Thursday, 29 September 2011

Thankful Thursday

It's my first foray into Thankful Thursday.... and if I wasn't so tired I would probably write something terribly deep and meanigful and moving and.... yeah.... sorry.... not gonna happen!

Basically, right at this moment, I am thankful for lots of stuff, but not on a universe level, more of a this-second-someone-is-not-bugging-me kind of level.

First up I'm thankful for the rain. You're probably thinking "Is she MAD??" But I'm thinking from a truckie's wife point of view (O.M.G. I am a truckie's wife..... holy paddle pops....) Rain at the right time is perfect for harvest. It can mean the difference between lots of work and almost no work at all. It can mean a Christmas bonus or nothing under the tree. And also it's making me appreciate the sunshine more. Which I don't get much time to do before it's gets effing hot and I start whining about summer.

I'm bloody thankful I work inside at the moment.

I'm so desperately thankful that WonderMan did not disturb me too much when he left this morning at 5 freaking o'clock. And that I got to sleep in until my alarm went off at seven. And that Frog got up at 7:45. So I got an entire coffee, a shower, and dressed myself before she bothered me!

Very thankful to my beautiful kidlets who ate, washed, dressed and got in the car in a record 20 minutes with no essential things missing and smiles on their faces the whole time. I'm going to relive that moment when my blood is boiling during the usual scream-filled snail race that is my morning.

I'm thankful for having too much work at work, because it's better than not having a job because there's nothing to do. Plus it keeps me busy, burns calories, and ensures I do not lose English as my first language and revert purely to toddler speak.

My thankfullness overflows at the fount of toilet training.... which saw Frog coming home only having ONE yes ONE wet nappy at daycare today. That's in 9 hours. WOO!

I'm thankful that I know the local daycare staff are fantastic, and that despite the automatic mother guilt pangs, she was happy and cared for for those 9 hours, because we all do what we have to do to survive.

Thankful I only work part time and in some ways I get the best of both worlds.

So very very thankful for WonderMan arriving home in one piece, every day, because even though I okayed the career change, knowing I can't hold back his dreams, I have so much fear about losing him. Mind numbing, paralysing fear that is not allowed to escape lest I never come back.

Even though I love dancing... I'm really thankful there's no dancing today. Devils in tutus after 9 hours flat out working would have made my brain implode.

I'm thankful for coming home, kidlet hugs and takeaway (yeah, I cheated)

And most of all, I'm immensely thankful that there is beer in the world, and most importantly, beer in my friedge.


Mmmmm... beer.....

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Cheapskate Tuesday

So... we are constantly bombarded with
Great Deals!
Fantastic bargains!!
and opportunities too good to miss!!!

If you are like me you know how to get the best out of what you spend but are maybe not so good at the not spending bit.

We have finally got to the point where our budget is back in black.

I'm dreaming of red shoes instead of red numbers.

And I'm going to the Digital Parents Conference in March! Squeeee!

Really! Really really!!

When I very quietly and hesitantly asked WonderMan tonight he said "Of course you can!" with much enthusiasm and no sarcastic stuff at all.

So now I have to do some serious saving, because what is a trip to the big smoke without some serious plastic melting and baggage limit blowing?

I read a lot of articles about saving money, most of them pretty generic, but there's some simple and easy things you can do that can turn a dream into reality.

Some of my favourites are below:

Repair things - especially if it's only a minor repair. Doing a little thing now saves time and money when it breaks for good. We throw away way too much these days, so not only does repairing save you money, it saves the planet as well.

Pack a drink, and some crackers - nothing will suck up your change quicker than children in the midst of an "I'm huuungry..... I'm thiiiirsty" marathon.

Use your tax return to save money later - if you are lucky enough to get a return, use it to pay a yearly expense, like car registration. That way it doesn't creep up, leaving you to bend your budget to pay it later on.

Invest in board games - cheaper than video games, with the added bonus of creating time to talk and play with the family.

Buy white sheets - okay, when I spotted this tip a few months ago I was like "Are you crazy?" I bought some anyway... and it's true! They match everything, last forever, and if they get marked you just bleach them and they are new again.

Remember Cheapie Tuesday - lots of stores start their weekly discount cycle on Wednesday.... so guess when you get the best deals? That's right! Tuesday is typically a slow trade day, so when you are looking for big ticket items, this is the day to go hunting for a bargain. Put the spare cash between the price and your budget into your savings.

Have a change jar - or piggy bank, or a sock under the mattress, whatever. Put your change in it after you come in each day. It adds up. My uncle hates coins, and empties his pockets into jars in his kitchen every day. When mum went overseas for her 50th birthday he gave her all the change in the jars... which was over $700!

Save your lotto money - many people pay $20 a week for a lottery ticket. If you put $20 in a box every week for a year you will have $1040 and feel like you just won lotto. Why wouldn't you?

Squirrel away exra funds - a small pay rise, Medicare rebates, the odd amount left in your bank account the day before payday? Shove it into a savings account before you are tempted to spend it. Don't let it go near your everyday account or it will disappear. All those incidental gains will add up much more quickly than you think.

And I've said it before, but I will repeat it, because I need the reassurance.

DON'T take your husband shopping. He just doesn't understand unit pricing, menu plans or why you don't need six boxes of cocoa pops.

And make sure he goes to work.

Trust me.

WonderMan has been home four days, and already my budget, my patience and my sanity are torn to shreds!

Feel free to share your tips below :) I need all the help I can get

Happy saving!

Monday, 26 September 2011

You can choose your friends.

But you sure as hell can't choose your family.

Do you ever get the feeling you are the odd one out?

The one everyone looks down on? That they want to see fail?

I feel like this all the freaking time.

I'm one of the "little" grandkids. There were five, then a gap, then four more all together (including me). So I've always had big cousins looking down at me as the kid.

I'm 27 now, and if my cousins (even the ones my age) deign to speak to me, it sounds like they are talking to a five year old.

Like I couldn't hold an adult conversation.

Like I can't look after myself, and they all need to feel sorry for me.


I don't have a mental illness, but I suffer from one.

I don't speak much about my sister... you will generally find her fleetingly referred to as "The Bitch". We, obviously, don't have a good relationship.

A good part of this is because growing up with her was torture, from as early as I can remember. And despite so much effort to be heard, my parents were unable to get her diagnosed. She was given a diagnosis by a doctor only a few years ago, and even then nothing has really been done.

I have read countless books and information about mental illness. I have studied "Borderline Personality Disorder" until my eyes cross. I know the effect she has had on me, although my parents don't admit it, let alone care.

It makes some of it easier to understand, but it doesn't make it any easier to live with. Especially when her behaviour is one part illness, nine parts calculated because she knows she gets away with it becaue she has an illness.

Because she has an illness. She can't help it. She doesn't understand. Bull-fucking-shit.

It driving me wild when my family interact with me the way they do with her - especially my parents. It's so freaking obvious.

When my mum does it to me I generally pack up the kids and leave within one minute. 60 seconds. I am not taking that crap from anyone. The person whose childhood was stolen by this illness, treated like I am just like her.

Today, mum scraped the bottom of the barrel.

I have been trying to organise a trip with her. For months now. I wanted to see the White Wedding Dress exhibition, so did she, so I suggested we go together and spend two days shopping. Away from all the stress of home. To say thankyou for all she does for me. To do something for her, something selfish and fun. My treat.

A week out from our intended time to go, she was still umming and ahhing about when we could go because this person wanted to come, and that one, and they worked on these days... and she worked those... and she had extra shifts... and I was working....

Then she insisted it wouldn't work and we wouldn't go, because it just wouldn't fit. I was pretty disappointed, because I had intended this trip to be for us.

Today she told me she was booking her accomodation for her trip to see the exhibition. With her friend. Her selfish friend who makes no effort whatsoever and is not above booking mum up for a "trip to the zoo" which is code for mum driving her to the city so she doesn't have to pay for the 800km round trip.

"I thought we weren't going?"

"Well I decided I really wanted to see it and this is the only time it fits."

"Fits with who?"

"My friend and I."

"Remember you are looking after Tiger while I work my school holiday shifts?"

"Well I'm going on Tuesday so you will have to find someone else."

"Oh okay, fine."

"I'm sick of worrying about other people, so I decided I was going because I really wanted to see it."

"Yeah mum, so did I."

Then she threw me the most unbelievable sorry I've ever heard.

I told her Frog had woken up and I had to go.

And then I curled up in the corner and sobbed my heart out for the next twenty minutes.

I know why she did it, I could hear it in her voice. It was almost triumph.


Because we are leaving soon.

Because she's stuck in this shithole making no effort to escape and by some insane twist of logic, thinks I am "abandoning her" and that if she has to suffer living in this torturous hell, I automatically have to as well. How dare I decide to live somewhere else? How dare I live my own damn life.

Your parents are supposed to be there for you to turn to, to share with, to laugh with.

Mine just spend their life making me feel shit for making my own decisions, doing the right thing by my kids and my family. Making a future for myself.

Kicking me in the guts.

And I'm hurting all the more because I love my family so damn much.

There are so few of them and I cherish every day they are part of my life.

But all they do is kick me down.

When is enough enough?

For me, today came close.

I was ready to pack my bags and leave tomorrow. And never come back.

I still am.

What the hell do you do when your own family doesn't want you?

When you love and give all you can, but you get hurt in return?

Why do I deserve this?

What did I do?

I wish someone would fucking tell me.

PS - I didn't mean for today's post to be all emo and shit.... but I'm still crying... normal programming will resume tomorrow.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

I'm okay... How about you?

In the aftermath of RUOK? Day, I'm only just starting to read all the other submissions to the Blogger Collective hosted by the lovely My_Big_Nutshell, which you can find here.

Why so long? Because it was so huge, and had so much coverage everywhere, I was completely overwhelmed with it all.

Because after giving you my story I have been feeling pretty raw, very exposed.

I needed time to get back to the simple things, to find my joy where it's always been, with my loving little family.

But I haven't been idle. And I haven't stopped asking the question.

I've taken time to appreciate the people around me, to let them know they mean so much to me, and to let them know it's okay to not be okay.

I have someone who does this for me. She didn't know that those times when she asked were like a lifeline, that when she let me say "Stuff is a bit shit right now" it made me feel so much better, and gave me the strength to go and face the shit stuff.

So I bought her flowers, to say thanks. And I know there are times when SHE is not okay, and I will be there to listen too.

This is what friends are for.

I've also spent some time "future proofing" our family. Making sure we will ALL be okay. Not just me, or WonderMan, all of us.

Tiger has been through so much in these short few years of her life. Even though things are settled now we are about to pack up and start our next journey, in a new place, with new people.

I know she is feeling anxious about WonderMan leaving. I understand why, but I don't know how to support her through this. Hell, I hardly know how I feel about it, let alone how I am going to cope.

I know that there are stresses on our family from so many directions. And that when you add them all up we should truly be a bunch of raving lunatics by now.

To help us make the best of our family, and the best of our future, I am booking us in for family counselling. Exactly how this will work I don't know yet, because we live in Hicksville, but I'm committed to doing what needs to be done to help us stay on the right track.

It will be a little while before we begin, but in the meantime we have several people helping to support us through the next few months.

After a meeting at Tiger's school today, she is being put top of the list for a mentoring program next term, which gives kids one on one time with teachers not in their class, and helps them to build relationships outside of their immediate peer group. It also gives a safe environment where kids can share when things might not be okay.

This is everything we have needed for so long. My beautiful girl has been battered by the tide and needs a helping hand. I wanted to be that helper, but I can't do it all, and I can't do it alone. Sometimes I don't know what she needs and that's when I have to ask for help.

I have a lot of things I need help with, so I have made sure I have someone to talk to. Someone outside of my little "world". Someone who can give me the tools to give this family a good future.

WonderMan is working hard to build a future for all of us, and he's not afraid to ask for help anymore. And we've been talking. Properly talking, and listening, and I feel like our relationship is the strongest it has ever been.

So we're going to be okay, we are all working very hard to make sure of that.

But we won't forget to check up with each other, to make sure.

We're going forward, no more circlework for us!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Cheapskate Tuesday Returns!

Yes! It's back! I'm back on track enough to hope that maybe, just maybe, I will have some kind of blog plan that I can stick to from now on!

Phase one of my plan is to bring back Cheapskate Tuesday, and while I may play with the format a little the idea is still the same.

So today, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, but most definitely some ideas to help you cheapskate your way through life, without giving up on everything you love.


I think I promised this one months ago.... or at least I promised my friend I would give it to her - so if you are reading this, dear friend of mine, I told you I'd get it to you, right? Right.

Chorizo Pasta Bake

300g penne pasta
1 sliced chorizo sausage
3 chopped bacon rashers
1 finely chopped red onion
1 thinly sliced red capsicum
1 jar of your favourite tomato pasta sauce
300ml cream
a handful of shredded cheese


Cook pasta until al dente. Drain.
Heat oil in pan, fry off chorizo, bacon, onion and capsicum until onion is soft.
Combine pasta sauce and cream in a large bowl. Add pasta and chorizo mix.
Pour into a large baking dish and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Cook for 20 minutes at 180C until cheese is melted.
Serve with garlic bread and green salad.

My family literally go nuts over this. It's one of the few dishes that everyone eats without complaint, even down to the toddler. Which is perfect after discovering I have one of the fussiest. toddlers. on. earth. I refuse to give in, so foods like this are my dinnertime saviour.


We all know lots of these, but it's simple things that keep the grocery bill down.

My #1 tip is vinegar, water and a teeny weeny dash of detergent in a spray bottle. I have another one which is just vinegar and water for timber (we have an oiled teak table) and mirrors.

I use old towels, flannels and tea towels cut up for rags, and old cotton tshirts for mirrors and dusting cloths. WonderMan uses the nylon bags onions are packed in for a fabulous scourer that doesn't scratch any of our dishes, including our non stick pans.

Use the hottest water you can stand to wash your dishes, and less detergent. If you are lucky enough to have a dishwasher, I salute you oh fabulous one!


Use anything you already have that is unused or taking up space as storage. I use the now empty cot as a blanket box, which means they are in easy reach on a chilly night or when we have visitors. It also fits our swags which drive me bonkers squashed under our bed.

Clear bench tops and put something pretty on them to deter clutter buildup, and create a focal point. I have a basket with a red bowl inside it to create colour in my kitchen, but it also doubles as my fruit basket. Useful, pretty, and cheap!

Just stuff

If you are like me, you have stuff you want to get rid of, but it's too good to throw away, and not worth the effort and time listing it on eBay. I'm getting together with my mum, friends and aunties, and holding a combined garage sale. Which makes us back a little bit of change for all those things that are building up in boxes.

Move often. Or at least pretend to. It stops the build up of little cheap things that waste money, and get thrown out not long after they arrive home. I declutter by deciding what things really need to be packed, and what I wouldn't bother with. I also use this test for things I want to buy, so I know if it's worth the cash I'm handing over.

Oh, and if you want to save time and money in the laundry, always wear an apron while cooking or doing the housework, there will be so many less clothes to wash!

Hubby may even offer to help!

Your ideas are always welcome! Just post a comment below or send me some mail at

Monday, 19 September 2011

Oh the shame....

I've had a crazy day today.

We spent the weekend tidying up our front yard at our rental, and removing the feature plants (aka weeds, same same). WonderMan got to play with his fancy whipper snipper, and Frog and Tiger helped me weed, rake and sweep.

We had picnics outside in the beautiful sunshine, we played and laughed. I had much to be thankful for.

Today I'm still thankful. I'm thankful that Frog has gone to sleep this afternoon for one, because I didn't know how much more I could take.

I'm thankful Tiger went to school because if she had been home when I discovered the matches in her bedside drawer it would have been WW III.

I'm thankful for people that listen when I say "This can't go on." Tiger's behaviour has been deteriorating all term, and even though some things are improving at school, they are most certainly getting worse at home.

I'm thankful for the people who are going to help us to bring her out of this lazy, uncaring attitude, because if we don't I will seriously not be able to handle many more days.

I'm thankful that the housework can wait.

I'm thankful that the naughty word I said this morning wasn't the worst it could have been considering Frog is like a very loud and repetitive parrot at the moment.

And that I have coffee, and my kettle hasn't died.

So even after early morning school visits, frustration, meltdowns and trying to convince Frog to stop saying "bloody work" every five minutes, it wasn't a bad morning.

Until I got home.

And found that my open necked shirt was doing a great job of showing off my hickey to the world. The one I didn't realise I had.

Because all I wanted when I got up this morning was to broadcast to every single person I came across that I had bloody sex!

If you want me, I'll be hiding in my room, dying of embarrassment.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Welcome to CMTA

{Children's Morning Television Anonymous}

Come in, take a seat. They're quite comfy. Oh yes, we love Ikea....

Would you like a cuppa? Coffee? Of course. Now would you like that served at the perfect temperature, or stone cold as you usually get to drink it? We find it makes some parents more comfrotable.

Here you are...

Now, I'll start by letting you know a little bit about what we do here at the CMTA.

We are an organisation committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes for sufferers of CMT.

Are you sure you're okay with that coffee dear? I just noticed you are a little nervy, understandable really, that's why we're here.

No, no, it's okay, we're used to that, it's a stain proof rug. No don't feel bad, you're not the first.

Where was I? Oh yes. Now you are all here today to begin a brave journey. A journey many parents just like you have faced before. We believe that no parent should have to face it alone and that's why we developed our 12 Step Program to Healthy Mornings.

Our program can help you overcome the pain and stress that CMT causes, and our ultimate goal is to create Healthy, stress free mornings for all of you.

Don't laugh quite so cynically dear, you're upsetting the others.

Let's get to know each other shall we? We will go around the circle and tell each other our names and a little bit about ourselves, and why we are here.

I'll begin shall I? I'm Miranda and I'm here to help you all on the road to recovery from CMT.

"I'm Grace. I have a toddler, and I suffer from CMT. I've tried bribing her to stay in bed, distraction methods, the lot, but none of them have worked for me."

"I'm Brenda. I was a technician BC (before children) and I can't get these songs out of my head!"

"I'm Jack, I'm a stay at home dad, and last week I put on my my driving cap and tried to fly on one of the seagulls in the yard."

"I'm Suzie, and I see bright coloured monsters dancing everywhere. My husband thinks I drink or something, I wish I could tell him the truth."

Well, now we've got to know a little about each other, we're going to move on to Step One of our Program for Healthy Mornings - Facing our fears.

It's perfectly all right dear, This is a safe place, you will be okay. It's also why I've asked you to bring a support person with you, you are quite okay to hold their hand while we go through the process.

I'm going to give you all a remote, and when it's your turn I am going to start the program and you must switch it off. Remember YOU are in control, not the television.

You first Suzie - remember, point, and click. No... no.... banging the remote over DJ Lance's head won't work, POINT AND CLICK! Well done, Suzie. Are you okay dear? Yes, most people do react badly the first time, but it gets much easier with practice.

Okay Brenda, your turn. Yes, that's fine dear, if you need a little help feel free to hold on to your support person.... "Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!" That's right dear, let it out, good girl! Fantastic effort there Brenda, do you feel more in control now? Excellent.

Jack, let's take our cap off now shall we? Yes, that's right, and grasp the remote firmly in your hand. Here we go..... good! A clean switch, fabulous!

Do you think you would like a go Grace? Yes, dear, I know that you can point your fingers and do the twist, but do you think you could manage a point and click? Oh well done Grace, well done, quite a flourish you gave it.

Do we all feel a bit more in control now?

You have all made fantastic progress this session.... and before we go home I'd like to give you some tools to help you when you feel it's all getting too much.

Whenever you find yourself in an unhealthy situation, repeat these words:

I am in control of the remote.

"I am in control of the remote"

The monsters do not exist

"The monsters do not exist"

This too shall pass

"This too shall pass"

They are NOT my freaky children

"They are NOT my freaky children"

Good, good. Now if it all gets too much remember what we practiced today - the point and click. I'm sure you will all do very well.

Next week we will move on to our second Step - Removing the TV cord.

See you soon!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Smiles Make The World Go Round

I just want to let you all know that I DO read every single one of your beautiful comments. I appreciate all your kind words, your care, your love and support. Everytime you speak to me you make my world brighter.

Blogger is spazzy and claims I "do not have the authority to view this page" every time I try to reply through my comments. Offers of help via step-by-step-instructions-because-I-am-a-geek-in-training of how to migrate to WP would be gratefully accepted, and may also include random deliveries of chocolate.


Some random things that make me smile:

My dog, Wombat.

Hanging my sheets on the line instead of putting them in the dryer.

The beautiful fresh smell of sunshiney sheets.

A freshly made bed.

Trains. Especially puffing huffing steam engines. I asked my mum for a steam train calendar for Christmas... she thinks I'm nuts.

When people on trains wave back to me. Even when I am on my own, and shout "Look kids, there's a train!" like an idiot....

A mocha from my local cafe - they are divine.

A friend I never thought I would find - one who doesn't mind if you say "I'm shit today, how are you?", and LISTENS. She's a gem.

The constant stream of random talk from Frog "Hey, it's a my pencils, and my colouring, I puttem my room. Hey itsa Wombat witha sore leg, I take him doctors make his leg aaaall betta. Hey naughty crocodile don't snap me! Mummy I wuv you. You havea squishy nose. Daddy at work, where's daddy?" And so on.....

The minute when Tiger walks in from school, and WonderMan walks in from work. I am almost always as excited as Frog. It's even better when I walk in from work and everyone rushes to greet me!

The Ikea catalogue.

Finding stuff I need on sale, right when I need it.


Tweets from my peeps - thankyou :)

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Post I Was Not Going To Write

I wasn't going to write this. Everytime I thought about it I couldn't even keep my thoughts straight, let alone try to type them coherently.

Everywhere I go I see ads, reminders, posts for RUOK? Day. And I just felt like I wasn't able to say anything worthwhile.

But today I need to let it out.

Today I want to tell you my story.


I started my adult life as a brand new mother, with an abusive and violent boyfriend who controlled my every waking moment, and punished me every time my baby cried.

It took a whole year but I escaped, finally, free of his fists, his hateful words, his insistence that I was not good enough, not fit to be a mother, not worth being alive.

He stole my baby from me.

My beautiful beautiful baby. My one reason for living, for fighting, for struggling to find a way out every single day.

He took her away and when I finally contacted him his only words were "How do you feel? Like your heart has been ripped out? GOOD."

I wasn't free. I was trapped in a horror only those who live it can understand.

Every day I woke and my little girl was not there. There was an empty cot, no laughter, no joy.

Every day I cried, then I picked myself up and prepared myself for the battle of lawyers, courts and the excruciating wait. Waiting for them to bring my baby back to me.

When she was finally returned, I found the light that had been gone for so long. This was my reason for living, my reason to be strong, to survive. And survive we did.

We endured two years of court battles, of hatred and lies. I stood firm and led my little girl away from the abuse, the taunts, the words that hurt more than his fists ever could.

I spent four years handing my beautiful girl over to the person who stole her every fortnight. That is when he wasn't in jail, or we couldn't find him.

We have spent two years waiting for him to call. Wanting the waiting to be over. Two years of holding my baby while she screams "My daddy's a BASTARD!" and wishing I could make it stop hurting her.

Wishing she had never been hurt.

By anyone.

Because someone hurt my little girl.

Someone thought my two year old child deserved to die. And nearly made it happen.

Someone hit my baby, and left it for me to discover. Someone I didn't love, I didn't really know, and who had pushed their way into my home, then decided my baby was annoying them.

In two minutes, that person changed our lives forever. I will never forget the moment my happy, bouncy toddler passed out in the bath.

I will never forget the minutes and hours of ambulance and plane trips, the horror of watching my child barely alive in front of me.

I will never forget the surgeon in the ambulance poised over my baby with the tiny paddles in his hands, as if she could go at any moment.

I will never forget the day she stirred again.

I will never forget those faint words "Mummy, Chris'm tree..."

We took her home the day before Christmas. This is where I do forget. I can't remember that day. Or most of the days after. Only that she was alive, and that is all I was living for.

Years on and my miracle girl is nine. She's intelligent, happy, and apart from still thinking her daddy is a bastard, she's fine.

Every time I am angry at her, when I am crying with frustration because she's late for school again, I get a guilty kick and I start to cry because at least she is here, at least I AM being frustrated by her snail like slowness. At least she can still kiss me goodbye as she leaves in the morning.

She so very nearly wasn't.

WonderMan has been a light in our lives. A man who truly loves us as we are, who has never really wavered in his commitment to take us on as a ready made family, and all that it means.

A man who doesn't care what is past, but wants to build a future. Who helps me up when the weight of my baggage crushes me.

I never thought such love could exist, never dreamed it could be mine.

But to have that love, we have had to fight, day after day, year after year.

We have been hit from every side. From the people we work with, our families, our friends....

It's been relentless, when all we want to do is live our lives.

It ended with me divorcing my in laws, which was a very hard decision to make, and has caused a lot of pain for WonderMan and I. But it's easier than the pain I endured from them every day. I can live with them hating me for this, but not with their hatred for no reason.

I had to give up my career, and my life, such as it was after all my friends deserted me, to shift close to support WonderMan and his family during the dark days of his father's cancer.

I've had to say goodbye to the one man in that family who loved me as I was. I had to stand tall and strong for WonderMan while he struggled to live through the days of darkness.

I had to hide my fear, my pain, my tears.

And I had to cope with a new place, a new baby, a new life as well.

We have struggled so much since returning to Hicksville.

I had to endure the bullying and persecution of a woman who I thought was my friend, but who was so power hungry and engulfed in her bitterness she tried to take down myself and my family.

I've been banging my head against the brick wall of small town bitching all. my. freaking. life. It's almost been too much on so many occassions.

There have been days I have made dinner from three pieces of bread and a tin of tomatoes. And many many more that I have starved so my family, my children, could eat.

I have been wavering for a very long time now.

My dad suffered a breakdown a year ago. I held his hand in the hospital while he cried and asked me to help him. I made a promise to help him get better. I begged him to stop drinking when his medication was not right and he coped the only way he knew how, at the bottom of a bottle.

During dad's breakdown, mum was the target of an untrue and serious attack where she worked, ending in her own breakdown of sorts. I was the one who took her to the doctor, who bullied him into answering her questions, and helping her, I wouldn't let him dismiss her, to give her tablets and shoo her away.

I opened their business day after day. I fielded the questions, visited the family, fibbed about how they were doing, held it all together.

My support people were now leaning on me, but it wasn't good at our end either.

WonderMan was losing it - the bottle up pain of losing his best friend and his father, the stress of coping with the pressure of being the sole breadwinner for our little embattled family, the constant warzone that our home had become with everything we were holding up - he started to crack.

So I held him up as well. Begged him to seek help, for us, for me.

What I didn't realise, or I wouldn't admit, was that I WAS NOT OKAY. And I was taking a toll on those around me. My loving partner, my beautiful children.

It almost ended our family. I pushed WonderMan into almost walking away. And I didn't even know until I found the phone bill, with all the texts....

My world dropped away and I barely held on.

But we made it through.

Things are getting better.

WonderMan starts a new job in four weeks. His dream job, something he has been denying himself to provide for us. He's like a kid in a candy store right now.

Money's not so tight, even after the $1000 operation to fix our beloved dog's hip. An amount that would have tipped the scales to homelessness a year ago.

I'm working, part time. I'm enjoying what I do. I feel healthy, I look better, our family is happy and lughing again.

But WonderMan has to go away for a little while for this new job, and I can feel my facade cracking.

But this time I won't hold it in, I won't risk losing the people I love because I am not winning the war against how I feel inside.

This time I am going to seek help before the storm.

And I WILL be okay.


Linking in with My Big Nutshell and so many others to spread the RUOK Day message

Monday, 12 September 2011

I had a point... but I lost it....

Sorry for going MIA over the weekend.

I had plans to write about so many things, but they all seemed trivial against the momentous day being remembered.

And then I watched 60 minutes and anything I had to say just didn't seem worth anyone's time when they could be reading/watching/listening to something so much more important.

Then I tried to write about how I felt - about 9/11, the Morcombes, Somalia.... And I just couldn't. All my words came out funny.

Which made me feel not very funny at all.

So I didn't write. I absorbed other people's writing. I read and laughed and cried and then I did some gardening.

Proper grown up gardening. With, like fertilizer and stuff. I gave some good old love and care to the roses that were shooting canes as high as the roof when I arrived last year. I pruned them in July, so they are all bushy and pretty now, which is a miracle considering I forgot to check which way up the teeny tiny buds were pointing when I decided how much I would hack off. I've even managed a relatively round shape on all of them, including the really old gnarly ones.

I drenched them in rose spray, and can report that my trial bush has no black spot (so far) after I spent the last few months removing and quarantining every. single. black. spotted. leaf. in an attempt to make it healthy again. 

Then I sprinkled fertilizer, and watered them, and cut back the encroaching grass. I felt quite domestic.

I really don't know why I am bothering. I won't get to prune them again. But I could not stand one more day of looking at the poor neglected things and insisted on putting them right. Plus they are the ONLY plants in the garden besides ugly, easy care succulents that I want to dose with round up. So it gives me somthing to do.

Then the kids and I planted some stuff.

Which meant Frog dug holes in the already planted pots and spread potting mix all over the deck with much giggling.

We planted some more strawberries. And some parsely seeds in my recycled muffin tray. And then we planted some flowers. So we have something to take with us that makes us feel at home. Some seaside and paper daisies, some aquilegias, and something purple and pretty. Mostly daisies though, because I have yet to kill a daisy, even though I have managed to kill a cactus.

WonderMan did some gardening. But not much because it kept raining. And then he got some wood. Which involved at least an hour of yakking to the people who owned the property where he went to collect it. While I was at home waiting for him to get back so I could do some stuff.

I washed some clothes.

I tidied some stuff.

I should be clearing stuff out.

But instead I'm just faffing about shifting things around.

I'm putting it off.

Because I know it's me that has to do it. There's no one else.

This is also why I'm feeling funny.

WonderMan will be leaving soon.

And then it's all my job.

The garden. The lawns. Taking out the garbage. Dinner. Bathtime. The school run. THE DISHES. Every. Freaking. Day.

And I don't really want to know about it.

It's too overwhelming. Too scary. Too much work.

I'm scared I will fail.

This from the lady who successfully ran a home, worked a full time job and raised a toddler all by myself. Including learning a new trade every time something needed fixing, because I felt like a baby ringing Dad to come and fix stuff.

And then spent two years doing the same thing but with a boyfriend to run around after as well.

But it's been almost four years since I met WonderMan now, and it scares the bejeezus out of me to go back to doing it all on my own, even for a little while.

You are probably rolling your eyes at me right now, because I don't have the hard life. Because there are so many doing it solo, or caring for children with special needs, or whatever. No, I don't have these problems, but life has been pretty tough for the last couple of years.

We've battled debts and deaths. We've stared down the barrell of homelessness more than once. We've been through family melt downs, and suffered bullying and persecution from every side.

And things are finally starting to go well.

For the first time in what feels like forever.

We are going in the right direction and it feels good.

The big kicker in all of this is that to move forward, WonderMan has to move away for a bit.

And I've kind of come to rely on my dishes washing, whipper snipper toting husband to be.

I know that this is right, that this is our future.
But I'm worried about how I'll manage it all.

I'm really worried that I'll not cope well.

I'm scared I won't live up to my own standards.

I barely make it as it is.

And what the hell am I going to do if I don't?

I suppose I just have to "suck it and see".

And suck it up, princess.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

A Dinnertime Ditty

I do not like it, dinner mum;
I do not like it, every one.

I do not like it pasta shells,
I do not like it, yuk it smells.

Will you eat it, little bit?
Nu uh, no way, it tastes like shit.

I do not like it sketti sauce,
I do not like it peas of course.

I do not like it chicken stew,
I do not like it pork chops too.

I do not like it dinner mum;
I do not like it, every one.

Would you eat it vegie cakes?
Would you eatit fancy shapes?

I no eat it vegie cakes,
I no eat it fancy shapes,
I no eat it here or there,
It looks much better in my hair.

Would you eat it fruit on sticks?
Would you eat it, hiding tricks?

I no eat it hiding tricks,
Or fruit in sticks,
You must be thick!

I no like it dinner mum,
I no like it, every one.

Can you try it? Please, for me?
Just one bite and then we'll see?

I try it mummy, you will see,
I try it then you'll let me be?

I do like it dinner, there!
I like it spread out on the chair.
I like it flicked on daddy's ear,
I like it icecream too, ya hear?

I no like it dinner mum,
I no like it, every one.

Mummy is your dinner cold?
Don't do frowns it makes you old.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

It's not okay, OKAY??

Yesterday, I was pretty okay with things. In fact, I had more than enough for my Hey, It's Okay Tuesday post.

Today, I am not so okay.

By 8am I counted 14 things I was not okay about, and this simply between my bedroom, and the kettle.

It's lunchtime now, and if I tried to tell you all the things I was not okay about I would still be talking next Tuesday, when I would have to pause while I listed the two things I AM okay about for another HIOT post.

One is that Frog slept in, so we were past the dreaded brekky time and I did not hear ANY shouting for a whole half hour.

The other is that I have a fancy new car, and people I don't like keep waving to me as I go past, which means I can snob them in triumph.

Yes, I know, pretty petty things to be okay about, but it's all I've got, m'kay?

To give you an idea of the scale of my non okayness, here are some random things that have made me want to pull my eyeballs out in misery so far:

WonderMan can't put his underwear and socks in the washing basket, despite putting the REST OF HIS CLOTHES IN THERE. He also cannot fold his pyjamas. Seriously. Just fold them. I will set them on fire with him in them if he leaves them on the floor again.

Tiger's room had stuff everywehere on the floor, which I tripped over, despite me making her clean it up morning and night for the last few days. I may have enlisted the help of a garbage bag or two to get my point across.

My favourite jeans were on the line. Because IT RAINED YESTERDAY instead of being sunny as I REQUIRED. This is totally unacceptable.

I had to go outside to get them and put them in the dryer. This made me huffy, and I stubbed my toe on the door, because Karma stalks my grumpy arse.

I have to do a menu plan and the shopping today. Which takes up like, forever, and gets in the way of me doing important jobs like painting my nails.

I have to paint my nails again today because my very expensive quick dry polish dried like soft putty and smudged when I glanced in it's direction.

I couldn't find my hairbrush and had to use Frog's. Which works better.

Both my kids bedhair looks better than mine after I have struggled with it all morning.

My skin is flaky and dry. Applying moisturiser made the flaky bits MORE OBVIOUS. And then I found a pimple.

I have a lot of housework to do because I have been a Champion Procrastinator all week.

WonderMan just told me his friend is coming to visit this afternoon. I have less than four hours to clean the house, do the shopping, bake afternoon tea, and look like a domestic goddess.

I actually helped The Bitch, and was not at all patronising or smarmy about it, and she immediately decided to call me a "gutter-slut" on Facebook. BECAUSE I HELPED. Seriously. FY.

I could make topiary statues out of the thistles in my front garden.

My back hurts.

I'm tired.

It's not Friday yet.

There is only beer in the fridge, but no wine. And no cheese to go with my whine.


*DISCLAIMER: This may be a menstrually induced post. I have PMS, and I am not afraid to use it....

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Hey, It's Okay!

Channeling the lovely Whispering Writer today and bringing you an update on what I am okay about this week...

Buying the kids McAwfuls for lunch, then finding out the people we were visiting had declared it a "junk food" visit because it was a special treat to catch up..... and then buying them McAwfuls on the way home for dinner.....

Spending all day out Thursday to avoid the mouse in the bath instead of growing up, putting some gloves on and removing it myself.

Letting Frog "plant" the strawberry seedlings for me. In other words, digging them up and putting them back in the pot a hundred times. I can always buy more strawberry plants.

Keeping the damned Zhu Zhu pet forever after another failed attempt at the reward system with Tiger. She does fantastically, until you reward her. After that you might as well book yourself in for some Guantanamo style mental torture, because it would be better than the bullshit she pulls for the week afterwards.

Wishing on every god there may be that she would be good for just one more day so I could give the damn thing back. Waking up in the middle of the night and spotting it on my bookshelf is giving me nightmares about rabid hamster type things squeaking and beeping while they gnaw my cold dead bones....

Forgetting to buy new nail polish remover and getting around with chipped polish. After finally nailing the art of painting my nails without looking like a five year old did it, I'm too scared to try again in case I fail.

Drinking coffee and catching up on all the blogs I have been too tired to read this week, instead of doing the housework. As well as letting Frog distract me all day yesterday with "Mummy put Frog inna swing inna sunny shine!".

Enjoying the hell out of The Bitches face when we turned up to Super Granny's hopuse in our new car. And waving at her when I drive past her in the street, because they are the best lemon lips I have ever seen!

Not caring if Beyonce is pregnant or not. Seriously, when did "Woman gets pregnant" become a news headline?

Seeing what I can make my friends do just to get their country bumpkin hands on one of the Ikea catalogues I brought home from the city with me.

Buying WonderMan a whipper snipper for his birthday in the hope he will make our yard look pretty instead of the "weeds as feature plants" thing we have going on at the moment.

Really wishing he would let me have a go because it looks like so much fun, without trying to look like I want to.

Giving up on my hair and deciding to grow it until I can put it in a sophisticated updo without to much hairspray. I crave the simple life, and I keep dropping my straightener on my toes, which doesn't help my morning patience level.

Being secretly proud that I can keep up with the girls in my dance classes, considering I am more than ten years older than all of them, and have had two babies.

Being a closet show pony and wanting to invite all my friends to my dance concert at the end of the year, using the line "Tiger would LOVE you to come to her dance concert in December if you can make it".

What are you okay about this week?

Friday, 2 September 2011

A Rare Day At Home

Wednesday was my first proper day off in several weeks.

After finishing my work contract, and only having two days to work at my first job this week, I was enjoying the heck out of a day where I didn't have to rush anywhere, or meet a deadline.

With Tiger off to school, Frog and I did the housework.

Frog picked up all the clothes and put them in the laundry. "I helping mummy, I helping washing!" "I make-a my beeeed, I big helping." All this powered by her glimpse of Tiger's Zhu Zhu pet, and my crafty promise that if she helped mummy and daddy she would get one too.

After picking up all her toys, she went outside and played with Wombat (the dog) while I did the other rooms. She insisted on taking her wooden dolly (waiting for a house, which is probably going to magically appear at Christmas time) to "play outside da sunny shine!"

When she wandered back in (I even managed a cup of coffee by myself!) I asked her what she wanted to to for the day and she said "I make-a bikkies."

So we went to the shop, and came home with the ingredients and some mini m &m's for "belly buttons for gingerbwed mans".

And then we made gingerbwed mans.

"I mixit da bikkies!"

Roly poly roly poly

Is baby mans!

All the hard work paid off! YUM
She was the most patient I have ever seen a toddler in my life. She mixed, she rolled, she cut, and she waited for those "mans" to come out of the oven.

I let her eat one while the other trays were baking, because she kept telling me the "baby mans not hot now mummy" and making cute faces as a hint.

All the time she held on to the tube of baby m&m's so she could put on the belly buttons.

And yes, she stuck on all those eyes and buttons for me.

Then we delivered a "gweat big gingerbwed mans" to WonderMan, just because we could. She was the proudest kid on earth when she handed over that paper bag.

And when we arrived home, this happened...

She was snoring WAY louder than it looks
Great-great aunty says she's ready to be initiated into pasty making now. That's when you stop being a baby in our family. *bless*

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Later that evening, Tiger went to her school disco. Her first time with the "big kids" (upper primary). Here's why I cried:

My little girl ~ Not so little
She's only nine.... but my little girl is gone...


She still wanted me to walk her to the door, and I still got a goodbye kiss.

It's not so bad after all, is it?