today.

We WERE going to mow the lawn.

I WAS going to fix up the vege patch a little.

I EVEN thought about cleaning the house.

Yes, I am laughing on that last one too. Amazing dreams you have when pregnant.

V woke up with an incredibly fogged head, stomach of quicksand, blocked nose and a bark that screamed "quarantine". Scratch mowing*.

The rather uninformative missive we received from the council on Thursday about something to do with not parking our cars at the side of the road this weekend came to fruition, and all vehicles are now housebound due to new bitumen (on the thin strip of road 4 feet out from the gutter). Scratch dyeing**.

I did get the vege garden fixed up, and tonight we are having fresh spinach and beetroot with our dinner - and if all goes well, will have onions coming out of our assets in a month or so.

I figure four loads of washing (and associated pegging***, unpegging, folding and asking family to put away) PLUS whipping 'Salina to tidy her desk**** is my contribution toward the smooth running of the palace for today.

* Yes, I know I COULD do the mowing, but
  1. V has slight OCD tendencies, which include swearing mightily doing battle with the whipper snipper before mowing - I don't have the necessary cussing repertoire to get the whipper snipper to bend to my will;
  2. V would love to be chivalrous and do it rather than his starting-to-look-on-the-pregnanter-side-of-over-weight wife, especially given the witness list of 14 council workers;
  3. We have to move V's vehicle to mow properly, and given the second excuse above that was not possible. A stretch, I know. And
  4. It looks like it is going to rain.

** Yes, I know I COULD cycle to the shops and get said dye, but one of the other items on the list is kitty litter, which conveniently comes in 3kg bags. That just tips it into the "too difficult to contemplate" basket.

*** How else am I to get that "looks like it is going to rain" to convert unless I put the whole wardrobe on the line?

****Courtesy of the magical powers of Harry Potter and the Bribery of Mothers.

And so instead, I am taking my day of rest seriously, communing with God and other bloggers.

How is your Sunday?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wigging out

I actually bought a pair of maternity pants over the weekend.

Well, truth be told, my mother bought them, because she bought the shirt for me that I exchanged for them (the shirt was gorgeous, by the way - just for some reason the designer thought a maternity shirt should allow NO ROOM for bosom, and I need a double room and then some...)


So, I finally bought some maternity pants.

Now, I normally buy a 16 because designers don't believe in thighs and I don't believe in flaunting my generous pair too well, so I just grabbed a 16 which made me look like I was 20 months but then what doesn't...

I believe that store dressing rooms give you grey hair. I mean, I am sure I had none on Saturday morning when I did the cursory glance as I went out the door - but then I got to Target and saw a grey halo...

It is a special ingredient in the mirrors - the same ones that convince you to buy crap you shouldn't and then thumps you with a "you look fat and old" signal as you change out of it...

Makes you want to go home and dye, so you make stupid shopping decisions in haste.

Anyhoo - wore them today and had to keep hitching, because while allowing the generosity in the thigh it was also allowing for a waist of a well proportioned full term woman, methinks.

My mum did suggest braces, but I got all giggly at the thought of topping it with a red shirt, polka dot yellow bow tie and trying to get in and out of a telephone booth with many others!

Still, at least my budding fashion designer saw past the obvious flaws in my wardrobe.

"Wear black, mummy" said 'Salina. "It makes you look so pretty".

If anyone sees a black baggy panted, braced, flame-haired wierdo, please don't freak - it may just be this clown.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Three years ago today

was a Saturday.

It was a gorgeous day, and I had nearly finished unpacking all of my boxes from our move 10 days prior to Paradise.

I had an old flatmate up for the weekend. She is from Laos. She and 'Salina were concocting plans that involved a slumber party in the living room, junk food and a movie.

I had plans.

See, a month before three years ago today, I had taken my (love) life into my own hands and updated my profile on a dating website - not because I was looking for Mr Right, but because you may never never know if you don't dip your toe.

There were a variety of nibbles on the line, but only one intrigued me enough to tug the line.

We "chatted" - first on IM, then on the phone. We texted and emailed and got to know each other long distance.

Then we made plans for a date.

Three years ago today, we had that first date.

Obviously, it went well.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I went shopping...

Did you ever play that game on long car trips?

It was a standard of our infrequent (although more frequent as siblings and I grew up, required schooling, dentists etc) trips to the big smoke with long sections of non-radio responsive road and a lack of cohesiveness in the music tastes of the prisoners of the car.

I went shopping and I bought...

My mother and I once got to 118 items between Biloela and Rockhampton on the way to an exam for a scholarship. (I don't know whether it was because of this practice OR the fact my mother insisted on my wearing stockings OR the nearly 3rd degree sunburn on the back of my legs due to an inadvised bicycle ride with slatherings of sunscreen on all extremities except this part of my anatomy the day before OR because I was a smarty-pants, but I somehow made the grade)

'Salina and I have never yet been close to this record, but it does kill the many sections of non-radio responsive road (especially with my radio) that we travel between here and the few far-flung destinations we get to these days.

I am not good at the real sort of shopping. I am getting pretty good at groceries - although it is the fact that there is food at the end of the job that helps me along.

I suck lemons at clothes or accessories. I have already lamented my lack of ability in regard to bras, shoes (in two parts) and, of late, maternity wear.

Recently, I did the maths on the impending addition to the famile de Paradise, and five months, broken down, is getting eek-worthy.

A few weeks ago, I scored an excellent pram (although I have faith that one day I will track down my lent out wonder-pram from the last child) for only $25, so really that solves transport (and at a pinch, sleeping) arrangements.

However, until today that was the sum total of worldly goods to welcome the unborn.

Today I have now solved another area of needs (well a small part of it) with a dozen nappies. Oh yes, now the bottom will be covered - for at least a day - upon entry into the world...

So - give my your list of needs for a newborn. Its been a while, and I was a pretty crunchy granola minimalist Summer mother last time around - I probably will be this time too, but what could you JUST NOT LIVE WITHOUT?

Monday, July 06, 2009

My beating heart

Thank you all for your kind comments from my last post.

And before I forget, it is not because of Curly that I wasn't blogging about it, but because of my super-sensitivity to not knowingly rub anyone's noses into my seemingly good fortune.

I have actually said to Curly that I would take some of it off her hands were I able, and that is not just because I am altruistic.

You see, while there have been the occasional flutters and definite stretchings, I have an overactive imagination which, combined with a not currently overactive child and lack of proximity to my usual surrounds and doctor over the last week ended up with me freaking out on myself.

I had a dream just before going to my sister's that the baby had disappeared.

That coincided with my belly suddenly seeming like a larger proportion of fat than untum, the movements going from occasional pokes and kicks to just a wierd pushing in the top left corner and sleeping - or not sleeping - in a strange bed with fluffy pillows.

Who has fluffy pillows?

I am of the brick persuasion of pillow lovers, and once I awoke for my midnight wee could not get back to sleep any night I was at Granite Glen - I would love to blame the pillows but really, gnawing on the worry was a cyclical insomniacal trigger.

By yesterday when V brought us home, I was pretty well beside myself, and so went to the hospital just to check so I could hopefully sleep again.

Thankfully they were extremely understanding (having some experience of the hysteria of worrying mothers) and found a lovely strong heartbeat.

And do you know the little beggar has been kicking like crazy since then.

Never been a big fan of hide and seek.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Its sickening

I know I don't talk about the P-word an awful lot on here.

Several reasons.

One is that, while this blog is "all about me" and satisfies the navel-gazing portion of my needs wants, this whole thing isn't just about me - that, and the navel will be getting that much closer and shallower and oh my heck, have you seen how HUGE women get while pregnant and there is no "get out of jail free" card and - heck, I am hyperventilating on that whole aspect now, and we are NOWHERE near half way.

Another is that the biggest issue I have at the moment is outerwear - well, that and underwear.

One of the immense downsides of having a 10 year gap between the firstborn and the lastborn with no otherborns in between is that you don't tend to hold on to the absolutely devastatingly heartbreaking draperies stylish maternity wear from the last go around. Yes, even despite the fact that maternity wear is maternity wear is maternity wear and no era is ever going to date tents and muu-muus.

I have attempted to overcome the huge gap between what I got and what I need in the whole cover myself, keep warm and (yes, insert maniacal laughter now) look stylish short-term goal in my life.

Guess what?

Ab-so-lute-ly sweet FA (soccer term for those who don't know the meaning, Mum).

There are not a huge range of shopping options available to me in the nearby big smoke.

Yes, there are chain stores. Do you know where you find maternity wear in chain stores? There are generally two options.

One is in the oversize section. I know there is a rumour that some stores have it BESIDE the oversize section, but really, it looks like the oversize section, fits like the oversize section and in fact, well how about that, it is the oversize section.

Not that I have anything against the oversize section, in fact, I am feeling more and more empathy for the oversize section by the day. There was a day when someone once injected style into the oversize section, I believe. However, there is a conspiracy that is no equating those who frequent the oversize section with a lot of negative words, starting with the letter "oh" and ending with the expletive "my goodness, it is all YOUR fault" and they are being punished with tents and muumuus.

The other is in the sporting section. Oh yes, you think, very sporting behaviour must have got you there but in fact it is a sinister plot, designed to make you feel like you should buy chocolate and trashy magazines so you can go home, do a bit of weeping and gnashing and read about celebrity folk what get knocked up and pare down within hours, so I too can go on a bikini shoot before 2009 is out.

The really, really nasty store designers go for the double-whammy and actually put it between the oversize section AND the sporting section.

And really, the choice you have on the - if you are extremely lucky - two racks of maternity wear? Your choice is black trackpants (heck, maybe even two styles), black leggings, ugly jeans with three inches of blue ribbing around the top for expansion, black stretch tops in a variety of two styles and tshirts. Personally, I love a bit of black in my wardrobe but I am looking for things to wear OUTSIDE of the house - say to work type things - there is only so much gothic you can get away with in an office in nearby big smoke.

And then there is the "speciality boutiques" - must be said with the assistance of marbles in the mouth, because it stops your heart being there when you see the price they expect people to part with just for - you guessed it - black trackpants, ugly jeans with three inches of blue ribbing around the top for expansion and black stretch tops - sure, there may be one or two extra bits of lace around the trim but so not worth the extra $50 - the extra $50 on an already inflated price at the chain stores.

Finally you have the op shops. I was once an op shop queen - but that was back in the day when the realm of op shop actually held bargains and were worthy of reigning. I hate to whinge (lord, how you all know how much I hate to whinge) but in nearby big smoke the op shop options are a long, long way from the realms of my 20s - in style, quality AND price - okay, in geography too.

Have a wild guess where the maternity section is in the op shops? That would be in their oversize section - and lordy, I do feel for those who have to frequent the oversize section of the op shops here, because it would seem that every polyester twin-suit created with a complete lack of taste fill the racks, and I am yet to actually find anything maternity on the racks despite the advice from the volunteers that man the stores.

And as for underwear - my 3 bra rule still remains unbroken, despite actually venturing into a travelling bra sale on the weekend in the faint hope that the hype of "nothing over $30", "1,000s of bras" and "to fit all sizes and shapes" would conspire into giving me lift and support for less than a limb.

Where is that maniacal laugh button again?

The only thing I came out of such a sale with was the lesson relearned that you don't wear a dress bra shopping, due to placement of fitting room, communal nature of said fitting room and the fact that while you may have trawled through the 1,000s of bras, the only thing close to what you may want is only available in pale peach, costs a smidge above their "nothing over" promise and is uncomfortable as hell when you finally declothe in said communal fitting room with only a brief curtain between you and the hordes is so darned uncomfortable it makes your least favourite of the 3 bras feel welcome when you redress.

And the final reason that I don't over-pregnify the blog is that I have relative who is also on this journey. No, not the relative you all know and love (I have other relatives) but one we will call, for the purposes of this blog, Curly.

Curly has been along the track three times previous - and the end results are beautiful - however, while I have the awe of expansion of girth and am otherwise hale and sickeningly hearty in pregnancy, her journeys are not quite so serene.

In fact, poor Curly has already spent more than a few hours in her local hospital being pumped with fluids because her body is of the opinion that the presence of the unborn should cause a negative equation in the whole things going in and things going out ratio.

Given that each of the three times has had this as a large factor at play for the majority of the 9 months, me singing about how I am all glowing and have never felt better is probably going to make her throw up (like she needs the excuse).

So the upshot is, 17 weeks down, oh my goodness only another 24 weeks or so of galloping towards the inevitable in an ever decreasing wardrobe and can't complain (well, not enough to blog about it incessantly, anyway).