My IdeaLife

My Kingdom for a Kiss Upon Her Shoulder

It's been 18 years since his blood warmed our hearts and his, but his voice remains and still inspires...Read more...

The love of your life

Is it a man, is it a career, no it's superbaby!...Read more...

A lifetime of beauty in a song

Middle East (the band not the place) have somehow condensed the human experience into this soulful song: Blood...Read more...

Superwomen have it all by NOT doing it all

Superwoman really don't exist, it's more like Insanitywoman, so stop pretending and start outsourcing...Read more...

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

BEAM ME UP SCOTTY! Another teleporting accident waiting to happen



For the last few weeks I've felt a bit like I'm being beamed up by Scotty but still haven't rematerialised anywhere, let alone the Starship Enterprise. So my material self is currently a sparkly set of atoms bouncing off each other in limbo waiting for Scotty to somehow re-organise them back in to something half way resembling the original version of me. 

Once I explain my current exploded self, it will make complete sense, of course (I am being sarcastic but sort of not at the same time) Firstly the loveliest of friends found out she had Breast Cancer, and is now suffering through Chemotherapy, I can't even start to explain what this has done to my heart let alone hers and her beautiful family's. Secondly I ended up in the paper smiling broadly in stark contrast to my what my insides look like and then writing for The Punch last week, so feeling a little out there and suddenly awkward/embarrassed which is a bit unexpected. And lastly I am preparing to return to work in January after what will be fifteen months of maternity leave. 

All these things in differing degrees are disturbing the rhythm of my life, which pretty much resembles that of a toddler's, seeing I'm hanging out with two of them most of the time. And if you haven't heard, toddlers LOVE a consistent schedule, marked by simple, repetitive things like eating and playing and sleeping. Either new Mums and toddlers have a lot in common or I am severely stunted because with all this ambiguity and sadness and exposure, the schedule is well and truly out the window. And there's a lot of screaming going on in my head that is tending to resemble my 14 month old's reaction to an overstay at the supermarket.

Fact: It is difficult to write when you're screaming, even if only on the inside. 

So I suppose this is a lame attempt to explain what I perceive as a negative change in the content of my blog and tweet stream of late. (BTW Hubby has banned the iPhone from our bedroom which doesn't really matter as my atomised brain is finding it tough to come up with any twitty banter that would see followers lunging for the retweet button. Because, of course, before I got involuntarily stuck in a Star Trek transporter that was happening all the time. These thoughts remind me of why my husband married me, that is for my calm and logical mind.) 

To steer this away from a list of excuses, let's just leave it as this is me trying to paint a little picture of where I'm at. It is not a particularly nice place, my stomach always seems to be churning just a tad and my usual equilibrium that enables me to share all manner of nonsense seems a little damaged. We have the best engineers from Star Trek working on re-assembling me in the correct way, that is my usual incorrect self, and hopefully some time soon you may see some stream of consciousness stuff spewing forth here - defining at last, my ideal life. 



P.S. Some trivia only the amazing Jenny "The Bloggess" Lawson may appreciate: William Shatner is the only person to have actually said the exact phrase "Beam me up Scotty" in the audio adaptation of his novel Star Trek: The Ashes of Eden. Now there's a great dinner party opener!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

MUMMY'S FUNKY FRIDAY: Fly through the air

Carrie clearing her head on a Trapeze near New York. Image copyright: HBO.com
It seems that Summer’s coming twice this year after a return to Winter over the last week. When the 5 days of clouds parted today I put my scarf and boots away again (I hope for the last time this year) and breathed a huge sigh of relief. The warmth reminded me again that getting out in to the fresh air is like therapy for everyone, especially couped up toddlers going stir crazy, while their Mums lose their mind.

There are a few ways to stave off rainy week insanity, one is of course to read this blog, two is spend a small fortune on a mental health professional and a third is to do something daring you normally wouldn’t do. This Funky Friday why not show Carrie Bradshaw up and fly on a Trapeze.

The Sydney Trapeze School has set up its' outdoor trapeze rig in the Brazilian Fields of Centennial Park and are there until Sunday February 19. But wait for it, they have Mums and Bubs classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:15am-12:15pm! 
The cost seems to be around the $55 mark for one session.

Nothing like hanging upside down, flying through the air and falling on your head to clear the damage a week of crying and whinging has done to you, and it may stop the kids screaming too or at least turn them into squeals of delight.

Don’t worry if you are not in Sydney there are outdoor trapeze setups all over Australia, here are some links to start you off. 



Go fly!


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

THE KEY TO A HAPPY BIRTHDAY: The Front Door


When you read this you could be forgiven for thinking I just make this stuff up. I wish I was making it up because I can't for the life of me figure out how I get this 'lucky'. I must just be special in a she attends a "special" class kind of way.

Birthdays come around once a year as you know, and so on this one day you can say things like:
"No dear, today I'm having a shower first so for once I get to spend 40 minutes in there and you get to spend 5 minutes after that while I yell at you to hurry up" or
"Oooh look Crash has done a big poo, I'm not changing him because it's my birthday".

In fact all bets are off when it's your birthday, well that's what I thought until today. It was all looking as I would expect from a family with two toddlers, I got a card and Happy Birthday sang to me, no present but that’s ok given hubby didn't get one last year (although I had a 3 month old I was breastfeeding so I was lucky to get out of the house let alone go shopping for a present, he doesn't have any such excuse).



Anyway I was even looking forward to the breakfast out with my boys until learning only minutes before that Boom had booked a Chiropractor appointment at 8.30. That’s when things started to feel less birthdayish and very every other day of the yearish. Even the breakfast at a nice café was the usual mayhem, where one of you is always lunging to catch a falling knife or save a full cup of coffee from ending up all over the table or you or both but little did I know it was about to become anything but an ordinary day.

I raced home as it was obvious the little guy wanted to sleep. With one toddler on my hip, another attached to my hand I somehow got the keys out of my pocket to get inside. But they looked strange, and as my conscious mind caught up to the vision in front of me I realised that the front door key had somehow vanished from the key ring.

It wasn't hard to put two and two together if you knew my husband. I quickly surmised he had taken the front door key off to take with him the night before as he was at a function. What the Einstein did with the key god only knows but I'd say it ended up on his key ring, next to his front door key.

After ringing him around 15 times I eventually tracked him down through an ad agency receptionist who was embarrassed to hear the story that I was determined to share with anyone who would listen. He was standing in front of her so I was able to "calmly" explain the situation. He was so “helpful” he said he would come out of his meeting if I got the boys back in the car and drove to him. Great! thanks sweet!

After staring at our 7ft metal side gate and imagining climbing over it using the bins as steps and then breaking a leg as I landed on the other side leaving two toddlers to play on the road, I started putting Crash back into his car seat. Then our elderly neighbour, Jack pulled up. "Wonder if I could jump their fence?" I thought. He was up for the adventure so all three of us bundled up to their backyard and Jack got his ladder out. The boys played with or really just got licked by their dog, as I scrambled over a 6ft paling fence landing unceremoniously in a magnolia tree on the other side. No doubt my tight, low cut cargos were showing an enormous amount of tradie butt crack, not to mention over-exposure of my mini-cleavage. What can I say? the outfit was not designed for scaling backyard fences.

I picked myself up and unlocked the back door and went and collected my little Irish twins who'd found the whole situation quite fun. I looked on the bright side I had sustained no splinters or broken limbs for my birthday, but I had also sustained no presents or relaxation. Hmmmm. So instead of being glum I put my boys down for their afternoon naps and started scheming an equally ‘Happy’ Birthday for my husband in a months time. 
That cheered me up no end, but I need some help so any ideas on how to make his special day that little bit more extra-special, you know like he did for me. (Revenge is sweet!)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

WIN A POCKET HD VIDEO CAMERA WITH A DOUBLE PASS TO THE BONDI SHORT FILM FESTIVAL!

UPDATE: AND THE WINNER IS : LISA from bylisajay.com


Sorry if you missed out this time around, thanks to all that entered and don't forget to subscribe so you know when the next giveaway's happening. 


Mummy's Funky Friday has teamed up with the über-cool dudes at Lenovo to give MyIdeaLife readers the chance to not only get out of the house, but attend one of the coolest Sydney events of the year: The Bondi Short Film Festival. And if that is not incentive enough to get involved they have included a VADO HD Pocket Video Camera. Small and easy enough to carry with you so you never miss those crazed moments we all want to see on YouTube or Funniest Home Videos.

The event is near sold out giving some indication of the calibre of the 14 filmmakers that will be showcased in Bondi Pavilion on Saturday November 26th. So get commenting and liking to be in the running! 

For your chance to win just answer this question in the comments below: 
WHAT'S YOUR DREAM NIGHT OUT? and like the Lenovo and MyIdeaLife Facebook pages

Go out, have fun and Good Luck!


The stuff the lawyer wants you to read:
Competition closes on November 23rd at 5pm AEST and winner will be notified by email the same day. Competition open to Australian residents who are able to attend event in Sydney.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

DAMN YOU CORRECT! HUH?


You probably don’t need convincing to appreciate the perfection of the iPhone. It is a beautiful thing that people would quite happily have sewn in to their arms if they could, such is the attachment it evokes. But like everything it has it’s quirks, and autocorrect is probably it’s most infamous. 

The annoying word changes iPhone Autocorrect comes up with have made teenage girls tell their mothers they’re pregnant (pregnancy test instead of practice), straight guys announce they are Gay (out of closet instead of clinic) and my personal favourite, a first date crime due to lobster and fillet mignon (killing instead of kissing)!

So it is logical that Apple has decided to fix it, releasing software last week that will stop this embarrassing, annoying, life-changing tool, and bringing it more in line with the superior Android spellchecker. So once again the iPhone is perfect and you know what, I’m disappointed. Maybe I wouldn’t be if I was someone that told my partner I wanted to jump them but iPhone changed it to dump, but I’ve been lucky to be one that has just stood by and LMAO at some of the epic Autocorrect fails. And an Aussie hacker found a work around for those that really have been burned anyway. So now what are we going to do? Perfection is boring Apple. 

The software update, that was released on Thursday also helps with battery life on devices running the new iOS5 software and enhances Siri for the Australian accent. But I reckon putting up with these two issues is worth it if one day you get to tell your Dad you want his P¢nis (*Prius)! 



Will you miss the old Autocorrect like I will?
  

Monday, 14 November 2011

YOU SCREAM, I SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM...

The innocuous source of pure mayhem

I have two boys, now 2-and-a-half and 14 months, commonly known as Bang and Crash. By all accounts things are getting a little easier as Bang can now tell us off pre-tantrum so at least we know why he’s about to turn into a writhing hyena and Crash is walking about and therefore not living up to his namesake as much. (He also happens to tell us off but luckily incy wincy still works a treat on him). 
  
One way I’ve noticed to get them both going in tandem is to offer to buy them ice cream. Now you would think this would be a cause for great excitement and joy in their young minds. And yes there is some of that, but only if you purchase the ice cream in a certain way. Yesterday we did not follow the Toddler's guide to Toddlers rule on purchasing ice cream and we copped an earful as a result.


RULE No. 173: DOGS, CHIPS & SLIPPERY DIPS ARE FUN
We had just been to a park to eat Fish and Chips and watched doggies of all shapes and sizes chase balls into the water. Crash even tried to have a go and managed to nab a particularly wet Labrador’s ball. Luckily the dog didn’t mind as he was more interested in the chip buried deep in Crash’s little fist. To the dog’s dismay Crash ended up with both until I wrenched the dripping ball from his hand and apologetically returned it (always nice to mix some dog saliva with your meal).
  

To extricate the boys from the park my Husband’s standard manoeuvre is to bribe them with a smoothie. This night though he strayed from his usual and offered ice cream (mainly because he wanted gelato for himself!). Bang was so fast off a slide I may have muttered under my breath “Good one daddy” and off we went, smug in how well we mustered toddlers.


RULE No. 68: STATIONARY CARS ARE NOT FUN
It may have been over-confidence, or a lack of thought, but our grand plan of a fun afternoon quickly evaporated into duelling banshees. You see we didn’t take them in to the Ice Cream shop, I stayed with them in the car while my hubby went in. First mistake. They lasted for about 30secs before the whining started, and then some full-blown screaming ensued. I would have paid a digger driver to roll past at this point but instead I screamed “Stop screaming!” I know, I know, it makes things worse but I had silence from their shock for about another 30 seconds and I needed that silence. I was tired and disappointed that all the points we deserved for the chips and the doggies and the slippery dips suddenly didn’t count because they were in a stationary car for more than a minute.

RULE No. 235: WHITE ICE CREAM IS EVEN LESS FUN
Second mistake, hubby forgot to take his phone that I was calling to make sure he got Bang a pink ice cream. On the appearance of a white one, you’d think we had grabbed the child and broke both his arms. “I don’t want a white one, pink one, pink, No, not white one, Noooooooo” was just comprehensible as it came out all dramatic and high-pitched from a collapsed and bubbling face strewn with tears and snot.
  

I know what you’re thinking. And yes we probably should have shoved the white one into his hands and said something along the lines of “You know there are children in Africa who don’t even know what ice cream is, they’re lucky to eat dirt for lunch!” But instead I told my hubby off for not having his phone and upon assessing the mayhem he quickly turned to go and get a PINK one.

RULE No. 4: DO NOT EVER WASH MY HAIR
I can safely say we lived happily ever after (if by ‘ever after’ you mean the 15 minutes until the next meltdown), because once the pink one materialised and the car started moving the hysteria subsided. And besides it’s difficult to moan when you’re using your mouth to move ice cream off a cone on to clothes and car seats. But don’t worry we don’t always pander to their every whim, that night we got them both back by washing their hair. That is definitely a no-no in the Toddler guidebook and we knew it - AH HA HAAAAAA



©MyIdeaLife, 2011, All rights reserved

Friday, 11 November 2011

MUMMY'S FUNKY FRIDAY: Street Art

Give me Streets around the world over a stuffy gallery any day!
Welcome to the second week of Mummy's Funky Friday, your weekly dose of my new favourite word, alt-worthy stuff that will revive your inner cool. Funnily enough the music of last week could be the soundtrack for this week. Enjoy!

I am not one of those types that is going to try and convince you that graffiti is cool. Most graffiti is bloody awful and it costs normal people lots of money to make their suburban home look less like the local meth lab.

But in cities around the world there has been a craze growing that actually enhances the urban environment – it's called Street Art and it's nothing short of inspiring. 

And until December 11 you can see some of the work of the most famous international street artists at Cockatoo Island in Sydney. Among the collections exhibited the Oi You! one is a must-see boasting the largest private collection of the enigmatic, stencil guru, Banksy. And this guy(see below), Ethos from Brazil, has peeled himself from the wall of a five-storey building in LA to come and paint live on Cockatoo Island. Now that’s sorta yeow^ and is just how he rolls (see how alt-worthy^ I’m becoming….don’t answer that). 


So when the kids are yelling at you this week to buy them a present or give them a treat, throw them on a ferry and go and see some industrial urban transformation. Their eyes will be wide not just with the mint^ cool art but with how hektik^ their rents* now are! 


For more info visit http://www.outpostproject.com.au 


Teenglish glossary:
*rents=parents
^hektik, mint, yeow and alt-worthy all sort of mean cool…I think

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

OUR FIRST KISS

Rodin's "The Eternal Idol"
Sketched by love-obsessed 25 year old me.
I sketched this in Vienna when I was 25. I was sitting on the floor of a Museum, as you do when you're a backpacker. It felt like my whole life's dream was encapsulated in this beautiful Rodin sculpture. I had left my then-boyfriend to travel for six months (which turned in to three years) and so my heart was aching as I drank in the lust this depicted. I obviously wasn't that heartbroken though as only days later I ran off to Bruges with a very hunky American. What? I was confused and besides the boyfriend ended up being a completely deluded, selfish git masquerading as a snag, so thank goodness I didn't save myself for him.

In fact ever since my first kiss 10 years earlier, I'd been in love with love. It was at a summer party and I don’t even know how it happened, I was sitting on this guy’s lap and next thing you know we were snogging and with tongue! It was divine, and as I closed my eyes I'm sure I saw stars (that had nothing to do with the alcohol consumed of course).

I actually think that kiss more than any Hollywood movie was the reason it took me so long to find 'the one'. From that moment on I judged the potential of every relationship by the first kiss. This was so illogical, not that kissing is logical at the best of times, but most of my best kissing had been with the biggest bastards on earth, and really that was all they would good for. A good pash and then see you later really. But for some reason I forgot this as my knees turned to jelly and my imaginary world clouded out any sense of reality. 


Think I might give my hubby a snog when he gets home as feeling a little inspired, not sure it will be quite the same with toddlers attached to both legs, but I'll give it a go.

What was your first kiss like? 
Did it turn you into a pashing bandit like it did me?


©MyIdeaLife, 2011, All rights reserved

Friday, 4 November 2011

MUMMY'S FUNKY FRIDAY : Pumped Up Kicks


My recent Friday Night Lights stories got me thinking about how life as a parent can be so boring that a loud street party you're not at and a bit of car bashing being done by a drunken lout to your own car is about as exciting as it gets. TRAGIC! And then this song came on the radio (I haven't yet given in to the grown up impulse to switch to talkback radio) and I found myself dancing hands in the hair, dance party style in the front seat of our car (don't worry I wasn't driving, god help us if I were).


Source: Fosterthepeople.com
This reminded me that I used to be an obsessed music chick that danced whenever she got the chance but especially in front of Chris Cornell in Rotterdam, ColdPlay in a muddy field in Byron Bay and Foo Fighters at Big Day Out to name a few. Although my true claim to fame was when a girlfriend and I cleared the dance floor in Nottingham when Run D.M.C's 'It's like that' came on. Today you are more likely to find me rocking out to Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car (one day I might show you the video, 'lovingly' recorded by my hubby) and although I love The Wiggles for the smiles they bring to my children's faces, they have nothing on the strong guitar riffs and unshaven growls of the likes of Dave Grohl, which I had forgotten...until now.

So I bring you (and me) the first instalment of MUMMY'S FUNKY FRIDAY, your way out of being a boring parent who's only view to the outside world is somewhere between Larry & Kylie on The Morning Show and Tony or Alan Jones, depending on your political sway. And although all of these people make an amazing contribution to society in their own way, you don't want to find yourself quoting them during the rare times you get out of the house and talk to people taller than 4ft. Instead you can now say "Have you heard of that band 'Foster the people'?" and there you have it - instant COOL.


Pumped Up Kicks is their first single and it has made them a global hit. If you can ignore that the lyrics are about a dysfunctional youth with an absent father who's recently got his hand on a gun then this is the perfect Summer anthem. Jill Menze of Billboard describes why saying "[it] boasts a laid-back, lo-fi '60s vibe, a slick bassline and an undeniably catchy chorus" all which make it impossible not to at least tap your foot to, even with a toddler on board. In fact I challenge you not to start bopping up and down in a daggy Mum kinda way!

And so you can appear amazingly informed Foster the people was formed out of LA and was originally named Foster & the people after frontman Mark Foster, but this was continually misheard and the band gave up trying to correct it and changed the name. They played at Splendour in the Grass (that field I was talking about above if you didn't already know), in July, which I didn't attend because I was up at the same time rocking in a not-so-fun-way with my then baby. But now that I'm cool again maybe I can get to their rumoured appearance at Big Day Out 2012 (Stop laughing!)

Luckily the video above is just snippets from this young band's tour footage rather than teenagers outrunning gunmen, and although I've never been a rock star, well not in real life anyway, I have been that girl in the front row, wearing not very much and dancing like my life depended on it, all the while making eyes at the lead singer. This song is all types of nostalgic and this Mum is completely dreamy about it, I hope it has the same affect on you. 

HOW COOL ARE YOU NOW? (or how behind am I?)


©MyIdeaLife, 2011, All rights reserved

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Friday Night Lights - Part 2: Flashing

I'm sure my single, not-so-sober self of 2004
would have nothing to learn from this situation
The teenagers were gone and the only hum I could hear was the soft yet extremely annoying sound of my hubby's snoring, but that's why I have earplugs and once they were in I was happily stepping off my cliff to lala land. I had only just hit the ground, Wile E Coyote style, when my cartoon desert melted back into our bedroom, a space suddenly filled with the angry screams of a teenage boy. He wasn't very imaginative in his song to our street, it was essentially various forms of the word "F*CK". Loud ones, long ones and staccato ones with the word 'IT' sometimes applied.

My heart leapt into my throat, "this was my fault, if I hadn't paraded around outside like a deranged fool, then this wouldn't be happening" I thought and worked hard not to show, my hubby needed no more ammo as he stood at the window trying to catch a glimpse of the psycho pacing around outside.


'Is he out the front?' I scream whispered
Boom: 'Shut up...he's in front of next door's place'
Me: 'What's he doing?'
Boom: 'Shut.up' 
Me: 'It's not like he can hear me, the voices in his head are clearly draining all sense of reality' 
Boom: 'I'm trying to hear'
Me: 'Well he's not exactly whispering is he, I'm pretty sure the guy in seat 7D of the plane that just flew over asked his wife "who's that shouting 'Faaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrkkkkk'?' so what exactly are you trying to hear?'
Boom: 'Shhhhh'

At this point with curiosity that has killed many cats and a conscience desperate to be cleared I jumped up too and joined him at the blind.

Boom: 'Go back to bed' 
Me: 'No, I want to see what's going on'
Boom: 'You're opening the blind up too much he'll see'
Me: 'Sweet, the guy is having a conversation with an invisible purple martian that is probably trying to kill him, he's not going to see a 4cm gap in a blind 30m away'
Boom: 'Fine'

For the next thirty minutes we rode the wave created by our screaming friend that oscillated between being lulled into a false sense of 'we can go to sleep now he's passed out' and jumping back up to peek out the window when a renewed round of F-bombs were dropped. As I had already had a nice conversation with a police officer earlier in the evening and was now getting a little bored with the show, I was gagging to call the police.

'Should I call the police?'
2mins later
'Do you want me to call the police?
2mins later
'I don't mind calling the police, what do you think?'

Suddenly the game changed and our lunatic discovered an uncovered skip bin that obviously was the martian's spaceship as he started attacking it physically and giving it a strong piece of his crazed mind.

'I think I should call the police.' was met with around 5 seconds of silence before a much louder crashing sound occurred at which point my usually calm and quiet hubby started yelling 'Call the police! call the police! he's smashing the cars, he's just smashed Ben's car, there goes ours now, call them!'

I dialled 000 and it was then, and only then that he decided to run off. 30 minutes of loud mayhem and the second my fingers touch the phone he disappears. I couldn't believe it. The police arrived and Boom spoke to them briefly and then for about the fiftieth time that evening we crawled back into bed.

A few minutes went by and my cartoon life was returning when Bang decided that the new found silence was disturbing and started crying. Hubby took this one and returned again to sleep, by now it was 1.30am and I was well and truly over all this. But it wasn't the agitation that kept me from sleeping next, it was a knock at the door.

'What the...?'

We opened the door and the police had returned, they needed a full description as another police unit had found our noisy friend, his mind-free state obviously hard to miss. We obliged, of course, and as developments occurred loudly over radios on our balcony it was obvious we were in for the long haul. A full official statement was required, the teen was arrested and my Hubby had to identify evidence and describe everything he saw, all this under the curious eye of his wife and 2 year old, who of course had been woken by now.

At 2.30am we tried to go to bed again, but it seemed this particular Friday night was determined to keep at least one of us awake all night. So my hubby ended up in the spare bedroom for the rest of the night being kicked by a deep-sleeping 2 year old.


There is much to learn from this cautionary tale like:
  • don't confront teenagers in your PJs (you'd get a much better reaction in the nude)
  • when someone shines a laser in your bedroom pretend you are 17 again, at a dance party and about to pass out intoxicated
  • don't introduce your 2 year old to a Policeman at 2am in the morning, he is likely never to sleep again, and my favourite;
  • don't be mean to your wife because Karma is likely to be more of a bitch than she is! 
What did you learn?
(
Please don't say "You're a nutbag" I am aware of this fact already! LOL)


© MyIdeaLife, 2011, All rights reserved.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Friday Night Lights - Part 1: Lasers

Friday night 2004-style:
Notice amazing dance moves and alcohol in background, of course they are not related!
When I was single I looked forward to Friday night the way a junkie looks forward to their next hit. It was a night of dreams and potential that instead usually materialised into copious amounts of alcohol and embarrassing dance moves (strangely enough this never dampened my hope for the next week and one of them must have worked out as I ended up married with two kids seemingly overnight). Seven years on and Friday night still manages a small bleep on my weekly radar but for very different reasons, and although watching Better Homes & Gardens is a cause for a small amount of tragic excitement (I like the pet segment ok!), it is more that Friday night is the night before a day that my husband is at home to help with the boys. WOO HOO!!!!!!!

Friday night just gone was looking like it's usual slightly exciting self at 11.20pm. I had somehow dragged myself away from Twitter and was snuggling into bed when an unfamiliar green light flashed on the wall. "Hmmm, I am either having a flashback to the many nights I spent in my ad agency's free bar or some idiot is shining a laser in my bedroom window" I thought in my near-dream-state. Unfortunately it was the latter.

 
The normal amongst you would have closed their eyes, put earplugs in and ignored the increasing hum of drunken teenagers gathering on the street outside. As you probably have figured out I am not that normal. So I went out the front door in my PJs, barefoot and braless no less (although I don't really need a bra anymore it seems), stared across the street and above the rabble politely said "Guys I've got toddlers asleep here can you keep it down and stop shining lasers at the house ok?".

Friday night 2011-style
Lose the smile, ugh boots and toddler and this is what a party of teenagers saw!
No wonder they dispersed so quickly!
I remember women like me when I was a teenager, I remember how stupid and boring I thought they were and how they needed to loosen up and piss off, but that memory seemed to escape me as I pressed on. "Seriously guys, stop with the lasers or I'll call the cops". This inaudible whining of the mad woman in her PJs was met with dismissive giggles and a few throwaway "stupid bitch" type comments.

Unfortunately the swarm of hormones and alcohol in front of me had no idea who they were dealing with, the guys probably will still have that look of shock as they stare at their equally sleep-deprived wives in years to come, but the girls will one day understand...poor things. I stormed off and with drama fitting of a good stage play I called the police right in front of them under our sensor light which flashed on and off as I paced on the balcony.

The poor boys throwing the bash started ushering their friends home, one drunken male headed my way, but was held back by a friend. By this stage although I stood my ground, belying my peaceful sky blue, cloud covered attire, I noticed I had started to shake a little. The stupidity of what I was doing was dawning on me, I was exposing our house and possibly my family to harm. Panic was setting in. As the last two boys wandered towards our house on their way out, one of which was the threatening one, I thought I'd try to fix things. I called out to the boys and explained that the only reason I was freaking out was because I had two toddlers asleep inside and having lasers shined in their rooms was not ideal. They said sorry and said they didn't realise about the lasers and it all became very amicable. I apologised for being so boring and said I know what it's like as I used to party hard too. (Shit I'm a dag!)

So everything was looking right with the world again and even more exciting both toddlers had slept through the whole thing. I told my husband, who'd missed the whole thing as he'd been at the back of the house with his head inside the idiot box (well that's my way of saying he was watching sport...again), and it was my turn to have strips torn off me. Calling me stupid wasn't unique to Generation Y it seemed. We went to sleep abusing each other, as you do, but it was not long before we were awake again.

(Click PART TWO to find out what happened next! )

How has Friday night changed for you?


©MyIdeaLife 2011, All rights reserved

Friday, 28 October 2011

Motherhood Unearthed


As I write nearly three billion Google searches have happened, 98 million tweets posted and 210 billion emails sent and that’s just today. We are living in an age of information, it is everywhere and for most it is easily accessible, that is, until we reach the topic of childbirth.

Traditionally mystery has shrouded this rite of passage, so to speak, but in a time when we are exposed to the sex videos of try-hard celebrities, gruesome crime photos or graphic footage of surgeries, surely the details surrounding childbirth are mild in comparison?

I have given birth twice and I went to the antenatal classes the first time, I watched the video of the screaming woman, but I still had no idea of what I was in store for. I knew there would be pain, I knew my options for drugs or not and I had been told by lots of well-meaning mothers “make sure you get lots of sleep before the baby comes.” That was about it.

Now is when I could choose to fill the gap with some gory details to help prepare any blissfully, waddling first-timers, but a couple of things have given me pause.

Firstly when I asked newly pregnant twitter friend Emily Jade O'Keefe what advice she’d like, she said ‘Only share the good please, I’ll find out the bad’. Secondly pre-baby I vaguely recall hearing some advice but it seemed to go in one ear and out the other. It made me wonder is childbirth and being a new Mum inexplicable to footloose, childfree women?

But what finally sealed the sealed section on childbirth for me was the fact that women are classic worriers, pregnant women are on the anxiety-ridden, hormone roller coaster and new mothers are often near to being committed. So if we were to share the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me drugs, would it help or just send them over the edge?

So I’m not going to explain to you what an ice-filled condom is for, or what happens to your empty belly soon after giving birth, my friend is right – you’ll find that out soon enough.

But there is one thing I wish I’d known: that my life would be turned inside out and upside down and that during the tumultuous and emotional change you have to be kind to yourself. Becoming a mother is one of life’s biggest changes. You’ve probably heard this one by Raphael-Leff (1994) from me before but I love it, they say new Mums are “plunged into a state of inner disequilibrium and external upheaval quite unlike any other encountered in adult life”.

I made the mistake of expecting that I would be an automatic natural earth mother, because understanding and knowing how to rear a child was in both my X chromosomes, wasn’t it? The previous generation didn’t really help as even more was expected in their day, difference being they were often already managing the home so adding children to the mix was tough but not as life-changing. Going from corporate meetings and making decisions on million dollar campaigns up to 60 hours a week to being housebound, while providing food from the stove and my body, and all within a clean environment was like expecting my husband to converse with me during a football match.

The remarkable thing is how remarkable humans are. You adapt and you change and you see the world in a whole new light, one that is broader, deeper and very rewarding. So if nobody has really explained the details of childbirth or been able to articulate what you’ll feel when you first arrive home with a gurgling, wholly dependent, little poo-and-spew ball, then don’t worry – just remember as you get shoved into the deep end of this particularly choppy sea, be kind, be understanding and give yourself a lot of leeway to be as mental as is fitting to one of the biggest challenges you’ll ever face.


P.S. And before the birth cook as many meals as your freezer can store while having your favourite takeaways on fast dial, the last place you want to be is near an open flame on 3 hours sleep.

Inspired by the heavily pregnant Emily Jade O'Keefe, Motherhood Unearthed first appeared on KleenexMums and later on Emily's blog Emily Everywhere

©MyIdeaLife, 2011, All rights reserved

Monday, 24 October 2011

Problogger Training Day: Rangars, red wine & blogging from the heart

After 9 days enduring, I mean enjoying travel with two unruly toddlers and a very stretched hubby I fumbled to a seat at the Problogger training day 15 minutes late, sweaty and flustered. The next 15 minutes was spent swearing under my breath about the wireless connection that decided to cave under the pressure of 270 bloggers telling the twitter world what they were seeing and doing. 

Once I accepted the wireless-free situation and switched on my 3G I looked up and saw this slide…

…and immediately regretted not listening for the last 15 mins. Darren Rowse is a classic, and I was missing out on the intelligence and deep understanding he has of humans that has got him to where he is today. That is a huge blogger making more than a healthy living from what he loves to do.



But I was still feeling a little faint and when Nathalie from EasyPeasyKids tweeted she had a bag full of chocolate, I jokingly tweeted back I needed food and minutes lately I was tapped on the shoulder with a chocolate - the breakfast of champions. And behind me was not only Nat but the lovely Yvette Vignando who if you don't know her face already can be found occasionally slumming it on The Morning Show. So cool to at last meet her IRL and thank her for her online generosity to me. 


The rest of the day was filled with gems of wisdom and a reminder of all the things that I need to sit down and do, instead of danging around on twitter and facebook. Including Nicole “PlanningQueen” Avery’s advice to do your writing before you check your email, a practice I am undertaking now and probably the reason you are reading this – thanks Nic!

But one thing that stood out more than any other comment and it was from Tim Ferris, the guitarist from INXS, well that’s what I thought, but really he is the genius behind the four hour work week. He said “Decide what success for you will look like in three years time, now” It seems so simplistic but I have a blurry undefined feeling about what I want from blogging and I have never sat down and clarified why I spend hours and hours writing, dwelling, tweeting and researching all for a relatively unpaid pursuit.

So I am going to head off and write down what I want to achieve and then I may have half a chance of getting there, wherever 'there' may be.

But before I get too productive I have to take the time to mention the bloggers. It was so cool to see people you only catch a few times a year and to meet people that you feel you already know from hundreds of exchanges on twitter. Liss from Frills in the Hills single-handedly helped me to breathe out for the first time in 10 days with a much-needed, gorgeous hug - thank you! x. Eden was the perfect lunch partner as she didn’t mind me speaking to her with my mouth full, in fact she joined in too. We were only one step away from opening our mouths mid-chew to gross eachother out! Maturity is obviously over-rated...which Danielle from Lenovo fame, Nathalie from easypeasykids and I took to a new level in the afternoon session. They helped to remind me that we are still teenage girls on the inside, giggling during class to ward off passing out. Laney from Crash Test Mummy and Denyse Whelan were hilarious drinks partners, and it was so cool to realise that Andrea from FoxinFlats and I unknowingly share a besty in real life!

Exhaustion has such a pretty face - NOT!
Can’t wait to see everyone again at the next meetup and I promise to be well-rested next time – then I might make more sense….then again maybe not!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Toddlers at 30,000ft: just flying "high"

Flying with children, especially very young children, is always a source of some anxiety for parents. Such was the case on Thursday when we woke at 5.30am to ensure we were on our early, but short flight to Melbourne.

All was going ok with the only casualty so far being the Virgin Lounge floor and a few very serious Lounge patrons (I love the looks I get when Bang or Crash make Pro Hart’s carpet ads look amateur, mainly because pre-child I was fantastic at delivering them too, karma).

Anyway things started to turn ugly when all the planes behind and in front of ours started boarding – the space next to ours…empty, the only clue to the delay was the ever-changing departure time. Three amendments later we were called and then seamlessly aboard, phew!

Things just kept getting better, takeoff was a breeze with a bottle shoved in Crash and cloud-spotting with Bang, I was feeling very smug and stupidly proud of my brave boys. Other than their desire to climb all over the aircraft once the seatbelt sign was turned off, we were coping pretty well. Then Crash passed out which was perfection.

Even the pressurised water bottles that turned into one metre high fountains at 20,000 feet weren’t going to dampen my spirits.

But then we looked away from the ocean, that is my 2 year old, for only a second. As my hubby and I were patting ourselves on the back for a race well run, a huge wave hit in the form of the seatbelt sign flashing on. We still didn’t see the magnitude until it was too late, but the simple and unavoidable act of strapping Bang back into his seat unleashed a screaming tsunami. No amount of “listen for the wheels!”, “ooooo look a digger, did you see the digger!?” and so on could stop the deranged song he intended on entertaining the whole plane with until we hit the ground.

I went into this adrenaline-filled state, eyes darting around frantically looking for distractions, my mind-spinning thinking of calming things to say, all in an overly animated voice that when I think back sounded like Giggle and Hoot on speed.

We got some respite as we taxied towards the gate as there were planes and trucks to be wondered at. But the hysteria that was sitting just below the surface was triggered again when we had to leave the window full of big planes to watch for the baggage carousal. At this point I almost forgot I had another child. Refreshed by his nap he just quietly looked on slightly bemused as his big brother writhed around lunatic-like. When it was my turn to take Bang for a walk to calm him down while we waited for the straight-jacket, I mean pram to come out of oversized baggage, I spotted a cherry picker and with insane hope and excitement headed towards the beeping equipment. My dreams of a screech-free world were quickly shattered by even more intense screams and I found myself sort of insanely walking in circles towards the cherry picker and away again as I tried to decipher the reactions and tear-filled shrieks.

This is when I started to laugh, which of course didn’t help my poor exhausted boy, but I couldn’t help it. It was so insane it was funny, and the picture of me doing circles with a toddler that had lost his nut just tipped me over the edge.

The pram arrived and we strapped our inconsolable little man in there and left him to cry until the hire car arrived and then ten short minutes later as we drove, all shattered in our own way, Bang passed out. His exhaustion demon was quiet for the first time in an hour and beautifully replaced with the angelic peace of sleep.

We can’t wait for the flight home. 


If flying with toddlers your armory should include:
A bottle or dummy for infants or lollipop for toddlers during takoffs and landings - A laptop or iPad with Toy Story DVD on pause - Small toys, favourite books and sticker books - A fun way to explain why we all have to put our seatbelts on - Snacks - Water bottles that don’t have pop-up straws - An imagination that would rival the writers of Shrek - An off-the-wall sense of humour - Did I miss anything flying parents?


©My IdeaLife, 2011, All rights reserved

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Holding on


I was about 30m away, my joyous 2 year old son, Bang, was running across a field, one he always heads for after we’ve been to the playground adjacent. He was not alone, he was with his Grandmother, but he’d picked up speed and was heading for the car, I yelled for him to wait as I began running. But before I could get to him he had passed through the railings and was on the road. I yelled again.

My story has a happy ending, because as he ran across the road, there were no cars. On the same day another family of a nine year old boy was not so lucky. Like me, his mother shouted “Stop, wait” but ignoring or not hearing her he ran across the road without seeing the bus that would end his life. This lovely boy was running to return a toy his younger sister had mistakenly taken from the Doctor’s surgery they were just at.

As I read about witnesses describing the mother’s screams my heart broke for her. Every time I think of her and so many other parents who have had to some how live through such a tragedy the agony pushes tears from my eyes.

I can only imagine how broken and lost she is feeling today and for so many days into the future. It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Ever since I became a mother I have these visions of horrendous things happening, like cars losing control and hitting the pram as we cross the road or them falling awkwardly at the local playground the second you look away. Despite these harrowing daydreams, I assume sent to heighten my protective instincts, I still don’t really grasp that by some wicked chance, I could be that mother screaming to fight against a reality too traumatic to grasp.

As I watched Bang not even glancing sideways as he ran across the carpark lane to the car, I got a little glimpse into the fragility of our contented lives. Even though I have drummed road safety in so hard that Bang told me off the other day for standing on the road behind our car, these things can still happen. He knows not to go on the road, but in a moment of thoughtlessness there he was. I suppose that’s why they call it an accident, you just don’t see it coming.

Nonetheless it is a timely reminder for me to be extra vigilant. And to pay tribute to the beautiful children who’s lives have been tragically cut short I’ll be holding on to my boys’ hands so tightly and trying to remember as I get distracted by a screaming toddler or a friend or a phone call, to never take my eyes off them.



©MyIdeaLife, 2011, All rights reserved

Thursday, 6 October 2011

"The architect of our lives" RIP Steve Jobs

RIP Steve Jobs 
1955 - 2011

“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Steve Jobs, 2005

The quote above comes from a speech everyone should watch. Not because the man died today, not because he was arguably the most amazing visionary of our time but because he understands humans. Like the intuition he has embedded in his products, he seems to have amazing insights into the human condition. His journey has taught him some truths about life, death and fulfilment. And as the world loses him, let us not forget the brilliance he has left us with but celebrate it by being brave and true to ourselves. 


My tributes:

Thank you Steve Jobs for inspiring the world.


If you would like to share your thoughts, memories, and condolences, please email rememberingsteve@apple.com

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Blogging and the bright side

There are two groups of people who have an unlikely but uncanny resemblance to each other they are:

Eternal optimists you know the glass-half-full types that can turn being shat on by a bird, for example, in to a life lesson. “Bird poo in your eye, a lucky day is nigh” they sing song, smiling a smug smile, as they reach for a tissue.

And Bloggers normally the glass-half-empty types but that was until they started blogging! Now every “bad” situation is an amazing opportunity for a blog post of comedic proportions.

Tripping over slippery dips, previously a painful shock, now at the very least a hilarious tweet. Locking yourself out of the house, once a terrible and frightening inconvenience, now the basis for a soon-to-be-documented fantastic adventure to Mr Shu-Fiks. Being caught naked by a lorrikeet, usually relegated to the top ten dreaded moments in life now becomes what you live for. Being terrorised by a small furry creature, other than your husband, becomes the stuff you only thought you couldn't read about


There’s only one disclaimer, one red light in your new world of greens, that is: did you get it on camera? Those dark moments can suddenly turn dark again if you didn’t have the foresight to whip out your iPhone mid-spew, slip, spill, crash or poo moment.

Bloggers are the new paparazzi for their own disasters among other things. Here are a few I was lucky to catch.
I can't work out whether the Emu attack or the poo bath(not shown)
is my favourite disaster life lesson...

So once a whiney negative moo moo, blogging has transformed me into an annoying optimist, cheerily philosophising “well it’ll make a great blog post” as I get splattered with projectile poo...Tissue please!

What are some of your favourite proverb-making moments?


©My IdeaLife, 2011, All rights reserved