Tag Archives: motherhood

A sign of ageing…

For the record, I’m not one of these people who gets hung up about birthdays. However, there are certain things in life that do make me sit back and think, ‘Oh no, that is a sign I’m getting old’. With two very active boys, a fit husband and too many animals, I do A LOT of laundry. My current washer and dryer are over 8 years old, and have been misbehaving on and off since we moved house 3 years ago. I’ve been waiting for the day when I would enter the laundry room to find it completely flooded, or wet washing going round and round in the dryer and not actually drying. Well that day has finally come…

The smell of burning was apparent before I even opened the door to the basement. Yes, stupidly I opened the door; there could have been six-foot flames or anything waiting to greet me (though sadly not a firefighter!). The dryer was counting down and pretending to be doing its job, but unfortunately it was hotter on the outside than in! Why do large expensive household items decide to expire when you’ve just maxed out your plastic on a vacation? How do they know? Do they sit there in their lonely corner of the world thinking, ‘I’ll get her back for all those vomit-covered bed-sheets and soiled potty training underwear. I’m going to pack up now so she has to decide whether they eat this month or have clean clothes’!!

So needless to say, after an overwhelming Google search, it was off the store to replace both, being how the washing machine has also been leaking on and off for a while now. It is hard not to feel ripped off by these places; they know how badly you need their product, and they are going to make it sound like you are getting the deal of the century to secure your business. And of course they did! To be fair to the guy, he actually seemed quite genuine, dissuading me from shelling out another 500 bucks on drawers to raise the height of the appliances to save my ageing back. When it came to selling me sand in the desert, he gave a well-rehearsed speech that was quite impressive… power wash for all those hard-to-clean whites… steam to reduce creasing… a 12 hour cycle that washes and dries overnight for urgent gym kit requirements… a detergent drawer that self-regulates how much it uses (this feature I particularly liked)… basically he spoke my language when it came to selling me something with features that an experienced domestic engineer like myself requires to do her job properly. I was excited, very excited.

Then I caught myself. The purchase of significant household appliances has made me happy and very animated about the advances in the technology. This is clearly a sign that I have crossed a line in the ageing process. I am excited about a new washing machine, not about buying a new dress, or having my hair done, no… a #@*%ing washing machine… I clearly need to get out more!!

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Back on the blog!

I know it’s been a while, sorry but life and severe lack of sleep has left me barely functioning over the past couple of months. I don’t have a lot of reserve normally, but when I watch the clock all night it’s difficult to get through a normal day of life without adding any extra pressure to it. However, I have managed to keep my 2015 challenges going, with only a couple of days written retrospectively. I’m currently on day 83; that’s 83 quotes, both funny and serious, and 78 journal entries, about all sorts of annotations and personal paraphernalia that I need empty out of my head. I find that if I don’t write down these thoughts and musings, something else will come along and push them right out of my head forever. Often I haven’t known until the end of the day what I will write about. One day I couldn’t think of anything constructive so I wrote about salad! As for the quotes, well I have thousands of those things. I’m afraid I cheat a little when posting them by scheduling them via Hootsuite. Life is just too busy to be dropping everything to pick up ‘Thelma’ and get all philosophical, while juggling homework and vegetables.

So why am I not sleeping?

Well, chronic disease and pain is playing a large part in my insomnia. I have found myself caught in one of these vicious circles that’s difficult to break unless something changes within the cycle. Lack of exercise due to pain and discomfort… unable to get comfortable in bed… tired from everyday life, but not enough physical activity… unable to sleep… gradually coping mechanisms become more and more fragile… more pain and discomfort, less likely to exercise… and so it goes on until finally enough is enough. Yes I have meltdowns, yes I am a ratty old cow, yes I am a raging lunatic when the kids don’t listen to me… yes I am human and sometimes even the strongest people just need someone to give them a hug and tell them that it’s all going to be all right.

Thankfully I have a fantastic rheumatologist who totally understands my plight. I don’t like resorting to pills, I take enough of those as it is, but I guess it is something you just have to learn to accept when you’re in my position. I hate sleeping tablets, they make me feel fuzzy and slow, but a natural remedy such as melatonin has at least given me some more natural sleep. It’s not perfect, I still lay awake for 2 hours a couple of nights ago, but since then I found myself sleeping in – good job its spring break. Hopefully this ‘catch up’ phase will be short lived and by the time I have to drag my sorry backside out of bed even earlier than usual for the school run to do my share of ‘traffic duty’, I will feel and look a little more like me. As for the exercise part, I used to love pilates and swimming. I have agreed to give both another shot, even if it means only doing 1 length of the pool when I was used to doing 1 mile! I know initially I will suffer, but hopefully in time that benefits will outweigh the problems.

I will not be beaten… I will not let it win… it can do whatever it likes on the inside, but letting it show on the outside means it’s won.

You can follow my 365 Challenge on Twitter and Facebook, and check out my 5 star reviews for Bruises on Amazon and Goodreads.

Thelma & Louise – not what you think…

We are sat here, together, trying to figure out what to do. She won’t let me in; it’s driving me crazy. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, it’s wrong. If it weren’t for the fact she is so small and fragile I would get violent, but what would that achieve? I drink my coffee, and gaze out into the sunshine; it really can’t be that difficult, I’m sure I’m right. I text hubby for some help/advice ‘Thelma has lost it again and won’t cooperate… I’m so frustrated I want to scream!’ She’s becoming my new best friend; I don’t want to hurt her…

I know what you’re thinking. I’m sat in my smart MINI convertible, roof down of course, contemplating something dramatic over the edge of a cliff. Yes, my week has not been the greatest, but there is no way I could do that to such a cool ride, ‘Mercury’ as my dream car is known. Who is Thelma then, I hear you ask, and what’s her problem? If I told you that Thelma is only 2 months old, approximately 7ins x 5ins in size, is gold in colour, with a chocolate brown exterior, and goes everywhere with me now, would you get it? Well, she’s my new iPad mini that my hubby has affectionately named Thelma – that shows our age! I have considered having a young Brad Pitt as my lock screen for the full effect, but honestly, he’s never really done it for me I’m afraid, good actor, good looking and all that, but doesn’t blow my skirt up.

So what’s her problem? Well, my very technically minded and security conscious hubby has made sure that Thelma keeps all her secrets safe under lock and key, by installing 1Password for me. All very well and good because I used to be a hacker’s dream; same password for everything, and not a very imaginative one at that. Now I can have all kinds of elaborate combinations of letters, symbols and numbers that I don’t need to remember – I only need to remember one. Now, I swear I was putting in the right combination, but could I access 1Password? No! Ok, so it wasn’t technically Thelma’s fault, and hubby came to the rescue in the end, but I will still maintain I was right!

What else have I been up to this week…

At the end of last week hubby and I had not one but two date nights. Dinner with friends while all our kids bounced around at gymnastics for 3 hours. Then, an evening at the ballet, all male drag kinda thing– hilarious! Check out Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo if you ever get the chance.

Nearly set my neck at the climbing wall when I slipped off while on auto belay, and scared the hell out of myself. Also really strained my arm that was already strained from something so long ago I can’t remember but I keep pretending it’s fine. Needles in the bicep as a result of my stupidity produced some rather choice words.

We finally tackled the playroom and had the grandmother of all hoy outs!

I gave my lovely cleaner a long overdue pay rise because I’m nice like that… sometimes.

Made two pairs of curtains for a friend, and two Valentine cards – one for me to give hubby and the other for him to give me. I know that sounds sad but the shop ones are expensive and nauseous, he likes my cards so why not?

Popped over the border to pick up a parcel and embarrassed the customs officer when he asked me my occupation, and then what I was picking up… ‘Erotic romance writer… and women’s lingerie’ hehe!

Of course all of this is between dog walking, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, school runs, after school activities, drinking wine and keeping up with Thelma!!

The joys of motherhood

All was well at the end of last week until the early hours of Saturday morning, when my elder woke us after talking to Hughie on the big white telephone. I was already aware of a stomach bug spreading through school; the gathering of Vomiting Veronicas in the school lobby when I picked the boys up on Friday afternoon might have given something away. Luckily for him it was 3 ‘conversations’ and some stomach cramps, then woke up feeling ropey but much better. So it was off to the cinema to see that well-known cuddly British institution, Paddington. I grew up with this loveable character, so I love it that my boys love him too. I can confirm that I sat craning my neck in the front row (not where we would choose to sit but we were late in), laughing, and savouring every mouthful of my favourite British chocolate bar, a Wispa Gold. I tried to make it last, just one mouthful, let it melt, wait a few minutes before another, but it was soooo good, and the pause between mouthfuls got shorter and shorter. Now I only have 7 left until I can replenish supplies in August. Urgent rationing required, only one every month now.

I was doing a bit of a New Year clear out last week, when I came across a women’s magazine that my mother-in-law had left. Not really my thing, recipes, makeovers of 50 year olds, knitting patterns (just for the record I really have nothing against knitting, it just isn’t very me), you know the sort. Well, my first confession is that I actually thumbed it. Then, I stopped at the knitting pattern. Yes, I know, what the… but it was a really nice sweater, very much my style etc.. Here’s the bombshell… I tore it out to keep! Now just before you question my state of mind and stop following me, I just need to be clear why. My lovely mother-in-law is a very good and keen knitter, so what I thought was I would ask HER if she’d knit it for me, no not even teach me because it would be really bad for my neck. So that makes it ok, right?

All right, moving on to hubby and I having a day off together. We have been talking about replacing our wine glasses for sometime as we don’t actually have a full set that match. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been together nearly 20 years. Of course, Crate & Barrel being an absolute dream to shop in we came away with all sorts of things one doesn’t really need but has to have, like a taco rack!! $500 and 3 sets of 8 wine glasses later we stroll out, very pleased with our purchases. Now, you should know, I am quite clumsy, I have very little idea of personal space and I should NEVER wash glasses by hand, especially when they are brand new. This in mind, I have since popped back to the store to replace the one I broke (she says sheepishly) 2 hours after buying it.

Then, just when I’d thought my younger son had dodged the bug… talk about inconvenient, why can’t everyone be sick together? It always happens when you have plans too. But, thanks to hubby being on an admin day I could still go for my weekly beating at the physio and replenish our food stocks as planned. However, I had seriously bad hair, I neeeeded to make my appointment the following day. Thankfully the boy rallied round and all was right with the world…and my hair.

The joys of motherhood!

Sleep!

When you survive on very little of the stuff normally it can be tough, but I have had one full night (Sunday) in I don’t know how long, and that was only thanks to half a sleeping pill. It didn’t help that, after the grandparents left early last week, we shot up to Whistler to take advantage of the fact our kids were not back to school until this week. Honestly, how is it you can pay for a good education but they spend less time there? Friends kindly let us use their lovely townhouse, so we had a comfortable base but – sadly for me – not a comfortable bed. I had already made the decision not to even consider skiing until the weekend, but my go-getter boys blasted around the mountain with ski school for three days while my husband disappeared off into the backcountry – always a worry, even though I used to do it myself BC (before children).

What did I do with my time? Well, every morning my girl and I had a very Baltic dog walk, but thanks to good gear and little hotties (disposable handwarmers in case you think I hooked up with a member of Thunder from Down Under; sadly not!), I was snuggly. The rest of my days were filled with crafting. I don’t often get the opportunity to spend all day sticking bits of paper together and tarting them up with expensive ink to turn them into cards. This project was Thank You cards for all the kids who attended the boys’ birthday party. I know they will be looked at and admired for all of 4 seconds and binned, but this is just something I love doing and, being a bit OCD, I have to do it right. I also kept up my 2015 challenges, and played with my new iPad mini – thanks hubby! The evenings might have involved drinking wine, but you guessed that already, right? And reading. Again, I don’t often just sit in the evening and read. I should, but I don’t, so I did!

Icy snow conditions and major fatigue made the decision for me not to ski at all, and the backcountry had broken hubby anyway. However, the conditions did not stop my 8 year old; he broke his teacher on the second day. Leaving him for dead at the top of the glacier. Poor guy didn’t look fit for a haircut when I signed out my very proud son, who looked like he’d spent the day just cruising down green runs. It didn’t stop there – tubing and some very extreme sledding at the weekend left me with my heart in my mouth several times, and I was just watching them. We then returned to the real world and a busy day before back to school. I was very proud to take my generous children to our local children’s hospital, where they presented the Foundation with $200 of their birthday money. I then spent the evening in the MRI scanner having full neck to pelvis images, and had to be helped off the VERY hard bed like an old crumbly – awkward! Thanks to that, I enjoyed another night of not very restful sleep…

Busy!

This post is long overdue – sorry about that but real life has taken over and my boys are already hyper about grandparents arriving and the pending festivities.

Saturday (over a week ago now!) – when it came to the book event, the only thing I was worried about was nobody turning up. Waking up the day before with a raging eye infection that required an emergency trip to the walk in centre was not part of the plan. That evening I was also accompanying my husband to a conference dinner he’d been speaking at. Two events that require makeup and NOT the sticky antibiotic ointment I waited over an hour to get, in between delivering offspring to birthday parties, dropping off supplies for the book event and reprimanding my 5 year old for eating only candy at said party! G&T required while trying to disguise puffy red eye.

Sunday – another birthday party, but thankfully hubby dealt with this one alone while I arranged bits of cheese, cold cuts and crackers on trays, looking glamorous in baggy checked PJs, Velcro rollers, slouchy slipper socks, and a bleary eye full of ointment! Threw some school uniforms at the washing machine in the vague hope they would be laundered, and dug out something from the freezer that my babysitter could easily assemble for dinner.

When we arrived at Future Hair Training Centre that afternoon, I was blown away to find the extent to which Cynthia, the owner, had gone to make the event special for me. She had provided a sign in sheet at the door, a clever red carpet poster for pictures, and Hollywood-style Walk Of Fame stars on the floor. It was all very novel (pun intended) and fun! Several friends/neighbours/mums from school, who wanted to show their support, had said they would pop in, but we all know how it is during this busy time of year. All credit to most of those good people – they stayed true to their word and took time out of their weekend to join me. My husband and my closest friend (to whom the book is dedicated), were right there with me throughout. I felt confident and comfortable being thrown into the ‘spotlight’ for the first time. I think when you believe in yourself and your product there is no reason to doubt your ability to put yourself out there. For a first event, I was pretty happy.

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I have no idea where the rest of the week has gone. We’ve been having some minor renovations done on the house; I can tell you that one day (don’t ask me which one, can’t remember) I had a very heated discussion with our handyman over communication issues. Mid-week we finally got around to getting all the decorations out and purchasing trees (yes two, slightly excessive I know but the money goes to charity). My husband has a ‘thing’ for large Christmas trees; in fact, it was almost twenty years ago to the day that I was lured into his apartment by the glorious smell of pine and subsequently fell in love. It has taken us nearly four days to get the wretched things into the house and decorate them, for the end of the week has been, if possible, busier than the start. My elder son turned 8 at the weekend, on the same day as our 16th wedding anniversary. He also received an early birthday surprise at the school assembly on Friday, where he received a Principal’s Award after only starting at that school in September – very Proud Mum moment where your bladder is too near your eyes while sat in the front row in full view of all the teachers. My husband’s Christmas party was that same evening, where there was a lot of wine flowing and not enough food! (We’ll not discuss that any further!) I did sell a few books, which was unexpected. A weekend of celebrating, and then what do I get? ANOTHER virally thing that makes my body feel like it’s been trampled on. I would give anything for a day off from chronic disease, just a few hours of pain free time would be great if anyone wants to trade?

Despite the bugs, life goes on. The decorations are all finally up, even though the tree looks like it attended the Xmas party with us and still hasn’t sobered up! I’ve finally baked my Christmas cake (even though I can’t eat a single bite of it), the birthday boy had a great day and is now the proud owner of a new desk and shelves (thanks to hubby and his tools), the renovations are complete in time for the in-laws to descend, and I have found that the only way to deal with the evil virus is to pickle myself in mulled wine!

Stay tuned for another week of motherhood and holiday madness…

Yikes!

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I am officially doing this and it’s only a week away. Am I really freaking out? No. As with every other part of this whole adventure, I’m just going with the flow and having fun with it. I did briefly think about what I should say, a kind of speech, but to be honest I think I’m better off winging it. I have no idea how popular it’ll be – some fat man, with a white beard, wearing a red suit, is also parading around downtown at the same time… but he’s not giving away free wine and erotic books! I have already achieved my goal, so I’m just going to enjoy whatever comes my way and carry on being me (which requires a new frock and shoes, of course – long live Black Friday!).

As a stay-at-home mum with two kids now in full time school, you could be forgiven for thinking that I should have oodles of time to organise a book publicity event. I thought so too…but here’s a few other things that have filled up my week.

Sunday – hubby at work all day L. I split myself in two to get both boys to birthday parties at opposite end of the city at the same time. (Actually, this is not exactly true – I sweet-talked another mum into taking one of them, because she was taking her twins anyway – I’m good but not that good!) After daytime single-parent madness, I enjoyed a little something on ice that evening while catching up on my social media. Hubby returned home; I promptly announced that, after further coaching on Hootsuite, I had now learnt to schedule tweets – except I accidentally called them ‘treats’! He was just as excited about this as I was – his mind, not mine on that occasion 😉

Monday – suffering from the mother of all viruses, which meant I sounded like I should have worked on a dirty chatline! Drank wine. Slept.

Tuedsay – Viruses exacerbate my arthritis so I felt as if I’d been put through a mangle. My physio was scared to even look at me in case it made me more uncomfortable! An evening of crafting with my bestie. Drank wine. Slept.

Wednesday – reached a new low by carrying a sample of my dog’s poop around in my handbag for most of the day until I dropped it off at the vet. I parked on a meter right outside to dive in and drop it off, intending not to pay but found an hour and 14 minutes on the clock – why does this not happen when I need to pay for that much time? Drank wine. Slept.

Thursday – cooked a meal for hubby’s potluck journal club. My bestie and I finished making all 52 wands for my boys’ Harry Potter birthday party, and we started making Quidditch pong. Made two Minion birthday cards for both boys (which look really cool, actually). Legged it to the hair salon to put up the poster between picking up monkeys from various after-school clubs. Drank wine. Slept.

Friday – BLACK! Shoes x2, leather pants x1, Christmas gifts x1. Date night at home with a curry and 24. And hubby, obviously. Drank wine. Slept.

Saturday – SNOW! Crafting class to learn how to use distress inks. Bloody freezing – minus 2 FFS. Arrived home to the glorious cooking smell of bacon and eggs, courtesy of hubby. Rearranged crafting room to accommodate new ink pads. Made mulled wine to warm up (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!) Family fondue night followed by Despicable Me 2. Good times… Drank more wine. Slept.

Sunday – Lazy morning after waking up too early from coughing myself inside out. The usual 2-hour iChat with the lovely in-laws in the UK (the marvels of modern technology). Arctic walk with the dog. Monopoly. Roast beef, Yorkshires and all the trimmings. Roaring fire. Drank wine.

Phew! Can’t believe another week has passed and it’s December already!