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...

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Time to listen 2dayFM or we'll stop! Royal Prank goes terribly wrong

We are seemingly killing ourselves slowly. It is death by a thousand humiliations, it is slow and unnoticeable at first, until one day you wake up and you realise you are more worried about what somebody you hardly know at work thinks about you than your own children. Is it any wonder then that a Mum of two children made the most final of decisions after being globally humiliated by people whom can at best be described as de-sensitised? 

The UK headlines say it all. Source: Herald Sun; Jacintha Saldanha, who answered the call from 2dayFM was later found dead, believed to have taken her own life. Source:The Sunday Telegraph
But this is what happens when we live in a society that is more concerned about protecting, comforting and justifying people who now feel bad that they precipitated the death of a woman, a wife and a mother, than with the fact that certain behaviour has consequences. This is what happens when ratings become more important than a person’s life. How about instead of keeping ourselves busy justifying our inhumane behaviour we learn something from it?

Here’s the lesson: ringing total strangers to trick them in front of huge public audiences is not funny, not if you have any empathy. And if you suppress the cringe factor as you listen to the poor person being humiliated; stop! That feeling is your connection to society, it is what creates community and keeps some level of order, respect and understanding.

Michael Moore has been on about corporations being intrinsically psychopathic for years but when you hear one of the DJs involved in this unthinkable situation, was reportedly still bragging about the fame he had gained from it as late as Saturday morning, you have to wonder whether that messed up psyche has brainwashed a generation. To show such disdain for another’s life, because on the bright side your profile has grown? It's astounding and maybe time for a change. 

Source: Daily Mail UK
So what should we do? The nobodies are the most empowered we have been in history. The Edelman GoodPurpose Report states that “86% of global consumers believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on society’s issues as on business' interests” and nearly two thirds already believe they can change a company’s behaviour. In this case if 2dayFM aren’t listening, it is time to pay them the same respect.


Source: The Herald Sun
Let's stop empowering the indecency and disregard for people's lives, let's stop buying-in to the propaganda that is subliminally attacking the very fabric of humanity, even if it is done legally (please!). It is ever so subtly and slowly pushing us into believing it is ok to treat people without respect, to jeopardise their careers, reputations and in poor Jacintha’s case, her very existence.

Enough! No more excuses and lawyers, look within 2dayFM, and feel the mistake. It is not your first, in fact the list is starting to grow, so it is time now to really feel this one, your worst yet, hard and deeply so you stop making it over and over. And for everyone’s sake grow up and take the power you have over so many impressionable minds seriously. Anybody’s life is more important than your fame and fortune, which will be gone in the blink of an eye, or in this case the fragility of a woman’s life.

Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by phoning Lifeline 13 11 14; Mensline 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800




P.S. Update: Having watched the DJs on A Current Affair I do believe that they are filled with regret and shock at what has happened. Hindsight is an amazing thing and we have all made mistakes, but I still believe that prank calls are cruel and the laziest form of humour and am happy that 2dayFM has announced that they are suspended on all their stations indefinitely. At the very least they should have followed ACMA regulations that the pranks' subject be called to ask their permission to air the segment which in this case it seemed they did not. 

P.S.S This opinion piece on Mumbrella from a DJ highlights the art of a good prank vs what happened here

Monday, 29 October 2012

Two boys and a vasectomy

My old man's little fellas had a bit of augmentation last week. Not so much in the cosmetic sense...let's just say the lid is now firmly shut on our current family size of four. It is quite surreal now to think that we have taken such an extreme measure to ensure we have no more children and it might be enough to give someone pause... that is until they hear about the week we all had after the op. 


The Friday was like a trip into the twilight zone especially for my hubby, who elected for a full general for the procedure. Deadlines, meeting times, ETAs don't exist on Hospital Planet, instead an unusual and completely incomprehensible set of rules somehow maintain a steady flow of humans being cut open, sewn back up and booted out of vinyl recovery recliners all in one day. So upon rushing around like mad people to get the munchkins packed off to kindy in time to arrive at hospital by 8.30am, we were met with the strange and quite annoying reality that we could have arrived three hours later and still been there an hour earlier than the operation start time. 

But Friday was not really the issue, as thankfully punctuality and surgical skills are not mutually exclusive, it was the days that followed. Hubby was out for the count, walking around like John Wayne on the odd occasion he made it out of bed, in addition to making a meal of most of the bathroom when he tried to aim at the toilet. What was sanity-threatening was not the mess, the mayhem or Crash dragging Bang headfirst off the top of the cubby house, but the relentlessness. Not being able to say to another adult "Ok your turn, need a break" was killing me. Every nappy, spill, fight, night terror, bath, meal, wee, walk, playground, accident, smoothie, pick-up/drop-off was mine for what turned out to be seven days. 

This is the point where I say "Single parents...oh my effing god, you deserve a medal, a knighthood, a bloody huge lotto win... I don't know but something big and massively rewarding!" After two days of complete shit in the metaphorical sense and one round of real shit from one of our numerous park adventures, I was losing my mind. 

Hubby just laughed as he watched me slowly go down hill, which then made him double over in pain, which then made me laugh. It was a cycle of hilarity at someone else's expense and karma that went on for days. It was probably only fair that I suffered too given what he'd just done for us. Think about it, he had let someone cut open his crown jewels and potter around in there, endangering a lot of what makes him a man. Even Master 3 was sympathetic "Daddy can't come swimming with me cause he has a sore willy" he told the street from our front balcony.

On night six as we both fell into bed, broken in our own special ways, hubby said "who'd have thought getting the snip would be easier than looking after the munchkins by yourself", "I know" I shrilled with relief at his acknowledgement. Before our laughter could reach hysteria we had both passed out, but not before both feeling even more convinced that two little monkeys were quite enough for us and that the Snip was worth every groan and giggle it had caused. 

Has your hubby had the SNIP? 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

"Stop crying" Mummy cried hysterically

There's something soul-destroying about listening to Adele as your child cries hysterically. Nothing has really changed in the three and half years since I met my first child, a baby's cry, a toddler's cry, they are all the same, they cut through my skin and reach in and grab my heart and say "You are failing me". 



I will never get used to it. Waiting for a coffee today I heard a distant scream of agony and my heart broke just a little as it tapped into the many different cries I have heard in my short time as a Mum. The worst is the pain one, where there is nothing much you can do but comfort them and give them paracetamol, followed closely by the one I am listening to tonight. The over-tired completely lost-my-mind, I'm never sleeping again, and I may die of a broken heart unless you cuddle me all night tantrum. 



The fact is I do feel like I've failed him, despite the fact that I know most parents go through this. The thing with our second child is we didn't do things by the book. Our first was off the bottle by 1.5, he was not cuddled to sleep or given milk in the middle of the night. Unfortunately our laxed approach has lead us to another night where we will have to leave him to cry himself to sleep after comforting and rocking him for over an hour with no success. This is my fault and my husbands. And I am feeling it acutely. 

Luckily despite not following some childless nutbag that's written a book based on their extensive experience with other people's babies, nights like these are far and few between but they are the worst of times for everyone. Made even more traumatic by the fact he can now clearly call out "Mumma" in the most emotional and heartbroken way. 

Poor little guy, being a toddler is so hard, that's the reason we don't remember it I reckon. Just imagine you are too short to reach the stuff that's most interesting, especially the food that you like. You have to get a taller person to understand what you want even though you don't speak very clearly. When you are in the middle of a crucial scene in Madagascar someone stronger than you and who can pick you up does just that and strips you naked and puts you in a bath. Seriously have these people any respect?! 

Poor little man he is so upset, and all my comforting does is make the next time I lie him down even more traumatic. If any one tells you there is something harder than being a parent, smile kindly as you boof them on the head with your handbag. 

The only light is that once you have been through this once or twice you sort of know how it goes. You know that you have to last about 30 75 minutes and then it will be over, he will be asleep and so will you, both exhausted. 

Have you lived through uncontrolled-crying?

Monday, 8 October 2012

"Superwomen" have it all by NOT doing it all..


I was pretty nervous when Nina called from Fairfax to ask me questions about being a working Mum. Mainly because I feel slightly guilty about it most of the time. I have written about the struggle of Mum's today in Mamamia not once but twice, and so hearing that Sunday Life was going to do an article about us "Superwomen" was reassuring.

The age old question, "Shouldn't Mums give up their working, social and every other kind of lives for the lives of their children?", was still rattling around in my guilty conscience as Nina asked me questions about how I coped. But I remembered some of the advice I had had from so many women who now had older kids and had juggled it all. The lovely Bern Morley told me that there has been absolutely no negative affects on her gorgeous children and they'd been in child care from infancy. And TV-host Melissa Doyle, who arrives at the set of Sunrise every week day at 4.30am, told me she felt the same and elaborated saying "I hope they feel proud of their Mum". Their confidence calmed me and reminded me of the key reasons why I chose to be a working Mum.

But if you are thinking about being a "superwoman" and feel like it'd be all too much, you'd be right. It is really hard and what has come to light it is how insane it is. But take heart - help is here. Because there are so many of us now, there are also highly-accessible and acceptable services ready to help us manage. And as journalist Cosima Marriner writes in Sunday's article:

 "No longer do we have to pretend to the world we're [superwomen] – while imploding inside with the impossibility of doing it all...we've found a new role model: Outsourcing Woman."

Read the full article here: Mother's Little Helpers in yesterday's Sunday Life/Sun-Herald. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Puberty Blues...mainly 'cause it's over

Once in a while a network gets it so right. This time it was Channel 10 that carved out a place in Australian TV Drama history. The beautifully crafted Puberty Blues took my breath away and from the social media buzz last night I was not alone. I knew from the trailer it was going to be the stuff of memories but I didn't know I would be hopelessly addicted and engrossed in the characters and their amazingly real and gritty lives. And the writing... oh my... pitch perfect. The acting, the art direction, the style... ok am raving but I can honestly not fault it.  Except maybe the ending, over too soon and without enough fanfare, it's like it raced a little at the end, it needed another half hour to breath. But that opinion could just be because I am completely devoed (as my gen y team member would say in place of devastated) the show is over at all. 


If for no other reason, (and there are so many other reasons) the story is inspiring for giving us a real insight into the fight that women went through to deliver us the freedom and equality that we almost have in full now. The brilliant resilience and immense belief in self that was required for them to question the status quo at the time is nothing short of phenomenal. I am now working fulltime and am lucky enough to be on the directors board of a medium-sized business and none of that would be taking place if it wasn't for girls like Sue and Debbie, and of course their alter-egos and creators Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette. 


And to be fair although you may think that men have lost out in all of this, I think what women's liberation has done is allowed them to be more real too. Instead of having to live up to some caveman ideal, men are allowed to talk about feelings with each other, they can cry and they can ask for help. I'm not saying there is no pressure on men to be "men" but I think 40 years on we now understand their humanity and so do they. 

The other thing that bringing back Puberty Blues has done is remind a generation of now adults what it was like to be a teenager. I loved the chance to reminisce into the wild, dreamy mindset that was my own only 20 short years ago. When the most important thing in life was capturing the attention of that one particular guy, and dreaming, dreaming, dreaming, dreaming of what your life will be like as you wait in the wings of high school and stare longingly at the adults working, living and loving out in the world, making their own rules. 

Congratulations to the team that brought this to life a second time around and if you are wondering about the ratings for a potential series 2... check out your Facebook page and you'll know what to do! 

Monday, 1 October 2012

A Beautiful Beginnings End: RIP Jill Meagher

Street Art Tribute in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Source: HeraldSun

Her dreams were those of any beautiful young girl, her vibrancy and light existence marred only by a shimmer of doubt that flashed through her mind when a stranger began talking to her on the way home early last Saturday morning. That doubt grew into unthinkable horror when Jill Meagher's circumstances conspired against her and a predator, a man so lost and damaged, thought nothing of ending her near perfect life. A life with a long future of love and adventure and moments. A lifetime of moments he felt were less worthy, than a vulgar, disturbed one made up of power and violence. 

Source: The Vine Live
I don't understand this man, not even close. What megalomania takes hold to not understand another human's huge and majestic existence? How could he not see her, and how she extended into the past, the future and into all those that know and love her in the present? Was it the brilliance of her that made him hate her enough to end her beautiful life? I don't know and like the thousands that walked down Sydney Road as a tribute to this senseless loss, I will probably never know what possessed the man that did this to Jill. 

Tribute March for Jill Meagher, Brunswick, Source: HeraldSun
All we are left with are questions unanswered, shock and grief. And a desperate scrambling to pull together, to reassure each other that humanity is not lost. That there are more of us who feel each other, empathise with and respect each other, than those that do not. I want to hope, I want to send thoughts of strength and love to Tom Meagher and the McKeon Family, but I am collapsed in grief at the absurdity of this life. That this can happen, and does happen more often than we know, breaks my heart. 

Tears replace the space where hope lived, so for now I cry with you in your great loss. And hope that maybe one day the lyrics of this song will make sense of the senselessness of Jill's end. 


"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end"

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

UPDATE: The Burden of True Love: Dedicated to Marina Krim in her unthinkable loss

I seem to have an unhealthy obsession with death of late. It is quite disturbing and not really conducive to a light and smiling existence. Instead I have strange visions of myself being injured or worse one of my beautiful boys. I try to tell myself that living in fear of death is a waste of life and I know it is, I can feel it is, but now I have so much to lose, so much to miss in the growth of my two little toddler boys into young men and god permitting, adults. I watched Shadowlands tonight, and I knew I shouldn't but it is a beautiful story and a true one. Non-fiction is always more magnetic to me but unfortunately usually contains the real tragedy of the absurdity of our lives.

my idealife banksy

C.S. Lewis although a committed Christian and successful author had never really fallen in love. His life was perfectly balanced, clinical and in control. Until he met Joy quite late in life. Her massive IQ and wit derailed his limited existence and he fell hard and passionately in love with her. But by some strange fate it turned out she had cancer and died only four years after they were married. His life was turned upside down and back the front and was taken completely out of his hands. In spite of this he recognises that the happiness she brought was worth the pain. I love the part where he says to her on her deathbed "I love you Joy, you make me so happy, I never knew I could feel such happiness... you are the truest person I know." 

What is more devastating than their love cut far too short is Joy having to leave her boys, when still only boys very much still in need of their Mum, behind alone, without her. As a Mum I find this almost unbearable to watch let alone imagine for my own boys. 


I know that people somehow survive this kind of loss, the pain, although never completely gone, reduces and life crowds in to distract you. But I buckle in two at the thought, I don't seem to be made of the stuff that those that continue are. I feel like my insides are custard, probably soft and malleable through never having been through anything even close to this harrowing. 

I only wish that my fears will work to drive my enjoyment of the moments I am having this second, when my boys still love cuddles and kisses, and say things like "You are my true love" or yell with glee, "Mummy, Mummy" on my arrival home from work, running at me with arms splayed ready to be easily swung in the air, my face buried in their soft necks breathing in their innocence before bursting a raspberry onto their perfect skin, and drinking in the erupting giggles that this all imbues. 

Like C.S. Lewis, my nightmares will probably never cease, but if the worst were to happen and I end up broken by grief I hope I remember they were worth the pain, every precious second knowing them is better than a pain-free existence never having looked into their eyes of joy and wonder, and realising they are the joy and wonder of my life. 



Sending Kevin and Marina Krim the strength no Mother can imagine having,
as you face the most terrible of losses x

Monday, 10 September 2012

House Husbands and the importance of Bunny

Am loving House Husbands on Channel 9. And although there are quite a few leaps outside of most family's reality, watching Justin (Firass Dirani) looking for his baby girl's lost pink bunny is a very real situation that I'm sure many parents have faced. 


Our eldest boy is three and a half and at last his beloved Blankie, a treasured baby gift, is starting to cut little less of a figure in his life, but it was only last year that Blankie going missing struck fear into the hearts of men, small and large and one woman. 

Once we lost Blankie in the supermarket and some kind person whom I am forever grateful to, picked it up and put in on the bananas where he waited for us for ten terrifying minutes. My relief was palpable and our then 1 year old grabbed him and held him close like a long lost friend. 

Then there was the time Daddy forgot to bring blankie home from kindy... on a Friday!!!! We realised then how strong the attachment between Blankie and Bang was. It's completely understandable when you think about it, when we'd left the room, gone back to work, had a shower or got forbid gone to the toilet alone, Blankie had stayed with our little man everywhere he went. Blankie was his truest friend and as his devastated face crumpled we knew we were all in for one of the worst weekends of our lives! Again finding him packed in one of the kindy toy baskets on Monday morning was one of those great moments in my recent existence, my heart sang! 

Then there was the time Blankie was left in the car and instead of accompanying his beloved owner into Kindy he went for an adventure to Daddy's workplace, where beyond his wildest dreams he got to go for a ride on a courier's motorbike back to kindy and back into Bang's arms. That adventure wasn't taken under pressure from me, my husband, who obviously valued his life, came up with that one all by himself and just told me about it later.

First rule of comforters is to buy two of the exact same kind. I discovered this rule about 6 months too late, I think I got spooked after the supermarket incident. When I happened upon the same taggie in a local baby shop I almost giggled out loud in a strange unhinged sort of way. When I got it home and patted myself on the back as I swapped Blankie over for a much-needed wash, it was about then that the giggling stopped. Bang looked at imposter blankie and patted it, looked at me, looked back at imposter blankie and then threw it. I couldn't believe it, he knew because of the texture, the new one was much softer and didn't smell nearly the same. I remembered when I had first given Bang Blankie he was only 6 weeks old and I'd spent a night sleeping with Blankie on my skin so it's smell would comfort him to sleep. It had obviously worked far too well. 

Thankfully three years on and deputy blankie occasionally gets a look in but only if absolutely necessary and only if real Blankie is around also. 

So Justin trailing around Melbourne on every possible tram to find a pink bunny, not weird, not extreme, not fictional at.all. Just a great Dad who understands the rules of toddler and baby life. Bunny, Blankie, Ted et al are real friends and irreplaceable, just don't ever lose them...ever.... well not if you value your sanity!

Monday, 13 August 2012

The JOY of Toddlers...huh?!

There is a time in space right now that is so beautiful. Our youngest little man is about to turn two and his world is changing as he starts to make those around him understand who he is and what he feels and wants. He's always been cheeky and wilful but add words to the mix and his huge spirit really belies his mini 4 foot body. 



One thing, along with that priceless look of pride as he accomplishes another word, is his joy.  Lately when he gets something right or Brum saves a kitten, he puts both his little arms straight in the air, almost squashing his ears, fists tight shut, back swayed and yells "Hooray, Hooray". It takes all my self-control not to grab him and smother him with kisses. Instead I join him in his celebration of his wondrous and giggle-filled life, and bathe in the fizzing exuberance before me. 

What a privilege to be my boys' Mum, to get the chance to know them and watch them grow from speechless, sleepy babies to little people with distinct personalities and a unique life before them. A very wise woman asked me last week "What is my idealife?", at the time I thought it would be one with a lot more choices, but with every minute of wide-eyed discovery I see in Bang and Crash's eyes, I realise there is nothing more ideal than knowing and being with these two little people and their Dad. They are my idealife. 

Kachow!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Hairy Man or Perfect Man? How do u take your men?

I was channel surfing tonight on the radio as I drove home from work and in the endless search for a decent piece of music (Triple J being the only Sydney station capable of this it seems) I happened upon a sentence that caught my attention "It seems the perfect man has been defined at last" said Sami Lukis and so I stopped flicking and listened intently, wondering if my own "perfect" man would make the cut. 

According to a study surveying 2000 women in the UK it seems the perfect man is not as close to the "cave man" I've always preferred myself. But when I think about my time in the UK, even back in 1998 guys were wearing slip-on shoes and spending as much money on clothes as I was, so maybe the girls over there just like 'em more, more... well girly, I suppose. Which would explain the survey resulting in a hairless chest bonus and the smart dressing requirement, complete with v-neck jumper, Audi and a love of shopping - WTF!? I am alone in wanting to barf? 
Near hairfree Zac Efron fits the perfect man bill in the UK, if only he could break down a door (doubtful)
Not sure if it's an Aussie thing but I prefer my man straight up in a sort of slightly scruffy, rougher and kinda more inarticulate sort of way. Something that means my own mediocre efforts at perfection still make me look beautiful in comparison to him. My clothes need to be sharper, my hair needs to be softer and neater, my skin needs to be softer and my chest less hairy. 
Hairy and sloppy makes Gerard Butler not the Perfect Man - proving at last Poms are mad!

Fear not if you happen to be a manly man unfortunate enough to be born amongst Paul Smith-wearing English natives as some semblance of manliness is still valued by UK women. They still want him to be a meat-eating, beer-swilling, football-watching, honest-ogling, tyre-changer who can break down a door in an emergency! So in between waxing, shaving, preening, crying during films and loving shopping men also need to be macho and funny to boot. Hmmm, feeling a cake and eating too type phrase emerging. 

But then again Men have wanted women to play about ten thousand different roles since the beginning of time so a little high expectations directed back towards them for the first time in millions of years, hey it's probably timely. 

So off to book my hubby into a day entailing a dip in a vat of wax, a few hours in Pitt St Mall and about five minutes in the local Audi dealership (I already know what model I want).

Caveman (Gerard) or Metroman (Zac)? How do you prefer your men?


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Hardest job in the world is the best...blubbering alert!

My husband is always showing me ads, as we are both Marketers and met while we were working in Advertising. So he thinks in my spare time I want to spend my time watching ads.
 I do not. 

But tonight I begrudgingly watched my fifth Olympics ad and yes the four previous were also forced upon me in my couch time, and by couch I mean braindead, but not braindead enough to not yell at the end of each one "I don't want to watch another Olympics ad! Stop! Please!". By 30 seconds in I knew this one was different and by one minute in I was gulping for air, trying to hold back tears. By the end I was demolished wet mess, grasping for tissues as I tried to speak. All I could manage in between sobs was "That's a good ad". My husband was hysterical by now, tears streaming down his face...as he laughed at me (he is obviously deeply empathetic - NOT!) 


Anyway enough of the back story, it's time for to enjoy, and I use enjoy in the loosest sense. It is worth it though, it is a beautiful and likely award winning campaign. Only thing is please watch in the immediate vicinity of a full box of tissues and preferably with a sensitive partner around, if you are luckier than me and have one!


Did you cry?

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The toddler force! Darth Vader's never been so popular.


I love this ad, you've probably seen it as it played during the Superbowl. I think its success is in showing the simplicity of a child's imagination and the joy of surprising them. I'm so glad I still have this phase of my boys to look forward to. 



Bang is just reaching this stage at 3, he told me he was four yesterday and that he turned four when he had a batman cake. The thing is he's 3 and has never had a batman cake. But that's toddlers, their minds are not as logical as they may be at some stage but they are cuter and funnier than they'll ever be and it is so fun to watch and a real privilege to be a party to their machinations. 

Enjoy every minute!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Outliving Thomas Kelly: his parents nightmare

It's my Dad's birthday on Sunday and he'll be 77 this year, a very young 77 but 77 nonetheless. He has seen his two children grow from babies into teenagers and into adults. He has welcomed two grand children who adore him as much as I did from their age and lived a long, sometimes hard, but very full life. 

When you see someone you love grow older and see their body begin to age and cause them pain your first thought is to feel bad for them, I certainly hate seeing either of my parents in pain and would do anything to match their bodies to their active minds. 

But what I realised this week is they don't deserve pity, their situation is enviable. When I read Ralph Kelly's interview about what he and his family are going through, it became patently clear that people who don't outlive their children are the luckiest people alive. Like Ralph Kelly I have two sons. Before I was a parent I knew the bond between child and parent was strong from own love for my parents, but I had no idea the intensity of a parents' love. It is an out of this world adoration so intense that your heart breaks daily at the slightest hint of something taking this being, this extension of you, away. It is a haunting love not matched by any romantic entanglement. Once you meet a human that you happened to create you can forgo most things if you are granted one thing and that is to know them for as long as you can and see them happy and settled one day with their own family. 

Grieving parents ... Kathy and Ralph Kelly Photo: Steve Christo
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/tom-in-wrong-place-at-wrong-time-say-police-20120711-21v7h.html#ixzz20Jkkiseo
Thomas Kelly's parents said goodbye to their son after only 18 years on Monday. When I found out I was standing in a cafe waiting for my morning coffee and my heart broke. Tears ran down my cheeks at what I know would be the worst agony a parent can suffer. The strength to turn off life support and the selflessness to donate his organs make them stronger people than I can imagine I would be. His father said today that they don't know how they will continue and all I can hope for them that they will and they will receive the love and support they need to continue and survive the worst grief imaginable. 

I don't know these people, but I know that every parent in the world gasped with horror when they read what the Kelly's have been senselessly put through. When I look at the smiling face of Thomas Kelly with eyes full of hopes and dreams that have been stolen away by a sadistic and damaged moron, I am horrified that is murderer is still enjoying breathing in and out, while Thomas no longer can.

Sadly this is not a one-off horror, and victims of this type of mindless violence have inspired the charity Step back and think to be formed to educate young men about the danger of a single punch. You can read more here http://www.stepbackthink.org/ Unfortunately the message did not reach Thomas Kelly's killer in time to save his young  life, but maybe it will save my boys or yours one day in the future. 

From one family to another, our hearts goes out to the Kelly family. 
Love and strength to you all in your loss of Thomas. 
xxx

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Puberty Blues & Teenage Bliss!

I was innocently sitting down to my weekly dose of Offspring when I was set upon by this. I use the words set upon because a trailer for an up and coming series completely unravelled me and tears welled in my eyes as the last seconds of the three minutes ended. There it was memories, memories from when I saw Puberty Blues the first time, memories when I was that girl desperate to be kissed by that guy, memories, often painful of my own tempestuous awakening to life as a young woman. 


The excitement, the hope, the romance and the wide-eyedness of an open heart yet to be broken. It was balmy nights on the beach, pashes in front of camp fires, cask wine, indecently short skirts and all night conversations about the meaning of life. 

Ah the memories!
What advice do you give a teenager screaming to escape their innocence? Hold on, wait, don't rush? You can't - they wouldn't understand. I was dying to be an adult, a person in my own right, a trailblazing light streaming forward to a brilliant future. I didn't know that it'd all be over in the blink of an eye. I didn't understand that one day I would suddenly feel old and wonder what happened to that smiling, carefree girl, with so much life to look forward to. I didn't know that boys were NOT looking for the love of their life.

How do you prepare your beautiful innocent children for a world that will disappoint and will break their heart at least once? Not that a TV show will answer this, but I'm going to be glued to this new version of Puberty Blues because I'm as sentimental as they come. I grew up in the 70s and the whole scene is like looking at my family's super8 films. The risks, the heartbreak, the dancing, oh the dancing and the absolute exhilaration when that guy eventually turned and more than looked at you that way.  

 Teenage bliss! 
Would you go back for more?

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Bloggers are weird!

This picture of @rahest captures the hilarity of the blogging world!
Whenever I see a group of bloggers now (commonly known as a Babble), especially the mummy kind, I know what to expect. But it wasn't always that way. I don't know why I assumed that when I first walked into a small karaoke room mid last year that I would find 16 other versions of me. So I was quite taken aback to find nothing like me there. In fact what I found was the most diverse group of women I had ever come across (also the loudest I might add). 

Then I realised the reason I'd made that wrong assumption was because life before blogging had always been like that. Schools, Suburbs, workplaces have similar demographics, education, friends and interests. Like attracts like. So without blogging my life would have continued as a microcosm of me, an expansion of what defines me and reassures me every day. 

I've read about Bloggers traveling to foreign countries and seeing wholly different ways of life but who'd have thought you could stay in your own city and discover a rich fabric of people, their difference exploding your perceptions of what was effectively a very small world. Equally surprising is that my unique life is adding depth and a new hue to their lives too. 

@easypeasykids, @twitchycorner and me being intellectual again
When I had lunch last week and Trae Flett of Where's My Glow? fame said her RL friends were threatening that she soon would be only left with e-friends she literally guffawed "They obviously have no idea how awesome my e-friends are". Like Trae, despite adoring my RL friends, I also see my e-friends as amazing too. Now every time I know I'm going to meet up with bloggers who I normally only talk with online I know I am in for a treat. 

Do these two need any introduction? Just in case it's Mrs Woog and Penny being sensible
We only had two things in common when we all first met, we were Mums and we had blogs and that really was it. But now there's so much more, as we share with our hearts on our sleeves, we always end up somehow together in hysterical laughter. Like I'm sure we will today at the latest meet up, Nuffnang Blogopolis! Stay tuned for more hilarious photos.


Monday, 11 June 2012

Minor toddler surgery, Major Mummy meltdown

Pre and post-op, or you could say blissfully ignorant and not so.
The sun was still asleep as I woke Bang on Friday morning at 6am. Clutching his beloved blankie with one hand, and with the other warming my own, he followed me down a dark path we'd both never seen before to automatic doors into fluorescent lights. 

The nurse, used to early mornings, was alert and kind in the face of our vagueness. Bang was being brilliantly brave despite telling me the day before he didn't want to go to hospital. 

I filled out the necessary paperwork, signed that I didn't mind them deducting lots of money from my credit card if need be and we were on our way to the waiting room with TV and toys! I knew that this operation was minor and very likely to improve Bang's quality of life. His ears were blocked with fluid and had been for months since the last ear infection, and his hearing was at about 60% of where it should be. 

But there is no escaping the feeling of betrayal as you lull him into a false sense of security, with smiles and half truths. That feeling reached a crescendo as I lay him on the operating table and sang to him as a mask was forced on to his face. His eyes darted from the massive operating light back to my forced smile that existed in opposition to my arms holding his still. 

"1,2,3,4,5, once I caught a fish alive, 6,7,8,9,10 then I let him go again, why did you let him go, because he bit my finger so, which finger did he bite? this little finger on my right" floated in the space between us as his eyes went bloodshot and filled with tears moments before the anesthetic took him away. The doctor singsonged "don't worry we'll bring him back", my smile was displaced suddenly with all seriousness "You better" I almost threatened. 

Through tears I tried to understand the instructions that would have me back in the waiting room, "your shoe covers here, and your hat and gown, through the double doors, use the exit button on the right and then turn left." By the time I saw my husband through glass I was a mess, demolished at the thought of leaving him with strangers who had his small, trusting life in their hands. As I buried my face in my husbands hug all I could remember was him lying on the hard metal table, no pillow under his head and the anesthetists hand holding the mask roughly on his tilted perfect face, his body limp, unknowingly lead to a place where a surgeon would operate on him.

Half an hour later the same surgeon was in front of us with a reassuring smile, and good news. Bang's ears had been full of fluid which he drained before putting in grommets and cutting away his adenoids. Winter would be a lot more pleasant for our little man, not to mention a lot louder.

Lucky for us the surgeon was a lovely, kind man and the surgery was as minor as you can really get. It didn't make seeing him after the surgery writhing around disoriented and confused by all the drugs any easier. I wondered if his subconscious would remember his misplaced trust as he arched his back and yelled out against the world. Half an hour later he was asleep in my arms and three hours later, two more than both the other patients, he was awake and happily devouring sandwiches and a neon-coloured tub of jelly. The blood in his ear the only sign that something was amiss.

And when we asked him "Can you hear better punky?" A huge smile and a resounding "YES!" made me realise it was worth all my angst and his discomfort to get to this better place. There's a lesson in there somewhere, I hope I apply it to the larger decisions I am sure will come.... but for now I'm just happy he is back in my arms and no where near sharp metal instruments and gases that mysteriously send him unconscious and temporarily mad. 

Has your child had surgery? Were you worse off than they were?


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

One frozen nappy short of a picnic

The fåecal collection kit that will never see fåecal in it's life (also here so you won't see fåecal either!)
I was at a business lunch on Friday and luckily for me there were a few other parents there along with my long-suffering Gen-Y team. Long-suffering because I think with all the spew, poo and "I got woken up at 2 and 5am last night" stories I have single-handedly turned them all into life long DINKs, with the emphasis on the No Kids part. Unfortunately for them though with parents of toddlers at the table conversation was quick to take a turn towards smearing, screaming and the grey film of sleep deprivation again. So it was no surprise that it came to light that only last week, along with dragging my 20month old to the doctor for the umpteenth time since he joined the ranks of the nursery room at kindy, I also had in hand three frozen nappies. 

Hold the phone, even the other parents stopped at this, while one non-parent started to gag,  "Frozen?" one Dad quizzed, "next to the frozen peas?"
"Yes" I answered as I began to see how mental this all sounded, "but in double-zip-locked bags" I offered logically and of course hygienically.
"Oh well that's alright then" another Mum answered, with only a slight hint of skepticism in her eye.  

 At this point I felt compelled to try and explain why I had not one but three nappies in my freezer, next to the other food "that was also wrapped in plastic" but everyone including me was giggling so much at this point that it was hard to get the words out without ending up with wine snorting out of nostrils. In any case, not one to give up easily I stuttered out "You don't understand.....*chortle*..... the desperation ...*snigger*...all these bloody 'nothing we can do about it'  viruses incite in parents." At which point the parents at the table did nod their heads, or maybe it was just the laughter causing increased vibrations. 

Anyway they must have agreed because then the faeces sample kit was brought up by another mother and the utter ridiculousness that you have to get six in a row, without urine at which point I shrilled like a deranged lunatic just let out of the asylum only to meet some fellow inmates on the street, "and somehow get it in the container and back to the surgery fresh so they can detect anything!" Commiseration noises and rigourous nodding ensued at this point, except from the 20-somethings, one of whom had excused herself to the bathroom. "And they wonder why I turn up with frozen poo!"

"Serves them right" said another parent, "Absolutely" I agreed "and they did cop it because when I opened that bag, the smell almost knocked the GP to the ground, not even freezing was gonna stop what had obviously taken on a whole life of it's own. But she got her own back, she wouldn't use the frozen poo for testing!". "No we need a fresh one, so get it back to us as soon as possible after he's gone", she calmly stated. "No problem" person who obviously has not yet had children, because all mother's do all day is chase a toddler around with a plastic container under it's bum waiting to catch poo, just so they can then jump in the car, without taking 40 minutes getting the toddler ready to leave the house, and get immediately to the doctor's surgery." 

By the time our over-sharing was complete even us parents were exhausted and we declined coffee to get back to an existence, that for a few hours at least, would be excrement-free. 

What have u done that has made u stop & think
"It's official Motherhood has made me a complete loon"?

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Zooey Deschanel and Apple's Siri: a match made in soup heaven


If you were wondering the true effect of Steve Jobs on everything Apple you only have to watch this ad to know he is gone. On the plus side though I am marveling at the talent required to make two of the coolest things in the world, namely the iphone and Zooey Deschanel, appear so so... actually I will let you fill in the appropriate word in the comments, am too big a fan of Zooey to call her retarded. Although I am open to being told this is Generation Y humour and somehow I missed it, being the way cooler, I mean older Gen X. 


But the best thing about this ad is the inspiration it has supplied @MissPaperlilies below. 


Hellogiggles indeed....

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Danger: Toddlers! (5 injuries to expect from your children)


Other than the horror stories that you hear before you give birth, there are injuries that will occur that no one really warns you about. And a million kegals a day won't spare you unfortunately. I am a Mum to two toddlers so this list can only get more extensive I'd imagine as they get older. But for now by three you should expect these five injuries at the very least. 

1. Regular Random Bruising 
Whether it is a plastic golf club to the head or a hard plastic dinosaur tail stabbed into your leg - you are going to find yourself bruised and battered by your bundle of joy sooner rather than later. And their laughter at your screams of pain only adds to the adventure of it all. 

2. Temporary Blindness
I can't remember ever having being poked in the eye before, but Bang changed all that with his little seemingly ineffectual forefinger which he accidentally shoved in my eye. This very effective and razor sharp mini-weapon sent me racing to the bathroom to see whether my eye was bleeding or scratched, because I was in agony. All worked out well and I can still see despite not requiring hospitalisation.  

3. Broken Heart
If I heard a baby cry pre-parenthood I used to curse it's existence and that of it's obviously inept parent who would allow such out-of-control behaviour in public no less. But that all changes once you have a little munchkin of your own. Now when you hear any child cry, especially your own (which happens, by the way, whether you are Mother of the Year or not) you will have a mini-nervous breakdown. For me my heart wrenches and my stomach turns with empathy and an insane drive to comfort them. Luckily the heartbreak is equally matched by heartbursts, phew!

4. Head Butts and Fat Lips
My first fat lip was caused by a 7month old, yes they are little but boy do their heads weigh a lot and at full flight easily make an adult lip bleed. And if you are lucky enough to escape with your tooth not protruding through your cheek then you will probably end up seeing stars as they catch you on the forehead or nearly break your cheekbone. I've been lucky enough to have all three happen - although not all on the same day. 

5. Pride Impairment
When you used to control your world down to the last eyelash, you took pride in your appearance, decorum and ability. Then you meet a very small human, who, not content with near destruction of your ladybits, quickly goes on to level the whole structure of your predictable world. You are now a person who is often covered in someone's bodily fluids. Breast milk, projectile poo or spew and drool are often your new hair styling products and the grey film of sleep deprivation just adds to the makeover. Add the wirefree bras and trackies and the look is complete. But before you confuse yourself with the local vagrant, remember a homeless person wouldn't be stupid enough to trip over a slippery dip backwards or almost knock themselves out climbing up to save their infant at the local playground (remembering metal bars are placed at toddler height would have been useful). Two short years from birth, no semblance of pride left^

Every one says get plenty of sleep before you give birth - as if it is somehow cumulative by nature - and yes sleep deprivation is an ugly injury I have reserved whole posts for instead of including here. But I say before you give birth think about buying some protective clothing, bruise cream, an industrial first aid kit and a CPR poster. Oh and most important, get a therapist on speed dial!

If you just have or are about to give birth, the saying "no use crying over spilt milk" has never been more useful only the milk is more likely to be baths of poo, buckets of spew or pumpkin wall art...and ironically somewhere deep in your now newly demented soul you will love it!



^Pride other than in them of course and every first they accomplish, every sound they utter, every smile, giggle... shall I go on.....