Thanks for stopping by. Mummy Mayhem is no longer updated. I now have a new, albeit smaller blog over at www.jodieansted.blogspot.com.au.

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween is Haunting Me

I'm not sure what Hubby was thinking, but he decided this week that he'd take the kids trick or treating for Halloween. The first time for our boys.

And so, they have not long since left the house to pound the pavement in search of treats (and hopefully little, or no, tricks). The 7yr old has set off in his Dracula costume, the 5yr old goes as a skeleton (the long pjs that are a glow-in-the-dark skeleton design have come in handy) and the 2yr old as Superman. The dog has gone too. Hubby says he's the Big Bad Wolf. Sure. Whatever.

Here's my issue with Halloween. Firstly, I think it's yet another "holiday" that the stores have embraced due to its potential earnings. As an example, Hubby took the boys to Toys R Us the other night in search of a costume, and was annoyed to find that those that are usually considered as "cheap as chips" are now $70. (Surprise, surprise. They were not, however, purchased.) And that's something I dislike intensely. Products being grossly increased in price just because they're in demand. I mean sure, we all want to make a buck, and the stores deserve to do that too, but when it's something like a 70% increase, well, that's just insulting to me.

Secondly, I'm really not that keen on the idea of my boys knocking on the doors of strangers, asking for treats. To me, it feels like...well, begging. Perhaps they should have all been dressed as Oliver Twist and then at least I could have had them knock and say, "Please sir, I want some more." There they could have stood, looking a sorry sight, their hand stretched out looking for food. But then I guess the risk is that they'd have been slipped a piece a fruit rather than a lolly, and I can guarantee that wouldn't go down well.

But then, when shopping the other day for Dracula teeth and a skeleton mask, I bumped in to no less than 4 people I knew, in the short 20 minutes or so I spent in the discount stores, doing the exact same thing as me. Looking for Halloween apparel. And, I fear, this Halloween thing might really take off from now on.

So, ok, I'll just have to accept it I guess. But I can't do the door knock. That will have to be Hubby's gig. But I'll hang a Happy Halloween sign on my door, and have goodies on hand if need be. I'm no spoil sport. But I guarantee you won't find me dressing up for the occasion in a naughty-little-devil type costume like I saw the other day. Oh, no. You can count on that.

So, um, Happy Halloween one and all? Yep...

Until next time...

Clothing You Just Can't Chuck?

I'm no clothes horse. I don't have a wardrobe bursting with outfits. Most certainly not. I just don't care enough to do that. But I do have a problem throwing away a few things...

I understand the theory that one should purge their wardrobe of any clothing that hasn't been worn on a regular basis. Say, every 6 to 12 months. And I think, for the most part, that's true. Every year I go through my clothes to see what I'm not wearing anymore and, if it's in good condition, it goes off to St Vinnie's.

Then, there are some items that should really just, well, go in the bin.

For me, it's my Witchery jeans. I bought them in 2004 when my second son was about 4 months old, and I felt it time for a new pair.....Oh, ok, you got me. My previous pairs just didn't fit me anymore.

They were my first low-waisted jeans. At first, they felt kinda uncomfortable. I'd always been used to jeans around my waist, not hovering around my hips. But before too long, they became my outfit of choice. They remain my most comfortable article of clothing today.

One problem though. They're thinning out. Five years of constant wear has taken its toll, and now I have a rather large tear in my right knee. It started off as a small hole, and I immediately thought, 'Oh no!' But before too long, it became more than that. Trendy you might think. Well, not really. It looks more messy. Stretched, faded, getting bigger by the minute.

So, I put them away. I couldn't throw them out. I kept them as my "clothes for around the house" outfit. And guess what? They made a reappearance this week. It was the kids' annual fundraiser that did it. With preparations moving in to full swing, I started to justify wearing them as my "working" clothes. Even if the "work" I was doing was not exactly physical.

Still, it's my justification for wearing them, and I'm sticking with it. I'll throw them out next year. Really, I will.

Got any items of clothing you just can't chuck? Let me know!

Until next time...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Is Shouting The New Spanking?

A friend of mine sent me a link to an article which was published in the New York Times recently (thanks M!). Apparently, in the day and age when spanking is considered 'old school', it seems that more and more parents are replacing it with another, not so nice alternative: Shouting at their children. (View that article here.)

I've gotta admit. I've lost it at times. More than once. And although I'm not going to blame my children for my behaviour, I will say that often their behaviour, and the fact that I do this mothering gig pretty much 24/7, contributes. It's all that pent up frustration. But I'm not alone. According to the New York Times article, a study in 2003 found that parental yelling was a near-universal occurrence with 88% of parents interviewed for the study acknowledging shouting, screaming or yelling at their kids at least once in the previous year.

I've had many a conversation with other mums about this sort of thing. One mum told me about the time she chased her child around the house shouting at her so much that she went hoarse with it all. Another shouted so loud at her child, it made the child flinch. And many, many parents have told me how they "lost it" after hours of frustrating behaviour from their kids.

Yep. Been there. Done that.

There was the time I decided to take the dog for a walk (he was only new to our family at the time). We were standing in the hallway near the front door and I said to my boys, "Now. Stay here. I'll go around the back, get the dog, come down the side and let you out the front door. Ok? Don't go anywhere." They all nodded in agreement. Yes, Mum. Gotchya.

Fortunately, the dog came fairly quickly to me and I took him to the front, only to find all my children playing IN THE FRONT YARD!!! The 7yr old had decided to "let them out", because "they wanted to go outside." I lost it. "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!" I shouted over and over again, visions of my 2yr old flat on the road after being hit by a car flashing through my mind. (He was distracted by his tricycle at the time, otherwise, I'm quite certain the road would have been his next stop.) I only stopped yelling when I noticed a woman across the road, slowing down and then stopping, watching me. I imagined her getting out her mobile phone and calling DOCS, so I calmed down. (In fact, thinking about it now, that was quite a disastrous walk with the dog, but that's a post for another time.)

I don't like it when I shout. I really don't. But I think I know why I do it. As the article states, "Parental yelling today may be partly a releasing of stress for multitasking, overachieving adults, parenting experts say."

I found the year my 7yr old son started Kindy was one of the most difficult years I've experienced since he was born. I had a newborn baby, a preschooler and a son starting school, with lunches to pack, after school activities to get him to, in between breastfeeding, cleaning, cooking. And with no outside help (both our families live interstate), so no chance of even a short break, I was very stressed. I think I yelled a lot that year.

In fact, this year, even though I've been incredibly busy at times with my commitments with the school etc, I have been far calmer. And I attribute this to having my two "days off" when my 2yr old goes to daycare. With the big boys in school, it's much needed time to myself and allows me to re-charge my batteries. I definitely find I'm more likely to yell if I'm feeling stress myself or I'm under pressure to get things done. And, quite frankly, sometimes yelling is the only way I can get my boys' attention. Sometimes, they're so damn loud I have to shout "Hey! Hey!" just so that they can hear me above all the noise. Hmph.

Anyway, taking a deep breath, counting to 10 in your head might help. I'll give it a go anyway.

Until next time...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Glamming It Up

This weekend is my eldest sons' major (and only) fundraiser event for their school. It's huge. Bigger than Ben Hur. A two-day art & craft show extravaganza. 52 parents have donated their time for a good part of the year to putting this shindig together. But before that happens, tomorrow night (Fridee Night - as I like to call it) is the official 'Opening Night'. It's time to glam it up.

Of course, I'm not as used to putting on the LBD and complimentary jewellery these days. But back in my hey day (think late 80s, early 90s), throwing on a frock, some heels and my best underwear was a weekly event. Often twice-weekly, in fact. It was back then, in my nightclubbing days, I'd spend at least an hour getting ready (but usually much longer). Choosing the right outfit, the right accessories, the right shoes. It had to be just...right. Makeup was applied carefully, hair washed, dried, teased (remember: we're talking late 80s here) and hair sprayed in to place. It was quite the ritual. One that often started late afternoon, with a couple of cucumbers or tea bags over my eyes and a lie down on the couch, before really turning up the heat early evening.

These days, the opportunity to frock up comes albeit occasionally. The odd dinner party, school function, trip to the theatre. It's rare. And I have to say, the preparation is somewhat different these days.

The outfit is something already in my wardrobe. I won't buy anything new. I've worn what I own so few times, I just can't justify it. The choice of what I'll wear (and believe me, there's not much to choose from) will come down to two things. 1. When was the last time I wore it? Is it long enough ago that if I wear it, people won't recognise it? 2. What haven't I worn around the people I'll be socialising with on this occasion? I'll take that one. That's it. Done. Outfit chosen.

My preparation is also somewhat less, er, time consuming than what it used to be. Hopefully, I'll get around to shaving all those not-so-smooth areas on my body. At least, the ones that'll be on display anyway. And I'll preferably do that the same day as the outing, but often it will be done the night before. Time constraints.

I'll paint my toe nails the night before, but it's doubtful more than 1 coat will be applied, and it'll be a little messy. But I'll just pray for 'mood-lighting' to take care of that.

The one little bit of luxury I'll have is a visit to the hairdresser to have my hair done. I justify this by telling myself that there were a few (or more) years there after my first son was born that I either just didn't visit the hair salon...at all...or, when I did, I dropped in to a dodgy 'get-in-get-out' type establishment for a cheap wash and trim. (Sadly, I didn't even bother with a blow dry either.) Therefore, I saved a LOT of money back then, and it's ok to spend it now, on occasion. Besides, finding the time to blow dry and style my hair just doesn't come easily when visits of all kinds to the bathroom are often made during this process by at least one of my boys (and that includes Hubby).

And so, here's what I guarantee will happen on the night (because it's the same drill each time). Our babysitter will arrive, and I'll still be in my day clothes. I'll race off to change in to my frock, then back in to the bathroom for make up (and often, I've got at least one child bathing whilst this goes on), which I will apply quickly. Then I'll race back in to the bedroom to put on my jewellery and shoes and put my bag together. Head back to the bathroom to check my appearance. Make any minor adjustments (hair, change choice of earrings, add more mascara). Done. And it all takes about 10, 15 minutes max.

As I said, not quite the process it used to be.

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Q: What Do You Do All Day? A:...

A day in the life of a full-time Mum. Sometimes, as busy as it is, there are just so many things that don't get done.

6.20am - Woken by Hubby moving around the bedroom in search of...oh, I don't know. Whatever it is he needs in the morning. Sound of shower running further keeps me from sleep, but I doze off eventually.

6.35am - Woken again by 7yr who opens bathroom door and proceeds to talk LOUDLY to Hubby who is still showering. Noise of shower and loud voices continues to keep me awake.

6.40am - 7yr old enters marital bed. Is surprisingly still...for a while.

6.45am - Hubby enters bedroom and turns on light to search for clothes. Talks to 7yr old and the dog (who has snuck in for a snooze on the floor. I mentally wonder if he's fairing better than what I am). Hubby leaves for work. 7yr old gets up to read. Aaah, finally. Some quiet. Doze off.

7.25am - 2yr old enters bedroom and then marital bed, talking in a 'playing outside in the middle of the day' voice. Convince 2yr old to fetch something.

7.30am - 2yr old is back (that was too quick). Time to get up. *Yawn*.

7.40am - Fix breakfast for kids.

7.45am - Blog and check Twitter (very important).

8.10am - Iron clothes for school. Eat a bowl of cornflakes.

8.20am - Change nappy, hurry boys along for school.

8.30am - Hurry boys along for school.


8.50am - Send boys down to school.

8.55am - Doorbell rings. Answer door. No one present. Hmmm, that's strange. BOO! Friend and daughter jump out in front of door and nearly give me a heart attack.

9.10am - Friend leaves and another friend arrives with craft items for school's upcoming fundraiser this weekend. Friend leaves.

9.26am - Prepare school lunch for boys (had a brain meltdown and didn't do it early enough). Prepare 2yr old's bag for daycare. Write quick To Do list. Stamp on envelopes to be posted. Gather items for outing.

9.40am - Leave for daycare.

9.45am - Arrive at daycare, kiss 2yr old goodbye. 2yr old is quiet, but doesn't say or do anything else. Make a haste exit from building.

9.50am - Drop lunch off for big boys at school.

9.52am - Arrive home to collect 7yr old's friend's bike helmet that I had forgotten to take with me to daycare. Drive to friend's house and leave on porch. Drive to Spotlight.

10.28am - Travel a million miles and arrive at closest Spotlight store to my house. Walk past water feature, suspended between floors and notice sign on it that reads: "Your Donation to the Guide Dogs is Appreciated" (or similar - my memory 'aint what it used to be). See coins shining in water, and wonder how the coins are retrieved when accessibility is not obvious?

10.29am - Still wondering about the coins. Does someone use a special scoop to get them out? Do they climb over and jump to the water to take them out by hand? If so, wouldn't that be really dangerous?

10.30am - And in fact, if they do that, how do they get back with all those coins to balance? Do they have a special bag that they attach to their waist?

10.32am - Realise have spent precious quiet moments with thoughts to myself on trying to work out how people collect money from the damn water feature at the local shopping centre. Sheesh.

10.33am - Enter Spotlight store to search for Face Paint for the school fundraiser.

10.36am - Still looking.

10.39am - Give up looking and ask for assistance.

10.40am - Locate face paint and try to work out what I need to purchase.

10.42am - Call friend, and fellow fundraiser committee member for guidance.

10.48am - Call another friend, and also fellow committee member for further guidance.

10.56am - Decide on face paint (throw in a couple of glitter colours for good measure) and proceed to check out.

11.00am - Momentarily distracted by Spotlight inventory.

11.03am - Um, still distracted.

11.05am - Line up at check out. Fail to find Spotlight members card. Bugger.

11.15am - Enter Chemist to purchase Sorbolene cream for face painting. Set off alarm. Bags checked.

11.20am - Sorbolene located, and head to check out, purchasing a (not very healthy) packet of chips for morning tea. Pay cashier. Wait for change. Receive none.

11.21am - Advise cashier I have paid with three $2 coins. "No," she replies. "You gave me two $2s and a $1." Don't really believe cashier, but too busy today to argue, so make a small "tsk" sound and leave, setting off alarm again, wishing now that I'd actually stolen something.

11.25am - Leave carpark for home.

11.42am - Arrive home. Let dog in. Dog goes crazy.

11.45am - Make a cup of tea. Eat two Anzac biscuits. (Side note: when I get stressed and time pressured, I eat a lot of crap.)

11.50am - Search Internet for examples of face painting.

12.15pm - Still searching.

12.30pm - Still searching.

12.45pm - STILL searching.

12.55pm - Had enough. Copy and paste to send to committee members.

1.15pm - Check emails, send emails, check Twitter, check Blog. Complete post and publish.

1.45pm - Head to shops.

2.00pm - Enter local Westfield. Notice there are Christmas decorations up. Is it just me, or does Christmas start earlier every year?

2.05pm - Happy to note that Christmas carols do NOT sound from the speakers...today, anyway.

2.10pm - Head to bank to close an account and transfer money.

2.15pm - Speak to "Simon" who, although friendly enough, advises me that I cannot close the account at his branch. I need to do it online.

2.20pm - Explain to Simon that on Sunday I was advised I could not do the transfer over the phone until business hours on Monday. Called on Monday to be told I had to close the account in person at the local branch. What's up with that Simon? Please?

2.25pm - Friendly, helpful Simon makes calls and establishes that, indeedy, this particular transaction must be done online.

2.28pm - I muse over this. It wasn't that long ago that almost NOTHING could be done unless you did it in person - especially when it came to bank transactions. Where on earth is the world headed?

2.30pm - Leave bank.

2.35pm - Purchase chicken burger for late lunch. (More comfort food fuelled by stress levels.)

2.42pm - Purchase dinner and then cupcakes for sons and a piece of cheesecake for myself for afternoon tea. (Need I explain this again?)

2.45pm - On verge of carpark, remember I have to collect Hubby's drycleaning. Return to store.

2.50pm - Dry cleaning in hand, return to car and drive home.

3.00pm - Fill our some forms for school and answer more emails.

3.15pm - Walk very quickly to school for pick-up to find children waiting.

3.30pm - Home from school. Afternoon tea is served.

3.35pm - Start writing P&F column for school newsletter. In it, I discuss the upcoming school fundraiser, and how it's messing with my diet.

4.10pm - Hurry boys along for swimming lessons.

4.15pm - Hurry boys along for swimming lessons again.

4.17pm - LOSE IT! "HURRY UP BOYS - WE HAVE SWIMMING!!!" I shout. Oops. I pop a jelly bean in my mouth.

4.21pm - In car and off to swimming. Reflect on day so far and where my stress levels are at. Wonder if it would inappropriate to drink wine during swimming lessons? Probably. Shame that.

4.33pm - Arrive at swimming.

4.40pm - Spot friends and join for 20 minutes power chat and down time.

5.00pm - Swimming over. Boys dressed. Off to daycare.

5.15pm - Arrive at 2yr old's daycare. 7yr old insists on taking a large Lego Bionicle toy upstairs to meet 2yr old with.

5.17pm - Preschoolers gather around 7yr old as he shows them his toy. 2yr old is oblivious. He smothers me with kisses and hugs and jumps up and down in excitement. God bless his little soul.

5.35pm - Home from daycare. Run bath. Take out rubbish. Put out council bins. Put boys in bath.

6.10pm - Boys all washed and dressed. Start dinner for boys. Chicken schnitzel with tomato, carrot, cucumber and chips. The 2yr old will only eat the chicken and chips. Not in to anything remotely healthy unless it's pureed.

6.45pm - Pour glass of wine. Commence sorting and folding of washing in study. Think yet again: 'Five people create a LOT of work.'

7.10pm - Hubby home. Commence dinner for Hubby and I. Chicken schnitzel with chips, grilled tomato and steamed carrots.

7.30pm - Pour second glass of wine.

7.40pm - 2yr old to bed. 2yr old will call out at least three times for 'water'. No wonder I have to change his nappy late at night before I sleep. He'd never make it through the night.

7.45pm - Hubby and I eat. Send big boys off to get ready for bed.

8.10pm - All boys finally in bed. Off to finish newsletter for school.

9.30pm - Finish newsletter. Check emails. Look for further info to include in newsletter (which I can't find - email friend for HELP)!

10.20pm - Info found, written up and sent to school admin for inclusion in newsletter. Start a new post for blog (this one).

10.50pm - Off to have shower.

11.10pm - Dishes. Oh, I hate dishes. Load in dishwasher and tidy up dinner table.

11.40pm - Change 2yr old's nappy. Check big boys. All sleeping and seemingly happy. Write a quick list for following day.

12.01am - Read 15 minutes of book, Girl By Sea.

12.20am - Bed. Finally.

The annoying thing? Not even a chance to clean through the day. Still have a number of items on my list that are not completed. Sigh. Tomorrow is another day...

Until next time...

Thongs. A Fashion Crime?

It seems that some people think that women should never wear thongs. Are they serious?

I was listening to the radio this morning (on my own in the study, ironing. If you read yesterday's post, you'll understand why). Melissa Hoyer, a social commentator who is a regular on various radio and tv programmes and has her own blog, amongst other projects, was visiting 2DayFM this morning to talk about fashion on the fields during the Spring Racing Festival. The conversation turned to Melbourne Cup Day, and footwear.

"Don't carry thongs in your bag," Melissa said. "Just don't do it. If you're going to wear heels, wear them all day, even if your feet are killing you in the end." (I should point out at this stage, that I haven't quoted the conversation verbatim. My memory isn't that good, but it's pretty darn close!)

"Should women even own thongs?" asked Kylie Sandilands. "No, they shouldn't," Melissa replied. At which point, Jackie O and Kyle giggled because it had been announced just moments earlier that Jackie had arrived to work in (GASP) track suit pants and thongs.

At this point, Kyle commented that his opinion on women who wear thongs is that they appear an "easy lay", or something to that effect. Jackie then asked Melissa if she pretty much wore heels all the time? "Yes, I do," Melissa replied, to which Jackie said, "Oh, I admire women like you..."

Really, Jackie? You admire someone because they squish their feet in to a pair of heels for the good part of 24 hours?

Look, I'm all for heels on occasion. I'm also a fan of frocking up on the odd night. But every day of the week? I don't think so.

Admittedly, I'm not in to fashion. About as fashionable as I get is a trip to Esprit where I occasionally stock up on t-shirts, and long sleeved tops, pants, jeans, shorts...pretty much my entire wardrobe. It's functional, it's comfortable and it's reasonably priced. And sometimes, I buy a pair of thongs from there as well. I don't wear them every day. That's not great for your feet. (Which applies to wearing heels all the time.) But on a hot day with shorts? Yes. To the beach? Absolutely. Why the hell not?

At this point, I found it interesting to discover that Melissa is a mum herself. How on earth does she get by without a pair of thongs? There's nothing easier than throwing on a pair to take the kids to swimming or for a trip to the local park on a hot summer's day. Even to a play centre where you can't wear your shoes in the play areas, and let's face it - who hasn't had to rescue a child at some point from one of those play structures?

Thongs are fine. Let's not have others dictate what is, and what isn't appropriate when it comes to dressing and our footwear. At the end of the day, it's not what we wear, it's who we are. Right?

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sex: I'm Over It

It's ok Mum. I'm not talking about my own sex life. (*Collective sigh of relief*) No siree. It's not about me. It's about the sex life (or lack thereof) of others, on radio or tv for all to hear and see.

I like listening to the radio. I really do. I like to hear the latest music and I also like the radio on in the car occasionally when I'm driving the kids around. It's relaxing. It can drown out the constant chatter and screaming from the back seat sometimes. And often, parents really need that diversion. We really, really do. But these days, it often comes at a price.

My radio of choice is 2DayFM. I like to hear all the latest songs. I'm still pretty hip in that regard (I think so anyway). But I know I can't listen to the morning show with Kyle & Jackie O because there's too much crudeness and talk about sex that my kids are just too young to hear. And, you know, I've come to accept that. I know the hours that the show's on, and so I avoid listening to it unless the kids aren't around.

But then I'll be driving to the shops with my kids in the back of the car, with the radio on - outside of the hours the morning show is on - and suddenly an advertisement for premature ejaculation comes on. What's up with that? I'm talking 10am in the morning here! I wanna hear ads about breakfast running until 11am at MacDonald's or that there's a sale on at Esprit. Not about men who have a problem with their...pee-pee. You know, I really don't want to have to explain to my boys (7, 5 & 2) what premature ejaculation is. Can you blame me?

The Advanced Medical Institute had an ad on radio which went like this:

“This commercial lasts about 30 seconds, unfortunately so do some of us blokes. If premature ejaculation is putting an end to your special cuddles, or you’re having problems keeping it up longer, it might be worth sticking something up your nose. Nasal delivery technology can turn (a woman’s sighs are heard) “ugh” into “Aaaahhhh”, so you’ll feel like one of the boys again. So call AMI for nasal delivery technology on 1800 40 60 60.”

Not quite the intro for explaining sex to my kids I was looking for.

TV's not much better. I thought the Ellen Degeneres Show was a pretty ok thing to have on during lunch with the 2yr old hanging about. It's pretty tame. There's no swearing, and the content is pretty child-friendly. There's some great dancing and, you know, it's quite family-friendly for the most part. But then whilst watching one afternoon, and during an ad break, I saw the word SEX light up across the monitor on a bright, yellow background (from memory) in BIG letters. Fortunately, it was when my big boys were at school, and my 2yr old was in bed (and besides, he can't read), but it's more than possible one of them could have caught it. It's hard enough getting my boys to stop saying things like "poo-poo" and "bum" and "penis" without throwing SEX and premature ejaculation ads in to the mix.

Then one day during the middle of the year, I was driving my boys to a weekend away with a bunch of their mates and other school parents, when I noticed a HUGE billboard with the words: WANT LONGER LASTING SEX? written across it. A billboard of my own popped up in my mind. It kind of went like...WHAT THE...? The radio was off, there was no tv to be seen, and you can't blame me for thinking the most exciting thing we'd see in the country was a herd of cows or a bunch of sheep hanging out in the neighbouring fields, and yet there's this LARGE, obvious, BRIGHT YELLOW sign with SEX SEX SEX written across it! (Ok, it wasn't written multiple times - that would probably make people feel even worse about their, ahem, issues if that happened, but it was still very, very obvious.) In desperation, I pointed out the windows of the car in the opposite direction and said, "Oh! Boys! Look at that! It's...a...house with a, um, red roof." My 7yr old replied, "So? What's so great about that, Mum?" to which my 5yr old said, "Yeah Mum. What's so great about that?" and they both went back to whatever it was they were doing, which I HOPE wasn't reading the big yellow billboard.

Then, with all the controversy over Kyle Sandilands being dumped as a judge on Australian Idol because of his involvement in the rape scandal on his morning show with Jackie O (read about that here), one would think that Australian Idol would be child friendly enough for young kids to watch. Oh, but NO. How wrong were we? We let the boys watch some of the earlier episodes when the auditioning process was taking place, and we had to shut it down. There were SO many inappropriate things for them to see. It made me wonder why they bothered to dump Kyle at all if they had hoped for a more 'family-oriented show'?

But the straw that broke the camel's back occurred a couple of nights ago. It was just after 6.30pm and The Simpsons had finished. The boys had just finished their bath and the tv was still on. And on came an advertisement for...wait for it...SEXPO! I could see my 7yr old watching the advertisement intently, and I ran around looking for the tv remote and promptly switched it off before (I hoped) any damage would be done. I held my breath, waiting for the obvious questions to follow and, thankfully, they didn't. Phew. After complaining to Hubby about it, he advised he'd seen the very same ad on tv at 2.30pm that same afternoon! (I also heard the ad on the radio this morning at the ripe old hour of 10.30am. It promised attendees could see displays of pole dancing, erotic dancing and naked surfing. This ad was followed straight after by yet ANOTHER ad about premature ejaculation. Woo hoo! Double whammy!!!)

I mean, YES, when I was breastfeeding, and up very, very late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, it wasn't unusual to see other women's breasts flashing across the tv screen. Except theirs didn't have a baby attached to them like mine did, and I wasn't wearing big diamond earrings and necklaces whilst my girls were out. But, I expected that. Apart from my bub, who was too interested in my goods to even consider glancing at the tv, there was no chance of a small child being exposed to another lady's "boobies" (as my boys would put it) at that time of night.

But 2.30pm and 6.30pm? Come on!

Hubby attempted to contact the Advertising Standards Board yesterday, and was asked to fill in a questionnaire online (6 questions followed regarding content, time of day etc of the advertisement in question) and once completed, and after Hubby clicked SUBMIT (or whatever - I wasn't there, ok?) it came back and said that because of the time of day that he had entered, the query should in fact be referred to the station on which the advertisement appeared. So in other words, the ASB couldn't care less. It's not their problem.

Anyway, this isn't over. Not by a long shot. I'm planning on writing a letter of complaint to Channel 10. They seem to be the main culprits as far as I can tell. Who knows where it'll get me. But it's a start. No point burying my head in the sand and all that. Right? Right.

I'll keep you posted. In the meantime...I would recommend that when the kids are around, don't watch tv, don't listen to the radio, and don't drive in the country if you don't want to see the word SEX splattered across a tv screen or a billboard, or hear it blurted out loud! That shouldn't be a problem. Should it?

Until next time...

A List of "Don'ts" from 1913...Part 3

Ah, yes. It's that time again when we listen to the advice of Blanche Ebbutt as she gives us advice direct from 1913. (What a year!)

We continue on from Part 2.

Don'ts For Husbands

I. General Habits (Part 2)
Don't sit down to breakfast in your shirt-sleeves in hot weather on the ground that "only your wife" is present. She is a woman like any other woman. The courtesies you give to womankind are her due, an she will appreciate them. (Damn straight, Blanche! Um, I guess that means shirtless is out of the question too? - JA)

Don't take it out on your poor wife every time you have a headache or a cold. It isn't her fault, and she has enough to do in nursing you, without having to put up with ill-humour into the bargain. (Why is it, Blanche, that all men are dying when they're sick? - JA)

Don't flourish a grimy handkerchief about because you have forgotten to take a clean one out of your box or your drawer. If your wife provides you with a reasonable stock, you might at least take the trouble to remember to use them. (Handkerchiefs. Not a fan I'm afraid. - JA)

Don'ts for Wives

I. Personalities (Part 2)
Don't expect life to be all sunshine. Besides, if there are no clouds, you will lose the opportunity of showing your husband what a good chum you can be. (A 'chum'? Really? - JA)

Don't look at the black side of the cloud. It is only a shadow cast by the silver lining. (Ok, can we move on from the 'cloud' theme please, Blanche? - JA)

Don't lose heart when life seems hard. Look forward to the corner you are bound to turn soon, and point it out to your husband. (Hmmm. Hubby hasn't always been good with me giving him directions, but I'll give it a go. - JA)

That's it for this week. As usual, Blanche is full a good old-fashioned advice. To view previous Don'ts, click on the links below.

Until next time...

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm No Juggler (Unfortunately)

When I started this blog, a few people asked: "How on earth do you fit it all in?" Well, you know, I don't always.

I mean, I'm not drowning in everything. Ok, maybe the ironing is suffering a little...ok - a lot. But things are getting done...mostly.

Or so I thought. I'm used to juggling everything I do. Well, I attempt to, at least. Parenting, running errands, cleaning the house, cooking, food shopping, working on school committees, catching up with friends, etc, the list goes on. But sometimes, and in fact, quite often lately, I find myself dropping a few balls. And yesterday, I dropped a few. In fact, there is no greater example of how my life is going right now than what came out of yesterday's efforts.

The day didn't start all that well. Hubby came to me in the morning asking about clean underwear. He wanted to know if there were any spare underpants hanging around that he could, like, possibly, you know, wear?

Off I ran to the study, where, as you would expect - of course - the laundry is kept. I rummaged through the pile, throwing socks, t-shirts, little person's underwear, knickers and bras aside and....nothing. Oops. In a brief moment of desperation, I picked up a pair of mine and gave them a bit of a stretch. Could they pass? Um, nup. With a feeling of dread, I knew I now had to tell Hubby the unfortunate news.

"What?" was his response, followed by a look of annoyance and a shake of the head. Not good. He stomped off to fetch out yesterday's pair. Nice. Let me tell you, the washing went in to the machine REALLY quickly after that.

Even though he didn't say it, I could see him thinking, 'What on earth have you been doing with yourself all week that there's not even one pair of clean underpants available?' And, you know, that's exactly what I'd be thinking if it was my knickers that were M.I.A. In fact, I was thinking that very thing when he asked about the underwear. Ball officially dropped.

Later, with clothes securely in the washing machine (including about 20 pairs of Hubby's underpants) I tackled the dishes. I can't remember what prompted me to think it, but I suddenly remembered my 5yr old had a birthday party to go to that day. I glanced at the clock. 10.45am. Eek! Was the party in the morning, or the afternoon? I dashed back in to the study to hunt for the invite (where, in addition to the laundry, the papers and the like are kept). I found it in about 10 seconds flat (far more successful than my earlier search). Let's see...time of party is...YIKES - 10am!!! "Oh my God, oh my God," I chanted, running around the house. "I've stuffed up - BIG time!"

"What, what?" Hubby asked, concerned over the urgency in my voice. I explained the party. Hubby was, once again, tight-lipped. My 5yr old (who was still wearing his pyjamas, not surprisingly) was dressed in 5 minutes, his teeth were brushed, his hair quickly combed through, and the present wrapped and hastily shoved in to his hands. And then he was out the door with Hubby to the local park for his buddy's 'sports party' (because, surprise, surprise - I was still in my pjs too). (Usually, we make a birthday card, but there was no time and so - gulp - I had to write the birthday boy's well wishes on the wrapping paper. Yep - nice touch.)

Just as they headed out the door, the rain started. Brilliant. Now not only was my son arriving 1 hour late to a sports party in the park (BECAUSE OF ME) he would now be spending the remaining time there undercover, doing nothing particularly 'sporty' at all. GREAT timing on my part. Perfect.

I watched helplessly as the rain got heavier and heavier. No sooner had Hubby returned from the drop-off, it was almost time for me to head to the party for the pick-up. On the drive there, the rain fell so hard, I had the windscreen wipers on MAX and I STILL couldn't see where I was going. Then came the lightening...and thunder. COULD IT GET ANY WORSE???

On my arrival, everything was flooding. All the kids were crammed together under the nearest shelter, singing Happy Birthday and eating ice-cream cake. The 5yr old seemed happy enough. As soon as he saw me, he asked, "Can I have some cake before we go, Mum?" It was like a stab in the heart. He'd been such a good sport through it all. I wanted to say, "No. You can't. You have to eat TEN slices of cake." But of course, that would really make me popular with the birthday boy then, wouldn't it? His buddy turns up late, then eats every piece of cake in sight. Sigh.

As we left, I said, "I'm so sorry Mummy forgot your party today, honey." And all he said was, "That's ok, Mum." By this stage, his main interest was on the lollipop he'd scored from the party. Aaaaghhh. Kill me now!!!! I feel so BAAAAD! Needless to say, for the rest of the day whenever he asked permission to eat a lolly from the lolly bag - it was granted. Immediately.

Afterwards, I had to dash to the shops to buy supplies that we were running low on. Oh, you know, just stuff like milk, bread, baby wipes...nothing super important.

And you know what? Unfortunately, this week is sure to be no different. There will be things I'll forget to do, and even more balls will be dropped. There is no doubt in my mind of this. But that's just how it is at the moment. Life is very busy. But after this weekend, I'm determined it will get better. The last thing I want is another son of mine to miss out on something as special as a friend's birthday party, and I'm not keen on Hubby discovering there's no clean underwear in the drawer, or in the study for that matter.

I WILL be more organised. I WILL go back to my incessant To Do List-writing. I WILL...just...do more...stuff.

Really, I will.

Until next time...