Tuesday, December 31

The Greatest #IBOT Hits of 2013

Having developed the headache from hell last night and then being out of action all day long, sitting here right now is probably not the most wisest of moves. Especially since by out of action all day long I actually meant Mr Awesome having the day off to tend to the needs of children while I lay in a darkened air-conditioned room of bliss. But given this is not just the last IBOT for the year but, the actual last day of the year I couldn't not try and get something out.

image from here

Of course if I was the super organised blogger (or even person for that matter) that I constantly dream of this post would have been written at least a week ago and be all scheduled to go. But alas I am not and while I may have thought a lot about sharing my top IBOT posts for the year until now I have not actually done anything about it till this very moment.

As it turns out I have some thirty odd posts from 2013 that are tagged with the label of IBOT. Which I must say is a little less than I expected. Given that there are fifty two weeks in the year and my dedication to blogging on a Tuesday it is hard to think I missed twenty odd Tuesdays, but apparently I did. Alternatively a much more feasible explanation is that my tagging of posts leaves a little to be desired. Not that it really matter either way I guess.

So what were my top five most read IBOT hits this year?

Well apparently there are lots of people out there who want to know how to make buttons for their blog, because that is by far my most read post. Ever.

There are also quite a few people interested in that infamous Pig in Mud cake and how it is made. And nearly as many who want to make their own chicken soup.

Back in August I went a whole week without blogging. It was mainly a result of being hit by man-flu and by all accounts everyone was interested to know what I had been up to. The most interesting thing out of that post for me was how many cricket supporters I had amongst the ranks.

Lastly but not least, rounding off the top five IBOT posts for 2013 is my hints and tips for throwing a fun and easy stress free party. At the last minute no less.

Though just between you and me this list doesn't excite me all that much. I mean sure they are great posts but they are not up there with what I would term my favourites. And given that I got the chance to hang out with the one and only Samuel Johnson when he was in town it is pretty clear that that would have to be my all time favourite blogging moment to date.

Joining in with the Essentially Jess for the last IBOT of the year
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Friday, December 27

The top things I have known this year

So here we are on the very last Friday of the year.
image from here

I know that I have said it before but by golly I will say it again as well. How did the time fly past so fast?

I know that the regular host for Things I Know, Miss Cinders, is off enjoying time with her family but the opportunity to blog presented itself so here I am.

I know that through out the year I have written a total of thirty Things I Know posts. Some have joined in with other linkies like FFS with Dear Baby G and FYBF with With Some Grace. Others have been where I myself was the hostess with the mostess. Which just quietly I loved and thanks for all the support from those that joined in.

I know that out of the thirty TIK posts for the year these five were the ones that were read the most.

I know that for the most part I am pretty happy with that list. Sometimes when I make these lists or look at this type of thing I cringe because the posts involved are (only in my eyes) not worthy of being there. 

I know that I am working on being less critical of myself.

I know I am going to join in with some blog flogging over at With Some Grace
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Wednesday, December 25

Thankful Thursday - The Christmas Edition

I know that for the most part the blogging world has taken leave on account of Christmas but after what could well be the most wonderful day ever, I couldn't not stop and give a bit of thanks. So here I am giving thanks for all that I have been blessed with. Because just between you and me, right now I can't help but feel like I am the most blessed person on the earth.

For us Christmas was a somewhat simple affair. With Lovely elsewhere there was just the four of us here to celebrate with my mother, sister and nephew coming and joining us. And when I say that my sister came to join us, she did so from almost the other side of the country. I am so thankful she was able to make the trip.

It has been a few years since I have had a Christmas with my sister and the first with her son. I just love love love watching my girls with their cousins. I am sure they treasure time almost as much as what I do. I am thankful that we had the opportunity to make these memories.

Aside from the most wonderful company ever, there was all kinds of wonderful fare. 

From a beautiful glazed ham, (even if I do say so myself)

if only I had thought to take a photo without the food net on
to yummy salads,

there was absolutely nothing we were left wanting for. Not that anyone had any room for anything more anyway.

All washed down with a tropical non alcoholic punch
 I feel beyond blessed to be able to put on such a delicious spread for some of the people I love with what feels like more than my heart. I am thankful that mum chipped in with some turkey and potato salad. Both of which were delicious and would probably have proven to have been too much for me to handle. There is something comforting about knowing your limits and allowing people to help when you know you are reaching yours. I am thankful I didn't go beyond my limits today.

It's funny, until I had children I had no idea it was possible to love as much as what a mother parent loves their child(ren). Until my siblings had children I had no idea that I could love someone else's children nearly as much as what I do my children. I am thankful that I have the chance to not only be a mum but and Aunty as well. Just as I am thankful that my children get to have such incredibly awesome Aunts and Uncles.

So many times today I wondered if my heart was going to burst from all the joyous moments it was witnessing. Nearly as many times I tried to etch into my memory these precious moments.

Some of them I was able to capture in a photo. 

 I am sure I can see a smile as she sleeps. The most content little being snuggled under a beautiful hand made by Grandma blanket. There is so much to be thankful for right there.

 And then as if things couldn't get any better, Mother Nature decided to shower us with an almost constant drizzle that maintained a pleasant and cool atmosphere.

For which we were all a bit thankful for I think. Even if it did mean the girls missed out on a swim. No one really seemed to notice on account of not being hot and dripping with sweat.

Anyway I could probably go on for another ten pages on all the things I am thankful for today but I won't I want to know what you are thankful for.

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And so Jesus was born

Knitted baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Baby Jesus in the manger with wise men and sheppards

Tuesday, December 24

The carols are a rockin' and I'm a bloggin'

Yes I am well aware of the fact that it is Christmas Eve and that the rest of the world is busy running around like a headless chook with no time to read idle blog posts but it is Tuesday and I really do like to blog so here I am. And yes I know that Essentially Jess said we shouldn't blog on Christmas Eve but there is so much I should be doing blogging seems to make the most sense right now.

image found here
Ideally the computer shouldn't even be on, but for a whole range of reasons it is. Everywhere I turn on social media I find people turning off and saying goodbye for a few days. Given some mediums are lucky to see me every few days at the best of times I haven't really worried about any down time. Which I guess is probably why the computer is on and I am here.

There are other reasons though. Like the fact that the computer is the only music playing device that can play Christmas carols. Given that it is Christmas Eve (and I love carols) I feel kind of compelled to listen to have a few belting out. We have even managed to find a few rather modern renditions with quite the techno beat behind them so it is not as painful on the ears as one might expect carols to be. 

The other reason that brought me to the computer is a bit secret squirrel for a friends birthday next week. Something I was meant to have done weeks ago MUST get done today. It just must, else I will be sent to the bad friend list forever and a day.

So the carols are a rocking' and I am a blogging, trying not to get overwhelmed by the three hundred and seventy five million things that still need to be done. Some within the hour as by then it will be time to collect my beautiful sister and nephew from the airport. So much excitement about being able to have them spend the big day with us.

I guess on that note I should go and get on with all that needs to be done. Or at least some of it. There will always be plenty of time later to share the many wonders inside my head at the moment.

For now I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, filled with lots of love and laughter and plenty of fairy wishes and butterfly kisses
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Monday, December 23

I must confess my favourite posts

image from here with thanks
The eve of Christmas Eve and somehow in amongst the craziness of all that needs to be done I feel I have the time to sit and blog. Well of course I do. I wouldn't be a procrastinator or blogger if I didn't see the height of busyness as the prime to sit down and belt out some words of wisdom otherwise. Aside from that it is the last confession of the year over at My Home Truths and there is no denying it has been one of my most favourite link ups this year.

Now the prompt for this week was your favourite post. Which is nice and easy if of course you are in a position to actually be able to choose your favourite post. I am sure it surprises no one that I am unable to complete such a seemingly simple feat. I don't think I can even narrow it down to a top five.

Much to my surprise I only have fifteen posts tagged under Confessions. I thought that there would have been many more than that and maybe there are and I was just a slack tagger. Which while hard to believe is quite possible. Sometimes the whole tagging of posts go by the wayside, much like most things in my life at times I guess, but I am starting to digress.

Rather than face the impossible and select an actual favourite post I have decided to give you the most read confessional post here on this little old blog of mine.

The first of which is from way back in June and was a double up post that saw me confessing and blogging on a Tuesday. Not that the title actually gives much away but it is all about toilet cleaning and who does it at The Shoebox.

Quite fittingly the next most read confession of the year is when Kirsty ran away for a week and left me in charge. I was all kinds of excited I can tell you. Especially when eleven rather awesome bloggers came along and joined in. No wonder I struggled to pick just one blog that I loved that week!

The next post on the list is a little more recent and is where I share my confessions to a seemingly perfect weekend. A post which another fellow blogger had asked me to share months prior to me actually getting around to it.

Number four on the most read confessions is from way back in March where I confessed I was totally unable to stay away from linking up to other blogs for week. 

And last but not least, number five on the most read confessions posts is one where I confess to  being all kinds of crazy. Which probably came as a total surprise to no one.

One thing I must say I have noticed as I look back through all these old posts its that I am a terrible comment responder. Like really really terrible. And for that I am truly sorry. I didn't actually realise I was as slack at it as what these posts make me appear to be. 

Anyway there you have it. My top confession posts for 2013.

Thanks so much to the ever lovely Kirsty (who I invariably want to call Kristy all the time) for being the hostess with the mostess when it comes to confessing. Since this post could loosely be considered a list I am also going to join in with Listmania over at Hopeful Rae of Sunshine because she is awesome.
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Thursday, December 19

Thankful for all the machines

Thankful Thursday with A Parenting Life Earlier in the week when I was busily trawling the net as opposed to tackling Mount Washmore or the leaning tower of dishes I happened upon a post by Zoey about her creative process. It got me wondering what is my creative process? 

In fact I wondered if I even have a creative process?

I am pretty sure I don't really. I just sit down in front of my beautiful big iMac screen and hope for the  words to flow faster than a river down a mountain. Some times they do, some times they don't. 

There are however certain things that need to be done before I can write. Surprisingly enough most of those things involve the completion of household tasks. At least some of them anyway. Sure there are days where I come here and there is washing all over the place and dirty dishes desperately waiting for a wash, not to mention the floors and their dire need for sweep, but rarely on those days do I manage to write something outstanding. Mainly because I spend half the time worrying about all the other things I am not doing rather than writing.

However on the days where I push myself to get the jobs done before I sit down to write, the writing seems to come so much easier. I am thankful that today is one of those days. Of course that is why this post is more than slightly delayed but you can't always win them all. 

image with thanks from here
As I was scurrying about the kitchen this morning, moving clean dishes from the dishwasher to the cupboard and then the dirty dishes from all over the place to the dishwasher I realised just how thankful I was for the blasted machine. 

I say blasted because this time last year when Mr A was pleading with me to allow one into the house, I was adamantly against it. Always had been. Such a good case was put forward by both the children and Mr A I was eventually worn down though and gave in. I may also have been stuck for a Christmas present for my beloved.

Since having it though I have slightly fallen in love with the lovely shiny machine that saves me from submersing my delicate hands in dishwater. I am not sure what it is but there is something much more appealing about stacking a dishwasher than you know actually doing the dishes.

Anyway so there I was this morning swooning about how much I loved this machine that washed my dishes for me when I realised there are actually quite a few machines I am thankful to be the proud owner of. Like the washing machine. Seriously not everyone has a working washing machine. I am so thankful that I do. 

And well, don't even get me started on how wonderful the dryer is. Especially on rainy days that last for a week. But then there is also the coffee machine, the vacuum cleaner, the air conditioner, the television, the fridge, deep freezer and, well you get my drift by now I am sure. There are so many machines that in someway enhance my life. All of which I really am incredibly thankful to be the owner of.

On the days when getting the jobs out the way with happy heart is easier said than done I think of all the machines that are there to help me. I think of all the women before me (and some even at this time) that don't have the machines that I do and suddenly it all seems just a little bit easier than before.

Other random thanks this weeks goes to 
  • all seven, yes that is right, seven lovelies who joined in last week. That really just made me all sorts of special
  • the school holidays arriving and giving us all lots of down time
  • Lovely having a safe plane trip
  • the other two coping much better than expected with Lovely's departure and absence
  • getting to hang with my brother for an hour or two in between flights as he was passing through.
  • the airport parking not costing an absolute fortune
  • receiving our share of Grandma's estate
Now you. What are you thankful for this week? Share in the comments below or link up your own post.

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Tuesday, December 17

It is what when?

It is hard to believe that this time next week it will be Christmas Eve. Like almost everyone I speak to, the year seems to have flown by in less than a blink of an eye.

Christmas reindeer hanging tree ornament

The excitement levels are getting closer to their all time high records. Which interestingly just seems to get higher each and every year. I can't help but notice the direct correlation this has to my levels of crazy, as they also look set to soar to new heights.

So much deep breathing to be done.

I guess it is one of life's greatest ironies that something so highly anticipated and generally enjoyed by so many people, almost the world over is also full of so much angst, busyness and just general craziness. I can't help but wonder if it has always been like that or if it is just the joy of commercialism?

Sadly for me I am not one of those highly organised let's get present buying sorted in July type of people. Instead I am a let's wait till Christmas Eve and just hope there is something left type of girl. Well actually it is more a case of I am going to make all of the presents only time has escaped me and it is now Christmas Eve guess I better rush to the shops. Either way each year I assure myself it will be different and rarely is it ever.


Thankful with the new year just around the corner I can add being more organised and on top of things to my list of improvement for the year to come.

So on that note I will bid you all good day and head off to the shops. As it currently stands my plan is only an hour behind schedule for today. If a 'crazy Christmas' image where not so hard to come by I would have been well and truly on my way by now. But it is Tuesday and one must blog on a Tuesday so as to take part in the most wonderful linky of all.

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Thursday, December 12

Why I believe in fairies #writersreveal

 This month's topic for my #writersreveal prompt was given to my by the rather awesome Emily from the incredibly awesome blog Have A Laugh On Me. Who last month I neglected to add on my list at the bottom of the post.

My bad and so sorry Em!

Emily has asked me to share why I believe in fairies.

Which is a pretty good question I suppose.

Why do I believe in fairies?

My initial response is to say why not? I mean it is well documented that we should believe in something, so why not fairies? To me it is not that different to believing in a God. But then I realised that didn't make for the greatest of reading and perhaps I should add a little more.

When I come across images like this

Image from here
or even this

I can't help but wonder how people don't believe in fairies and the like, because places like this are clearly where they live. Why else would there be such quaint little parts of nature if fairies didn't live there?

The first post that I have tagged here with fairies dates all the way back to February 2008. It doesn't talk so much about fairies but more about the signs I feel are sent my way on a rather regular basis. For as long as I can remember I have always felt that there are just some things I seemed to know. Which made accepting certain events in life a little easier as I realised they were all just falling into line as needed.

When I read Doreen Virtue's book, Healing With Fairies I realised that these signs and messages I felt I had been getting were actually from the fairies. After reading the book, which I was just somehow drawn to in the library, I felt like I had discovered a startling revelation that suddenly helped my life seem so much clearer.

Only for whatever reason I never felt comfortable sharing my thoughts with others. Mainly because I feared being laughed at. Which just between you and me is something I fear on a fairly regular basis on many different levels. It wasn't until after I wrote this post about what I believe in  that I started to develop the confidence to share my fairy belief.

Which was kinda really sucky because I would constantly beret myself for saying I believed but didn't have the faith to say it out loud. I figured it made me look like a bit of a phoney. Obviously I am well passed that now.

Now as much as there is a part of me that would like to wax lyrical about my love of the magical beauty and mystery of fairies I just don't have it in me at this particular point in time. Right now the only thing the fairies are telling me is to go to bed. Immediately. I have once again left this post till later than the last minute. And by that I mean far too late on Wednesday night. When will I ever learn?

Please take the time to check out some of the other writers taking part this month.
Have a laugh on me

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Wednesday, December 11

Thankful for a SuperMum and the end of the school year

Thankful Thursday with A Parenting Life Hello and welcome to another round of Thankful Thursday. As always I want to say a big thank you to all who stopped by last week, both in terms of readers and bloggers. 

As a linky host I love being able to create a place for bloggers to gather and share in some bloggy comment love. I feel terrible that the last few weeks have seen my Thursdays brimming with activities that prevented me from spending time with my beloved Mac. Which in turn means no commenting on blogs. 

Sadly I am one of those people, unable to leave a blog comment unless it is from the comfort of a large keyboard. Call me old fashioned I know but that is just the way it is. There is also something about a setting somewhere that seems to prevent me from logging into some most comment forms and it honestly is one of the most frustrating things I have ever tried to endure. I am thankful I had the sense to give up trying. 
I am thankful we got away on the weekend,
giving us all a much needed break and me
the chance to take some photos to play with.
More can be seen here

Today is officially the last day of the school year for the bigger two kidlets. And let me tell you I am giving a super big thank you for that. Like just about everyone I know I am well and truly done and dusted with school for the year. Bring on recharging our batteries I say.

For Lovely it is actually the first day of holidays. That is the joy of being in middle school. Her school is meant to break up at lunch time but we decided time would be much better spent doing a spot of shopping together. Thankfully a wonderful friend has said that Teapot can hang with her meaning some much needed one on one time can take place.

Of course the fact that I can't find my debit card is not something I am overly thankful for, perhaps after tomorrow I may feel differently about it. For now though it is driving me batty. Thankfully it is not my everyday must have account but more of a rainy day once in a while account so I can kinda get by. I am relatively certain that it is in the house so there is no need to cancel it at this point. I keep regularly checking to make sure the few dollars there haven't disappeared. It is just frustrating to not being able to locate it.

In fact I have noticed that quite a few of my things have taken to hiding on me of late. You know sunglasses mysteriously not being where they were last seen, keys slipping down behind cushions and the like. Mind you I am thankful I am not like my friend who recently lost her keys for so long she had to pay a ridiculous amount to have new car keys cut and chipped so she could drive her car again.

With the end of the school year comes the inevitable report card. Thankfully the girls don't have too much to worry about. Zany appears to be solidly at her expected year level and giving it her all. Lovely could be doing a whole lot better in the maths and science departments but I suspect the teacher could make a huge difference. The general consensus was she has not reached anywhere near her potential if she would like to try a little more consistently.

Which is exactly what I expected. In fact all in all it may have even been better than I expected. Thanks to the two art subjects there was an incredibly golden aura. It is fantastic know that when she feels like it she can apply herself whole heartedly. Perhaps with even too much of a desire for perfectionism. I wish to be thankful for knowing how to create an inner learner

I think though, what I am most thankful for this week is the fact that my mother has been declared the NT Super Mum for 2013.

I know that it has made mum feel all kinds of deservedly special from the moment she got the call to say she had been nominated. Mum has been having a bit of a rough trot of late and I am so thankful to be able to have done something to make smile and feel loved.

Now you. What has made you go thanks of late?

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Monday, December 9

Getting away to Buley

You know how some days you just want to run away and forget about the hustle and bustle of life?

Well on Sunday we did exactly just that

Clouds and trees lining a road

After only a ninety minute drive and a mere eighty meter walk,

Little girl walking on a stone path

over a rather cool kind of path, we found ourselves here.

Small waterfall in rock pools

At Buley Rockhole in Litchfield National Park. It was all kinds of amazing and awesome. Just the disconnection that the doctor ordered.

There has been a lot of in house fighting between Lovely and the younger two of late. Silly bickering and purposeful disruptions to whatever the other may be doing and for no apparent reason other than just because. My patiences for such behaviour wears thin at the best of times but lately it is at an all time low. It has been so constant and on going that I continually worn out.

Thankfully getting away meant there were fewer displays and outbursts. There is something about being outdoors and amongst nature that takes away the angst of home. It makes me want to run away and live in the bush immediately.

Lunch was served by the waterhole. 

Frying steak in the rocks

And then after lunch it was back to the water. There was a certain young Miss who had her heart set on catching a little fish with a plastic cup.

For those wondering, catching a fish with a plastic cup is not necessarily as easy as it may sound. The look on her face when we managed it was well worth the effort though.

A little one's special pet

Mr Awesome and I may or may not have had a ball trying to catch said fish with cup but that is quite possibly a whole post of it's own.

Sadly though the time came to hit the road and head on home.

Out in the bush

Tired and dirty but relaxed and full of joy.

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Thursday, December 5

Thankful for Opportunities

As I typed today's title into the title box I couldn't help but think how really being thankful for opportunities is kinda a no brainer. Who wouldn't be thankful for an opportunity when it is presented to them?
I was thankful we were able to witness such a beautiful sunset
Only what if you don't realise exactly that there is an opportunity before you? How can you be thankful then?

So perhaps today what I am really most thankful for is noticing that there was an opportunity before me and actually trying to make the most of it?

While it is probably something that I have known for a while, during the last week it has dawned on me that perhaps I let to many opportunities slip through my fingers. Which is not exactly very cool.

How did I come about this startling (or not) revelation I hear you ask?

Well by actually managing to do something when an opportunity was presented. The fact that it was being presented for the third time is totally irrelevant though.

So what am I talking about?

It is a Dear Me letter that I wrote to my breastfeeding self just before Zany was born. Ages ago I received an email from an Online Breastfeeding Cafe asking if I would like to be involved. Which of course I would have liked very much, had this little thing called life not distracted me. Thankfully though they were super eager and asked a few more times which eventually enabled me to get my act together and post written.

The fact that I was able to now be included amongst some of my most favourite bloggy crushes may also have had a lot to do with my sudden call to action and realisation that opportunity so often presents but you must be looking. You see other bloggers that have written one of these Dear Me letters include, Glow, Picklebums Kate, Shae and Mumabytes. To be in such great company is something I am super thankful for.

I am also thankful that these women are happy to share their stories in the hope that someone else may just benefit from it. Women need to remember that this sharing of our stories, good, bad and indifferent is imperative for survival and sanity. By sharing we are reminded we are not alone.

Other opportunities I am thankful for this week include
  • child free coffee with a friend
  • watching Zany perform in the end of school year dance
  • lots of blogging time
  • attending Lovely's school fiesta
  • grabbing some bargains from Spotlight
  • making some hair clips for the school Christmas craft stall
  • snuggling up to Mr Awesome in the comfort of the air conditioning
  • putting the Christmas tree and decorations up
What about you? What are you thankful for this week?

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Tuesday, December 3

Where the heck is 1992?

Yesterday while writing my first kiss post I had the overwhelming desire to rummage through boxes of storage and drag out my old diaries from days gone by. Though specifically the one pertaining to the events in 1992. As much as I feared entering the room due to the mountainous washing ranges I just had to see how I had described the kiss at that time.

With great fear and trepidation I boldly decided to go where clearly I had not been for quite some time. Over the mountain ranges of washing and into the top of the wardrobe where all my most prized possessions of memories are carefully tucked away.

Only as I started to go through the artefacts of days gone by I quickly realised that the book I so desired was no where to be seen. Which left me less than impressed I can tell you.

The year 1992 was memorable for oh so many things other than just my first kiss. There was also disco dancing and muscly swimming billets that came to stay for a week and somehow swept me of my feet. There was also heart ache and pain and some constant nagging from my mum. All of which I remember writing at the time and thinking one day I will need this.

Well hello, apparently that day is now and the blasted book is no where to be found!

It is nothing flash, just a standard exercise book of the era. Dark blue in colour, with a splash of pink on it somewhere I think. It really is all that is inside that matters. You see as much as I may have started it in 1992 I know there are entries from years much later in life as well. Years I may not be quite ready for everyone in the house to read just yet.

I know it must be here somewhere.

The hoarder that I am makes it almost impossible for me to part with anything, especially when it comes to words I have written. Given the importance of some of the events in life which have been documented in this exercise book come diary of a life time, I am guessing I must have already dragged it out to reminisce and in my ever so absent minded way just not put it back where it belongs.

Clearly this is part of the undeniable gold section
Love hearts from Miss 12 when she was 4
Bob was my dad.
What is really beautiful about this though is that it was
done one year and one day before she became a big sister
All is not lost though. (And rarely ever is)

I may not have found the wonders of 1992 and beyond but I did uncover some beauties from 2005.

For the most part this once rather nice leather bound, but now a bit mouldy corporate sponsored diary is awash with empty pages. There are however a few pages filled with the chicken scrawl that was my writing at the time. Some are utter crap while other bits are undeniable gold.

Flicking through it I was hit hard with the sense of some things never change. A thought that has actually been running around inside me for a while lately. Looking through this just made it feel a little lot stronger.

Aside from the cute drawings from a then Miss Four (now Miss 12) there were also lots of motivational quotes. Well I am guessing there were meant to be motivational quotes.

Sometimes the curve of the ball life throws you is very steep. 

It is always important to remember that everyone has their own 'best' and together that's what makes a team

Remember it is always important to love and smile

I particularly liked the page that had a list of weekend goals that went a little something like this

  1. Have a clean house
  2. Washing
  3. Kitchen
  4. Lounge Room
  5. Outside
  6. Bedroom
  7. Bathroom
  8. Exercise
There is then a line put through the entire list with the words CYCLONE - TRY AGAIN NEXT WEEK

Followed by countless blank pages until Pay Day arrives. I really am all kinds of awesome.

Do you still have old diaries? 
Are they as riveting as mine?

Joining in the fun and laughter of #IBOT with Essentially Jess. Also don't forget to pop back to A Parenting Life on Thursday for a bit of thankfulness.

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Monday, December 2

My First Kiss

There is a mountain of washing patiently waiting to be folded. In fact there are multiple mountains of washing scattered around the house that are all patiently waiting to be attended in one way or another. Not that any of this is a startling revelation or at any way related to my first kiss but it does offer some explanation as to why I am here.

Rather than tackle said mountains of washing I decided to treat myself with a few moments of screen time. I had after all been rather busy all morning. You know doing the dishes, feeding the masses, school drop off, doctor's appointments and a spot of shopping. It is a hard life that I lead. I deserved a bit of 'me' time after all that. 

Anyway since one of the quickest and easiest ways to get 'me' time is via social media that is straight to where I head, which lead me to Kerri, which in turn brought me to share with you the joy that was my first kiss.

Like most who have already shared their story, I can remember it as if it were only yesterday. As opposed to the 21 years it actually is. Which just quietly made me gasp a little because that sounds like such a long time ago. Probably because it is and all but whatever.

So there I was, a fourteen year old catholic school girl. Not that I was catholic but I did go to a catholic school, why that is revolves around school uniforms, my mother and a post of its own. Back to my first kiss for now. 

It was the middle of May. Well it was sometime in May, I could go and check the exact date as I know I wrote about it at the time. I did contemplate digging up my 1992 diary but that would involve entering my bedroom which is where the largest mountain of washing is waiting. I worried that I may feel obligated to tackle some the washing meaning this post may not get written because school pick up time is also fast approaching and well clearly that just wouldn't do. I just know the world at large is dying to here more of this juicy tale...

picture thanks to here
It's meant to be an Italian Stallion, much like my first kiss was
My love, at the time, was a year nine boy. Very much a tall dark and handsome Italian Stallion. I may or may not have actually referred to him like that at the time as well. We had being going out for a few weeks when the kiss took place. Which meant it was pretty serious stuff. And by going out I mean sitting holding hands on the bus ride home from school. There was also the occasional conversation at recess and lunch. Not too much though  as we both still needed some time with our respective friends.

As there was no Facebook, in fact we barely even had computers in our school at this point, we spent a lot of time writing letters. Well notes really, but anyway. One day he got his friend to give me a note that asked him to meet him on "the stairs". Why he got his friend to give it to me I do not know, it was just the way carrier mail amongst shy and coy teens worked backed then.

My heart it was a flutter. "The stairs" was a place that only couples seemed to spend time. While I had been a couple on numerous occasions over my year and a bit in high school this was the first to see me venture to such heights. 

Nervously I headed on over. Trying to not smile too much, in case I gave away my secret rendezvous,  though really I am sure I was beaming from ear to ear. By now little heart was pounding. I could see the top of his head peeping over the edge of the concrete structure. My heart it raced even faster.

Breathing deep and walking slow I approached my gorgeous beau. He greeted me with a smile and we stood standing as close as we both could dare. Quietly asking how each other was and how there day had been. There were little sparks of electricity zipping and zapping between us both. Our fingers gently intertwining amongst sparks. His giant hand engulfing mine.

He towered above me, even when we stood on different steps I was still no where near his height. It was one of the things I lusted over most. His enormousness. He was big and tough and super strong. At least to my eyes, which at the end of the day was all that really mattered. Yet when he bent down and placed his lips upon mine he was softer than a baby's bottom. 

Being the most inexperienced person on the planet I had no idea that his tongue would want to make it's way into MY mouth let alone the fact I was supposed to make mine do some exploration of it's own. My poor little think too much brain had well and truly kicked passed overdrive at this point and was unable to take it all in. Because if things weren't dire enough his hand, which had somehow found their way to my waist were now heading towards my bottom.

Oh the horror! Yep it was that time of the month and back then there were few sanitary options that didn't resemble a surf board. Of course my mother knew only of the biggest surf board type of pad and suddenly my highly anticipated first kiss with my Italian Stallion had turned into a nightmare as I spent the dying moments of the embraced panicked stricken he would discover a lumpy pad and be totally repulsed. Oh the joys of a teen girls mind.

Suddenly aware that I was reeling with terror my suitor removed his tongue from the inner crevices of my mouth and and took a step back. Before we had a chance to discuss the matter further we were invaded by some fellow students. At which point I fled for the sanctuary of the girls toilets. On account of not knowing what else to do.

With hindsight and some more experience I can't help but wonder if perhaps this was his first go at a pash as well. Or perhaps he was just taking the whole 'suck face' concept a little too literally? As I reached the toilets I suddenly became aware that my entire lower face felt as if it was covered with slobber.

Not surprisingly we stopped being boyfriend and girlfriend not too long after this little incident. We did not however stop being great friends. So much so that three years later when I made my debut (as you did back in those days) he was my partner. And what a striking couple we were (even if I do say so myself). Even to this day we still bump into one another around town and have chat. In fact as I think about it now, I couldn't have picked a better first kiss kisser.
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Sunday, December 1

Dear Me (The soon to be second time breastfeeding mum who thinks she has it all sorted)...

So you think you have this all worked out do you? 

This being a mum and breastfeeding and what not, is walk in the park is it? 

Don't understand why some people go on about it being hard work and hurting?

Living with a warm and fuzzy memory of being a breastfeeding guru on account of such a text book and perfect experience the first time around are you?

Well sorry to be the one to break it to you sweetheart but all will not be as expected and you will quickly be reminded of the fact that no two babies or breastfeeding journeys, are ever exactly the same.

Oh and yes, breastfeeding is actually a learned experience, one that each baby must learn, regardless of how much mum may think she actually knows. And on that note regardless of how much that mum does know nine times out of ten there is still more that she doesn't know.

Sure you may have managed to blitz through the whole breastfeeding thing the first time round with Lovely being a total booby fiend and suckling like there was no tomorrow the instant a nipple was anywhere near her little mouth, but that doesn't mean this next one is going to be like that. Especially since Lovely was just a natural sucker, given how much she loved her thumb and all. 

Mother with newborn babe at her breast

This next little baby will test and try your breastfeeding love in ways you could never imagine. Those first few days where you are still in that total new mum haze might seem blissful, enjoy them while you can, because once your milk comes in things will change in ways you never imagined. In those first few weeks months, your new little bundle of joy will enlighten you to the pain, trouble and difficulty that you have heard others speak of. The pain, trouble and difficulty, that somehow you managed to escape the first time round. (Or perhaps remove from memory? Five years is long time between drinks) 

Thankfully though due to some determination, magic cream and the wonders of time it will change and you will reinstate the belief that breastfeeding is pure bliss. The burning electricity that runs through your breast during those first few sucks will eventually start to fade. The cracks will start to heal and slowly but surely feeding your baby will be just as picturesque as it should be. Only now you will have greater compassion and understanding for the many women who don't find it as natural as the postcards make it to be.

You will slowly evolve into an experienced feeder who will be able to do all manner of activities while baby is attached. You will learn the wonders of feeding and laying down at the same time, something that somehow you never thought of the first time round. You still won't bother too much at all about expressing and putting into bottles so Dad or Big Sister can have a turn but with hindsight there will be a part of you that wishes you did. Mind you that hindsight won't kick in until well after you have finished breastfeeding and baby making.

You will also go on to feed babies for a total that exceeds seven years. Each baby staying on the boob for around two and half years. The third time round you will enter the journey more prepared than ever before. A good balance of reality and optimism in your hand. As well as magic nipple toughening cream to lessen the damage of those almost inevitable cracks.

You will also feel rather special when an Online Breastfeeding Cafe set up by the Australian Breastfeeding Association asks you to write a letter to yourself as part of a Dear Me Campaign they are running to help women who may be feeling ambivalent about breastfeeding and encourage them to share, discover and chat about breastfeeding via a supportive online forum and resource centre. They also have a wonderful Online Breastfeeding Cafe's Facebook page to help such discussion.

Love Me.

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