Wednesday, 14 September 2011

I always pay for my sleep

This morning the kitten and Isabel woke me up especially early.

Oh, I didn't tell you about the kitten.  Long story short:  Found an abandoned 4 week old kitten,  took it home because I couldn't bear to worry about it for the rest of my life.  Am trying to resist the urge to keep her and have someone come and take her to a new home.  I haven't really advertised her yet....

So Isabel wakes up and upon doing so, wakes the kitten up.  The kitten mews constantly until I get her some milk.  So when Isabel wakes up these days, it means I am well and truly up myself.  The usual routine is Isabel up, Kitten up, Kitten mews, I stumble out of bed, I make milk for kitten while Isabel dances around me asking what I want to play, Isabel and I play Isabel's new board game over and over while the kitten eats.

If I'm lucky, I'll make it to 9am before I drag myself back to bed, trying to think of a way to keep Isabel occupied while I attempt a bit more sleep.

This morning, though, I couldn't even make it to 8 o'clock.  7.30 came around and Isabel seemed content to sit and eat her breakfast while she watched tv and I slyly slipped out of the tv room and lay on my bed.  I literally passed out.

The next thing I was aware of was Isabel's excited voice piercing through my coma-like state of mind.  I looked at the clock.  It was 9 o'clock.  I couldn't believe it.... I got a good amount of sleep without Isabel interrupting.  Panic set in.  What had she been doing all that time?!

"Look Mummy!  My pyjamas have pockets!"

"Oh that's fun, how did you make your pockets?"

"I found some scissors!  I love my pockets!!"

GAH!  I HATE scissors.  Actually, I'm glad that she didn't cut the kitten up.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Fitting In

Dal and I were lucky enough to have an executive suite experience at a Diamondback's home game tonight.  The perks?.... no obnoxious fans sitting around us (they were all in the plebes seats); free quality food; air-conditioning; and the most important thing to an 8 month pregnant woman..... a private toilet.

But before I knew about our own "special" bathroom, I figured I would take advantage of the ladies toilets that we walked past as we entered the park.  I walked in and took the nearest stall to the door (no time to look for the "best" toilet - and don't say you don't know what I'm talking about... you know you  look for the best toilet).  Unfortunately the Chase Field architects didn't factor in eight month pregnant women coming to the game.  They crammed as many stalls into the available space as they could.

Have you ever seen an overly pregnant woman try to suck her gut in?  There's not much change in inches between "relaxed" and "sucked in".  The stall door scraped my belly as I tried to close it.  I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to get back out.  It didn't turn out as badly as I thought.  But you can imagine my relief when I found out I had my own private toilet.... with enough space for ten of me.

I'm thinking of getting Dal to take a photo of me tomorrow   -   the only one you'll get of me for this pregnancy.  I guess it's just not as exciting the second time around.  For pregnancy photos please see my Facebook albums of when I was pregnant with Isabel.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

My kind of "Love Language"

Those people who invented the whole love language thing... I think they missed at least one language.  What makes my heart pitter patter is the dulcet sounds of this sentence spoken by the sweet love of my life:

"We should have takeout tonight".

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Tick Tock

Isabel usually wakes up between 6am and 7am each morning.

I have told her that I wont play with her or do anything with her until 7am.  That is the earliest I can function and that seems to make sense to her.

Recently, though, she has not been happy to just watch tv or play on the computer while she waits.  She sits in between Dal and I and tries to wake me by chattering away or just breathing heavily in my face.

This morning wins the prize.  She draped herself over my body looking at my bedside table where the little alarm clock sits.   Right in my ear she rhythmically chimed over and over "TICK, TOCK, TICK, TOCK, TICK, TOCK."  Unfortunately we weren't even close to 7 o'clock.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Boys spit

Last night as we ate our ice cream, Isabel and I were having a little chat.

I said "You know, Isabel, that when you were smaller you didn't like ice cream.  You used to spit it out."

Of course she didn't believe me.  She had a bit of a chuckle and then proceeded to talk some nonsense about ice cream, boys, girls and spitting.

Finally I was able to interpret what she was trying to tell me.

"Wait, are you saying that you used to be a boy?"

"Yes.  And boys spit."

It all came together.  Apparently Isabel was a boy when she was younger.  I guess she deduced this by hearing me tell her that she used to spit stuff out.  But now she's older, she's turned into a girl and doesn't spit anymore.

I'm not sure how she came to this conclusion because I am constantly telling her to STOP SPITTING!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


I live for sleep.  I am certain I could sleep 20 hours in the day and still be tired after waking up.

That is why I need my morning naps.  As mentioned previously, Isabel likes to sit on my bed playing on my laptop while I have a nap.  This morning didn't go so well.  I gave her a muesli bar to eat while I napped.  I while later I heard her rustling in our bathroom.

"Mummy, where's the wipes?"
"What do you need wipes for, Isabel?"
"To wipe the bed."

Alarms bells start clanging in my head.  I look over to Dal's side of the bed and find what can only be chewed up and spat out chocolate chip muesli bar.

"Forget the wipes, I'm going back to sleep.  Get a towel and sit on it".

A while later I get a hand slapped right by my head.
"Time to wake up mummy"
"NO!  You kept waking me up.  Give me 20 more minutes"
"Mummy it's 7 o'clock.  Time to wake up."

In actual fact it is 10.30 in the morning.  I point that out to her.  That doesn't deter her.  Isabel grabs my bedside clock and winds the clock back to three.

"See.  7 o'clock.  Get up".

Monday, 1 August 2011

Doidy - At my sister's request

It IS a fairly dormant blog isn't it?

Back when Isabel was learning sounds that didn't mean anything she would repeat over and over "doi, doi, doi, doi".  My sisters thought it hilarious and began to call her Doidy.  I am certain that Isabel will have the same relationship with that nickname that I did with "Chark" (my dad's pet name for me).  A love/hate relationship.

My youngest sister told me today that it was time to hear a Doidy story.

There is plenty that happens each day and that little girl makes me laugh at least three or four times a day.  There are just as many times, if not more, that I can't imagine ever being obeyed by this cheeky little thing. I use the old counting to three trick, but most of the time I get to three and she is still doing what she shouldn't be doing.  It's only when I begin stalking over to her with a threatening stare that she moves her little butt.  I'm not sure what I'll do if I ever actually get to her.  I think she knows that and is only pandering to my silly counting and stalking.

Isabel loves to play games on my laptop.  My 7 month pregnant body appreciates this particularly when it starts to flag in the afternoons.  Isabel perches herself beside me on my bed with the laptop on her lap while I snooze.  She likes to copy my touch typing skills, but of course ends up with nonsense lines of letters.  I woke up the other afternoon in time to see this:

We did not find results for: kuumba made uhiuhhuihu. Try the suggestions below or type a new query above

I'm impressed she typed an actual word.  Poor Google couldn't even think of suggestions for her Google search.

Isabel likes to lick her feet.  She likes to lick my arms.  She also enjoys eating her shirts.  She knows every one of those things creeps me out, but she continues to do it.

I have taken some movies of Isabel that I intend to post here.  But I need to get some batteries for the camera .... now that I've typed that, I am certain I can just hook it up to the computer and recharge the battery.  I'll get back to you on that one.  Stay tuned.

I've been thinking lately of a few different posts that I could put up... so I feel like I'm getting some sort of blog mojo back.  But I'm not promising anything at the moment.  You'll only be disappointed.

Saturday, 25 June 2011


I'm finally able to do it!  I finally have stories to tell you the stupid things my child says.  And then you can tell me how NOT cute it is.  Then I'll argue until I'm blue in the face that it was in fact the cutest thing you could have ever seen.


I prepared LQ for what was happening next as we drove home from a family get together.

"When we get home, it's books and bed time, LQ"

"No.... I watch daddy play racing Mario"

"No, LQ.  It is time for bed when we get home."

"No.... I watch daddy play racing Mario"

[repeat at least 5 times]

finally I change the pace -

"LQ!  You will be going to bed when we get home.  I'm the Mummy and I say so!"

"No!  I LQ and I play with daddy"

"LQ... Mummy trumps LQ.  Every time."

"No I trunk Mummy!"

Dal:  "I'll trunk your faces"  - End of conversation.


We sit on the floor.  We are playing guess the shape with dinosaurs.  I pause for dramatics.  "hmmmm...."

LQ, the computer whiz, questions me.  "Are you loading?"


A favourite game at the moment is "wake the baby".  LQ and I poke and prod my tummy in an effort to get Little Bob Jnr to move around.   LQ puts her mouth up to my tummy and yells "WAKE UP BABY!!"  I am thinking this may not be a good tradition to continue for much longer.

LQ is very aware of the baby and is very willing to talk about him to anyone who asks.  We asked her how the baby gets out of mummy's tummy.  She just shrugged.  We told her how he will come out and she laughed hysterically and said "No!  THAT is SILLY!"

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Warning: May inhibit blogging

I love my antidepressants.  They have done wonders for me.

But like every drug, they do have some side effects.  The side effect that I've noticed the most is the lack of desire to blog.

There's been a few things happen in the past month that were worthy of blogging.  To be honest, "back in the day" I didn't really need anything to write about.  There were posts about LQ sitting in a box for heavens sakes.  But now even when big events like finding out the sex of my child happen, I can't seem to find the energy or desire to write about it.

I am certain that once the pregnancy, the new babyness and the need for anti-depressants have passed, there will come a time when I feel the need to write more than once a month.

But for now I hope you can ride on through this slump with me and meet me on the other side.  As an update to my life:

We found out we are having a boy.
I was lucky enough to have to do a driving exam to get my Arizona licence.  I passed with flying colours.
LQ has turned into a bandit.  She insists that all bandits are good.
I celebrated my 30th birthday.  In Tombstone.  Watching street shootout re-enactments.
LQ refers to her stuffed toys as "the guys" or "my guys".  "Put boots on the guys, mummy"

I hope your June is a good one.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Newsy news news news

I've made the title of this post sound like I've actually got exciting news to tell.  Not really.  Just a whole bunch of little things (maybe not even a whole bunch) to catch up on the three weeks I've not written anything.

First things first.  You can stop worrying about crazy Hel.  Crazy Hel went and got some drugs that turned her into "content with life" Hel.  My OB gave me a prescription for anti-depressants.  I sat on that prescription for three weeks, in the hopes that my good mood was here to stay.  As it turned out, it was not, so I filled that prescription and to cut a long story short, LQ is no longer at risk of being blamed for spots on the floor that don't actually exist, among other things.  Sure there are spots on the floor now, because "content with life" Hel is also "Don't Mop the Floors" Hel.  As a disclaimer:  I am completely aware of the risks of taking anti-depressants while pregnant, but as I have assured both Grandmothers of the fetus there was much reflection, praying and pondering on the matter and the pros outweighed the cons by a million miles.  The decision was not made lightly (although I speak light of the matter now).

Speaking of "don't mop the floors" Hel.  She comes in other varieties of "I don't do any housework" Hel.  Last night Dal tentatively brought up the possibility of having a cleaning day next Saturday.  I honestly thought he couldn't see the inch thick grunge that had built up behind the toilet.  Not to worry.  It will build up again after our spring clean.

"Creative" Hel has reared her wonderful head again, but "Procrastination" Hel keeps pushing her down. LQ just recently had her fourth birthday party.  I had wonderful, wonderful visions of many happy children being wowed by the awesomeness of LQ's Cowgirl party, but most of those visions never came to fruition.  I'm glad I had the foresight to order some party crap before it was too late.  It didn't turn out too badly.  I forgot to play some games I had organised to have and forgot to put out the "Wagon Wheels" (look it up yourself -Arnotts Wagon Wheels) that Mum had sent especially from Australia.  But because of my super drugs, I laughed about it instead of crying for three days and wondering if my child would be scarred for the rest of her life.

We find out in two weeks what the sex of the baby is.  Want to place bets?  The odds are good.

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm getting hungry.  It's time for "I don't make dinner" Hel to get to work.  I'm thinking of making mashed potatoes for LQ and calling it a night.







Friday, 22 April 2011


.... back in Hobart my brothers are inventing new dance techniques.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you "Rancing".

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


My friend wrote to me after reading my last post.  She only reads my blog when she gets bored at work, so I know she truly does love me.

"I can see the crazy factor rising a little Helgs!"  End quote.  Yep... she calls me Helgs (a friend from almost ten years ago now) and yep, what she said kind of describes my life perfectly.  Dal will attest to that.  I am certain if he wasn't so nice he'd have disappeared some months ago now.

I am all sorts of crazy, but mostly I feel just cranky.  And so when I think that it is time I really should update my blog, all I can think of is cranky things to talk about.  For example I would really like to complain about birthdays or tell you of my eternal hatred for my hairdresser or vent about the seemingly lack of discipline that occurs in Primary every week (let me clarify - the Presidency is wonderful... it's the teachers that seem to be scared to tell their class to "shoosh!").  I really don't want to write all that stuff down because I don't want to seem stuck in the mire, although I am.  And I don't want to seem petty, although I am.  And worst of all, I don't want someone to be offended by my crankiness, although I'm sure my hormones have already offended more people in my life than I care to think about.

I skyped with my mum for over an hour yesterday... mostly complaining.  Then I made her cry.  I guess I just had too many stupid/petty problems for one person to handle.  Actually... she cried because she's got a husband who is just as much a nut job as me.  Thankfully he can't get pregnant... so we are all safe from that beast (hi Dad!).

I think, though, that if I did start writing all my thoughts, all that would end up happening is a full public meltdown a la Charlie Sheen style (maybe not so drastic, but it wouldn't be pretty).

So instead of documenting my mental decline, I thought I'd finally share with you the story of how Dal and I met.  I think I've given you bits and pieces here and there, but never the full story.  I think this is a good idea because so many of the famous bloggers have already done it and I am all about riding a fad until it's been flogged to death.  Also, my newest follower suggested something similar while commenting on one of my old posts.

I'm just hoping that it doesn't end up being the crankiest love story ever told.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Mottled Monday

Just a few bits and pieces.

For three days straight now, I have asked LQ what she wants for lunch.  For three straight days she has had a clear idea of what she wants.  For three straight days I have given her EXACTLY what she has requested.  For three straight days she has seen what I had for lunch and proceeded to whine that THAT is what she really wanted.  It's enough to drive me INSANE!


Friday was a rough day.  It was the end of a long week of LQ being sick and the truck not starting - in other words I was stuck at home ALL week aside from the time I tried to walk in 90 degree temperatures to my mother-in-law's home (that's another story).  I was desperate.  Back to Friday.  I'm not above saying I had a meltdown.   The truck actually started, got me all excited and then quit working.  I felt my chest constricting, I couldn't breathe properly, my mind got muddled and I started pacing the kitchen.  I sent a message to Dal about feeling trapped.  He called me up and I immediately collapsed into a sobbing mess.  LQ thought I was sad because she had eaten frosting with two spoons without my knowledge that morning.  Poor kid.  A nap was in order.  It wasn't until MUCH later in the day I ventured outside again.  There on my doorstep, poorly hidden under the doormat, was a package.  For me.  From a friend who knows.

Opening any package is fun for me.  It breaks up the day.  But this package was filled with amazing goodness and a whole heap of love.  I took this picture after I had already eaten half the block of chocolate and LQ had taken a packet of double coated Tim Tams into her room.


A thank you just doesn't seem enough for the lifesaving properties that this package had.  I actually cried when I pulled the drinks out of the box.

I have been gorging on chocolate the entire weekend.  SO much better than drugs!


Dal and I have been spending our weekends looking at real estate recently and we've just put offers on a few homes.  One lender owned and the other a short sale, so don't expect anymore information for quite some time, but that's some exciting news from our grownup lives.  On a related note:  Can I just tell you how cranky it makes me feel when I walk into a home someone has said that is recently renovated and it is glaringly obvious that they've done everything cheaply and poorly.  Why bother doing it at all?  Poorly renovated homes just means more work for the next sap who wants to renovate.  Can you tell I've been scarred by my recent renovation project?

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Entitled: An Obsession

Hello my friends.  First I want to thank you for the love you gave me on my "Mostly" post.  Since getting it out on my blog and talking to my Obstetrician, I have been feeling a lot better.  But that's a different post.

This one is about my dearest LQ.

I'm not sure I could love this girl any more than I do.  I am certain she has reached her cuteness peak.  Everything she does has me giggling to myself or laughing out loud.  She shakes her little booty at me, she shimmies across the floor.  She sings constantly to me, Dal or herself.  She says things like "Daddy, you sick!  Take a nap!" and "mmmm b'donalds (McDonalds), deyishous!".  She is good a fake laughing when we are laughing at something she does and most importantly of all when I'm cranky or just generally not in a good mood she will say "Happy face Mummy!  Show me your happy face".  Let me tell you about that happy face.  Not once have I ever said that to her.... that's all LQ.

There's one thing that hasn't changed as LQ has grown into the beautiful little girl that she is.  Her love for puzzles.  It started well before she turned two and her love has not waned.  To show you how much she loves puzzles, I took a picture of all the puzzles that she owns and as a comparison you can see in one of the pictures her small drawer filled with her dress up costumes.  There's no contest... that girl could do puzzles all day if I'd sit with her.




Monday, 4 April 2011

Entitled: A Love Letter

The 30 minutes before you arrive home is always the longest part of the day.

I hear your noisy truck (we need to get that fixed) come around the corner and pull in to the driveway.

I stand up a little straighter.

In the few minutes that it takes for you to get to the door (the bin needs to be taken out) I am frozen.  I am unsure as to what to do with myself while I wait.

The sucking and whooshing sound that the opening of the door makes will forever make my heart beat a little faster, help my body relax and inject just that bit more energy that I've been craving all day.

That door opening is a sign for LQ, too.  Her little body leaps from whatever position she is in.  She flies to the door.  "DADDY"!

Her excitement is just a snippet of how I feel about your homecoming, but I play it cool.

LQ gets cuddles and I get the same sort of kiss I got from you when we were dating.

I know you love me.

I hope that you know how much I love you.  I hope that the waiting dinner shows that I love you.  I hope that the made bed shows that I love you.  I hope that my face shows how much I love you.

I  hope my entire life shows that I love you beyond any words on a silly blog post could ever convey and how much I love having you all to myself each evening (usually).

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


I mostly stay at home.

I am mostly tired.

I am mostly cranky.

I am mostly hungry.

I mostly don't make dinner.

I am mostly sick.

I mostly feel lonely.

I am mostly depressed.  Prenatal depression bites.

I mostly cry at night.

I mostly let LQ eat what she wants.  Cold hot dogs anyone?

I mostly let myself eat what I want.

I mostly wish someone else could magically save me from myself.

I mostly know that that's not going to happen.

Most of all, I do not want any advice.  I just mostly need a hug.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Life isn't always roses and sweet tea

Of course after I sing LQ's praises for the other day, I wake up today from my nap to find pee puddles right by the toilet and LQ asking for wipes because she had poo poo bottom.

I finally found the wet underpants, but am still puzzled as to where (if there were any) the "poo poos" have disappeared to.  I suggest no one visit my home until I work that one out.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Is that a light at the end?

I enjoyed my little Sunbeam class on Sunday.  Even though the entire class showed up.  These poor "beams" have had nothing but First-Trimester-I'm-so-tired-and-cranky-I-am-seriously-considering-falling-off-my-chair-to-get-a-quick-recovery-nap Hel.

Heh.... add an extra "L" on my name at the end of that sentence and it wouldn't really change the meaning of it much at all.

So when I enjoyed six of the little preciousness-es on Sunday, I really thought I was back on track.  Actually a few of the stars aligned right for me to think that.  I started thinking creatively again (creative brain has been working overtime in the inner nursery), I sewed LQ a skirt (first real project since January) and I.... wait for it..... MADE DINNER (and it wasn't burnt cheesy toast).

Yesterday I was on top of my game.  Playing educational games with LQ and tidying the house simultaneously.

And then today happened.  My body shut down at around 10.30am and didn't kickstart again until 5pm. 4 hours of that I was napping.

This is where I say I have the most incredible LQ in the history of LQ's.  Two of those napping hours she just pleasantly sat on my bed watching PBS kids.  The other two she napped with me.   I do feel bad that she doesn't get out on days like these (yep I've had one or two already - it killed me not to be able to complain about it on my blog), but the guilt is not so bad that it's motivation to get out of bed.  There would have to be some pretty wicked mother guilt to achieve that.

And now I've complained about that... I just quickly clicked over to my google reader to see what was going on in the world... and my heavily pregnant friend who is due in April has been put on bed rest (pre-eclampsia) for the rest of the pregnancy.

There's always someone who has it worse - or likes to one-up me.... ;)

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Shake It!

We've decided that LQ needs a job.  She does have one talent that we think may be useful.  Watch.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

What is making Hel happy this week?

Finding grocery store shelving for a total of $5 from the thrift store.


And this has been making me happy (and sick... and really tired.... and nervous) for about 10 weeks now, but it makes me happy to show it to you now.


Thursday, 3 March 2011

fun times

LQ has recently started changing colours.  She closes her eyes and when she opens them again she will be purple or brown or any number of other colours.  It's an awesome talent to have.  I'm just not sure how to use it yet especially as she's the only person who can see the changes.

We were driving home from the store the other night and I told LQ that she was crazy.  "I not crazy, mummy.  I cool"

Anyone in need of the a cool, orange kid?

Wednesday, 2 March 2011


has made me happy this week.


The shelf and night light cost a total of $20 from Ikea.  An impromptu lunch date with my precious daughter was a bonus.

and this.





LQ earning her first dollar.  For emptying the entire dishwasher.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

A Spiritual Push - the story of three little things

I wrote this about a month ago.  Not sure why I didn't publish it straight away.  But now it feels right.


ok.  It's been a crappy two weeks.  To be honest, it's been a crappy month.  At least two out of the three members in this family have been sick at the same time for the better part of the month.  My patience has run thin with LQ on many occasions.  And you always know that when life gets crappy, you are bound to get PMS to help you look at every situation in a rational, non-emotional way.

I got to Saturday just gone and and after screaming at LQ for the sixth time over two days, I broke down.  LQ sat in my bed sobbing and I sat in my sewing room with tears streaming down my face.  I was emotionally spent, and as a result was physically and spiritually exhausted as well.  I stared into the dark window that sat in front of me and whispered "I lose".

"If we are to endure to the end, then I've lost the game.   I don't have it in me to keep choosing the right".

I love my religion.  I personally know that it is the correct church for me.  But boy howdy, it's not an easy religion to have!

I listlessly went through the motions the following day.  I got ready for church.  I finished up the flyers and posters for the upcoming Relief Society meeting, I put the finishing touches on my lesson for the Sunbeams (a group of energetic 3 year olds) and tried to stretch out my favourite dress that I accidentally shrank.

I walked into the chapel with Dal and LQ just hoping to get through the 3 hours that lay ahead of me.  And then the first little thing happened.  A talk - seemingly just for me.  And not one of those "God loves you" talks.  A talk about obedience that struck a chord with my heart.  But as many young mother knows, talks only come in bits and pieces in between the dinosaur stickers and the fish crackers and the card playing.   So the first little push didn't take me very far at all.

After sitting for 30 minutes with my little group of Sunbeams (including LQ) and getting quite frustrated with the one who wouldn't keep his hands to himself, the second little thing took me by surprise.  Singing Time in Primary is a fun time for me.  I can't tell you how much pleasure is derived from watching LQ belt out songs she doesn't know at all.  She is one of the loudest singers when loud singing is called for... but it's all without a syllable in there.  It makes me giggle.  So having my heart softened with her usual display, we all finished our singing time with "I am a Child of God" and I cried.  Something I had forgotten the previous night when I had given up.

The third little thing came as I tried to teach those poor rambunctious Sunbeams.  Teaching 3 year olds in the third hour of a three hour church block is on a par with any kind of medieval torture.  They've just been sitting for two whole hours and they "want to go home".  Yes it's said to me often and I feel like one of the many wicked characters in any fairy tale by keeping them there.  This Sunday was particularly rough because I had two boys that had not attended my class up until that Sunday.  They climbed on the chairs, they tried to shimmy the curtains, they dug through my bag of goodies.  They pretty much did everything but sit and listen to my lesson.  And as I observed, wrestled and bargained the third push came.  A clear thought came to my mind.  "Look at your daughter.  You worry so much about how delayed she is that you never see the progress she makes."  The LQ worry drained from me as I realised that my darling daughter was indeed like any other normal 3 year old that struggles with a few words.

Years ago when I was an adolescent, my dad took us on an overnight hike (craziness,  I know).  There were times that it felt like I couldn't go any further up the steep incline.  My backpack, filled with a girl's necessities (toilet paper, yummy food, plenty of changes of clothing, etc), weighed me down and I knew that I couldn't take another step.  I would stand on that incline frozen, knowing that it wasn't possible to go back but it also wasn't possible to go forward.  My dad would come up behind me and lift my backpack with his hand and push.  With that little lift and push my dad was able to get my momentum going again.

That is what happened on this particular Sunday.  The heaviness of my problems and the seemingly too steep incline to a better me were alleviated by those three little pushes.  I got my momentum back.

Friday, 25 February 2011

LQ was vomiting BEFORE we made the Princesses

It started with these two lovelies.


LQ chose the blue colour for the cow that she now calls a horse.  Yeah... I don't know either.

Then LQ decided she wanted to make a duck.  But she chose the colours - for everything.


I think it turned out to be a really nice looking owl.

Last night, LQ asked to make some more finger puppets.  She happened to be drinking apple juice from a "princess" cup and so princess finger puppets it was.  We were waiting for daddy to come home from Mutual.


Princesses without mouths... the way things should be.  Although I do enjoy Cinderella's song.  Guess what two princesses these two are.

While we are photographing everything on the kitchen table... have a look at this little lovely.



The most boring board game ever to grace this earth.  And I get to play it ten times a day.

Here's how you play.  See the die on the board... it has different coloured hearts on it AND the wicked Queen.  You roll it to see what colour heart to land on on the board.  If you get the Wicked Queen then you don't move - she really IS evil.  Along the way you pick up one of those stupid little "treasure" cards as you pass each princess on the board.  I just can't see how a yellow silhouette of an apple is really going to be something treasured by Snow White - I can hear her in her high pitched voice saying how much she treasures the most the thing that practically killed her.  Stupid.  Then you go back to the part of the board that has your princess on it.  And you win.

Basically, you go around in a circle, pick up four cards and you're done.  If I'm lucky, LQ will mix it up by insisting halfway through that game that we need to swap princesses.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Dates and Deals

Dal and I went on a date on Tuesday evening.  The second date in less than a week.


Our first date was to the Mesa Temple on Friday evening.  It was long overdue.

Our Tuesday night date didn't really start off as a planned date.  We had planned to spend the time together, but we weren't really expecting the time to be as enjoyable or pleasant as it turned out to be.

You see for the past two weeks Dal and I have been participating in an ASU (Arizona State University) Research project on Healthy Couples.  Before you spit your morning drink out with laughter at that one.... we aren't the "healthiest" of couples, I know.... it needs to be explained that the research is on the link between affectionate touch and the fact that generally happily married couples live longer.

For two weeks preceding our Tuesday evening "date" we have been completing short surveys morning and evening about our day and how we have felt, whether we had any positive and negative experiences with family, friends, and work colleagues.  That was the crappy part.  It wasn't all that fun to wake up and have to remember to say whether you've felt angry or motivated or loving throughout the night.  It was bothersome.  So our feelings toward an estimated three hours lab study weren't exactly "giddy".

But those three hours ended up being quite enjoyable, plus the drive back home (about 40 minutes) was fun too.  I can't say much about the actual three hours because they need more couples and if you are going to be a part of the lab study then it's important you don't know what goes on.  Believe me.... it's good blog fodder, I wish I could write about it.  At one point Dal had me in tears I was laughing so much.  He really pulled out his A-game with this one.  Charming all the researchers, etc.  If you've experienced Dal at his best, then you'll know what I'm talking about.

The best part about it:  We got paid to go on a date.  Yep.  Cash and gift cards all round.  I was already planning what little treats I was going to buy as we walked out the door.  Then LQ vomited when we got home and we've been housebound ever since.  Those gift cards are burning holes in my bag!!!

So here's my appeal to the Arizonian blogging pals, go do it.  They have only had about 60 couples so far and they need over 200.  If you are Latino/Latina they will love you even more.  It's a pain doing the morning and evening diaries, but it's fun and interesting being included in some research.  Oh, and you get some pocket money at the end of it.

Go to the Healthy Couples website for more information.

Sunday, 20 February 2011


Like any normal child, LQ likes her Oreos,.. without the cookie part.

Not realising I had left an open packet of Oreos in the living room the few mornings ago, I told LQ I was going to have a quick shower and left her to watch some "Max & Ruby".

I came back to find this:


Pick yourself up...

LQ took a tumble down the staircase at Dal's parent's place this evening.  Thank goodness I didn't have to witness it (I'm certain I would have vomited and peed my pants all at the same time), but Dal described it as a somersault down the stairs.

The only injury was a small carpet burn on the bridge of her nose.  She wailed of course.... mostly because Dal picked her up and carried her the rest of the way down the stairs.  Apparently she wanted to go back to the top of the stairs and do it again "not falling 'dis time".

p.s.  Just wanted to make it clear that I have NO problem tipping waitresses and those people whose wages depend on tips.  What was unclear to me was, why was I tipping a girl who earns the same amount of money as one in Australia who doesn't ask me to tip her.  But I can see that (as was put in one of the comments) "when in Rome".  I'll suck it up... or find me a cheaper hairdresser.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Advice about tipping

Alright... here's my big dilemma.

When I lived in Australia, I would pay $60 for a haircut... actually my last couple of haircuts were only $35, but I'm a realist.... I know a good haircut in a major city usually goes for $60.

Now that I live in the States, I pay - drumroll - $60.

It is NOT customary to tip at all in Australia (unless you are so, so, so impressed with the job that the person did that you feel like they will be beamed up immediately to the highest glory).

When I pay for my haircut in my new hair salon (that is a worldwide chain and I have used in Sydney as well - same pricing), they ask me if I want to leave a tip.   I am completely confused and conflicted about this.  I like my haircut and have just told the hairstylist how wonderful she is, but I feel like after I've paid a good amount of money for it that I shouldn't be asked if I want to leave a tip.

Am I just being chinzy?  Please help me out my dear American friends... Is my hairstylist going to use spit in my conditioning treatment next time I go in?

p.s.  The first time I went, I did leave a $10 tip.  So we are kind of at a $5 tip a visit so far.  The average may get lower if I don't get some help soon!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Toilet Humour

Dal clogged the toilet in our bathroom tonight.  In his defense... the drains are old and they get blocked easily.

I walked past LQ in her bed on my way to her bathroom this evening.  She called out to me, "what are doing mummy?"

"I'm just going to the toilet, LQ"


"LQ I can't hear you, just wait until I've finished?"


"LQ just wait!  I'm almost finished"


"Yes LQ, wee wees"


"Yes LQ, just wee wees"


"LQ, leave me alone.  I'm all done!"

And once again I am reminded that it is LQ's duty to know every detail of what's happening in my life.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

The Cute Stuff that LQ does.

Turn your volume up loud for this one.  LQ was showing us how much she enjoyed eating Daddy's chips.

While we were all dying over the weekend (mostly me), we played a lot of Wii.  LQ showing off her skills.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Running Away

I googled "How do I run away from my child?" today.

It turns out Google isn't so helpful with this question.  Not one person even had a thought that the parent and not the child might be the one looking to run away.  Pages upon pages of helpful websites telling me what to do if my child runs away, if I'm having problems with a run away child or if I suspect my child will run away shortly.

Do you think LQ suspects I want to run away from her?  I'll check my Google history to make sure.

Stupid Google.  Now I'm stuck at home with a kid that's been sick for three weeks and it's all YOUR fault.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Flash Flooding and Prayers

I am not sure if you, my readers (who are in different countries), are aware of the devastation that has hit my Australian home state of Queensland.  In what has only been explained as a freak of nature, my home town of Toowomba was hit by a flash flood that was described as the beginning of an inland tsunami.  Toowoomba is a city nestled on the edge of the Great Dividing Range that was my home for just over 10 years of my life.   There was no way for the water to go but down off the mountain, and so an 8 metre (24 foot) wall of water rushed down the mountain devastating the low lying towns below it and further on.  Toowoomba is surrounded by many farming communities and as such the flood as ruined not only homes, but livelihoods. From what I have read 80% of the state of Queensland (a sizable state) has now been declared as being in a state of emergency.  The capital city, Brisbane, has been put on flood watch and the inner city has been essentially closed down because of the close-by river (Brisbane River) breaking its banks.

I ask you that you keep all these people who are so closely affected by this disaster in your prayers and if you can do more, I am including a link that will lead you to a website that you can donate to the flood relief appeal.

I feel so helpless sitting here in the states watching video and seeing pictures of places that I know by heart completely washed away.  To my family and friends, stay safe and know I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.  I love you all.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Big Girl

LQ turns four in just over three months. And I think I am finally starting to grow up. I've started putting my big girl panties on a few more times a week and it makes me feel good.

There is such a feeling of empowerment that I have been getting that I wanted to share with you. But now as I sit down to write about it, it seems too hard to describe. It mostly feels like I am finally becoming the big girl that I have always dreamed of being. The kind of big girl that just sucks it up and gets things done.

I still hate doing housework, but now it gets done earlier in the day. And if it doesn't get done, I move on and tend not to call myself useless. I have recognised my weaknesses as a mother and am moving on. Sometimes a girl just needs to accept that her personality isn't the kind that will ever get over-excited about spending an entire day playing with children. I have also recognised my strengths as a mother. More often than not I forgo an afternoon nap to do something useful.

All this means nothing really. Just that I have been feeling good about myself lately... and I wanted to share it.

Of course there is always the PMS exception.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Man Room Extended - extra photos

I guess the movie wasn't such a good idea.  My family seems to be having issues pressing play.... so I thought I would take my lazy bottom out to the back room and take some pictures of it.  I love my family, by the way.




All of the stuff on the shelving is from Dal's life up to now.  He plays the drums, wants to be Indiana Jones (see plush Mickey), loves film, etc.  I guess the fake plant is just there for aesthetics. 


The storeroom.... still has a bunch of junk in it.  The lower white frame has a rubbing of Jimmy Hendrix's gravestone that I found among Dal's stuff.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

The Man Room

Mid November my brain spewed forth a brilliant gift idea for Dal. This has NEVER happened to me. I am usually scrambling for a Dal gift idea at the last minute and it never seems as creative as the gifts that he comes up with for me. I know it isn't supposed to be a competition, but every-single-one-of-you that has a partner knows that it IS a competition. A competition to see who is the idiot in the relationship... the one who is oblivious to how much we "really" are going to spend on the other.

Throughout the beginning of December Dal and I went back and forth about whether we could afford to give each other presents this year. It's not like we are destitute, but there are certainly other more important things we could have been spending our money on. My brilliant idea was to take our plain, holey and dirty detached room and single-handedly turn it into the man cave we were "one day" going to do. So as we went back and forth about gifts and time went on, I started to panic a little. Finally we decided that yes we could afford Christmas.

Two weeks until Christmas. I walk out to the back room and discover a lovely person in the past had painted OVER wallpaper*. That was the easy part. Other hiccups included the large holes in the walls that had been filled in by a person oblivious to the fact that there was painted over wallpaper, hence forever STICKING the wallpaper around the hole to the drywall. Electric outlets had been left on during the last painting, so the outlets were not only screwed to the wall, but also permanently stuck there by paint. I managed to crack two when I pried them off with a screwdriver. No great loss.

So, I got stuck into it. I spent LQ's nap times spraying small amounts on exposed parts of the wallpaper and then picking small strands of wallpaper off. I soon realised that at the rate I was going, I wouldn't get the room finished until the following Christmas. I enlisted the help of my sisters-in-law. Both looking after LQ for a few days while I really got stuck into the grimeyness of that room. One of those blessed sisters even helped with the wallpaper peeling. I got sick the following day, but dragged my sorry butt out to that room, determined to finish on time. I got discouraged but carried on. And three days before Christmas, I finished.





This was an old rusty lamp without a shade that I reused in the room (see below - I spray painted it white)


Now before you say that it is too feminine.... Dal's favourite colour is purple. So there's only so much you can do with purple without it looking feminine! The pillows will probably be delegated to another room soon and the chair that is in there isn't actually the chair that we will be using in there. The correct chair is a nice deep manly red leather rocker/recliner that we got for $50 off craigslist (hooray for craigslist!!). I got all but one of those picture frames for free. The shelving I found in the storage room that I just painted white. The tv we already had. So all in all it was a pretty inexpensive project. If anything, it makes me happy that I created something like that. Now I've just got to convince LQ that it really ISN'T normal to have toasted cheese sandwiches and lollies for dinner every night.

As an aside (because I feel like i haven't written enough words on this post), once I was finished I didn't quite know what to do with myself. I had thrown myself in to that room and then I had nothing. So I gave myself a few sewing projects to finish before Christmas (3 days, remember) - create a Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland inspired dress for my 2 year old niece, finish quiet book pages for my nephew, sew a small ribbon tag cube for other nephew and sew some candy bags.

* Just so you know why painting over wallpaper is BAD, BAD, BAD!!!! Wallpaper should be easy to peel off. A special solution is sprayed or wiped over the wallpaper and because of the porous nature of the wallpaper it sucks that solution right up and then you can grab big sheets of the stuff and pull it right off. IF you paint over wallpaper, then you screw up that porous part of the wallpaper and poor schlepps like me come along and have to score the painted wallpaper and pick the shreds of wallpaper off with their fingernails or if you aren't as poor as me a fun scraper tool. I googled "removing painted over wallpaper" and all I got was that there is a special place in heaven for people who have the job of removing painted over wallpaper. It wasn't really helpful.

Friday, 7 January 2011

An oldie but a goodie

I've seen it before, but I was reading it again this morning and had a good chuckle. I am certain that if I read it once every year, different things will make me laugh maniacally and then burst into tears.

Lesson 10 seems to ring true right now. I really like the goats in the supermarket suggestion. I had two goats (best friend cousins) with me at the post office yesterday. One of them decided to get around by sliding on her belly the whole way. The other goat thought it best if she licked all the glossy surfaces she could find. Yep. It made me extremely happy that the line was almost out the door.

11 Step Program for those thinking of having kids...

Lesson 1

1. Go to the grocery store.

2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.

3. Go home.

4. Pick up the paper.

5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2

Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...

1. Methods of discipline.

2. Lack of patience.

3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.

4. Allowing their children to run wild.

5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.

Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...

1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)

2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.

3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.

4. Set the alarm for 3AM.

5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.

6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.

7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.

8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.

9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4

Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out...

1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.

2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.

3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.

4. Then rub them on the clean walls.

5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.

6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.

1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.

2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6

Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.

1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.

Leave it there.

2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.

3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.

4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7

Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8

1. Hollow out a melon.

2. Make a small hole in the side.

3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.

4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.

5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.

6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9

Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10

Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11

Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Christmas Happened (Again)

The Christmas Tree (my first live one)

Christmas Tree

the cookie decorating (and making) with Aunt Becca



The many phone calls between cousins


The "Man Room" Renovation (more on that later)


The entertainment while the Man Room was being renovated


The Christmas Eve Nativity


The Christmas Eve "Talent" (Australian Jingle Bells)


The Christmas Eve sugar overload


Christmas Morning


The Dinosaur themed Christmas presents


The Gift Opening


The "Alice Dress" that I made



The Motherload