Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Merry Christmas from the Petersens

I guess it's time for a 5 minute run down of our year that was. I have been so lazy this year that I just pointed all my card recipients to my blog. So sorry if this is a boring old rehash of what I've already said for the regular readers. But really.... suck it UP!

First... here's a little Christmas treat from Isabel (using her real name... just for today)

Now on to the obligatory run down of what we accomplished this year:

March saw us visiting the US for Dal's youngest brother's wedding. Of course we stopped off at Disneyland on the way home.

In April Dal missed Isabel and I while we traipsed around the country visiting our friends (mostly the Kuhns). Isabel had a good chocolatey easter. She also enjoyed a cooking themed birthday party. I pretty much collapsed after that one.

May brought Mothers Day and my birthday. Dal wrote a beautiful post for me and my friends helped me celebrate with food, a movie and pampering. I also discovered my "married indent".

We were mostly just trying to avoid winter in June. But we did venture out to some caves with my family. Isabel peed on Dal while we were exploring the caves. I am sure he secretly loved it.

July was Dal's month. He flew to Thailand for a week and then spent five days flying to Vegas, Arizona and then back home. He also turned 31. We celebrated his birthday a week later. I finished up 2.5 months of work.

We watched the snow on the mountain come and go in August. And tried to stay warm. We also prepared ourselves for the move of the century. We held a garage sale that was kind of hard to do, but it helped us get rid of all our worldly goods that we were unable to send to America.

Hel became an official permanent resident of the USA in September. We stayed with Hel's parents for a month while getting all our paperwork ducks lined up. It was a bittersweet time for Hel.

October was Hel's month. She road-tripped with Isabel up to Salt Lake City, stopping in to visit her blogging friend, DeNae, on the way. Hel, her best friend plus three kids in the back road tripped back from SLC via the Grand Canyon. We enjoyed the warm weather that Arizona provided while we waited for our second winter of the year. Isabel was Belle for Halloween.

November brought another road trip with another blogging friend to meet MORE blogging friends. Only to St. George this time. We enjoyed Thanksgiving. Black Friday was a bust and Hel lost 5kgs.

Disneyland marked the beginning of December. I have been pretty quiet on my blog this month, mostly because I have been making the worlds best present for Dal and it is using up every ounce of energy that I have. Not to worry... I finished it today. So I'll be back spreading my love and cheer shortly.

Thank you so much for all the support that you have all given us over this past year. I treasure friends and family the most and I am so glad that you are a part of that group. Yes you.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas. Love Dal, Hel and Bel.




Sunday, 5 December 2010

To the dearest girl that I know

I went in to your bedroom tonight after you fell asleep.

You were laying on your bed the wrong way and I knew that if I didn't put your head back on your pillow, you were more than likely to end up on the floor. More often than not, I will look at your darling face and feel such a surge of love that it startles me.

As we were driving home last night I couldn't help but turn around and watch you in the back seat. You sang along to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song and made daddy and me laugh. You didn't see us laughing because your eyes were fixed to the tv screen.

Can you feel it? Can you feel the inordinate amount of love that sometimes feels like is gushing from me? I want that love to help us both. I want it to help me be a better mummy. I want it to help you be the best kind of person you know how to be. I want it to help you when you feel sad. I want it to cheer you on when you are happy.

I want you to feel safe and warm because of my love for you. Even when it seems that I am being a mean mummy, I want you to secretly know that even though I am mean that love is still there fighting for you with every cranky part of my body. That love is ALWAYS on your side.

I want you to know that because you are you, I am a better me and nothing will ever beat the feeling of loving you.


Friday, 3 December 2010

Eeeee-It's a Small World After All

Eeee-it's a small world after all,
It's a small world after all,
It's a small small world.

And now that that song is stuck in your head, here's another.

Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh,
o'er the fields we go laughing all the way....

It's a small world after all,
It's a small world after all,
It's a small world after all,
It's a small small world.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, etc, etc.

The Small World Ride turned out to be LQ's favourite ride at Disneyland. Dal and I have just spent the last four days going round and round on those stupid boats watching electronic puppets sing and dance for us. And now I can't get that song out of my head.

Just wanted to share the love with you all.

About to embark on our week of Disney

This one is for my brothers..... Kiss the ring.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Black Friday - because I am always on top of current issues

For those of you that do NOT live in America and have no clue what Black Friday is, here is an explanation. It is the day after Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday in November) when stores go crazy and give you silly prices for sometimes amazing products. Take for example Office Max. Office Max had a printer that I desperately wanted. They were selling it on Friday for $130 LESS than what they normally sell it for. Craziness. But guess who didn't end up with one. Me.

Rewind to Midnight Thursday. When some stores started their Black Friday craziness. Generally the craziness will start at ungodly hours of the morning, like 3am and 4am. People will line up for a few hours before then just to get the stuff that they want. This has never appealed to me because I am far from being a morning person. I still get cranky with Isabel when she wakes me up before 8am. It happens every morning and yet I still get surprised when she doesn't just leave me alone.

Back to the Black Friday story. So I find out some stores are opening at midnight. And I think "I can do this". I may not be a morning person, but I can definitely stay up until midnight. So I pore through all the brochures eventually cutting my store destinations to two. Wal-mart (I know.... I'm cheap) and Old Navy. They both open at midnight, have some rockin' deals on some stuff that I need and I figure I'll be totally fine with staying awake for possibly only an hour.

At 11.50pm I drive through the parking lot of Old Navy. There's a line. And it is cold. I decide to leave Old Navy. I drive just around the block to Wal-mart. At least there's no line outside, so I put on my brave face and walk the half mile from the nearest available parking spot (that will fit my beast of a truck). I arrive in the store just as the Wal-mart workers have taken the black plastic off the product that is being sold for a song. I also arrive in the store just in time to see the mass hordes screeching and pulling and grabbing and throwing. Never before in my life have I seen such rudeness and chaos. There were no shopping carts left so I was left to push my way in to the crowd to grab what I could hold. The people I was contending with had obviously done this for years. I grabbed a few towels for a dollar a piece and my Rubbermaid container set, walked around in a daze for a while just witnessing the utter chaos and then marched my way over to the cash registers. I didn't have to wait long until I was walking out only half noticing that the line for the registers had increased one hundred fold.

I figured if I had survived Wal-mart then maybe Old Navy wouldn't be so bad. I went back. There was no line this time and it seemed like people were being civil to each other inside.

I waltzed in. Grabbed what I knew I had come for and searched for the end of the line. Turns out the end of the line was now snaking its way from the front all the way to the back and then back to the front again. I met a lady in line who was quite fun to talk to. We were given the nice opportunity to chat for two long hours as we shuffled our way forward in the line. Along the way I managed to pick up another $40 worth of clothing. CURSE YOU LONG LINE!!!

I vowed NEVER to do Black Friday again. My printer sat in Office Max waiting all day Friday for me to come and buy it. Unfortunately I spent the whole day trying to recover from my "easy" midnight shopping. Ugh.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Word Verification - On

Hi all.

Just a quick post to let you know that I have decided to turn Word Verification back on. I was just getting too many spam comments and it was very annoying for me. As much as I hate Word Verification, I hate spam more.

I hope this doesn't prevent you from leaving a comment now.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


The time: 4 o'clock this afternoon.

Max & Ruby is playing, too loud to really be in the background, but in the background none the less. I sit on my bed, playing around with the computer having a moment of peace. LQ decides it is time for a potty break in the ensuite.

She has become quite adept at doing the "potty" thing. She wriggles her body as she pushes her pants down, slides her little bottom over the seat and proceeds to tinkle. I don't take much notice of what she is doing until she lets out a giggle.

I look over to where she sits. She is using her arms as leverage as she lowers herself into the toilet and then brings herself up. LQ lowers and then giggles again.

"Mummy! It's COLD!"


The time: 9 o'clock this morning.

LQ asks for one of her new bandaids. I had promised her a Woody and Buzz Bandaid the previous evening if she would just go to bed. It seemed only fair to give her one. She took it and mumbled something about a sore nose as she walked out the door.

Shortly thereafter she returned.



The time: 10 o'clock this morning.

LQ was nowhere to be seen for a while. Her ladders were also missing in action. I almost interrupted the intricate play she had designed for herself. I let it go until she called out my name "Mummy! I stuck!"


Monday, 15 November 2010

Is it my turn yet?

I want to have a baby.

Just putting it out there. Hellooo Universe - it's my turn again.

I looked after a 12 month old and a 2.5 year old today while their mother went to school. I was able to get some good baby cuddles in during the 5 hours they were at my house. It seems that I am surrounded by babies here. Perhaps that is because I am. Sometimes it hurts my heart. But mostly I try not to think about it.

As I discussed my feelings today, I realised that the next step is to see a doctor. But I can't bring myself to take that step. It is an enormous step to take. A step that will take me down a path that I am not sure I am emotionally ready for. So I sit and wait in having-a-baby limbo land. Waiting for my miracle. Waiting for another perfect one of these:


*comments off*

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Speaking of Losing Weight

Did you notice my wonderful segue from one post to the next? Good.

I started a diet on Halloween. I thought it was a perfect time to diet, considering the candy, the Thanksgiving and then Christmas all being lumped into two perfect months. There's nothing like taking on a challenge and then making that challenge 50,000 times harder by having to refuse good food all the time.

No matter. It turns out I'm really good at refusing food. In fact - just let me toot my own horn for a while - I am FANTASTIC at refusing food. I guess all I needed was someone to tell me *exactly* what I should be eating... and I'm all good. I've lost 8 pounds in one and a half weeks. I feel good. I'm looking forward to the weight loss slow down.

Just as an aside - I really don't get excited about food in general. If it's there, I will eat it (hence the weight gain), but I don't care if it's not there either. Which why I am finding this diet to be a little easier than I expected.


I entered this picture into a little competition over at Diapers and Divinity. Something to do with joy in motherhood... and it came third! (p.s. I am sorry mum if you don't like how you look in this photo - I L.O.V.E it though). It is a photo of my mum and sister just after going through the temple. Can you believe that my mum is wearing what she wore when she got married?!



I read various blogs. It seems like it is a "thing" for mothers of young children to record the wonderful and often funny things their children say. I always think that that's a pretty awesome idea... and hope to one day copy it. For the moment anything that ANYONE says kind of just dribbles out the back of my head as soon as I hear it. So trying to remember things that LQ says during the day is kind of like trying to hold in your pee while jumping on a trampoline after just having a baby (NOT going to happen).

Having said that, there IS one thing that LQ says quite often that I find mildly amusing. If I ever do something that she asks me to do, she looks at me quite earnestly and says "Thank you for obeying, mummy". I think the obedience lesson has sunk in.

Monday, 1 November 2010


Dal gets new uniforms with his new office. Given the amount of uniform allowance that he has, he decided he would get me to take measurements to ensure the correct clothing was ordered.

Dal grabbed the tape measure, a pen and some paper this evening and we set to work measuring his hips, his neck, his arm length and chest. LQ sat on the bed and watched. I would measure, say the inches and Dal would write.

LQ insisted I measure her little body once I was done with Dal. Chest, waist and hips all measuring the same, making sure to lift up her shirt so I could get a proper measurement of her chest. Dal pretended to be interested as I called out her numbers. Then it was Mummy's turn to be measured. Although she could only get her arms around my neck, she tried to measure my "boobies" first.

"40-Ten!" She announced to Daddy.

Because the chest measurement had proved to be a little awkward, she went for my neck next.

"40-Ten!" Daddy took note that my neck was as wide as my chest. I assure you that I am NOT living a secret life as "Busty Bear", The Pro Wrestler. Nor am I winning any body building contests... I have a nice neck to chest ratio, thank you.

Dal's turn next. His boobies measured a nice round "40-ten!". Either he's got the nicest set of man-boobies around, or I need some implants. At this point I figured Daddy had the measuring under control, so I went off to do something mundane like crawling in to the clothes dryer to see how big it truly is.

I came back to hear that LQ's toes were indeed measuring at a staggering "40-ten!"

This may have been one of those moments that, had I been a "good" mother, I could have taught LQ the meaning of numbers and what two numbers together really looked like. Instead I had a good laugh - and then vowed to lose some weight from my neck.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Thursday, 28 October 2010

They Could be Twins, Right?


Sorry it's fuzzy, it is the only picture I got of her smiling. p.s. this was taken before the embellishments.


Monday, 25 October 2010

Feeling Goo-oo-ood

There is no sensation that compares to the one that you get as you step into a nice hot shower on the first day of your period while your child naps.

If you are anything like me, then chances are good that you have taken some nice pain killing drugs to go along with that long hot shower that marks the end of an emotionally craptastic week.

I am sure you know that spectacular week that I am talking of. The one in which you are ready to commit yourself toward the end of it. The week in which your dear partner certainly should be able to read your mind and if he doesn't then he really has no business even breathing near you. And don't get me started on swinging between supermum/wife and the ugly fire breathing ogre that you see in the mirror that shouldn't be allowed within ten feet of any children.

All that garbage flows down the drain when I stand in the shower that could have no end.

Now... tell me. Do you have a sensation that beats mine? (try to keep it PG rated)

What do you want from me?

LQ just fell asleep on the floor watching "space Mickey" for the umpteenth time. There is something about that green Martian Mickey that just speaks to LQ. I didn't WANT her to have a nap today which why she is passed out on yesterday's cracker crumbs.

I thought I would take this opportunity to blog. I could be doing a thousand other things and I probably should get on to that salad that I am supposed to take to Granny's place tonight and LQ's Belle dress isn't going to make itself. Neither is our bed for that matter. Have I mentioned the pyjama pants that LQ peed in last night before going to bed? I should probably get them out of the sink and into the washing machine.

Plenty to do, but blogging is what I choose to do instead. I am sure I will find a different reason for not doing them once I have finished this post.

I feel like I have lost my blogging way. Somewhere along the way I thought I got boring. I thought about what to write and then I would think "nobody wants to read that". And then I would not write it. I would try harder to think of something unboring but would just end up sounding lame and so I wouldn't write that either.

I want to write on my blog. I am far from my friends and family and I want them to know what is going on in my life. That is how my blog started out... then I moved closer to most of my friends and family (that read my blog) and so my blog's purpose kind of changed a bit. Now, here I am, struggling with the change in life but not the change in blog purpose. Just to clarify - I'm not struggling with the change in life (I am embracing most of it, in fact), I am struggling with the fact that my blog purpose hasn't changed along with the life change. Got it? Good. So I guess this is me announcing that my blogging style may change a little. Not a lot, I am sure, but just a little.

And there will probably be a lot more pictures. Of LQ. Doing... Everything. What can I say? She's adorable, particularly when she's crapping her pants in the middle of her pretend treasure hunt at the park. It has happened on two different occasions now. At the same park. Good thing she isn't peeing on the slides anymore.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Could it BE?

Could this possibly be the worst picture ever taken? I came across this little beauty while looking for another photo. Behold my mother and two sisters in all their retarded glory.


Wednesday, 13 October 2010


I had this idea.

I would move to a different country and then I would change the look and name of my blog to represent the change in my life.


I guess things haven't changed enough to rid me of my laziness.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Tanks

I am pretty certain I haven't let you in on my best secret.

My parents are crazy. And we like to call them Bob and The Bean. That is NOT their real names (kinda).

That may or may not be my best secret.

Living at their house for a whole month made me privy to slightly more of their craziness. Take for example "The Tank". Water Tank. Not Blow-up-your-enemies Tank.

My parent's house does not have access to town water so they have septic sewerage, grey water systems, strict four minute shower limits, a small dam and of course rain water tanks galore. Two particular steel tanks were showing a little wear and tear and Bob decided he would create a concrete tank stand. He also thought that fixing up the tanks was a good idea.

Bob and The Bean swung back and forth between wanting to buy new tanks and fixing up the ones they already had. They finally rested on fixing up the old ones.

They needed to get inside the tanks to clean up the rust and debris. The problem Bob and The Bean encountered was the small opening in to the tanks. Bob likes to do things his way, but the openings into the tanks only allowed The Bean in. If you have met my mother, you would understand how she manages to get herself in there.

Here is Bob Supervising The Bean



The Bean Trying not to pass out from de-rusting fumes


My parents may have inhaled more than just de-rusting fumes.


Saturday, 2 October 2010

Dear DeNae

I know... I have a lot to catch up on. But I have priorities and the current top priority is composing a poem for DeNae.

You see, LQ and I just got done driving from Mesa to Salt Lake City. Why you ask? I asked myself the same question about 20 times on that 15 hour drive (did you know driving by yourself with a child makes journey's longer than what you expect? I didn't). Lucky for me DeNae and her half family were there to break up that drive (8 hours into it). So for the following 7 hours of driving that I did today, I tried to think of a poem that I could share with you all in gratitude for all that DeNae did. This is what I've come up with so far:

Dear DeNae
Thank you for the hugs
and Thank you for the drugs

I've realised prose isn't my forte. But that pretty much sums up my visit with DeNae. LQ refused to sleep. I got a headache and had a slight (ahem) freakout about "stuff" that turned into full blown sobbing. I could have blamed my stuffy sounding nose on their retarded (DeNae's word, not mine) dog, but instead opted to tell the truth about my meltdown. DeNae's family do meltdowns well. Her son had the drugs on hand before I even had a chance to decide. The only other male I know who does that is my husband. Love, love, love that family.

Highlights of our stay include LQ stripping down to paddle in the pool. LQ crawling through the doggy door - butt naked - several times. DeNae was lucky enough to witness LQ's chubby bum just disappearing out the door. I have a sneaking suspicion that DeNae runs a nudist colony on the side. It's the only way I can explain LQ's sudden interest in being naked in front of strangers (and a retarded dog). OF course I forgot the camera. Other highlights: DeNae, eating cookie dough, eating yummy white bean chilli, DeNae and her wonderful family, the retarded dog (LQ loved her) and chatting with DeNae.

p.s I've made it to my destination and will be thoroughly enjoying my day tomorrow. LQ will be playing with the daughters of one of my best friends while I enjoy an entire day with my friend at General Conference. Cross your fingers I don't fall asleep!... What? I'm tired, alright.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Not a lot of Light in this Post

We are leaving in two days.

We are taking what we can in six large suitcases, three carry-on suitcases and "personal" bags.

As an aside, I've seen women with "personal bags" that are larger than their carry-on suitcases, overflowing with who knows what, whacking unsuspecting flyers in the head as they totter past on their too-high-for-flying shoes. It gives me the willies.

... and while I can list off to you many reasons for being excited for this journey, at this point I am not sure any of those reasons would help.

The facts are: I love Hobart (and Tasmania) more than I can possibly explain; Dal and I both feel like this place fits us perfectly; The people we have met have become good friends fast; There aren't nearly enough negative things about Hobart and its people for me to be clambering to get on the plane.

Leaving all this makes me Sad. Sad is ok. I can do sad. I can handle it. But I am afraid. Afraid that the sad will turn into something more. And that I can't do.

Just over a year ago, I wrote about anti-depressants, miscarriages and other unhappy things. I have had depression before. When I was 19 I tried to check out of life for a while (Read: I took way too many anti-depressants with the intention of rendering myself unconscious). I like to think I am at least past that stage in my life. I have visited many psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists who have given me a good number of coping skills. But the first half of last year saw me curled up on the floor paralysed by emotion too many times.

I guess I am afraid of a repeat. I know circumstances will be completely different, but still that voice of self doubt pops up every now and then telling me that I have a weakness. And conditions are ripe for my weakness to take over.

Even as I write this, though, I am reminded that there is also strength. Inner strength, spiritual strength, strength from my family and a strong husband (who is currently mumbling something about a "big fat Mario").

So here's to getting on that plane sad but not afraid.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

We've been wearing this girl out

It seems she can't wait until bed to go to sleep.




Yes. It's a toothbrush. And LQ has had a haircut.


Sunday, 5 September 2010

We have been busy

Dal, Hel and Bel have successfully moved into Hel's parent's house.

We are enjoying the cosiness of it all (for now).

We had the moving sale.

Hel didn't like selling Bel's baby clothes. Hel may have almost vomited when someone found the first outfit Bel ever wore. Dal also mentioned how hard it was letting go of Bel's things.

We packed things and more things appeared. We packed some more and the wardrobes spewed forth even more stuff. Hel became ruthless and started throwing out perfectly good shoes and clothes. But not one single part of her sewing cupboard was thrown out. Hel knows her priorities. We cleaned and weeded and mowed and moved. And then we handed our keys to the landlord. Hel did it with a lump in her throat.

Hel received word that her Visa interview is on the 14th September. Dal and Hel went crazy and bought flights to everywhere (not really everywhere, just to Sydney and LA).

Dal and Hel would like to announce that they will be touching down in America on the 22nd September (provided everything goes well with the Visa). Hel is excited she gets to see her brother as he passes through LA on his way home from his mission (French speaking in a part of Canada Hel can't quite remember right now).

Hel is tired. Dal is tired. And Bel is enjoying telling everyone what to do ("DANCE!!")



Monday, 16 August 2010

A truth revealed ... in the middle of the night

We have hunkered down for the night.

I have just entered the moment of sleep when I am dreaming but still aware of the larger sounds surrounding me. A little voice calls out, ripping through my dream. "MUMMY!" A spate of croupy coughing immediately follows. "MUMMY!"

My response is automatic and I am still not completely awake. My covers are quickly flicked off and I jump to the floor like a reluctant superhero. I fumble around in the darkness trying to find the carelessly discarded pants that will save me from a certain death by cold night air. My plight is unsuccessful. Frantically I switch the wardrobe light on and then off in the hope of seeing the pants and not disturbing a sleeping husband. Second failure. Husband offers his services and ambles off to comfort the now distraught daughter.

The pants are found and put on. Who did I think I was anyway? My body finds its position back in bed and my eyes close. LQ will be prying them open sooner than I would like anyway. But sleep does not come. Lights come on and off. Too much noise is being made for a quick comfort and back to sleep ritual. More croupy coughing ensues. I am drawn to her room by pure curiosity.

Not only has LQ coughed herself awake she has also managed to dirty her pants in the process. Dal cleans up. We sit on the edge of LQ's bed, this small family, LQ huddles against Dal's shoulder - her body overcome with waning spates of coughing. As the coughing subsides a synchronised sigh comes slowly from both her parents.

"Where do you think she picks up these illnesses?" A whispered question from Dal that is too complex for me to answer. He continues in a hushed tone, making sure not to wake LQ "Do you think it is from Daycare?"

A surprising little voice whispers back from his shoulder, "Yes".

LQ has entered the phase of knowing everything.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Driving is not for the faint hearted

I am a little nervous about moving to America.

It's not because I will be moving away from my family (although I will miss them incredibly). And it's not because I am afraid I wont make any friends (ppshht... this is me we are talking about - friend maker extraordinaire).

Nope - I am nervous because I am expected to navigate the opposite side of the road in a truck that even Dal hates to park. Ooohh.... my tummy goes all queasy every time I think of that big beast that is waiting for me. Waiting oh so silently, but ever so menacingly.

I think if I were to drive the same size vehicle here in Australia, I would be a little hesitant. But my confidence in my driving skills would take over and I would soon OWN that truck. But my first experience driving in North America leaves me with no confidence at all.

I was given a small hatchback to zip around in by the family I nannied for in Canada. It was the middle of Winter so I was a cautious and very safe driver. My sister and I were invited to have dinner with a few other young adults in the area, so I drove slowly in the dark to the appointed restaurant. It took all my concentration to remember that when I turned right I was to keep to the curb and when I turned left I needed to NOT turn into the oncoming traffic. All very confusing when you are trying to shift gears with the wrong hand. YOU try telling your brain to do the opposite to everything you have learned - I defy you not feel flustered and disorientated.

We had a very nice meal. Thank-you-very-much. We met new people, we laughed, we marveled at how inexpensive the meals were, and we couldn't quite grasp the concept of tipping.

And then my sister and I jumped into the car (not before both going to the wrong sides of the car and having a giggle about it). We were pleased with how well the dinner went and we discussed as I pulled out of the driveway. For a few blissful seconds nothing was wrong.

Then my sister started screaming at me. And because she was screaming, I couldn't understand a word she was saying. I looked at her and started piecing her screams together - my brain slowly forming the sentences that she was making. Quite obviously my cognition of her screams was a little slow for my sisters liking so she reached across to the steering wheel like a crazy woman and started wrenching at the wheel.

I fought with my crazy sister. I started girl slapping her away from me and doing quite a bit of my own screaming. Somehow through all the screaming and grabbing and slapping we managed to end up on the correct side of the road - the side with NO oncoming traffic.

Because we had been turning out from a driveway with no clear wrong and right sides, I had quite automatically turned left and kept to the curb. My sister thought she was going to die despite there being no traffic coming toward us at the time. By the time we corrected our position there were a few cars coming toward us, but they weren't to know that anything had been wrong.

I don't think my sister handled that situation all too well. Who tries to steer a car from the passenger seat while in hysterics anyway??!!

I am only glad my sister wont be there when I swing my "new" big truck into oncoming traffic. And if you happen to be in Mesa for the next 3 months or so, I suggest you give any big white truck you see a fairly wide berth. There's a good chance that after three months of driving, I still wont be sure where I am.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Can we be friends?

I like to think I am an honest girl. I like people to know exactly what kind of person they are dealing with from the start. I don't think I own any pretenses. Some times this means I over share. I think you know what I mean.

I try to reign it in on my blog... writing things down means that I spew it out on the screen and then go back and delete if needed. The luxury of going back and deleting is not afforded when I am having a conversation with a friend or colleague. That is when I tend to over share. If it is pertinent to my story, I will give you a detailed background to my life. My life hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows, so the listener usually receives some tawdry detail along the way.

A few people that I know have commented (positively) on my honesty recently and it got me to thinking. There may be some who do not appreciate the kind of honesty that I offer. I am not an over talker (I don't think. Correct me if I'm wrong). I know when to shut up. So I am not writing about being an over talker. I am writing about someone feeling uncomfortable about the information I have shared with them.

In my own happy world everyone enjoys my company and wants to be my friend. I know that in reality there must be people who don't want to be a part of my life (sad, but true).

So, tell me. If you and I were having a face to face conversation, would you feel uncomfortable if I told you that I once had to run naked down a long street to distract the terrorists long enough for my family to escape from the sewer in which they were being held hostage?

All within the context of our conversation of course. Seriously, where do you draw the line between "yeah, we could be friends" and "oops, she's crazy"?

Monday, 26 July 2010

Camera Unload

Our fridge is small and likes to freeze things. The freezing problem stems from the fridge being too small and things being shoved too far back. Many times our fresh produce freezes and becomes unusable. I thought I could solve the problem by just throwing our produce outside (it has been cold enough). I glanced outside the other day and couldn't stop giggling at the whole situation.


I have been taking all the DVD's out of their cases and putting them in little plastic pockets. This reduces the volume which is generally a good thing when you have limited space when moving internationally. LQ thought this pose might help sell the empty cases.


We finally celebrated Dal's birthday - five days later.



Speaking of birthday's, LQ's DayCarer had a birthday recently, so I spent the whole time I had without LQ making this for the Lovely "Hannah" (That's what LQ calls her).


LQ and I spent today rediscovering the dressing up box. LQ chose all my outfits.






Tuesday, 20 July 2010

When you're the best of friends...

I am a lucky girl.

From all the moving around that I've done in my lifetime I have acquired a good set of friends. They are all as different as could be. There are different parts of each of their characters that complement my personality. My favourite thing about all these lovely people is that despite my really bad "keeping in touch" skills they still love me and want to be a part of my life.

As mentioned in the last post, Dal has been away. I have been reminded, again, that I just wouldn't cut it as a single mother. Hats off to all the single mothers out there - not sure where you find your inner strength because I sure as heck don't know where mine is.

I arranged a play date with a friend for today. She has an almost four year old and a one year old. If you've been around this blog long enough you may recognise "bibby's" name. LQ's bestie... she's the almost four year old. So Bibby's mum and I were looking forward to a good chat and rest from the girls while they played for hours with each other.

Yeah right. Every mother has fallen into that trap before - expecting something magical to happen to their kids. And that magical thing didn't happen.

The kids were feral... the mothers just needing a break... and I almost left. But I just needed to be out of the house. So I stuck it out.

And then we slobbed on the couch. We ate party pies for lunch. We ate too many cookies. We played puzzles and drew all over each other. "N" and I laughed at our kids. We looked at each other with tired and sick eyes and understood without saying anything. And then we went for a drive... just because the kids would be restrained.

I loved it. LQ loved it. And I love my friend for putting up with us for five whole hours. From an outsider's point of view it would have looked like the most unspecial kind of day. But to me it was my favourite.

I felt the love. Thanks N for the perfect day.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Hel in Real Life - A post devoid of emotion (maybe)

What is really going on in my life. Just the cold hard facts - because sometimes I just waffle on on this blog.

In just under two months we are taking the Dal, Hel and Bel show to Mesa, Arizona (United States for anyone who is confused). We still don't have an exact date that we will be flying over because the great agent rates that Dal gets only work if we book the flights less than 30 days out. But we are planning on trying to get flights on the 5th, 6th or 7th of September.

We wont be taking much and that is ok, because for our entire married life, Dal and I have been preparing to move to the states. We have bought crappy furniture that we couldn't possibly become attached to (maybe). We have been ruthless with culling every time we move. So if you are in the Hobart area and feel like rummaging through our stuff and maybe giving a couple of dollars for something you think you may want, watch this space. I'll let you know when we plan to sell it all.

Dal's parents, particularly his mother, have been having lots of fun finding second hand furniture to fill the home we will be renting. I can't tell you how grateful I am to them for saving me from that added stress. Just between you and me, I have a feeling that Dal's mom has relished every moment of filling that house with furniture. I feel like we've done better than when we first got married!!! Thanks Mom (and Dad)!

Dal is currently in Vegas on a whirlwind tour for the agency he works for (DeNae he may have peeked in your window last night to say hello). He has had a couple of nights of debauchery and should be on his way to visit his mom shortly. We packed a couple of suitcases for him to take over. It was sad for me.

I have just finished up 2 1/2 months of part time work (monday to friday, 10am-3pm) as a fill in receptionist. I believe those 2 1/2 months took its toll on our little family. Priorities got pushed to the side and we switched to survival mode. I am now savouring every moment of my stay at home status and working towards getting back our "normal" life and routines.

LQ continues to dance and hasn't said "Ah, BUM!" in over a week. She will continue to go to family daycare once a week - on Friday's because that is when her best friend goes. Her best friend is a little boy just a bit younger than her and I have it on good authority that if you could bottle their constant giggles we could cure all sorts of terminal illnesses.

I made brownies today. The recipe called for FIVE eggs. That means they are the best brownies I have tasted in LONG time.

THE END. (Any Questions?)

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Names changed to protect the innocent

I received an email just about a week ago that made me laugh and cry at the same time. I asked the sender if I could post it on my blog. She wrote back and told me that I could put it on my blog if I didn't use her name - she said that she still likes people to believe she has it all together still. Which is probably one of the reasons why I laughed so much at the first email - it was such a delight to get such a raw and untouched account of her day. So without further ado... my friend's day.

Daughter didn't sleep last night. Well that's an exaggeration. She slept from 9-11 then 11:30-1 then 4-7 But Husband woke me up at 6. I've dragged myself through the day. Done absolutely nothing except go out to buy fast food. I've got a head cold to top it off. Daughter is choking on 2 min noodles (it took all my energy to make them) in the other room and I'm not even going to check on her. I'm sure she'll pull them up. One of those days I feel like a bad mother but I guess I'm just a sick and tired mother. She's giggling to herself now. Guess she didn't choke to death. Sigh... good to know I'm not the only one struggling to get through the day.
Did you get a nap?
A Friend told me that that mother that she nannied for that was a dancer would just sleep all day while her kids took care of themselves. They survived. I don't think I would be able to sleep though. I just put a movie on and cuddle with Daughter so if she moves I wake up.
Before I had Daughter I promised myself I wouldn't have crumbs in the car. Now as I put her into the car and she's cranky I say "Look Daughter a sultana from last week" and feed it to her and am thankful it was there. What has happened to me???
Hopefully we have a better day tomorrow. And I hope LQ feels better. Poor chicken.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Bum Indeed

Last week I told Dal that he needed to start watching what he says in front of LQ. Her speech is becoming clearer so anything she repeats will actually be recognised now. Upon hearing my caution, Dal turned to LQ and asked her to repeat after him. She did so - word for word. My point was made. Dal thought it was hilarious.

I forgot to give Grandma the same memo so the start of last week saw the beginning of LQ's now favourite phrase - "Oh BUM!" Everywhere we went, if there was something that went slightly wrong, LQ would furnish us with an "Ah, BUM!"

It was very cute really until Sunday when she dropped her cracker during sacrament (for all the non-Mormons - kind of like when the wine and crackers are being handed out during mass). Everyone likes to be quiet and reverent during this sombre moment of Church. Of course things aren't so reverent when the 3 year old sitting at the back lets out an "AH, BUM!" while sitting next to her sixteen year old Uncle. Fits of giggles all round.

I am just thanking my lucky stars that Grandma didn't say "poop and bum" instead.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

How NOT to make babies

I am sure it is no secret that Dal and I want to have more than one child. We are really happy with the one we have (although sometimes you would be forgiven for thinking we are not) and would like more of the same.

For reasons we are not sure of just yet, we haven't been very successful in the baby making business this last year. We haven't been very proactive about it... just a kind of lazy baby making (Fi, are you freaking out yet? Too much information?).

Last month I said "ENOUGH". Time to get serious about this project (do you see my project list on the side there? It hasn't changed in almost 9 months. I am SO good at completing projects). So I went to the chemist and bought myself an Ovulation prediction kit. I stood in the baby making (or NON baby making) aisle in the chemist for way too long trying to decide if I wanted to catch my pee in a cup or for $5 more just pee on a stick. I guess I am cheaper than I thought because I went with the cup to save my $5.

And then I waited for the day to come when I could use my little kit. We didn't have too many visitors to the house that month, but the ones that came over and used our bathroom were lucky enough to be confronted with the whale sized box that my kit came in. Yep... the Petersen's are "TRYING".

The day arrived that I could start using my "pee in a cup" kit. It turned into an interesting juggling act when LQ walked in halfway through and wanted to help. I believe my attempt at being careful may have been more successful if I hadn't managed to throw pee all over myself and the walls. Don't worry, there was still some left in the cup to test. LQ was very interested in that part of the process too. I had to stand there for "not less than five minutes but no more than ten minutes" constantly pulling LQ's hand away from the specimen. "No, LQ. Yucky". Once everything had been cleaned up LQ proclaimed it a success and said "Good girl, Mummy. Good girl."

OI! I am pretty certain a woman with a similar experience to mine invented the pee on a stick version.

Side note: Dallas managed to be in Thailand when I ovulated. I am pretty certain that's NOT how you make babies.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

It's Zee In America and Zed in Australia - Which one do I sing??!!

A bit of Sunday Silliness.

And yes I realise I said that Dal would be posting his version of events on Monday. It was the following morning when Dal read my post that he became aware of his involvement in the process - and then life happened. I'm sure we'll get our act together one day and make this blog amazing.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Having a day out with my family means....

Hel's Take

Today is a public holiday. Thank you to the Queen who had her birthday in April. We get to celebrate in June. I think it's kind of a kick in the pants really. Yes you may have a day off, but lets make it on what will inevitably be one of the coldest days of the year. But I'm not one to give up a holiday, so "Happy Birthday to the Queen".

Mum organised a day out while my sister is down visiting the family. Not sure if I've ever told you about any "Cluff Family Adventures", but if my mum ever asks if you want to spend a day or a week away with the family I would advise running away - FAST. If you think screaming will help, do that too. A couple of memorable moments come to mind.... Dad splitting his head open while ice skating, seven hours of motion sickness, "Carobana" (that one's for my sisters).

Our destination today - Hastings Cave. A good hour and half drive from Hobart. I got up early with LQ so we could get a few house chores done before we left for the cave at 10am. In what Dal will tell you is true Hel style, we didn't leave the house until 20 minutes after 10. That's ok, I'm pretty certain my family has the same genes as me. Before racing out of the house, I quickly checked google maps. Our printer doesn't work, so I tried to memorise the hour and half worth of directions. I was pretty certain I'd be fine.

Knowing that the Police would be out looking for those holiday "hoons" I kept my speed to just at the limit sometimes even below. We came to a fork in the highway - the same highway going in two different directions. I couldn't remember google maps telling me about this! I veered left - the wrong way. I kept driving looking for a sign to point me in the right direction. I found a sign. It was directly after another sign telling me to slow my speed down. Which I didn't do because I was too busy studying the sign with the directions. I continued to study the sign with directions as I sped toward the policeman standing in the middle of the road trying to wave me down. I feel lucky that I have a husband concerned with the welfare of our local policemen, or I would have run that man right down without realising it. Despite his near miss the dear policeman was very nice and gave me a bit of leniency with my speeding fine. All his niceness couldn't have stopped the tears from flowing, though. It is my second speeding fine in Three days!

An hour and a half of The Wiggles later, we arrived at the cave visitors centre and sat down to eat lunch. LQ fell apart. She wanted juice, she wanted chocolate milk. I bought her chocolate milk. She didn't like chocolate milk. Grandpa drank the chocolate milk. LQ fell apart because of Grandpa. The tears flowed, Grandpa bought two more different drinks that were no good to LQ. Dal managed to keep the tears at bay and we continued on to the main event - The Cave. Dal suggested we put LQ in a nappy while we were in the cave. I said I'd take one in with me and if she said she needed to go we could put her in one. We had a backpack to put LQ in so she didn't have to walk too far. LQ loved it. LQ wanted cuddles with daddy. LQ wanted cuddles with mummy. LQ wanted to walk. LQ wanted cuddles with daddy. LQ peed her pants while being held by daddy. A strong smell of urine permeated the cave for a short time. We hung at the back of the group for a while. Poor Dal had a nice wet stain all down his leg and all over his arm.

LQ insisted we find monkeys and tigers while we were in the cave. No monkeys or tigers could be found. The only thing that kept LQ happy was a torch that the nice tour guide loaned her. LQ searched for cave crickets and spiders with her torch.

We finally left the cave. It was an amazing experience, but could have done without the general unwell feeling that you get in a cave. We also could have done without the peeing incident. It was our intent to swim in the hot springs after, but LQ seemed too tired. It didn't stop her from insisting loudly that she wanted to swim. Several minutes later we were on our way home saying good bye to the monkeys. LQ cried because she didn't get to see the monkeys or tigers. I told her to shut her eyes and dream about the monkeys. I looked back about a minute later and her little eyes were still tightly squeezed shut, presumably still thinking about the monkeys she didn't get to see.

Tomorrow - Dal's take on spending a day with Hel's family.

Saturday, 12 June 2010


I have started a few posts in the past two weeks, but none of them seemed any good. Who knows, this one may go by the way of the last two - to the land of "no good posts".

Life seems to have really taken me by the hair and swung me around. I feel like I am still spinning. Or more to the point, I feel like I am just keeping up with my own life.

I have been working as a fill in receptionist recently while the company tries to find a new receptionist. It turns out I'm what they want and have asked me to stay, but I am leaving the country in a few short months, so that doesn't quite fit in with their plans of keeping me. I am kind of relieved that I have that cut off date. If I didn't have that date I am certain I would just keep on keeping on and never end up going back to my stay at home status. And I so desperately want that status back.

If there was going to be anything to make me appreciate being a stay at home mother, it was going back to work. I am now completely and fully aware of where I feel best and it is at home with my sweet daughter. Hanging out, wondering if I am doing "enough" with her during the day. It seems all that is currently happening is a few sweet moments between her late late naps, picking daddy up from work and bed time.

So in an effort to snatch those few precious moments that remain untouched by the outside world, I have kept my blogging to a minimum. I am sure that there will be moments in the next three months when I need to reach out and feel your friendship, so I hope you stick around during my time of retreat. I have a feeling that there are going to be a few emotional moments as I prepare to leave this country of mine.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Impressions of a Wonderful Life

Guest Blogger: Dal
(Disclaimer: I must apologise upfront to all you faithful readers of Hel's fabulous blog. I was invited to compose a post for Hel's birthday. The following is certainly not up to the standard of Hel's usual posts, but I have given it my best shot. This post comprises something I have been pondering lately, and I wanted to share it on Hel's blog. Please forgive my emotional excesses and eccentricities.)

Have you ever suddenly arrived at the end of a week and wondered, to yourself, where all the time went? A week is comprised of seven days, which equals 168 hours, or 10,080 minutes. Even if we spend one third of that sleeping, we are still left with at least 112 hours per week with which to do... stuff. To be honest, I am not sure what I do with all that time. It certainly seems like I should have time to burn. But I don't.

Life has a crafty way of sweeping most of us along for a rather bumpy ride. And no matter how much we may be enjoying the ride, or wishing we could get off, time rhythmically ticks a staccato in the background. For this reason I feel it is important to have anchors in life. Anchors help us to hold fast to the things in life that really matter. Without these anchors we could find ourselves adrift, trying to navigate our way through rough seas, but without a real purpose or fixed destination.

It may be a shortcoming of my youth, but I truly feel that my life is important. I think. I feel. I am. I matter. This rather biased look at my self and my worth does not stem from my past achievements, or a delusional projection of what I will achieve in the future. I do not matter because of my work or anything I do at my job. I hope that this feeling is not just a product of my youth, but that I will feel the same way when I am seventy, eighty, or even ninety years old. I hope my life has taken on even greater depth and meaning when I mature in age. I believe my sense of purpose and importance stems from my anchors. The most important anchors in my life are my family, the gospel, and art. These three anchors give me a sense of purpose, remind me of what is truly important, and help me to see and appreciate the beauty that is all around.

Unfortunately, I am as guilty as anyone of devaluing the exquisite worth of my family. My wife is the single most important person in my life. I would be nowhere without her (I would also be a creepy 30 year old man who feasts on spam and creamed corn while endlessly playing Final Fantasy every weekend, alone). I find it so easy to get swept along the current of life and forget to appreciate her daily efforts. But she is as much an essential part of my life as the features on my face. (Yes, I just compared my wife to my face, but please, indulge me for a moment.) I have grown so accustomed to seeing my face, that it is easy to ignore it, although it is always there. My face has always been there, and will always be there. The contours of my face often change, the lines deepen, and the hairline recedes (hair?). I could not imagine a life without my face, it is a crucial part of who I am.

I find it rather profound that my wife is also such an accepted and essential part of my life. I just assume she has always been there and always will be there. I remember a time without her, but it's hazy, shadowed, and oddly, feels a bit empty. Although Hel is a part of me, she is also separate from me. In actual fact her life, feelings, and emotions are just as fragile as mine and could change in a heartbeat. It is wrong of me to just accept Hel as part of me, like an appendage, and I should always let her know just how essential she is, and how much she matters. It is an exquisite feeling to know that I have the privilege of sharing my life with Hel, and extraordinary that she has so easily become another part of me. A part that I didn't know I was missing. How keenly would I now feel her loss if she were to disappear? In the swift passing of time I find it crucial to stop for just a moment, as often as possible, and truly appreciate Hel's worth to me and my life as my most profound (and skinny) anchor.

LQ is a more elemental anchor. It is impossible to forget she is there. If she were an appendage she would be akin to a hand that uncontrollably smacks me in the face. The hand doesn't need anything, just wants to continually remind me of its presence. I could escape LQ as easily as I could escape falling down in the middle of an earthquake. But somehow, I know I wouldn't want to escape her, even if I could. Her love for me is unquestioning, and my love for her is fierce. Next to her, all other earthly possessions seem like so much inconsequential dust. I may spend 10 hours a day working as a travel agent, but it is for the 2 hours I get to spend with LQ each evening that truly give my life meaning.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ, or my particular version of it (LDS, if you're curious), has always been a part of me. I could remove this completely from my life as easily as I could step out of my skin. My feelings and dedication to the gospel run very deep, and this helps keep all other aspects of my life in the proper perspective. The gospel confirms my unique place in the universe, teaches me to adore Hel and revere the sanctity of women, and also instills humility by encouraging service to all around me. This anchor keeps me pointed toward the right direction.

I can think of few anchors with more power than art. What better element is there to teach about the world around me? Whether it be films, books, music, or other forms of fine art, these impressions of life have always kept me grounded by touching on truths that are difficult to expose otherwise. I have always had an personal affinity to film. This form of art takes the elements of music, dialogue, photography, acting, direction, production design, and several other variables to create a collage of life. Certain films have the power to touch our very souls, instruct us, and uplift us. Other films do no greater than make us laugh, but how profound can laughter be at the right moments in life? No matter how awful my day has been, a great movie will always uplift me and prime me for watching another. Consider also the power of great music, or the magic of an excellent story. As anchors, all forms of art can take us out of the monotonous current of life and remind us how exquisite this world truly is.

Do you have anchors in your life? What do you have that serves as a reminder of your exquisite worth? Most of us spend the bulk of our time sleeping, eating, working, and sitting in traffic. What will you remember about your life when you are ninety? It probably won't be the hours you spent sitting in traffic. Remember your greatness. Remember the beauty around you. Try and drop as many anchors as you can while time steadily drums on. Do not let another week sweep by with nothing to hold you steady.

Dal & Hel

From Helen: I loved all the suggestions for celebrating my birthday. I REALLY liked the idea of karaoke, Steph! But didn't find a karaoke place in time - maybe next time. Random.org picked the first comment as the winner of my chocolate care package - The Damsel in Dis Dress. Love the Damsel, visit her blog - now! Damsel, if you would like some insane chocolate from Aus, email me with your address.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

A Very Happy UnBirthday

First things first - I wanted to thank you for showing your love on my post before the LQ update. It was really nice to see a few newbies and of course my "old faithful" blogging friends.

Did you know I study out information before I write my posts sometimes?

Today I researched my past birthday blog posts. LAME! The first birthday that I had while blogging went completely unnoticed. The second year I blogged through my birthday. Want to know what I did for my birthday last year? Woke up too early, crashed on the couch and felt entitled to a day without child.

Pathetic. How does an extrovert miss two BIG opportunities for unabashed loving on herself? This year I am determined to do it differently.

I have a husband who will write a blog post about how wonderful I am - he doesn't know that he's doing that yet, but husbands are supposed to do those things, aren't they? Then I was thinking of doing something with the wonderful friends that I've made here in Hobart.

the problem: I am at a loss as to what to do. I have a feeling that I will just be too tired to feel like doing anything. So, do I just sleep for my birthday or spend quality time with friends and family (if yes, what should I do with them?)? My brain is fried - I need YOU to make the decision for me.

As an incentive to make my decisions for me, I'll randomly pick a comment from this post on my birthday and send that person a chocolate care package. You know you need it!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

LQ can now be classified as a Preschooler

I usually do google searches like this:

"My toddler is vomiting, what should I do?"

"What is the best way to get my toddlers hand out of the cookie jar?"

"My toddler refuses to eat anything I give her, HELP"

"My toddler is refusing to do wee wee, should I give up potty training?"

"It took my toddler 2 hours to go to sleep last night, HELP"

The list goes on. Type in toddler and you will get a reasonable number of suggestions all within the correct range of age (2 - 3). Now that LQ has turned three I realise that I have now graduated to asking google about Preschoolers, NOT toddlers.

Some other things you may need to know about LQ (should there be a pop quiz one day).

LQ likes to say "Sowwy" (sorry). The problem with the constant sowwy's is that I am not sure she quite understands why she should say sowwy. I accidently bump her juice out of her hand: "Sowwy Mummy, Sowwy". She walks into a wall "Sowwy Mummy, Sowwy".

She is also constantly concerned about other's welfare. "are you ok, mummy?"
"I'm ok, LQ. Are you ok?"
"I ok."
The trick to this little exchange is that you MUST ask her if she is ok or she will continue to ask you if you are ok. When I let out the occasional barrage of abuse to passing drivers she always looks quite concerned and asks if I am ok. I wish she would stop - it's hard to stay angry at someone when your child does something really cute immediately after.

LQ's speech is coming along nicely. An interpreter is usually still needed, but at least the interpreter (me) can now mostly understand her.

LQ is now officially a daddy's little girl. No amount of mummy hugging can take the place of one little daddy hug. It breaks my heart whenever she chooses daddy over me. And in the spirit of good sportsmanship, Dal usually has a nice smirk on his face when he wins - until he realises that he now has to deal with LQ. He confessed the other day that he smiles because he knows how much it bothers me. Nice.

"33eytecfffgfghd" - directly from the fingers of LQ.

4eaazzzzzzasasaassssssssssss hnggjhgjhhghfgmhdrtrgtswa,mfhhgjkjkm,m l,,, - ok, that's enough from LQ.

LQ's favourite movie at the moment is "Monsters Inc." When I first watched Monsters Inc I didn't think it was a fantastic movie - it just seemed a little ordinary. Now I feel its ordinary-ness is what makes it easier to watch ten times a day. Of course Dal and I have our favourite lines that we wait for every time it is on.

LQ is also aware of the difference between boys and girls now. She walked in on Dal having a shower the other day and randomly started laughing hysterically. I am not certain what exactly she was laughing at, but it was definitely funny watching her point and laugh at Dal.

Cooking still makes LQ very happy. Since using a recipe that involves rubbing butter in to the flour with your hands, LQ has insisted on putting her hands in EVERY mixture we create.

My favourite thing about LQ at the moment is the great enjoyment she gets from singing along to songs. As soon as she is strapped into her carseat she calls out "WAGGLES!!" (Wiggles). If there is a song that she particularly likes she will request "LOUD". She is very much her father's daughter being quite adept at picking out the accompaniment and background beat to any song.

Whenever we read stories to LQ she will always point out a daddy, an LQ and a mummy. Somehow this means I always end up being the wicked stepmother in Cinderella, after LQ becomes Cinderella and Daddy turns into Cinderella's daddy. Of course Dal sometimes ends up being a monkey, so I think we are almost even.

Super Martian Robot Girl Collage

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Just out of curiosity

I am interested in who regularly reads my blog. I have noticed a jump in visits to my darling little blog. The jump has baffled me because I know that I haven't suddenly acquired 30 more friends in Hobart in the last week.

So show me some love and leave a comment. It can even be anonymous like my mum!

I promise this will be the only time I beg for comments.

And while you are commenting, here's a picture of LQ to enjoy. She is having a tea party with Bunny Bear and Piglet in her blanket house - if you couldn't tell. LQ requested that I take a picture of her and her friends.


Sunday, 9 May 2010

Refocusing Motherhood

Three Mothers Days have come and gone since I was bestowed the title of "Mother".

The title of Mother has scared me, confused me, given me hope and given me joy. I have floundered with my motherhood. I have struggled to stay afloat as the title overwhelmed me and the duties and responsibilities pulled me down, suffocated me and then threw me back up allowing me to catch my breath.

Many days have ended with me deep in thought, wondering what it is I am actually supposed to be doing. I know my role is to nurture my child, but what does that mean and how do I fit my personality to that particular word? Nurture. Why don't women get a manual or at best a Position Description before they enter the world of motherhood? For many months now I have considered the importance of knowing what is expected of me - having my own Position Description.

I knew that whenever I entered a new job BC (Before Child) I found that reading my position description and knowing exactly what was expected of me helped me form my days. Tasks that were given to me were prioritised based on my understanding of what my position was and who I ultimately reported to. I really felt as though my lack of understanding of my position as a mother is what contributed to the floundering feeling I was beginning to get more often.

So I set out to give myself a position description. I am not talking about those email forwards that you get from time to time to make mothers feel all important about themselves. I really wanted something meaty that if I started to feel directionless I could look at it and refocus myself.

This is what I came up with (this position description contains some words used by "Mormons" that you may be unfamiliar with. Click on the link and you will be taken to a description of what it means. Of course you can adapt this description to incorporate your own values or religion):

Position Description - Motherhood

Key Objective
The key objective of Motherhood is to raise children who desire to return to live with Heavenly Father and live worthy of that desire, have a testimony of the gospel and are upright citizens who glory in doing good and resisting iniquity.

The Scope of the Position
The Mother, in partnership with the Father, reports directly to Heavenly Father with the responsibility of day-to-day management of educational, spiritual and physical needs of children placed in the family. The Mother liaises with a scope of people both inside and outside the home and places the nurturing of her children above all else.

Principal Accountabilities
  • Understand, demonstrate and model your family core values in day-to-day interactions with internal clients, external clients and the community.
  • Recognise and provide teaching opportunities on a daily basis
  • Oversee all family financial needs in collaboration with your husband
  • Teach children by example and also by precept
  • Rear children in love and righteousness, provide for their physical and spiritual needs and teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.
Your duties list will contain all day to day tasks needed to be accomplished to achieve your principal accountabilities. Duties could include talking to your child about their day; providing home made meals five times a week, etc. I am yet to do my comprehensive list of duties. But I am sure you get the idea.


This position description has already helped me refocus on what is important. Reminding myself daily that I am to report to Heavenly Father each evening instills more patience, more joy and peace in my day. If I can honestly say each evening that I am happy with how I conducted myself that day, then I know that Heavenly Father is happy with how I am looking after his child.

Motherhood doesn't always chew me up and spit me out, but now when it does I don't feel so alone and overwhelmed. I evaluate my actions against my PD and start afresh the next morning.

*Note: My Position Description contains bits and pieces of scripture, paragraphs from The Family: A Proclamation to the World and various position descriptions found online.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

My Girls Let Me Down

I am going to put it out there. If you are a man, look away now.

I am well endowed in the chest region. I thought I'd specify where exactly I am well endowed because some people may get confused. But I am a girl and usually if a girl says she is well endowed it means she has a fine pair of girls to hold up.

I haven't always loved my girls. In fact I am mostly giving them warnings that if they don't start shaping up, then I am going to get rid of them. Dal usually has something to say about that, but if I started talking about that then I would be going off on a tangent. Let's stick to the story, ok?

Since becoming a mother I have found more uses for my girls than I thought humanly possible. Of course there is the major breastfeeding coup. That's always a surprising talent to acquire.

There is another talent that I have found quite useful in these new desperate times.

Should I be found with no pockets and I need to hide something quickly from LQ, I will pop the item down between the girls. They keep the item safe until there comes a time when I can hide it properly. Sometimes the item that is shoved down there is just in need of safe keeping so it doesn't get lost. If you were ever lucky enough to look down there you would mostly find my mobile phone or LQ's "bip bip" (pacifier).

However, Wednesday saw an unfamiliar item find it's way into the safe keeping of the girls. I was lucky enough to schnuggle one of the cutest babies around. This little baby girl has the best shock of black hair you will ever get to see. It seems that every time that I see this baby girl, her mother has put a different clip in her hair. CUTE. The clip she had in her hair on Wednesday wasn't staying in though. I thought I had taken it out and put it away safely. But when we started searching it was nowhere to be found. Not to worry there's plenty more where that came from.

Several hours (I am talking at least five) I randomly brush my hand up against my stomach. There's something there. I lift the three layers of clothing up from my skin to reveal a cute little clip sitting on my belly button. I don't remember giving it to the girls. Whether I gave it to them or not - my girls let me down. They shirked their duty and passed it on to my stomach, which, given time, will probably do the job just as well. But not just yet.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Status - Married

There was once a time before Dal and I were married.

I would occasionally watch the original CSI (no other CSI stacks up). There were many dead guys to be identified and many suspects to be undone. One particular dead guy while laying on the slab gave up a secret with an indent on his finger.

There was no wedding ring on the left hand of this man that had met an untimely demise but those fabulous CSI knew instantly he was a married man because of the indent that his wedding ring had made over time.

Despite it being a morbid scene, I was touched. I could not wait for the day that I could be identified as being married just by the indent on my finger.

I forgot to put my rings back on my finger today after my weekly shower. It was only as I drove away from dance class this morning that I noticed - and quietly celebrated. I had achieved Indent Status.

Ring Finger

Potty Training - The Long Story

I may be one of the last to have jumped on the "Stats" band wagon, but now I have a detailed analysis of who is visiting my blog. Except I am really not sure how to use all those stats. I click on my stats link to find out how many people visited my blog today and I stare. All those different ways of looking at the same numbers.

One thing I do love looking at is the keyword searches that lead people to my blog. From my stats page I have learned that there are a LOT of people looking for "I am a Lady and I do ladies things". A few people come over to see my candy corn and paint pots. And then there's those people who come directly to my post about how I may be thinking about potty training LQ. I know those people. They are the desperate parents searching for any small idea on how to get their child to reach the mecca of poo poos and wee wees.


And because I know that all those desperate parents are looking for is some sort of magic word, I am going to give it to you.

Chocolate and Perseverance.

There is nothing in this world that motivates LQ more than chocolate. By design, my little LQ is a rather stubborn child. She isn't stubborn about much, but when she gets it into her head to do (or NOT DO) something there is no stopping her. I tried EVERY trick there was to be sold to me. Charts, stickers, prizes and even ridiculous potty monster crackers (please don't ask. It's still a fresh "buyers regret" wound). It wasn't until after Easter that I realised that I finally had something I could bribe LQ with. And so the bribery began.

Find your bribe.

And this is where we get on to perseverance. It doesn't matter how many tricks you are sold, please don't be fooled into thinking your child should be going potty within "3 to 5 days". It's really nice if it happens, but sometimes it doesn't. And that is why YOU need to decide that you really want it.

I have learned by trial and error that the only things that get done in our household are the ones that I really want to do. I am sure as a parent to a younger child you will know the drill.... there is that critical boiling point that you get to where you think that if you don't change what is happening you are going to go completely insane. eg. sleeping routine (good heavens I HATE having to retrain LQ to settle herself every time we stray from the "routine").

That critical boiling point is where I got to on my fourth and final try at potty training. I gritted my teeth and pushed on through. Even when LQ held her pee pee in for two days straight and stood right in front of me as the urine streamed down her leg, I knew that there was no more turning back - something in my brain had snapped.

Finally, remember that potty training is like parenting. No one has the perfect answer because no one has raised YOUR child. Likewise, no one knows how to potty train your child because your child is unique. You can get tips but you still need to do the old trial and error kind of parenting to get it right.

Note: I also found it handy to have a chart to record every emission. After a couple of days you realise that there is a rhythm to all this excess waste. LQ also liked the little chart I had of what she needed to do before and after going potty (pull pants down, shut lid, flush, wash hands). She really enjoyed telling ME what I needed to do.

REading on the potty