Merry martyr Christmas

 

martyr2Tonight I put on my Christmas martyr pants, stood on my Christmas martyr soap box and let it rip.

“I am doing EVERYTHING around here to get ready for Christmas and no-one else is doing ANYTHING!!”

“Like what?” came the reply from my rather shell shocked family.

So I listed all the stuff I have been doing or will do in the lead up to 25 December:

My martyr list

  • Buy four presents and cards for friends of my children who selfishly decided to be born in December.
  • Buy 50 chocolates Santas and 50 small Christmas cards for my children’s classmates.
  • Buy a Christmas present for the kids’ tennis coach.
  • Buy Christmas gift bags to carry all the Christmas stuff to school.
  • Make over 60 brownies as presents for teachers, school crossing supervisors, after school care carers, workmates, family and friends.
  • Write 40 Christmas cards to family and friends.
  • Source and buy Christmas presents for my children. Track down the one doll my daughter wants that has sold out everywhere, so I’m forced to buy it online. Then the wrong one is delivered. Then I panic that the correct one won’t arrive on time so I ask my lovely workmates to keep an eye out for it in the stores. Then I really panic and decide to buy another one just in case. Then the store sends me the correct one plus the second one I bought; and my workmate buys me one too. So I now have three  dolls.
  • Book my children in to school holiday program for January that needs to be booked and paid for in December.
  • Buy a Kris Kringle gift.
  • Buy new Christmas lights for the Christmas tree because the cats ate the lights last year.
  • Buy the cats a Christmas present.
  • Get up at sparrow’s fart to line up to have photos of the kids taken with Santa.
  • Book in for a spray tan, manicure, pedicure and hair cut before Christmas.
  • Book kids in for a hair cut before Christmas.
  • Make sure the kids have nice outfits to wear for Christmas Day.

Impressive, isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be calm, my feminist sistas

feminism-wallpaperAs anyone who knows me can attest, I am a proud, tub-thumping feminist.

And as my husband can attest, I’m not shy about standing up and speaking out about women’s issues (usually after reading the Sunday papers).

I admire many women who also speak out, which is why I have struggled lately with the recent articles I’ve read about the so-called “feminists for Trump”.

It seems that a lot of women – whether  they call themselves feminists or not – are in utter disbelief that other women voted for Trump. They can’t understand why. And they seem to want to tell these women why they shouldn’t have.

The one article that fired me up to write this blog was written by the amazing Anne Summers.

While I admire Anne Summers and her feminist views, when I read her article The new facts of life for Trump women  I just wanted to say, “Anne. Relax. Women fought hard for the right to vote and you’ve got to let them vote for who they want.”

Don’t get me wrong. I am also flabbergasted that some women were able to overlook some of the things Donald Trump has said about women. I really am.

But I do have a theory as to why. They are used to hearing these things and they don’t expect any better. They’re not used to expecting a politician to stand up for women’s rights – many female politicians don’t do it, so why should men?

But I would never judge these women as somehow letting down women worldwide, or of being uneducated, or voting through a sense of self-loathing.

 

Because to me, feminism is about choice and empowerment.

The suffragettes worked hard and gave their lives to give women the freedom to vote. And as feminists, we can’t celebrate that freedom, then disown or belittle the choices women make.

We can’t say you must vote for a woman simple because she is a woman. Women will vote for the person they think will do the best job.

I hate to disagree with Anne Summers, but Trump becoming President will not “hurtle us back to the baddest of bad old days where women are rated on their appearances…or where few hold high office or leadership roles” because we never really left those days.

I may sound cyclical, but I’m not. I think I’m realistic.

The fight for equal opportunity was not going to end if Hillary Clinton became the President. Did it end for women in Australia when Julia Gillard became our first female prime minister? No.

Let’s calm down on the hysteria. This will not set back the women’s movement, it will just keep it bubbling along and maybe even galvanise those women who don’t see a role for feminism in their lives.

I know we’re tired and feel like after all these years, we need a break. But we need to keep fighting the good fight. Girl power will live on!

 

 

 

 

The deafening sound of a silent blog

Would silenceyou believe it’s taken me about three weeks and at least 12 failed attempts to actually sit down and write on my blog? I’m not even sure I can call it my blog anymore, as it’s probably disowned me due to terrible neglect.

I imagine my blog sitting on the top of my computer monitor, swinging its legs and waving its arms around at me each time I’m sitting down bashing away at the keyboard, doing anything but blogging.

“Shhh!” I say. “I’ve got nothing meaningful to say to you yet.”

Or.

“Shhh! You’re a reminder of when I had time to sit down and gather my thoughts in such a way that they were worthy of sharing.”

Or.

“Shhh! Everyone is writing really articulate blogs and I just..can’t..put..words..good..together.”

But today I have found a sliver of time to sit down and check in.

Today I have raced out of the office to pick up my son from school because he was looking very green and complaining of a headache and sore tummy. And for once, I didn’t grab some work to bring home with me.

So here I am. He’s tucked up in bed asleep and I have a house to myself – for a bit.

Now…what shall we talk about?

 

 

Remembering not to forget

Post it notesLike most working Mums – or hell, like most parents – I live and die by my lists.

Shopping lists; who-to-call lists; work in progress lists; school camp packing lists…the lists go on!

But I only realised how much I need to remember not to forget at my recent bikini wax.

My lovely waxing consultant, Gabby, was doing her usual trick of being able to keep up a running banter while ripping out my hair from the root with hot wax. Then she made a slight tut-tut noise and asked if I’d been moisturising.

“I think so,” I said. “Most days.”

“Oh, you have to moisturise every day so the hair comes out easily, and you have to exfoliate every third day! Do you do that?”she asked.

“No,” I answered sheepishly.

And them my next thought was “Fricken, hell!”

(I swear to myself A LOT)

“Now I have to add two more things to my never ending list!”

In no particular order, here is my REMEMBER NOT TO FORGET TO DO THESE THINGS  list:

Pelvic floor exercises
Apparently my pelvic floor really and truly has crashed. Badly. Possibly to the point of almost falling out (apologies to my male readers and anyone squeamish).

And my pelvic floor consultant has told me to do my pelvic floor exercises 10 times, three times a day. That’s 30 exercises to remember every single day.

I do about one set every two days. I’m seeing her next week and she will not be happy.

Eating well
Every morning I wake up determined to eat wholefoods; to add my Vital Greens to everything; to count my Weight Watchershs points; and to drink water instead of Diet Coke and coffee.

By 10.30am most days, I’ve forgotten.

Exercise regularly
I have to keep reminding myself not to forget to exercise every second day so I can be trim and terrific, and feel good about myself.

But Friday morning rolls around and I’ve realised I’ve forgotten to make time to exercise.

Take my vitamins
Does anyone ever remember to take their vitamins every morning?

For my own good, I should at least take my iron and vitamin D every morning. But I forget. And then I feel icky and very run down. And wonder why. And then I remember.

Connect with my husband
My husband I both work full time and we have an 8 and 10-year-old. He starts work at 7am and picks the kids up from after school care at about 4.30pm.

By the time I get home from work at 6pm, he’s had a few hours with the kids and  got them showered and sorted. Then I walk straight to the kitchen to get dinner ready.

Most nights we manage a quick kiss hello and a “How was your day?”

We were making time to sit down together for 10 minutes when I got home to reconnect before the craziness of shower-dinner-homework-bed starts.

But we keep forgetting to do this.

Before I was married, I would never have thought you have to remember to connect with your husband. But you really, really do!

And I keep forgetting to!

Grooming
When I was single, I would get fortnightly pedicures, monthly facials and waxing, and a cut and colour every 6 weeks (before the greys began their rampage on my head).

I didn’t look perfect, but I was ready for anything with well-shaped fingernails, buffed feet and fabulous looking hair.

Now I am always caught short with half-bitten down fingernails, ragged cuticles, skin on my feet that you could grate cheese on, and a hairline like Pepe Le Pew. All because I forget to look after myself.

Wellbeing

It’s all the rage, and I know it can only benefit my sense of wellbeing if I take the time to stop and live in the moment. I am a massive advocate of the Resilience Project  and its messages about empathy and gratitude.

I’ve downloaded the Smiling Mind app and even meditated a few times. And it’s really lovely.

I just need to remember to stop and just ‘be’.

Remembering to remember to stop is very tricky, though!

And I often realise my last thought as I drift off to sleep is “Cripes! I forgot to meditate and enjoy the moment today!”

Zzzz….

FODMAPS
Believe it or not, I sometimes forget I have to follow a low FODMAPS diet. I don’t know why I forget, as the consequences can be pretty dire. But I do.

So I reach for that piece of cake with flour in it, or take a handful of lollies, and then wonder why I look 12 months pregnant and am doubled over in pain from severe cramps.

Oh, yeah that’s right! I forgot to remember!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once upon a time

Once upon a time there was an only child called Angie, who lived in a funky house (i.e small) in the inner city with her parents, her dogs and her cat.

Her Greek grandparents lived next door and there was a gate that joined both properties.

She lived a lovely, carefree life and went to an all girls school from Prep to Year 12.

She had her first kiss at 13 and her first serious-ish boyfriend at 16.

She went to university and studied Banking and Finance.

She had another more serious-ish boyfriend throughout university.

She had her first car at 18 and after university, she travelled the world at 21.

She celebrated her 22nd birthday in Edinburgh.

She came home with a broken rib from whooping cough and $90 to her name.

She worked in a bank and then went back to university to study public relations.

She then started her second career in PR and communications at 27 years of age.

She met her now husband when she was 29 – a few weeks after she booked her tickets to go back to Europe indefinitely.

She fell in her love but still left to board a plane to London.

Eight months later, she returned to her love and they picked up where they left off.

She moved in to a city apartment with her boyfriend and life was good.

On Feb 28, approximately 12 years ago, she proposed to her now husband while they were making the bed.

They married in 2005 and had their first baby in 2006 (a girl).

Her husband stayed home for a year to look after their daughter while she went back to work full time.

Then in 2008 they had their second baby (a boy).

Both soon went back to work and the kids flourished in childcare (Angie did struggle a bit and there were a few tears in the childcare car park).

They bought their first house about 6 years ago, so are apparently adults.

They took their children to Greece when they were aged 3 and 5, and the 20 hour flight with a toddler still in nappies and prone to flatulence still haunts her.

She still works full time and is always tired.

She loves her family with a fierceness that would rival a lioness.fairytale

She decided to start a blog in 2012 anonymously t first, and then she came out to the world and has never looked back.

She used to write her blog religiously every Sunday, but then life got in the way and she’s blogging less and less (this makes her sad).

She hopes to blog again more and more soon.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catapulted in to a new world of retail options

We are getting ready for a kitten. It’s our first family pet and it’s been a few years in the planning.

So this weekend, my daughter (who is totally kitten crazy) and I went to a pet supplies warehouse to buy some “basics”.

I discovered a whole new world that showed me there is no such thing as “basics” when it comes to pets.

First stop was a bed. Just something nice and warm for a new little kitten to feel snug and safe. When I was young, new kittens slept in a cardboard box with a blanket.

But today’s kittens/cats sleep in igloos, don’t you know?cat igloo

Not too shabby. And these cat igloos cost a lot of money. So we had to hunt around to find a non-cat igloo because the warehouse had racks and racks of these things! They came in caramel, buff, chocolate, toast, leopard print, plum, burgundy, smoke, and tiger print. Any colour you could imagine to blend in with your home decor.

We did find a nice bed that was just a round piece of warm material that could be machine washed.

Now it was time for a kitty litter tray (the actual choosing of the type of kitty litter was to come!).

Again, do you want blue, green, white or plum? Do you want high walled trays or corner trays? Do you want to spend $40 or up to $60? And do you want a non-slip kitty litter mat to go with it?

I just wanted something that looked like the In Tray on my desk at work. They did have them, but they were way,way, way up on the top of the shelf. But what colour do we choose?

I hate to say it, but I really gave this a lot of thought! My daughter was adamant she wanted yellow. I told her it reminded me of wee. She said it reminded her of sunshine. So we went for sunshine.

Don’t get me started on how you choose the best kitty litter. I am now an expert and can regale you for you hours on the benefits of clumping and absorbancy. But I’ll leave that for another day.

Going down the checklist, we came to toys.

Do you buy plastic balls?

Or plastic balls with bells in them? Plastic balls with bells in them and feathers attached?

Plastic balls with bells in them, feathers attached and infused with catnip?

Or something that looks like a mouse?

Does the mouse move or squeak?

Is it made from organic materials, or are you subjecting your kitten to a harsh mass-produced plastic variety?

cat
Oh, this thing? Just something I whipped up over the weekend for the cats

Do you buy a scratching post? Do you buy on that is over $300 and reaches your ceiling, resplendent with multi levels and a cubby house? Or do you go for the small post with some pom poms on it?

Never mind what you choose, they are all ugly.

We didn’t buy one – but I know we will one day. It’s inevitable.

And that’s the scary thing. While I scoffed at the overwhelming amount of choice, I was totally sucked in and I know I will return again and again for a little something special.

Because I really did take a lot of time deciding on an attractive bowl and placemat that were beautifully colour coordinated. It was quite pathetic.

So, Lilly, when you do finally arrive from the cat shelter, you know you will be loved – and spoilt rotten by your retail obsessed mother!

My Dr Jekyll and Ms Hyde moments

jekyllI like to think of myself as a nice person.

Sure, I have my flaws. I can be short tempered and can hold a grudge like a Mafia boss, but I would like to think that my niceties override the flaws.

But yesterday I had a really, really bad day when my Ms Hyde trampled on my Dr Jekyll and left trampled feelings in her wake.

I made one of my favourite people at work cry.

Really cry.

And while she was crying, she was also looking really angry. And when I asked her what was wrong, she pointed her finger at me and spat out “You!”

Now, to a person who truly wants to be loved by all (apart from the people she can give two hoots about), that really hurt.

Because I really respect this person. And support her. And think she’s capable of great things.

But apparently I had spoken very sharply to her and made her feel terrible. And I am so, so sorry about it. I know I was struggling with a cracker of a headache yesterday. And I was tired. And stressed. But there really was no excuse.

Of course I apologised profusely and I think we’re OK. But it did make me realise how quickly my nasty little nemesis can pop her ugly head up to say hello.

And it happened with the kids too last night. I didn’t mean to be harsh, but I made my daughter cry because she said I was talking like I was really angry with her. And I wasn’t.

What was wrong with me yesterday? I truly felt like I needed to back out of the room slowly, go to bed and protect my family from myself.

How many times has your Ms/Mr Hyde popped out? Sometimes when I am at my wits end with my children, I catch my reflection on the mirror mid-shriek and think,”Woah. Who is that screaming harpie?” And looking back at me is Ms Hyde.

So I shall make every effort to keep her under wraps for everybody’s sake.

I shall keep her subdued with copious amounts of chocolate and only let her come roaring out when I am home alone and the damage can be minimised.

Promise!

So you want me to be a CEO?

So, you want me to be a CEO, hmm?

Well, I have a few questions:

  • Will you let me come in to work late so I can see my children receive their Principal Awards at their Monday morning assembly?
  • Will you let me leave work early to attend parent/teacher interviews that are allotted times between 3.30pm and 5.30pm?
  • Will you let me leave work to watch my child in his/her primary school production that for some reason is always scheduled at 4.45pm?ceo-barbie-c.0
  • Will you promise not to roll your eyes at me and get uncomfortable when I get a bit teary because I am really, really tired from nights of unbroken sleep due to a child with a nasty bout of gastro?
  • Will you let me leave work early and work from home once the kids are in bed, so I can finally get a few moments of productive work time?
  • Will you promise to never make sexist, patronising remarks and when I object to them, to not tell me to “get a sense of humour”?
  • Will you pay me at least as much as the male CEO who held the position before me?
  • Will you not assume that I am not pulling my weight just because I leave on time.
  • Will you admire my excellent time management skills and realise that is why I don’t have to work back late every night?
  • Will you promise to never ask me how I juggle being a full time CEO and mother?

if you answer yes to all these questions, then I accept!

The perfect blog post

A+ for effort
A+ for effort

This isn’t the perfect blog post.

I need to stop waiting until I think of the perfect post before I write my next post.

Because it just means that there is too long a gap between blog posts.

And you all might start to think that I’ve given up on this whole blogging caper.

I haven’t.

I just get stuck sometimes.

Trying to think of the perfect blog post.

So now I will just blog because I’ll pop if I don’t.

And maybe the perfect blog post will just happen.

My muffin top runneth over

As many of you may know I’ve been studying for the last 12 months. And now it’s over. Woohoo!

For the past four (ish) months I decided to let go of my diet and exercise routine so I could concentrate on getting my studies done while working full time and being a Mum.

And for someone who has always struggled with her weight, it was actually fun to give myself permission to not wake up early and go to the gym or for a run; to not count calories; and to not weigh myself.

muffinBut now the studies are over and I have to deal with what I’ve done to myself.

There have been three signs that have made me think “Hmm… I may have gone a tad too far..”

SIGN 1
I was at Coles waiting for the checkout chick to put my items in to the bag.  I went to put my hand on my hip and realised I was resting it on my muffin top! It now sticks out so much, it’s like a ledge!

SIGN 2

I was getting dressed for work and tried to tuck in what I thought was my shirt puffing out under my jumper – and realised, yep once again, it was my muffin top. Can’t tuck that baby in, let me tell you!

SIGN 3

Today we were out for a drive and we saw a  large lady. My daughter called her ‘fat’ and I said that we don’t call people that. Then my son said, “She’s not fat. She looks like you, Mum!”

Woah! The blinkers are off, peoples! TIme to get busy getting healthy!

Do any of you have any ‘signs’ that tell you that you may have gone too far with the whole eating lots and exercising not much routine?