November 22, 2011

One for the girls...


I live in a male-dominated household. Three sons, one husband, one dog. It's like total bloke city here. The only splash of pink in an all-blue landscape comes from me.

Sometimes it feels like I'm trapped in one of those American frat houses; the noise level is loud, toilet humour rules, household cleaning (by them) is virtually non-existent and the television is permanently tuned to Channel Crass & Puerile.

It can be a hard row to hoe. A real tough ask. And my boys ask for plenty! Like last week, when, as much as I love them all to death, I got to the point where I simply needed to be somewhere else... anywhere other than here.

I needed a break. Away from them. So I could be myself other than Mum or The Wife. To laugh. To relax. Drink wine/gin/cider/coffee. Hell, possibly all of the above. But mostly to be around my 'girls' for a spell.

Because they 'get' me. They understand how I get tired of wiping the toilet seat before I sit down to avoid getting pee all over the backs of my thighs. They are familiar with the irritation I face seeing that empty cardboard roll on the toilet roll hanger. They empathise over the need for constant replenishment of food supplies at my house. They share and promote the belief that deodorant is designed to be sprayed under clean armpits, not all over clothes. They know all about late nights. Early mornings. Sleep depravation. Pressures and stress. The good times to be had. And occasionally, the bad.

A girly afternoon was exactly what I needed and as fortune would have it, I had the excellent luck to be invited out for one last Saturday. After a few hours I was feeling much better and a lot less cranky - group therapy the way it should be, right? Definitely won't wait so long until the next time. (Thanks JP xx)

So big cyber hugs to all my girls... know that you are loved and appreciated. Not to mention seriously kickass. *g*

November 19, 2011

Clean up in Frozen Foods...


"Can you believe it? Christmas will be here in less than 6 weeks!"

I overheard Chirpy Blonde Chick gleefully impart this little gem to Mini Skirt Mum while grocery shopping the other day. MSM's reaction was to smile serenely as she caressed the heads of her two  perfectly behaved toddlers.

"Oh, I know!" she gloated. " I only have one more present to get and I am done!"

The self-righteousness emanating from her was was like a slap in the face for my whole day. Made me almost hope her kids threw a sugar whammy in the lolly aisle out of spite. Because how dare she remind me about Christmas? I had plenty of time to get sorted. It was still ages away, wasn't it?

Reality came crashing in via a burst of mild panic. Dear God. Only SIX weeks? What the hell happened to October? My brain still hadn't wrapped around the idea of Christmas, let alone start to plan for it. And yes, this was in spite of all the decorations in the shops and the half-a-forest's worth of junk mail that has been spewing forth from our mail box for weeks.

I have been the master of ignoring it all. Too many other things to worry about, I've been all 'I'll deal with all that stuff later, much MUCH later.' But like Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, I couldn't ignore any longer what was obvious to the entire planet.

Christmas, she was a-coming, whether I was ready or not. Snarky Sarah wanted to throw a massive tantrum in the middle of Frozen Foods and scream obsenities at Chirpy Blonde Chick before suggesting to Mini Skirt Mum exactly *where* she could put her organisational skills. (Oh, if only, lol.)

Fortunately, the ever-Sanguine & Sensible Sarah took over with a "FFS, Snarky. Do that and Santa will give you a lump of coal instead of a present."

That left only one other option: I grabbed a large tub of icecream before throwing in some chocolate fudge brownies for good measure and stalked out of there, head held high.

Which brings me to here. No longer in denial. 6 weeks and counting. Are you ready?

I will be. Somehow. I may not be Mini Skirt Mum who is so uber-organised she has virtually all her presents bought, wrapped, labelled and hidden away already, but I will get there. If all else fails I know I can hit the shops and get it done in a couple of days - the secret is all in the planning. It's like intense shopping on steroids. Crucial to this method is a plan, good stamina, a pair of comfy shoes and your nearest mega mall. Problem sorted.

And I'll make sure I buy a nice bottle of wine for Snarky. *g*

November 11, 2011

Simple pleasures...

I love watermelon.


Nothing says 'summer' to me more than a refreshing mouthful of its rosy pink flesh, served straight from the fridge, sliced and ready to eat. Absolutely delish!

The boys and I enjoyed a huge melon feast after arriving home from school yesterday. The weather was hot, we were all sweaty after the trip home and a serving of ice-cold watermelon was the perfect antidote for a humid afternoon. And although the watermelon was devoured within 10 minutes of being set down on the table, it was still long enough to share a conversation about their day before they inevitably drifted off to seek other diversions (PS3, TV and/or playing with action figures).  


Boys will be boys, after all.


Which is why I love watermelon. For a multitude of reasons.

November 6, 2011

Sundays...



I love Sunday. It's my favorite day of the week. And this morning it is especially lovely; blue skies, sunshine and a warm breeze. Hence the reason I decided to eat breakfast outside. Bliss!

Adding to the ambience, my unknown guitar-playing neighbour is practising a new piece of music this morning. It's a wonderful soundtrack for the start of my day while I relax over a coffee, a piece of toast and a long read-through of the Sunday paper. Simply perfect. 

It's warm in ol' Sydney Town today although we may get a storm later on if the odd threatening rumble up above is any indication. A spring shower would be most welcome, though - I spent most of Saturday in the garden so it will save me the job of watering this afternoon. Win/win all round.

Whilst I love being in the garden, I'm can't say that I'm keen on the after-effects though. Muscles I'd forgotten I had swiftly reminded me of their presence within seconds of waking up this morning! I don't seem to remember having this problem ten years ago. Or is that my memory going? Damn. The curse of getting older.

However today is Sunday - and we have no plans for the day - making it the perfect time to rest and relax. Rest assured, I fully intend to do lots of both while I have the chance!

November 2, 2011

It's on the list...



I'm a closet list maker. Are you? There's not a day goes by that I don't have a hastily scribbled list of things I need/want/would like to do during the day. And while I don't always get everything done on that list, I figure I'm less likely to forget it if I write it down.

I have all kinds of lists around my house. Grocery lists, home renovation project lists, work-related lists, and Christmas presents/cards/usual family letter lists. Countless notepads have met with my trusty pen. And I know I'm not the only one. I have a girlfriend who writes down lists of things she hasn't managed to get done and leaves them in the fruit bowl. Her husband knows there's always something to do if there's paper in that bowl, so he picks a list and does what's on it. You have to like her style. Clearly, she has him well-trained. Of course, this method only works if you have a husband who has the ability to realise what those bits of paper are there for. LOL. 

I'm a big advocate of lists for my kids too. Whenever they want extra money for things (which, hellooo,  is all the time!) out comes a list of things they need to do before they get it. Eliminates the need for them to think, you know? It's more a case of don't argue about it, just do it, okay? And without the attitude too, thanks.

Lists are pretty much a necessity for a multi-tasker like me. Otherwise I'm likely to get distracted by all the chitchat happening on the internet. Or by the pile of unwatched quality drama I have sitting on my hard drive. I can scan the list for the day, know what I need to get done by school pick-up time and get stuck in! After that, my time is my own.

"Mum! I need my baseball uniform washed by this afternoon!"
"Yes, love, I know... it's on the list."

"Mum? My school shoes are too tight."
"Oh God, are they? Okay, I'll put it on the list."

"Honey! I need you to buy me some more pants for work."
"No worries, darl... I've got it on my list."

"Mum! There's no more BBQ sauce in the fridge!"
"Okay, mate... on the list!"

Of course, there are times when things don't always go to plan.

"Woof! Woof woof. Woof."
"Spencer! Stop chewing my list!"

Honestly, I do try but there are only 24 hours in a day and sometimes they don't stretch far enough. And you know, by the time I did the washing, bought new school shoes, did some paperwork in the office and went to the Workwear shop, I ran out of time to go grocery shopping. We can live without BBQ sauce for another day, can't we? But don't worry.

It's on the list.
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