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 Mummy Mayhem is no longer updated.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.

Drop by anytime. :)


Monday, November 29, 2010

Having a Rant: The I'm-SO-Over-The-School-Year Syndrome

It's almost the end of the 2010 school year and, quite frankly, it can't finish soon enough.

I'm over it. BIG time.

Firstly, I'm over school lunches. If I see one more vegemite sandwich and have to cut one more apple in to teeny-tiny bite sized pieces to make it acceptable for my sons' morning munch-n-crunch snack, I might actually go mad.

I don't want to wash drink bottles every night.

I don't want to hunt down lost lunch boxes at school anymore. Like, every week.

I don't want to hunt down lost jumpers, hats and swimming goggles from the lost property basket at school. In fact, if I have to go through that basket just One. More. Time (it's essentially dirty washing in there, people) I might throw a hissy fit.

I don't want to nag my kids to do their homework anymore.

I don't want to remind myself what excursions are on, and which day they have to wear their swimmers under their uniform - and by the way: what uniform should they wear? Sports or formal?

I don't want to go to after school activities anymore. I don't want to watch tennis, swimming and cricket training.

I don't want to have another weekend that is filled with activities each day.  I just want to sleep in the morning knowing that I don't have to be anywhere if I don't want to be.

I don't want to attend any more school related meetings. I've loved my role on the P&F Committee - especially writing for the P&F in the school newsletter - but now I need a break.

I just want the school year to end now.

Before it does though, there will be school/daycare concerts and other school-related planned activities.

I'm just gonna have to suck it up. Yep - I have the I'm-SO-Over-The-School-Year Syndrome.

But come mid-December, I'm in all-day pyjama mode, ya'll.

Are you looking forward to the end of the year? 



Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Dance of Revenge - Chapter Four

The story of The Dance of Revenge continues.

Here is ALL of Chapter Four!

If you're only joining in now, you can read all of the story so far by clicking on the links on the RHS of my homepage. Just scroll down to the ballet shoes.

Chapter Four

SHERRIE sat on the carpeted flour of her grandmother's lounge room and proceeded to turn the pages of the old photo album. There were many photos of her grandmother and a man who looked very handsome.

"Who is this, grandma?" Sherrie asked curiously. Grandma Dolty knelt beside her and laughed.

"Ah, Sherrie. You must know who that is. 'Non'?" [Once again, I'm highlighting the fact that I'm using the french language in my writing.] Sherrie shook her head.

"His face looks familiar, but I cannot place it." Grandma Dolty laughed heartily.

"Who is the person that I have seated in the photo near my bed?" Grandma Dolty asked pleasently. [Or, pleasantly, even.]

"Grandfather Dolty," Sherrie replied.

"That is your grandfather there too!" Grandma Dolty exclaimed. "Only here he is younger and thinner. The other photo was taken only three months before he died." Sherrie's grandmother became quiet with memories of her beloved husband. [Awww. That's kinda touching.]

"Grandma," Sherrie began, "where does the name 'Dolty' come from? It's not french, is it?"

"Ah, non ma chere. Your grandfather was Australian. That is where Dolty came from." [Aussie, Aussie, Aussie - oye, oye, oye!]

Sherrie had never known her grandfather, for he died a month before she was born. He had only been fifty-one, but, unfortunately, had died with cancer. Sherrie's grandmother told her often that when her and Howard, Sherrie's grandfather's name, had been married, it was over conflict. [True love doesn't run smoothly in this family, does it?] Grandma Dolty's parents had not agreed that she should marry someone who was ten years older than herself, but Grandma Dolty did not listen to them because she loved Howard. And love was more important than age. [Amen, sista. There's hope for Henry Cavill and I yet. ;) ]

Sherrie turned the pages and looked at the photos of her mother when she was younger. There was one of her mother hugging a cute little cat.

"Is that mama and her cat, Fluffy?" Sherrie asked.

"Why, yes, Sherrie. How did you know that was Fluffy?" Sherrie laughed and sighed. [Well, it can't be easy to do both at the same time.]

"Mama always talks about her cat, Fluffy. We were going to get a cat one day, but it seems mama has forgotten." There was a sour note in the way Sherrie talked. "Her mind is on other things these days." Sherrie looked to the ground.

"Sherrie ma chere. Do not be upset. Your mother still loves you. Adam...well Adam is just on her mind a little."

Sherrie knew that her grandmother did not like Mr Brair either, though she tried to hide it. Sherrie was looking at the last page in the book when she noticed a pocked on the inside cover. She dug her fingers inside and pulled out a photo of her mother with a man who was terribly handsome.

He stood poised against a statue of a bird bathing in a bowel of water. [Once again, I assume I meant a 'bowl' of water. And, ah, couldn't that be a fountain or bird bath I was referring to?] The scene was in a park with a lot of flowers to either side. Sherrie turned to look at her grandmother who had continued her knitting that she had started.

"Grandma? Who's this man with mama?" Sherrie's grandmother peered over to the photo, and when she saw it, she snatched it off Sherrie hurriedly.

"Where did you find this?" she asked Sherrie sharply.

"In the pocket of the inside cover. Why, grandma? Who is it?" Sherrie asked, confused at her grandmother's behaviour.

"Never you mind! You are not to look in that photo album again until I allow you to." She arose from her chair and placed the photo in a box above a shelf, that Sherrie could not reach.

Sherrie looked at her grandmother who was now crying openly.

"Oh, I'm sorry grandma. I will not do it again. I'm sorry." She stood hugging her grandmother. Why had her grandmother reacted that way? Who was the man in the photo? Whoever it was seemed to upset her grandmother. Buy why?

*     *     *     *     *

Oh, Michelle. What have you got yourself into? Grandma Dolty asked herself. Michelle stood looking at the photo that Sherrie had found an hour ago. If Sherrie only knew...

But she didn't. Michelle could of [have] kicked herself for shouting at the poor child. But she was too shocked that the photo had been found after all these years. She took the photo and walked into the bathroom. Once in there, she opened the cupboard under the sink and stuffed the photo out of sight behind the lead piping. For now it was safe.

*     *     *     *     *

Sherrie jumped off the train and walked slowly, deep in thought, around the crowded station. Since Sherrie had left her grandmother's house, she kept thinking of the photo. She could not understand why her grandmother did not want to show the picture to her. She wondered what was wrong with it.

Sherrie slowed her pace even more when she approached the house where she lived. Mr Brair's car was parked outside on their

"Sherrie, is that you?" Elizabeth called. Sherrie sighed. She wasn't certain she felt like talking to her mother.

"Yes, mama." She walked into the living room where her mother and Mr Brair sat drinking white wine in tall, thin glasses. [I think I was thinking of champagne glasses - but probably wasn't certain what it was called?] "Why the wine, mama?" Sherrie asked curiously. [Now see - in my house, if the kids walked in and I was drinking wine with Hubby - I'm not sure they'd blink an eye!]

"Your mother and I have something to celebrate, Sherrie," Mr Brair announced. "Why don't you sit here." He patted the seat next to him.

"Non, merci," Sherrie replied. She sat next to her mother and lowered her gaze to a piece of paper that sat on the inexpensive coffee table. "What's this?" Elizabeth snatched the paper from the table and held it out for Sherrie to inspect. Sherrie gasped when she read the certificate announcing her mother's marriage to Mr Brair. She looked at her mother's smile with disbelief. They had married without having her there! Without telling [her] the date.

"W-when?" Sherrie whispered. Tears welled in her eyes.

"Today, ma chere. Is it not a nice surprise?" [Is this woman nuts? It's not like her daughter hasn't already told her what she thought of 'Mr Brair'! Sheesh.] Sherrie began to feel the anger rising inside her. [You go, girl.]

"Without ME?" she screamed. "You wed that bastard without telling me when you were going to marry?!" Elizabeth raised her hand and slapped Sherrie. Sherrie screamed and ran up to the attic where she could be alone. She faintly heard her mother's sobs and Mr Brair soothing her, telling her that she would get over it and maybe it was better to invite her out for a reception since she did not attend the wedding.

Sherrie listened and sobbed herself. [Rather than have someone do it for her?] What a stupid bastard to think she would join them for dinner! Sherrie stared out the window. Now it was final. Mr Brair was her stepfather. He would live in her house and eat at her table. And what if he tried to touch her again? Sherrie had to go. Live with her grandmother. Anything! As long as she was away from him.

A knock at the attic door snapped her away from her thoughts. Her lip began to tremble. Her mother's voice came from behind the door.

"Sherrie? Sherrie, please, can I enter?"

"Leave me alone!" Sherrie screamed back. "Go away."

"Please, Sherrie. We have to talk." The door inched its way open until Sherrie could see the full body of her mother in the entrance. [Thank goodness. If she'd seen, say, only her mother's head...weird.] Sherrie turned her head back to the window and stiffened when her mother touched her shoulders.

"Leave me alone," Sherrie whispered.

"No, not yet. Sherrie, tomorrow Adam and I are flying to Switzerland for our honeymoon. You are going to stay with your grandmother. When I get back I expect you to accept Adam." Sherrie's eyes widened in horror!

"Accept him?" she screeched. "Accept him? No. I won't. I'll never ever accept him living here, in our house. And how can you just fly off with Mr Brair whilst I stay here? Don't you love me anymore, Mother? Maybe you love him better. Yes, that's it! You love him better than I!" [Love him 'more' may have been a 'better' choice of words.] She sobbed against the glass plated window.

"Sherrie, how can you say that? I love you ma chere." Sherrie noted she called her ma chere - my dear. She called Mr Brair ma cherie - my darling. No, she did not love her.

"You're lying mama. You are selfish because you take him and leave me. It will always be like this won't it?"

"Non, ma chere!"                          

"Stop calling me your dear! Save it for your precious Mr Brair!"

Elizabeth could not stand it any longer. Once again, she slapped her daughter's face.

"You're a selfish brat, Sherrie! You only want me for yourself. Well, I tell you now. I love Adam! Don't try and take that away from me!" She turned to leave the room. But before she did, she picked up a vase that sat on a small table in the corner of the room and flung it close to Sherrie. [Ooh - biatch.] Sherrie screamed as the vase hit the wall and a piece flung against her cheek, cutting the skin slightly.

"YOU BITCH!" she screamed as the door slammed shut. What was happening to her and her mother? Further away they were standing from each other. Mr Brair was taking over. Sherrie swore to get that bastard and her. She would. One day. [Hmmm..the revenge part...]

*     *     *     *     *

Elizabeth lay naked under the sheets next to her husband, thinking of dinner. She and Adam had gone out, leaving Sherrie home to sulk in the attic. Adam could always make her happy as he whispered romantic things that night at dinner. [Presumably, to her.] When they had come home they had rushed straight to bed. They had made love like they had never done before. Elizabeth had to bite Adam's shoulder to stop from crying out in pleasure as he lay on top of her. She also did not want Sherrie to hear. Their lovemaking was the best that they had ever had. Far different from when she had made love to the man that had gotten her pregnant. They were only sixteen and they had not made love in a bed, but in some old tool shed that was in her backyard. [Ouch.]

Elizabeth could not wait until her honeymoon where she could spend time with Adam alone. She looked at his body and sighed with happiness. He had a power over her that she loved. She would do anything for him. Anything.

Adam began to stir in his sleep and then opened his eyes, smiling.

"Elizabeth, you are so beautiful. Just think, we have the rest of our lives together." His sweet words touched her. 

"But Adam. The money. Our financial papers tell us..."

"Elizabeth, honey. Don't worry about money," Adam interrupted. "Let's just think about us." His hand ran up and down her body and she shivered with excitement at his touch. Then they fell asleep in each other's arms. Elizabeth, for the time being, forgetting about money. 

Who is the person in the photo? Why is Sherrie's grandmother hiding his identity? What decisions will Elizabeth and Adam make about their financial situation? Will it affect Sherrie?

Hmmmm....stay tuned next week, people.


Friday, November 26, 2010

On Mummy Mayhem This Week

Time to find out what happened this week on Mummy Mayhem...

So, usually on Fridays here's what I do...

I'm up by 7am at the latest so I can get my 'On Mummy Mayhem This Week' post together, which I then post ASAP. Then I get the big boys to school and the 3yr old to daycare. I come home, do a workout on my treadmill, shower, then sit down with a cup of cappuccino, a slice or raison toast and write up my weekly Hot or Not.

This week? Plans have changed, people.

The 3yr old has felt off the last few days. A couple of days ago he was sick a few times in the morning and complained of tummy pain. Yesterday, he was pretty sprightly, but complained occasionally of his tummy feeling sore, but got over it pretty quickly. Then through the night, he woke a number of times from about 1am. Finally, at 3am-ish (I can't remember - it's all a blur, quite frankly), he woke with very bad pain in his tummy again. He couldn't sleep. He tossed and turned. He cried. It broke my heart to see him in pain.

Eventually, I went in search of the First Aid book to see what it might be, with appendicitis in the back of my mind. I looked up 'abdominal pain', followed the arrow to the next box which said: "Appendicitis". Great.

Around 5.30am, we headed to our local hospital. By then, the 3yr old had thrown up. In my bed. On my side. Perfect.

Fortunately, when we got there, there was plenty of parking and only one person waiting. Thank goodness for that. We went straight in, and after a few examinations, a dose of Panadol and a play in the cubby house (the 3yr old did that - not me) we were told it didn't look like appendicitis, and was possibly a gastro thing and we were home just in time for the school run. (FYI - because it's hard to diagnose kids, one test they have children with suspected appendicitis do is have them hop from one foot to the other. Apparently, if they have appendicitis, they feel too much pain on one side to hop comfortably.)

And so, this morning, I'm out of whack. I'm also very, very tired. I doubt I got much more than two hour's sleep. (You can start the violin playing now.)

So, I'm afraid I won't be posting Hot or Not this week. Instead, I will sleep. I'm quite sure you'll understand.

In the meantime, you can always catch up on anything you missed here this week, including:

Last week's Hot or Not - a bit of royalty graced the Mummy Mayhem pages. Check out who it was.

I posted the end of Chapter Three of The Dance of Revenge. (The story is going to hot up next week, people.)

I vlogged again - all about a wedding my niece and I coordinated many, many years ago. Hear all the deets (including how we incorporated fluorescent ribbon in to the affair. It was the 80s, people).

After years of saying I wouldn't - I did. I joined Facebook.

Christmas movies...don't you love them? I reviewed Disney's A Christmas Carol.

This week I wrote a guest post about Five Things I Love over at Fat Mum Slim.

Then over at my recipe blog, I posted a recipe for my Banana Muffins and I announced my latest Fab Food Find!

Now - please join me here next week, because I'll be telling you about what I've been up to with Kleenex Mums this week, and I'm going to have a great giveaway on my blog. Something PERFECT for the younger members of the family for Christmas. And there will be TWO WINNERS. Not one - TWO! Oh, and Hot or Not will return. Promise.

Join me then, and escape the mayhem for a little while...


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Guest Post over at Fat Mum Slim

Hello lovely readers...

Today the very gorgeous, Chantelle of Fat Mum Slim posted a little guest post of mine about Five Things I Love.

Thank you Chantelle. xxx

To check it out, go here.



Movie Review: A Christmas Carol

Christmas just isn't Christmas without a Christmas movie or two.

When I was a kid, Christmas Eve was the big night for Christmassy type shows. I recall watching Mickey Mouse cartoons and now, funnily enough, my boys watch Mickey Mouse every year as well (thank goodness for DVDs, huh)?

I've bought the boys a few Christmas-themed movies and DVDs over the years, and come December, we whip them out and watch them over and over again, and I can't help but smile when I see the excitement from my kids build about Santa's imminent arrival. I'm all for setting the whole Christmas theme up around here.

Recently, I was sent a copy of Disney's A Christmas Carol. Directed by the amazing Bob Zemeckis it stars Jim Carrey, Colin Firth (*swoon*), Gary Oldman and Robin Wright (as well as many more other great actors).

A Christmas Carol is the adaptation of the 1843 classic Charles Dickens novel of the same name and is about Ebenezer Scrooge - a man who despises everything about Christmas. The ghost of Scrooge's business partner, Jacob Marley - who died seven years prior on Christmas Eve - visits Scrooge to tell him that if he doesn't change his greedy ways, he will end up like him - carrying heavy chains throughout life in eternity. Jacob warns him he will be visited by three spirits who will guide him.

And so begins Scrooge's journey to being a better man when he is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present, the Ghost of Christmas Past and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

The 8yr old saw a cartoon version of the novel last year in school, so he was instantly drawn to and fascinated by the story. However, he was also amazed by the technology used in the film. As Robin Wright, one of the film's stars said on being interviewed about the movie:
"...I think this advanced technology that you’re going to see in the movie, is unlike anything you’ve ever seen in the 3D forum. Bob Zemeckis really is an originator, and I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like it."
Here's a trailer I found on You Tube for the film:

I tell you. Kid's movies have come a loooooong way since the 70s. ;)

In my opinion, the movie is suited to children aged 8+. We sat down all three boys to start watching, because my boys have always been pretty good about scary themes in movies (although the 3yr old prefers to have his brothers close by when he watches Darth Vader on Star Wars)! Our 3yr old was not keen to watch it after a little while - "too scary, Mummy" (although, towards the end he came back in the room and insisted he wasn't scared at all and watched the last 10 minutes of it), and as soon as Jacob Marley's ghost appeared in the film, the 6yr old was out too (a family member once told him that ghosts were real, and ever since he's had a thing about ghosts). You know your own kids, so go by what you think they're comfy with. The 8yr old thought it was great!

I did too.

A Christmas Carol is out NOW on Disney Blu-ray and DVD.

What's your favourite Christmas movie? 


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Will You Be My Friend?

As always, I'm a bit late to the party - but I finally joined Facebook.

Some of you will know that I've resisted Facebook for a very long time now. I did join once - years ago after friends suddenly started sending me Facebook requests. At the time, not only couldn't I work out how to use it, but my mind was elsewhere with toddlers running around messing up my house. So I shut it down.

A few months ago, some of my bloggy friends suggested I joined Facebook - they assured me it would be 'good for business' so to speak (promoting my blog). I really thought about it, but then decided I just didn't have the time to maintain something else besides my two blogs, Twitter, emails etc. Oh, and motherhood. Of course. I didn't forget that. Ahem.

Then last week, on a whim, I joined up. I can't tell you for the life of me why I suddenly decided to, but I did. Just like that.

And I'm loving it.

I love that I can connect with so many people instantly, and I can see what's happening in my News thread and I can check out what friends and family have been up to. I can follow other blogs and people can follow mine. Yes - it can be bit of a time-waster if you allow it to. You click on a link - that takes you to another one. You find a friend you haven't seen in 20 years, their profile takes you to more friends...uh-oh - an ex-boyfriend! Click away, click away, click away...

I'm still a learner driver there, and I suspect - just like when I first joined Twitter - there will be some bumps along the way. Any tips you have for me are very welcomed!

I have some more thoughts on Facebook too - it doesn't take me long to form an opinion - but I'll keep that for another post.

In the meantime, why don't you join me there? You can befriend me at http://www.facebook.com/JodieAnsted or like my Fan Page for my blog at http://www.facebook.com/MummyMayhemBlog (there's also a 'like' box in the RHS column of my homepage where you can...like me). Oh, and I joined Networked Blogs too! (What the hell? I'll sign up for practically anything at the moment - I'm on a roll...) You can follow me there too. (At the moment, I'm the only person following me there, which is, ah, a little embarrassing.)

AND - if you have a blog and a Fan Page on Facebook of your own that I haven't 'liked' yet (or just your Facebook page) - please leave me your link so I can go there and sign up! Ta muchly.

Look forward to seeing you around 'friends'. ;)


PS - If you're one of my IRL friends (that's 'in real life', Mum), just to let you know I don't put Hubby or the boys' names on my blog and won't on my Facebook page either. Protecting the innocent and all that. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Vlog #4: Here Comes The Bride

It's vloggin' time again...

My niece, Tina, and her partner, Bryan got engaged recently (YAY!). Anyhow, I think Tina is going to make one excellent wedding planner, because she's been there and done that - in the sense that she's been a bridesmaid many, many times (it's unusual to find her at a wedding where she isn't one - she's just one popular gal). 

In addition to that, Tina and I planned a wedding together many, many years ago. Like, when I was about 11 and she was 10. You'll have to watch to find out which celebrity's (yes...celebrity) wedding we planned. ;) 

You'll be glad to note that when I originally filmed this vlog, it was 7.26 minutes (yes - ask any of my friends - I have the ability to crap on when I want to). I was able to reduce it down to under 6mins. LOTS of interesting info in there though, so I'm sure you'll enjoy.

Now go make yourself a cuppa, pull up your favourite desk chair or similar, and enjoy my latest vlog. (Apologies to those who can't watch these. You can double-click and watch on You Tube if you wish too.)


Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Dance of Revenge - Chapter Three, Part III

We pick up where we left off last week in The Dance of Revenge - the book I started writing at age 14...

I feel the story has been a bit slow the last few weeks. Setting the groundwork for the story and all that, ya know? But anyway - this week we finish up Chapter Three, and I've had a little look through Chapter Four and the story starts to pick up again then. At least, I think it does. 

Anyhoo....if you missed last week, or any of the story so far, just scroll down my homepage and on the RHS you'll find some ballet slippers and underneath those, links to all the story so far. 

Now, sit back and join Sherrie and [read my comments in red in brackets like this]. Enjoy...

Chapter Three
Part III

The clitter [think I might have meant 'click'] and clack of the train kept Sherrie from falling into a sleep of exhaustion. She had rushed from her ballet class to catch the train that would take her to her grandmother’s apartment.

Sherrie loved her grandmother very much and always loved to visit her after class. Her grandmother wasn’t too old. In fact, she was only fifty-five. [Oh, far out. That’s only 15 years away for me. That is DEFINITELY not old!] She was kind to Sherrie and helped her with any problems or misunderstanding she had with her mother.

Her grandmother had grey [of course, don’t all old ladies?], short hair with matching eyes that were huge and warm. Grandmother Dolty had the most warmest [just 'warmest' would have done] personality that Sherrie had ever come across. The way she spoke to Sherrie with her eyes warmed Sherrie graciously. [I don't really get that last sentence. Do you?]

The stop soon came for Sherrie to get off and walk to her grandmother’s apartment. The station was jam packed with people who waited to board the train. Sherrie’s duffel bag hung heavily over her shoulder as she pushed her way through the busy crowds to the opening of the street. When she finally reached the street, she turned to her left and hurried herself three blocks away to the apartment that lay on block 150 La Rouge Street.

All of a sudden a bicycle bell rang and the wheels of the bike fled past Sherrie’s ankles. She jumped in fright, and looked to find a young boy laughing wickedly and riding further down the street. She scowled at his face moving further away. [I hope his body was moving with him. Awkward.]

“Sherrie?” called a voice from above her head. She craned her neck to see her grandmother standing over the balcony full of plants. [Was the balcony or her Grandmother full of plants? I'm confused.] 

“Oh hello grandmother!” Sherrie exclaimed.

“Come on up before that nasty boy comes back.” She smiled with both her lips and eyes. Sherrie felt warmth go through her as she climbed the steep stairs to the open arms of her grandmother.

Embraced in her arms, Sherrie felt more relaxed and comforted than she had in ages.

“Come and sit with me, Sherrie,” her grandmother coaxed. Sherrie turned to sit down and noticed her favourite cake and chocolate drink sitting on the old wooden coffee table. She sat and began to tell her grandmother about her ballet. 

Ok, so short one this week - but I just wanted to finish the chapter. It's been a little busy around here lately, but I'm hoping to publish ALL of Chapter Four next week, so please join me then my lovely readers. 

Until then...


Friday, November 19, 2010

Hot or Not? Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark

It's time for this week's Hot or Not...

Hello new followers! For those of you who are new here to Mummy Mayhem, each week I choose a celebrity and ask YOU if you think he is hot, or not? The ball is in your court here...

Now, I had thought that in light of the royal engagement this week (and if you don't know what I'm talking about, then you seriously need to get off your computer right NOW and get out some more!) Prince William might be a fun choice for hot or not. But seeing that last week my hot or not choice was the very young Robert Pattinson, I thought it best not to choose Wills, seeing that you might all think I was some wannabe cougar or something. ;)

And so I chose another royal a little closer to my age - and he's practically an Australian! 

He was the playboy who married an Aussie and then became a family man. Readers, I give you Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark

Hot, or not?


On Mummy Mayhem This Week

Here's what you may have missed on Mummy Mayhem this week...

I pondered all the fuss over the Twilight franchise, and asked readers if they thought Robert Pattinson was hot, or not?

I published Chapter Three, Part II of The Dance of Revenge - my 14yr old self's novel I started writing in the 80s. 

You wanna know what I think of Family Beach Trips? Meh. 

Escape Poo Poo Island - Toilet training advice by a bunch of mums, including myself, on the Kleenex Mums website. Check it out. 

Kate & William are engaged. What do I think of it? What's the right way to have a royal wedding? What do you think of the engagement? Do you even care?

I wrote about stuff 40yr old women really shouldn't do. Find out what I've discovered. ;)

I'm afraid I didn't get around to writing anything new on the old recipe blog this week. Too busy! But next week, people! Next week. ;)

Hot or Not will be up later today. Enjoy your Friday!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stuff 40yr old Women REALLY Shouldn't Do

It's time for the mind to catch up with the body a little, I think.

I may be 40 years old now, but my mind would like to beg to differ. Mentally, I'm still in my 20s. (My husband might argue this though, seeing that I can be somewhat forgetful at times.) In any case, I still feel like I can do whatever I want to do, and I often forget that even though I might feel like I can keep up with someone half my age, the reality is I am living in a 40yr old's body. 

A few weeks ago, I climbed on to our new trampoline we bought recently for the boys to give it a bit of a whirl myself, and I thought nothing of it. Sure, I hadn't jumped on one since I was about, let's see, 17, but I figured it'd be like riding a bike. A cinch. Anyway, I started bouncing and something happened instantly: I needed to wee. BIG time. Before that moment when I made my first jump, I didn't feel in the slightest bit that I needed to use the little ladies room. 

'Of course,' I thought. 'I've given birth to three children. Duh.' 

I gave birth naturally (actually, I usually refer to it as the 'v' word rather than 'naturally' - but I just can't seem to bring myself to write that on my blog. Sorry!) to all my three boys. When the midwife measured my 8yr old's head after his birth, the first thing she said was, "WHOA! We've hit the top end of the scale here." Great. My 3yr old was a big-ish baby. After his birth, the OB/Gyn said, "Get this kid on the scales. I want to see how much he weighs!" 4.46 kilos was the weight. That's 9 pounds, 13 ounces in old terms. Let's just say that when pushing him out, I burst a bunch of blood vessels in my face doing so, and felt like my head was going to explode with the intensity of each push. Nice. 

So is it any wonder that when I started jumping I needed to head to the bathroom promptly? Not to mention that my neck started to play up just after I hopped off the trampoline - to make my way to the conveniences - from all the jolting movements I hadn't experienced in so long. 

You would think this would be a little warning that I'm probably just not able to do the things I used to do over 20 years ago, right? Of course. Any sane and sensible person would think so.

So, why on earth did I decide the other day that it would be a great idea to try - of all things - a hand stand in my kitchen? Yes, you read that correctly. A hand stand, people! What the hell was I thinking? 

I didn't even get my legs the whole way up before I felt the pull in my back and neck and the extra weight on my arms that I just didn't have when I was a 10 year old in my calisthenics class back in the 70s.

I don't want to get to 40 and think: 'That's it. Life's over. It's all downhill from here,' because I just don't believe that. My Dad, for example, has always kept very physically active, and is only just now starting to slow down at the age of 85. I don't want to suddenly stop using my body. Of course not. But I think it's time I took note of my limitations. And maybe finally book in to that yoga class I've been talking about doing for so long now and get a little more flexible again, huh?

Anything else you think I should avoid?

How about you? What have you found you just can't do as the years have gone by? Even if you're in your 20s - is there anything you used to do as a kid you wish you could do now, but can't?


The Right Way To Have a Royal Wedding

I know that blogs will be all aflutter over the next few days with posts on the upcoming royal marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton, but I just want to add my two cents worth. It's history in the making, after all.

I had a conversation with my mother-in-law recently about Prince Charles and Diana's relationship. We both agreed that - in the beginning anyway - Diana seemed to really love Charles. We also agreed that Prince Charles probably felt something for Diana too, but it obviously wasn't the passionate kind of love he  always felt towards Camilla.

Charles was supposed to marry the 'right' kind of girl. I get that. It's a monarchy after all, and the royal family has their direct ties with the Church of England, so they have to uphold a certain 'standard' or whatever. But it didn't do them any favours by insisting Charles not marry Camilla when he could have. 

I'm not a 'royal watcher' and I don't know the full ins and outs of the monarchy, however I think it's fairly obvious that the Royal Family has recognised mistakes (BIG ones) they have made in the past, and they seem quite determined not to make the same ones. My understanding is that Kate Middleton is quite an 'acceptable' choice anyhow as a future wife of the future King of England, but I also think it's great that the Royal Family seem to have allowed Prince William to do his own thing up until this point. Both he and his brother Harry seem pretty nice, down to earth kinda guys - and I think that's just what the Royal Family need.

You know, I doubt that the press are keeping an eye on my blog for my opinion and all that, but I would like to formally ask the media to leave Kate and William to it. Don't get dirty. Don't try and ruin a good thing here. Kate and William are only human after all, and getting married is a big enough, and sometimes stressful, thing for 'normal' couples to do - let alone those who are doing it with such pressure, demands and importance surrounding them. 

I believe William is marrying Kate because he is in love with her, and vice versa. I don't believe he's engaged because he feels some responsibility to be. Let's not wreck it, shall we?

Oh, and media people - could you please not saturate the news with the wedding details for the next however long before they finally get hitched? It's all about balance, people. Bal-ance.

What do you think of the upcoming nuptials? Do you even care? 


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Escape Poo Poo Island...

All parents who toilet train have a story...

About a month ago, I was asked if I would like to speak to Kleenex Mums (www.kleenexmums.com.au) about my toilet training experience. As a mother who has just almost, except for night time nappies on the 3yr old, finished training three boys, I reckon I had a bit to say on the subject. (You may recall the toilet training troubles I experienced earlier this year with the 3yr old, and then the excitement I shared with you when the 3yr old finally got it a couple of months later!)

Anyhow, together with my fellow bloggers - two very gorgeous gals - Brenda at Mummy Time and Lori at Random Ramblings of a Stay at Home Mum, as well as some other beautiful Kleenex Mums, a great piece on the Kleenex Mums website called Escape Poo Poo Island has been put together for your viewing pleasure. (I promise there is only talk of toilet training. No visual aides were used during the filming of this production.)

Besides the fact that you can get some really great toilet training advice from a bunch of Mums who have been there, or are currently in the thick of it, coupled with the fact you can see me in action on the big screen....oh, ok - a small computer screen then...another good reason to check it out is that you could share your toilet training story, and go in to the running to win one of 600 Kleenex Cottonelle Flushable Moist Wipes for Kids product samples. (Pssst - I scored a freebie, and I've gotta say, we like using them around here, and no concerns about wipes getting stuck down the toilet. They can get stuck people. They can.)

Also - check out how you can WIN a trip to Fiji! Go to Poo Poo Island now! Do it!  


Monday, November 15, 2010

Family Beach Trips. Meh.

A trip to the beach with the family on a nice, hot day. Sounds perfect, right? Think again...

I've never been a big 'beach person'. As a teenager, I just couldn't do the whole smother-the-body-in-baby-oil-and-fry-myself-on-a-hot-summer's-day thing. (Which, of course, I'm now very thankful for.) I didn't overly enjoy swimming in the ocean either. Big waves freaked me out, and once, I jumped off a boat in the middle of the ocean for a swim, and promptly begged my parents to lift me back in to the safety of the boat because I started thinking about what might be swimming beneath me. I didn't like sand sticking to me, no matter how many times I tried to rub it off with my beach towel. I most certainly didn't like sand in my swimmers. And I didn't like public toilets at the beach. Public toilets anywhere are mostly awful. But at the beach? Diabolical. 

And now, many years later, everything I disliked about the beach I'm still not keen on. Add taking three kids along on a beach visit and all I can say to explain how I feel about that is maximum effort, minimal gain

Don't get me wrong. Since the kids were born, there have been trips to the beach that have been rather enjoyable. However, most of that enjoyment is from seeing the boys have such a great time. They love it! Me on the other hand? Not so much.

Firstly, when Hubby announces we're going to the beach, he then gets himself ready by dressing in his swimmers and perhaps checking his emails or the market. I, on the other hand, proceed to get three boys dressed, make sure their teeth are brushed, pack their swimmers, sunscreen, hats, spare clothes, drink bottles, snacks, towels for all of us, tissues, nappy change items, floaties, goggles, a beach tent, a book for me (which is packed in vein because I will never get an opportunity to read even one page of it), sand toys, cricket bat and ball, blow up boogie boards and some money to spend at the kiosk (where all items will be sold at exorbitant prices) and I will ask them no less than three times each to put their shoes on before we leave. Phew.  

Oh the joy to then lug all the above mentioned items to our preferred spot on the beach (after we spend close to forever finding a parking spot, which inevitably is miles away from the sand and which we will pay a ridiculous price to park in). Then the boys will spend the next five minutes it takes us to set up the tent, lay down the towels and put all our belongings inside, asking us various questions like, "Can you blow up the boogie board now, Mummy? I want to go in the water now, Mummy." And, "Where's my shovel, Mummy? I want to make a rooley, rooley BIG sandcastle, Mummy. Will you help me build it now? Will you?" And, "Oh, look! We have a tent! I want to go camping! Can I get inside now, Mummy? Can I?!

After all questions are answered with an impatient, "Just wait!" we will finally get the kids in to the tent to slap sunscreen on them - that is, once they've managed to roll around in the sand and then complain when the sunscreen hurts their skin, "because it's so scratchy!" Then they will dash to the water's edge, and Hubby and I will sit on edge watching them like hawks as we attempt to keep an eye on them amongst the millions of other families and screaming kids surrounding them. 

Within a two-hour time frame, I will make no less than five visits to the toilets with one of my sons in tow (most of which will be with the 3yr old). I will make roughly three trips to the kiosk. On one of those trips I will purchase icy poles for all. On another trip to the kiosk, I will purchase another icy pole to replace the one that was dropped just seconds after being opened, and tears have ensued. I will waste enormous amounts of time removing the beach towels from the bottom of the beach tent so I can shake off all the scratchy sand that has accumulated on them, only to find more sand on the towels just minutes later. 

Before too long, it will be time to return home and we will pack up all the above mentioned items and lug them back to the car - three boys begging not to go. "Just half an hour more!" will be the pleas. Half of the beach will end up in our car, and we will make our way home - sometimes, not having hit the water myself. 

But the kids always love it. They will undoubtedly have fond memories in adulthood of their time at the beach with their family; the stress their parents experienced not even playing a part. 

I just wish we had a backyard pool. That would be more my style. Far less exhausting, don't you think?

How about you? Are you a beach or pool person? Do you take everything other than the kitchen sink when you head to the beach?