Tuesday, November 29

A few words about Wordless Wednesday

One of the few things I can be sure of doing each week is joining up with My Little Drummer Boys and Faith, Hope & a whole lotta Love for Wordless Wednesday.  I find it rather ironic that for as much as I dream of being a writer the biggest hit each week comes from a post that is actually wordless.

Since I know that people do take the time to stop by and have a look I pride myself in making sure that I have a wonderful picture to share.  Lately however they have been harder to come by.  I haven't been taking my camera out much so I have been mostly using photos I already had.  While I am sure that I still have many that I haven't already used it doesn't feel like that at times.

Naturally I much prefer using new and fresh photos but it is just not always possible.  For example there is a bird who flies over my house almost every day.  At roughly the same time as well.  Do you think I can get a photo of it though?  In fact my inability to capture this bird is one of the reasons my camera and I are some what strangers.

So imagine my shock tonight when skimming through my  thousands of photos for my WW post tomorrow when I came across a photo of this magnificent creature taken some two years ago no less!  But wait there is more.  According to the info attached by iPhoto the photo was taken on my old dodgy point and shoot.  The audacity of it all.

At least it made deciding what photo to use easy and came with the extra added bonus of this post.

Ten Fairly Simple Pastry Ideas

Technically speaking this is the 350th post that I have written.  However since post number 349 is currently scheduled for publishing on Friday my numbers are all a bit haywire.  Go me for having my Things I Know post all ready to go on Tuesday though.  The fact that it is actually left over from last week when I didn't get it done is only a minor detail.  I guess I should also mention that since I imported all my posts from previous old blogs so my 350 really is a bit hit and miss but still worth a little mention.

Moving right along though.

As you are probably aware today is Tuesday which means Jess over at Diary of SAHM is hosting the iBOT (I blog on Tuesdays) which is why I am trying to pull together something that resembles a decent blog post.  Easier said than done at the minute but I will plod along anyway.

Sif also has a link up today called Ten Things Tuesday and whenever possible I like to join the two together.  I had thought about doing my Christmas Wish List to Santa but I wanted to include some awesome photos and since my Internet is slower than slow at the moment that is not going to happen.  Stay tuned for it though so you know what to get me (just in case).  Keeping with the Christmas theme I contemplated doing a list of all reasons I love the festive season but after a night of sleeping on the floor with a sick child which followed a night of waking up with sick child and wondering if she was planning on emptying her stomach contents on my bed festive is far from what I am today.  But again stay tuned as I have some pretty awesome Christmas things to share this year.

So without further adieu I am going to share with you ten fabulous things you can do with puff pastry.

  1. Apple & Raspberry Scrolls
    Slinky an apple and then chop finely.  If you don't have an apple slinky (I suggest you get one as they are awesome) then peel the apple the old fashioned way and finely chop.  Get some frozen raspberries out and crush them.  Cover a sheet of pastry with the apple and raspberries and sprinkle with sugar.  Roll up and brush with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Slice log into 4cm (or there abouts) lengths.  Squash cut ends to make a flatish shape. Place on tray (lined with baking paper) and brush once more with milk and place in moderately hot oven for about 15 minutes or until pasty looks brown and flaky.
  2. Cheese & Vegemite Scroll
    Spread vegemite over pastry, sprinkle with grated cheese.  Roll up, slice and cook as per the apple and raspberry. 
  3. Spinach & Feta Slice
    Line a shallow dish with baking paper then place pastry inside.  Spread a thin layer of sauce (tomato or BBQ).  Sprinkle a little grated cheese.  Then put down some baby spinach leaves, roast pumpkin or sweet potato, red capsicum and feta cheese.  You could also add a bit of ham or salami if you so desire.  Place in oven and cook for about 20 minutes
  4. Left Over Party Pies
    One of the staples in our house is Dirt & Worms.  As I like to cook for the masses there is always some dirt left over which when you line some deep muffin trays with pastry turn into delicious little party pies.  Left over meat from taco night can also be used the same way.
  5. Chocolate Twists
    Cover a sheet of pastry with Nutella or the like. Roll up and slice into 2cm chunks.  Now I am not really sure how I do the next part but somehow I manage to stretch and twist them so they look a little like this
    Please excuse my dodgy photo
  6. Jam Twists
    Very similar to the chocolate twists mentioned above only you use your favourite jam instead of a chocolate spread.  These little beauties take about 10-15 and you can have the oven quite hot when you put them in.  Alternatively if you feel like being fiddly cut small circles out of the pastry with a cookie cutter and stack them on top of each other with the jam in between each layer.
  7. Vanilla Slice
    I haven't actually made this before as I only saw it on the pastry box this morning but I love a good vanilla slice so I imagine it won't be long till I give it a go.  I would have linked to the recipe but apparently the brand I buy isn't up to date enough to have a website.  Basically cook the pastry sheets, make some custard put the custard on top of the pastry then another sheet of pastry on top of the custard and refrigerate over night.
  8. Ham & Cheese Scrolls
    Ha! Bet you thought I had moved away from the scroll thing. Tricked you.
    Spread sauce (BBQ or Tomato) on a sheet of pastry, sprinkle ham and cheese over said sheet.  Roll, cut, squash and cook as per other scrolls.  This time sprinkle cheese over the tops rather than sugar though.
  9. Sausage Rolls
    OMG! I can't believe I got this far down the list without mentioning sausage rolls.  Get some sausage mince from your butcher, whack it on some pastry, roll it up brush with milk and cook for about 40 minutes.
  10. Vegetable Pockets
    Yes some might call them pasties but previous experience has taught me that children are not that receptive to the word pasty.  But that might just be mine.  Dice whatever vegies are in your fridge.  Potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, swede, whatever.  Include some greens like beans, peas and even  broccoli.  The beauty of this one is that it is wrapped in pastry so they can't see what they are eating (esp if you add some sauce).  For this one I like to cut the sheet into four, place the vegies in the middle and then somehow enclose it.  If you are clever, or a chef you can make it real pretty like.  If you are me you just push all the ends together and hope for the best.  These ones take about 30 minutes.
So there you have it, ten pretty simple things to do with pastry.  I wish I could say this was a sponsored post and I have some pastry to share with you all but I don't.  My PR kit is still not even in the pipe line let alone out and about to the masses.  All in good time though.

Thursday, November 24

Thankful Thursday - Spicks & Specks

After seven years and 277 episodes my favourite television show came to an end on Wednesday night.  Tears were shed, not nearly as many as I was expecting but they were still there.  Thankfully those on stage were not as emotional as I expected, which was great as that meant mine were also kept safely in check.  

Now I like to call myself a dedicated fan but that does not mean I have instant recall on who said what on a particular (or any for that matter) night.  What it does mean though is that in terms of being social on a Wednesday night I am not.  Unless of course that being social involves a TV that is screening the ABC.

As sad as it is to be saying good bye to such wonderful Australian viewing there is much to be thankful about.  Like the fact I discovered the show early in it's life so I was able to see as many episodes as possible.  I am also thankful that the ABC agreed to back such a wonderful idea.  I am sure when it was on the drawing board all those years ago that there was someone who thought it was not a great idea.  Little did they know and thank goodness no one listened to them.

I am thankful for all the interesting and unique performers that were given the opportunity to share their talent.  People like 
Who may very well not have achieved the success they have had it not been for Spicks & Specks

Then of course there is

And of course thanks to Spicks & Specks I discovered one of the men I would gladly run away with should he ever ask


So here's cheers to Spicks & Specks and all the awesomeness it has brought to our screens over the years.  Thanks for all the laughs.

Have you got something to be thankful for?  Head on over to Kate Says Stuff to share your thanks and see what others are being thankful for this week.

Oh and one more thing I would be thankful for is if you clicked through to vote for me in the Circle of Moms.  The best part is you can vote for ALL your favourite Aussie mum blogs there.

Tuesday, November 22

Parenting, relaxed, indifferent and something in between

Without trying to big note myself mothering has been a pretty natural journey for me.  Well at least until recently.  I have always been confident in my abilities and choices.  Even as a brand new mum some ten years ago, I don't ever recall second guessing myself.  I always felt I knew what to do.  Though I must admit I did keep things pretty simple with my only major parenting decision being I would go with the flow.  If she didn't need her nappy changed I figured that she needed feeding.  Once they had both been seen to the next step was  to alternate between sleeping and playing till it was time to feed or change.

Some might think I did the first three months tough.  I was essentially a single mum (Dad was sent overseas for work at three weeks post birth) I didn't know what else to do with myself so I went back to work.  My boss really needed me and was happy for me to take DD1.  I informed him that the baby would take priority over any customer to which he replied "of course".  For the next seven months I worked full time with DD1 in tow and loved every minute of it.  In fact it is with great pride if you will I look back at my 23 year old self selling a mobile phone contract while breastfeeding my baby.

My nature is somewhat relaxed (at least for the most part) so I tend to just float around and see what comes.  Which is probably why my customers thought nothing of my baby while I served them.  Thankfully this whole relaxed thing has worked quite well for me so far.  Each child has seem easier thatn the last if you will.  My children are happy, easy to please and wonderful to be around (most of the time).

Sadly for me though, I am not sure exactly how much further relaxed will take me.  Some days actually I even wonder if there is a relaxed being in me at all.  At ten and a half DD1 informed me the other day that I was not the boss of her and who did I think I was asking her to pick up after herself.

I am informed her that if she was in fact the boss of herself then she needs to have a long hard talk with herself in regards to picking her stuff up and the way she spoke to others.  I also told her that even if I wasn't her boss as such as her mother I was responsible for her.  Part of the responsibility is ensuring she is nurtured into a caring an compassionate person who always strives towards positivity and is able to think of others.

Relationships are always tricky.  They require a careful balance that involves equal and opposite actions and reactions.  Which as you are probably well aware is much easier said than done.  Especially when it comes to that of a mother and her ten year old.

While I may wish to vigorously deny it, my little girl is growing up.  She wants to learn more about the world but I am not sure they are things I am ready for her to learn about.  I want to keep her safe and sheltered away from having to explain why someone would sing about having a passion in their pants.  I don't want her thrusting around to video hits or listening to hip hop or any of the other terrible things 'kids' get up to these days.  I think I can actually understand how some people felt when Elvis first began to bless our lives with his gyrating.

I do not believe in letting kids roam the street.  I did not get to just wander aimlessly around streets and I don't want my children doing it either.  I am being swayed from my ways though.  Slowly and only in some ways.  I let her walk to the shop the other day to buy a tub of ice cream.  I can run to the shop and back in under ten minutes.  I am not a fast runner.
She had strict instructions on where to cross the road (it is busy).  I watched the clock the whole time she was gone.  She had my mobile, I resisted the urge to call her.  It was a long 20 minutes.  She didn't have to run.  She had a friend with her.  A few years older and allowed to roam the streets.
Her mother says she likes to know where she is (ah yes most mothers do), she works till after 9pm some nights though and there is no dad.  Just a sixteen year old brother.  She doesn't know what her daughter gets up in this time and frankly I am not sure she cares.  I could go on for quite some time about it all.  I won't.  I am sure you know where I stand by now.

As a mother, actually as a person, I know that we are all entitled to our own opinion and for the most part I am happy to embrace all sorts of different ideas and opinions.  However there are still some things that just totally amaze me.  Like the parents who agree at 6pm on a Saturday evening to bringing their daughter over for a sleep over.  I had been banking on them thinking this was a bit late and perhaps a little short notice.  They didn't give it a second thought.  They didn't even need to discuss it with me.  When they rang an hour later to ask for directions the mum decided to mention that her daughter had been home sick from school all week with a bit of a cough. Which was lovely as whopping cough has been passed around that school for months now.

When they finally made it I mentioned to the mother that at 8.30pm I would not be dropping my children anywhere and what a good mum that made her.  To which she responded with Thanks the sooner they are in bed or out somewhere else the sooner she can get on with her plans for the evening. I was left to pick my jaw up off the ground only to have it fall right back down when she told me that her daughter had panadol with her to self medicate as needed.

So why am I telling all this to you?

Well mainly because I am just flabbergasted at some people's choices and at least by saying it here I resist the urge to tell them in person.  Which is good because it is their business not mine.  However to some point these people are becoming my business as they may have an influence over my daughter.  One I may not be comfortable with.  My days of easy relaxed parenting are feeling slightly numbered.

 photo fwbksignature_zps702ebc7d.jpg

A post for IBOT

Sunday, November 20

A Return to Making Goals

Regular readers will know that like many mothers, I struggle at times with the housework.  The height of my Mt Washmore could possibly be in the running for some kind of record.  It is more than just a little crazy I tell ya!

Regular readers would also know that since joining in with Me & YOU I started to make a concerted effort to stay on top of daily chores that I know many other women around the world were able to regularly see to.  Despite growing up and being told "Rhianna you are not like everyone else" this is in fact one area of life where it wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Now I know on the surface suddenly becoming conscious if you will of the importance of regular effort may seem a little shallow.  But you see I was actually dealing with a lot more than just getting round to doing housework.  While I may on many occasions openly admit to being a little on the lazy side and easily distracted what I actually lack is self discipline and time management.  The great thing is that I am becoming more aware of these short fallings which in turn means I am more able to do something about them.  Unfortunately I haven't actually established what that will be yet but all in good time.

I really do believe that the turning point for all of this was because I started to take the time to stop and think about making goals.  Not only did I think about making goals but I actually did it and then set out to try and achieve them.  All of which is just wonderful only when the link up turned monthly I sort of lost my way.  

For the most part of the last twenty days I have given little thought to staying abreast of daily chores.  Which has naturally led to that over whelming, where do I start, out of control feeling that I am sure many of us are all to familiar with.  You know the one where it all gets put in the too hard basket and you walk away hoping someone else will deal with it all.  Only they don't and when you return it is worse than ever.

So with that in mind I am returning to making Mondays all about making goals.  I had for a while been participating in Making Goals Monday with Sarah over at Accepting and Embracing Autism only sadly it seems as if she no longer blogs there.  I am a little hesitant at using the term but I can't think of anything more fitting at the moment so I am just going to go with it.  If you think this terribly wrong of me, (big breath in) too bad!  No seriously I am not that tough, I was just trying to be funny, it's not terribly wrong of me is it?

This week I will aim to
  1. Keep the washing (at every stage) under control
  2. Maintain a dish free sink area (this also includes cutlery, cups and pots and pans)
  3. Be active at least once a day in some way (dancing and playing with children may be included)
  4. Write at least three more than awesome posts
  5. Consciously model the behaviours I wish to see in my children
That will do it for now.  I am always cautious about over doing things and setting unrealistic goals.  In the past my biggest failing was setting unrealistic goals.  As parents we tend to ensure that we set achievable goals for our children as we realise the importance of success for them.  I often neglect to treat myself the same way despite my need for success being just as important.

For a variety of reasons the past few weeks have been a bit rough for me.  Right now though I am feeling strong and confident.  Which is good.  I know I have another roughish patch just round the corner.  The stronger I am now the better it will all go.

If you are interested in some focused goal making drop me a line.  For a brief moment I thought about adding a linky tool, but then I realised the possibility of not getting anyone to join in was too great and I didn't want the rejection feeling my head would create.  While I might have just said I am feeling strong I am not feeling that strong yet.  Either way be sure to check back next week to see how I went and if by chance you like the idea of joining in write a post and leave the link in the comments for now.

Thursday, November 17

Things aren't always all they are cracked up to be. That I know.

I know that it feels like forever since I have actually managed to publish a post and even longer since I last linked up with
  for her Friday fun that is

Frankly I don't really feel like I know a lot.  Naturally though I know that is not the case.  I actually know lots it is just a matter of tapping in and finding a way to share it all.  Or even some of it for that matter.

In some ways it has been a bit of a tough couple of weeks for me.  In many though I know I don't really have much to complain about.  There are people out there who have real problems and while I know everything is relative I would much rather tell myself I have lots to be happy for so quit complaining.

Having said that though I know I am just about to go and complain for just a little, but not too much, I promise.

As I sit here I know I have three other posts all patiently waiting for my attention.  The first was supposed to be a link up with Sif who regularly shares 10 Things on a Tuesday.  In the spirit of November I had was going to list ten possible story ideas.  I got to five before it got too hard.  Needless to say NaNoWriMo is not going well for me... (This post is also now up leaving only one more to be done)

The next was meant to link up it Kate and share what I was thankful for.  Which at that point in time was some awesome blog posts.  Though I had actually been hoping for a smart and funny way to actually say I was thankful for myself.  There are some parts of this post that I think are just awesome and it would be a shame not to share.  (Yay! This post is now up)

Last up is one that starts out discussing the place of logic.  What I really wanted to be discussing was actually a response to a post I had recently read at My Mummy Daze on the similarities between blogging and high school.  Only it never really got that far as I couldn't find a good segue to get me there.  (sigh)

I know that it has been a tough week in the bloggy writing world I live in.  Or don't live in which is a little more appropriate way of describing things of late.  I know that I do love writing so much but there just never seems to be the time.  Or rather the ideas never seem to be there when I have the time.

(deep sigh)

I know that I guess I will just keep plodding along and hope for the best.  Right now the best would simply entail finding the time and words to finish these other posts so I can get started on some more.

What do you know?
Share with others here

Saturday, November 12

Beginning Here and Ending There

I just don't know where to begin.  Naturally the beginning seems like a logical place to start.  But life doesn't always go with logical.  For all it's worth and use at times, logic doesn't always have a place in the world. There are many parts of my life that fail to reach the reasons of logic.  Sometimes I am fine with that, others I am not.

See the brilliance of logic is that it makes everything all make sense.  That is what logic does.  So without logic you can at times be left with a whole bunch of stuff that just doesn't make sense.  Which in terms of one's life is not really all that great.  I don't know about you but I tend to find some comfort when I know my life is making sense.  It might only be making sense to me, myself and I but I don't mind.  After all I am the one that needs to live with it.

Moving on though.

Earlier tonight I stumbled across this post over at My Mummy Daze For those too lazy (or time poor as I sometimes prefer) it is all about how blogging could easily be likened to high school.  Strangely enough I had been thinking of something similar a little while ago.  I still haven't found a way to share exactly what it is I have been thinking but it went along the lines of how I suddenly had feelings of inadequacy reminiscent of feelings I had at high school.

You see at high school I never really felt like I belonged.  The cool people didn't want me and dare I say it aloud (please don't hate me) I wanted to think I was too cool for the nerds.  Little did I know.  The nerds were probably the ones that were too cool for me.  At least they had the courage to be a lot truer to themselves than I was.

Whenever I started to feel comfortable with my place in the school and perhaps even myself something would happen to stuff it all up.  I would say something that someone would take the wrong way.  I would wear the wrong thing or I would think in a way different to the majority.  Don't feel too sorry for me though as for as much as I let other make me feel out of place I still managed to make others feel the same way.  All just a vicious circle really.  One where deep down we are actually all the same just for some reason to scared to admit it.

Lately I have felt similar about blogging.  Well sort of.  At times I feel like there is a cool crowd.  Blogs with lots of readers and followers and owners who constantly write the most awesome stuff that I really have thought of just never got around to sharing.  I read lots of other blogs and look at them with blog envy.  Be it design, content, or even a combination of both.  They all seem to have something that I do not.  I am not even sure I am close to the esteem I perceive others to have or if I even want to be.  I just don't feel like I fit though.  Much like my memories of high school. I just didn't feel like I fitted in anywhere.

What I find particularly interesting though is that this is how many other people feel as well.  In fact lately it feels like every blog post I go to is something that talks straight to me.  It leaves me sitting there wondering if perhaps I have actually found others on a similar (if not the same) wavelength. Which i must say is a bit nice.  You see my feelings of not fitting are not just limited to high school and blogging.  It is a feeling that has plagued me my entire life.  Thankfully with age I have learnt to not let it worry me so much.

Thursday, November 10

Being thankful for a very important person

This is actually over a week old by the time I got around to being happy enough to push publish.  Never mind though, life is just like that sometimes

Yes that's right it is Thursday once more and therefore time to give a little thanks.  Actually truth be told we should all go out of our way to be thankful for something each and every day, which most days I do.  Having said that though one can never be too thankful so perhaps I will try and be a little more conscious of it throughout the week.

Back to now being Thursday though and it being time to give thanks with Kate

Earlier on in the week when I started thinking about this post I thought that I would give thanks to all the great blog posts that I had come across.  There were some beauties I tell you.  It almost feels like this is inspiration week this week, as that is how I have felt as I have flittered around the blogosphere the last few days.

Daisy inspired me to think about increasing the levels of intimacy with hubs.  Jess inspired me to find just that little bit of extra patience when I needed it by reminding me that children need to be taught everything from an early age.  Karlee inspired me to push outside my boundaries when she shared what it is like to be indecisive.  (Her monthly link up is also slightly inspiring).

For all of these wonderful posts (and a few more) I am thankful for, as they reminded me I am not really alone.  My situation may be unique to me in some ways but in many others I am discovering others may actually share something similar.  Which is kinda nice.  Old Hugh got it right when he requoted No man is an island.  In my mind neither is a woman.

Only now that it is all written out it doesn't look like much of post.  Plus as I actually sat down to write I realised there was actually a particular person who I want to give a whole truck load of thanks for.

This wonderful woman spends countless hours tiring over things like washing clothes, preparing food, cleaning anything and everything (you know like the dishes, bathrooms, floors etc)  Sure at times they might not be perfect at it but she continually gives it a go.  Every single day she gets up and makes sure that the lives of four other people are running as smoothly as possible for the given .  All of whom always have clean clothes (somehow) and relatively full tummies (well apart from just before meal time and apparently there is always room for junk).

I am thankful that when it comes to her family.  
She never gives up. 
I am thankful that even on days when it feels too hard or pointless. 
She still somehow finds a way to soldier on.  
Even when under the weather she still manages to do most of what needs to be done (well all the important stuff).  
Somehow, even when she may be overwhelmed with anger or  frustration or just pure exhaustion she somehow find a way to carry on.  
And that is something to be very thankful for.

For her strength and courage and determination, even when it falters, 
I am thankful
For her ability to stay calm, see reason and think clearly when need be, 
I am thankful
For her smile, her laughter, her caring soul and tender nature 
(even if they do cause some pain at times), 
I am thankful
For her ability to always look for the good, regardless of where it will be found, 
I am thankful
For me and all that I am and all that I have,
I am thankful

Do you ever stop to be thankful for you and all you do?  Do you think that as mothers or even just people it is important to be thankful for yourself?

Share below in the comments and then head over to find out all the other wonderful things people are thankful for.

Wednesday, November 9

Wordless Wednesday - Harrisons Dam

I felt like I was out in the plains of Africa as opposed to an hour away from home

Cloud pictures anyone?

Magpie Geese

More magpie geese, oh and a couple of ducks

The down side to hunting, all the empty shells that get left behind

Out on the plains the brolgas are dancing
Not the best photo I know, they were a little out of reach for my lens but it is a bit special
to see a brogla, let alone four like this so I had to give it a go anyway

Joining in with Trish over at
 My Little Drummer Boys

as well as Sarah from Faith, Hope & a whole lotta Love

Monday, November 7

10 Things Tuesday - NaNoWriMo Ideas

Since I am some 10000 words short of my recommended target for the week I thought that perhaps it might be rather fitting to make a list of some possible story suggestions.  I know that if I knuckle down and get into it within the next day or so I am still likely to be able to reach the 50000 word goal before the end of the month.

So far my total is just under 600 words so there is plenty to develop.  If the suspense of what I may have written is too much for you some of it can be found here.  Like I said plenty to develop.  Without further adieu here are ten possible things to appear in my novel.

  1. Sally awakes from an operation.  Nothing very major but it will be an emotional journey and chances are she will feel very alone.
  2. She falls deeply and madly in love (very original I know maybe she can do this with the doctor who performs her operation?)
  3. Sally spends a lonely night at home feeling more than sorry for herself.
  4. Sally snaps out of her somber mood and goes to the beach and eats an ice cream (maybe this is where she falls in love? Why am I obsessed with writing a love story?)
  5. Sally attends a high school reunion where she wishes she could make her life seem better than what it is (again not very original but as if we want to read about her awesome her life is?  Doesn't sad stuff make the reader feel better about their own hardships?)
  6. Hmmmmm maybe ten was too adventurous?  (Says the writer still yet to crack a thousand for this year's NaNoWriMo)
  7. Sally has a fantasy about running off with the young butcher at the local market.  Ok so I just went and tried to Google a photo for a cute butcher.  Instead (due to my severe lack of research ability) I ended up at some dodgy foursquare location  finder for a friendly butcher in Toronto.  Yep super handy for me.  The first comment states that Butchers are the new firemen so at least there is hope for the fantasy thing)
  8. She contemplates some deep and meaningful, life changing event, that she may or may not be actually able to make happen.
  9. She takes a walk down memory lane where she shares some interesting insight into her character and why she behaves the way she does
  10. OMG!!!  Am I really at ten??  Perhaps there is hope for me to make the word count before months end?  No seriously I do realise that I have not technically come up with ten different story ideas.  However all is not lost read on below.
I actually started writing this post over a week ago.  Today is actually November 18.  I got to five and then I got stuck.  I couldn't think of any more.  All my ideas, thoughts, everything that I had thought I could include was gone.  
In a blink of an eye I suddenly became overwhelmed with the desire to sleep, my mind shut down and any further progress was not made.  For some reason my brain just said it did not want to think about this stupid  story any more. 
Even when I came tonight to get this out I struggled (as is clearly evident by point number 6) to get started and even then the rest of the list is somewhat questionable.  I really do want to be a writer.  I am not overly fussed what type, I just want to say I am widely recognised as a writer.  Slowly, slowly I know.  Have patience, and just keep on writing.  All gets a little blah, blah, blah at times though.  Still at least with this post I am one step closer to reaching my Me & YOU Monthly goal.

Letting go, moving on, and being done.

Towards the end of last month I headed on a bit of a downward spiral.  Things were pretty bleak at my house.  It has been a very long time since I felt in such a bad place.  In fact I can't even care to remember when I last felt so emotional.  Like over the top emotional, everything makes me want to cry.

While I was busy having my very own pity party I began to write the following post.

Ok so this whole drama that happened late last week is still hanging over my head.  Well at least I think that is where to lay blame for this cloud of doom and gloom that appears to have possessed me.  Actually it is more like it is chewing away at my heart.  There is this most awful sensation running through my upper body causing havoc with a great many number of things.

I had put the constant tears down to an unexpected visit from the red dragon.  However she is now getting ready to leave and the burning desire to constantly have tears streaming down my face is shows no signs of letting go.  Which I am not a fan of.  I feel so drained right now.  Every. Little. Thing. is Hard. Work.  And I mean really really hard work.

At first I thought that maybe this was what the start of depression felt like.  But naturally I don't want to be depressed (who does) so I banished those thoughts.  After all I am a strong capable and pretty awesome woman.  I might get a little lost and distracted along the way at times but on the whole I am generally pretty confident that at the end of the day all will be ok.

Only the days are becoming so long I am beginning to wonder exactly what ok actually is.

See the thing is I feel like I have been wounded.  I have been misunderstood and every time I try to explain how I am feeling I just make it worse.  Yesterday I was certain I had given my last attempt to make amends.  To seek forgiveness and assurance that all really was ok.  One some level that was all received but I am still injured.

Perhaps the other party is too I guess.  Only I don't know because they have gone to great lengths to ignore all my attempts to show just how incredibly sorry I was. Am.  How sorry I am.  Sorry not just for what has happened but sorry for so much more as well.  Sorry we were never able to click like I think we should of.  Technically I guess there is still time but I hold little hope.

You see I have let so much just slip on by over the years.  So many time I felt wronged by some words or actions from them but I never said anything.  I let it all go.  Because that is what you do when you love someone.  I would convince myself that there was a chance I had it all wrong.  I had misinterpreted the signals.  Picked up the wrong message.  I am still telling myself that.  And really it is irrelevant whether it is true or not because at the end of the day I want them in my life.  Sometimes when you really want people in your life you just let things slide.  This is what I should have done.  I should have just stayed right away from it all and let everyone else fight it out without me.  But I didn't.  Live and learn I guess

There are a number of reasons why I didn't hit the publish button.  The first of which being I didn't feel it was quite finished.  Yet my original intention of the post wasn't exactly shared the way it was in my head.  Not that that is anything new but I just wasn't sure about being so emotional.  Again.  I was a little concerned that all the down in the dumps from the previous few posts might be wearing thin.  Given the size of my readership I certainly don't want to bore anyone with my woes.  Especially since there are people out there with real problems (yes yes I know it is all relative but my saga is by nowhere near what some poor people have to endure.)

Anyway now that the dust has all settled I feel much more comfortable sharing the above.  Well sort of.  I am still slightly concerned that some may misinterpret my comments about depression.  Only I remind myself that I can not be responsible for the way that people interpret what I write any more than I am responsible if someone misunderstands my best intentions.

So finally I am able to let this whole thing go.  I still feel wounded and I still feel grossly misunderstood but I also know the stubbornness of the party involved and I just don't have that kind of angst in me.  My point will never be accepted and I am now fine with that.  I admit there was a period where I thought I was going to insist that my voice be heard but thankfully wisdom kicked in and I realised the less said the better (well at least on this matter)

Since it is Tuesday I am joining in with the lovely Jess over at Essentially Jess

Me & YOU Monthly

Now by all rights this post should have been posted last Tuesday.  All ready to link up with The Mother Experiment's new monthly goal post.  Only it wasn't and clearly still isn't.  You would have thought that shortly after posting this I would have made my Me & YOU the next thing I did but again that was not the case.  Instead I eventually got around to giving some thanks and being a know-it-all and then spent all weekend doing anything but actually being in front of the computer.  Which has both good and bad points.  Naturally it is good in that it means I spent lots of time with the family and got lots of other things done.  However since I am trying to write the better part of a novel in thirty days now is not really the best time to walk away from the computer.

Back to some goals though.

Since the inception of Me & YOU, I have really been concentrating on improving my efforts in the housekeeping department.  I am not quite the worlds worst housewife when it comes to cleaning but I am not that far away either.  It may have taken nearly three months and the differences may only be small but I really can feel a difference in both my attitude to these chores and the way I approach them.  Which is great because I have also noticed that the more I do around the house the more others seem to be willing to do as well. (Yes yes I know that is not exactly a ground breaking discovery but it is nice to be able to see).

Naturally though I still have some terrible days, like most of last week, but I don't feel the deflation about it all that I have previously when it all got too much.  I have learnt that by always doing lots of little things, too much or too hard doesn't seem to appear.  I still have quite some ways to go though.  One other thing that I have noticed though is that there are lots of other women other who seem to struggle with various aspects of housekeeping.  It is always nice to know one is not alone.  Thankfully there are super organised people who share lots of tips for people like me.

So what are my goals and areas of improvement for this month?

First cap of the rank naturally goes to NaNoWriMo which I am very far behind on.  After the first week the suggested target total is 11667 (or there abouts)  Yours truly is currently sitting pretty on 597.  Only 11070 behind.  Sounds a lot I know but I have been here before and I know that 50 000 is still very achievable, especially if I got started, like you know, now.

Keeping in mind that I really want to achieve everything that I set out to, I am cautious about adding much more in.  Before I actually got around to this post I was going to list a whole heap of blog post ideas that have been floating in my head but really I doubt this will be the month to get them out.  I had actually planned on posting every day for the month but that went by the wayside when I missed the first day.  Instead I might just try to get a total of twenty posts out.  Which is another fourteen after this one since this will be my sixth for the month.

It goes with out saying that on top of this I will still consciously be thinking about the housework side of life and ensuring that everyday I do what I need to.  However what I will really be concentrating on this month is leading by example (which I think actually warrants a whole post of it's own)

So there you have it.  That is what I will be working through this month.  Make sure you pop back on December 1st to see how it all went.  Of course if you have me bookmarked or are a follower you would never miss a post.  I have am also on Twitter and Facebook in case you didn't know.

How about you? Have something in your life you want to turn around or change?

Friday, November 4

Things I Know About Toilet Training

As I sit here I hesitate to say it, but I think that DD3 has said goodbye to nappies.  Which is pretty exciting as chances are pretty good she is our last child so I guess that means I too have said good bye to nappies.  I am a die hard cloth nappy user so saying goodbye to nappies also means saying goodbye to an extra load of washing.  Hence the extra excitement.

The main reason I say I hesitate to say that DD3 is out of nappies is her age.  At 3 days shy of 19 months it is hard to believe that she has the toilet thing all worked out.  Mind you this is on par with the older two as well so I am not overly sure why I am still surprised.

Anyway I have been thinking of writing a 'toilet training' post for quite some time but for a variety of reasons I haven't.  I tend to stay away from topics that are likely to divide people and toilet training can at times be one of those.

So putting that aside here is some of what I know about the ups and downs of toilet training.

  • There will be an accident in a public area (for this reason I will have a spare pair of knickers in my bag and still carry a terry toweling nappy when I go out so I can easily clean up any mess)
  • You can never start too early in making your child toilet aware.  In our house I bring the potty out when they first start walking.  Which for us was pretty much around the 12 month stage.  Though I must admit I did a try a couple of times with DD3 from the time she could sit unassisted.  We are a pretty open door kind of house so there is lots of shared toilet time. 
  • You shouldn't feel pressured to start toilet awareness just because you know someone who started at a younger age.  As with all aspects of parenting you need to work out what will work and suit your family and situation
  • Don't pressure your child to use the toilet, they will use it when they are ready and there is no point turning it into a power struggle.
  • Talking about wees and poohs when you change nappies, even from birth does make a difference.  Babies take in much more than most people give them credit for.  Always try and have a positive association about soiled nappies.
  • Praise works wonders.  So does a song and dance.  Ours goes a little like this 
Wees in the potty, wees in the potty
I like it a lotty,
Oh yeah oh yeah
Wees in the potty          Very original I know but it works for us.  We also do a few high fives and lots of cuddles and kisses and then proceed to tell everyone nearby just how clever she is
  • Target, seems to be the only place I can find knickers small enough to fit her little bottom.  I had no idea there was so much variance in size 2-3, I guess that is the way it is with all clothes these days.
So that is some of what I know about toilet training.  I do also know that I am pretty dam stoked to think that we have moved on from nappies.  While it does mean that my baby is growing and possibly more toddler than baby now, I am incredibly proud and pleased with our efforts.  I say ours as there is still lots of reminding and asking whether she wants to go but that is ok.

Joining with Shae over at Yay For Home

Thursday, November 3

Headache headache go away

Sitting here trying to think of what I am thankful for and all I can think is my head hurts.  Only it isn't really a headache as such.  I mean my eyes have a dull throbbing sensation pulsating through them which transcends down my nose and across my checks.  Something similar can be felt behind my ears and right at the very top of my head.

Only I didn't really come here to sit and grumble about a headache that I have probably over exaggerated because after yet another long hot day that followed yet another night of broken and disturbed sleep, I am just a little grumbly.  Instead what brought me here was the delightful link up hosted by Kate Says Stuff, you know the one

Part of me is sitting here going yes but really what do I have to be thankful about?  I have a headache, I am tired, hot, sticky and longing for more than 40 minutes sleep at a time.  Due to being under the weather all three girls have been taking it in turns to wake up at various times throughout the night ensuring that I am up and down like a yo-yo all night long.  Of course now was perhaps not the best time to decide that only the baby may co sleep but I can't help but wonder when will be and since it is so ridiculously warm of a night at the moment the fewer bodies in bed the better.

So with two minutes left of this Thursday, what am I thankful for?

Firstly my high speed internet connection.  After it being non existent for around three weeks I can't help but wonder how people get along without it on a regular basis.  Dial up should be banned and if the National Broadband Network is really going to be as awesome as the government would have us believe then they should hurry up and get it out to people as everyone should have a decent internet connection.

However the absence of the awesome internet connection is also something I am a bit thankful for as it meant I have been spending quite a bit of time away from Mac and doing stuff in the real world instead of wasting hours on mindless games.

I am also thankful that even though the only air conditioner in the house is stuck on 27 degrees at least it still goes.  When the outside temperature is 30 degrees it is surprising just how cool 27 can be.  Hopefully in the next few weeks I will be able to say I am thankful for some lovely new air conditioners.  I may not like using them all that often but there are times when they are more than called for when you live in the tropics.

I am thankful that I was able to give the girls the week off school when they weren't well without worrying too much at all about how 'my boss' would react.  Just one of the many joys of being a SAHM.

On the sickness note, I am thankful that we don't have whooping cough.  It has been traveling round the school so when we all started feeling a little unwell I naturally assumed the worst.  I am also thankful that the doctor kindly bulked billed me for two of the four appointments I needed to make in order to test for whooping cough.

Not the most extensive list of thanks I know, but it is late, and hot.  Oh so hot.  Can you imagine what 30 degrees is like.  At midnight.  I kid you not.

So what are you thankful for?  Head on over to Kate's and join in and read some more great thankful posts.

Oh and that's right one more thing I am really really really thankful for.  Blogger and the fact that they now have a little check box you can tick to have links open in a new window!  How sweet is that.  For a while I tried to type the code in myself but as you can imagine it got put in the too hard basket :)

Wednesday, November 2

Hello...Hello...Is anyone there?

I am sure that is what people stopping by have been calling out as they swing by here.  I have been somewhat AWOL of late.  Did you miss me?  Never mind I shouldn't have asked as I will only get all emotional when no one responds.  (Yep that's right I am suffering from comment rejection, though it is nice to know I am not alone)

Yep that's right people I have been too busy riding the emotional roller coaster of rejection and lower than low self confidence.  Not exactly a fun ride and one that I am more than ready to jump off.  Actually if it were possible I would send my ticket back for a refund.  However an incredibly slow internet connection has also kept me away.  I took pages taking longer than three minutes to load as a sign of me not meant to be at the computer.

But enough of the wallowing in self pity and feeling sorry for myself.  Yesterday was the first day of November and that brings with it many many things, all of which are pretty exciting for me.

The first thing to come with the first of the month was the race that stops the nation.  Now even though I have am not a Melbournian, nor do I ever really want to be, I do love the Melbourne Cup.  One day, in my bestest and prettiest frock I will be there living it up.  One day.  In the mean time I spend the day hanging with my mum (and this year due to sickness all three kidlets) watching the TV coverage, eating some of the yummiest food ever while sipping exotic champagne concoctions.  This year that concoction had strawberry puree, grand mariner and a sugar cube in it.  Yum yum yum.  I did think about getting photo of it but since my card reader is cactus my camera is out of action.  Much to my disappointment and frustration.  I did however use my phone to capture this gem for WW.

So what other things come with the start of November?

None other than

Yep you guessed I am going to write me a novel in only a month.  Previous years have seen me sitting up till midnight on October 31st so that I could start writing as soon as the clock ticked over till the 1st.  This year however, thanks to the aforementioned race that stops the nation I didn't.  Actually it was just that, having three sick children and not feeling all that well myself staying up to midnight really wasn't much of an option.

I had planned to get up early and smash out my required daily total but that didn't happen either.  Being a dedicated rather trying to be a dedicated domestic goddess I opted for folding washing, doing dishes and hanging some more washing out. (Go me!)  Anyway by the time we got home and sorted dinner and bed and all that jazz the last thing I felt like doing was starting the worlds next best seller.  While just going to bed would have been easier instead I opted to sit in front of Mac for way to long to produce this little beauty  436 words of pure awesomeness right there.  Only 49564 to go.

Now the start of November was also meant to be the start of this for me as well

NaBloPoMo 2011

Only apparently I may have bitten of more than I can chew.  I had thought that since I would be writing every day anyway that getting a blog post out as well wouldn't have been that much extra but only one day down and the pressure was all a bit much.  Or maybe it was just the champers, a long day and sick kidlets?

Technically I did get my blog post up only it is not there any more.  You see I thought that I would start a new blog over at BlogHer and it would be where my novel would be stored.  Only somehow the stupid in me came out and I didn't create an account at the right place due to a location change and blah blah blah the long and short of it is that after only one day I don't actually have a blog post dated for the 1/11/11 so can not be included for any of the awesome prizes that the red starburst above speaks of. Grrrrrrrr to say the least (because of course I was going to win)

I am still going to try pretty darn hard to get a blog post out every day anyway only I will do it here instead of fussing around with something new when I clearly have enough on my plate anyway.  Though the real reason behind the new blog was because I wanted to make sure I had saved the best seller in as many places a possible.  Sadly my previous NaNoWriMo efforts are no longer with us due to be insufficiently saved.  Live and learn hey?

Now the final exciting thing to get underway yesterday was over at the lovely TME where Karlee is kicking off her Me & YOU Monthly link up.  Regular readers will know that for many weeks now, thanks to Karlee's initiative and the Me & YOU Weekly program I slowly started working towards taming my inner domestic goddess and getting the lazy so and so to do some work.  Only I still don't have my post ready.  I know that after two weeks to prepare you would think I have something but no. This was supposed to be that post but it didn't exactly turn out that way.  So after some lunch, a few errands and a bit more tidying up I will be back with all the details on my goals and hopes (other than the best seller) for the month.

Wordless Wednesday - Better than the picture

Joining in with the ever so awesome My Little Drummer Boys