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 Mummy Mayhem is no longer updated.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, February 28, 2011

Mummy Mayhem Goes Dot Com & Other Blog News

I've been thinking for a while now about Mummy Mayhem going dot com, and finally I got off my you-know-whatsie and did something about it. 

My new site address is:


Isn't that nice and short and simple now? I'd have gone without the hyphen, but someone had already taken it. That said, I think it turned out for the best because my blog link always had a hyphen anyway, and I wouldn't want to confuse anyone! (Including myself.)

Now, I'm pretty sure Google or whoever (I'm really rather technically challenged, you know) will forward all my old blogspot links to my new blog name once it's up and running (at least, that's what Google told me during the process). But just in case, if you have me on your blog roll/in your bookmarks, maybe you could update my link to my new .com? That would be lovely!

Now, on to the 'other blog news'.

As many of you will know, I've had some issues with comments this year. I used Echo comments for aaaages (pretty much from the start of my blog), and then one day they just disappeared. I finally got them back, only to have them disappear on me again so I got tired of that and signed up for Disqus.

I loved it. LOVED it. I could reply to people via email easily, and I loved being able to reply to each person's comment directly underneath theirs. But apparently a lot of you experienced difficulty loading the comments and some were unable to comment at all and that made me very, very sad. (Any blogger who tells you comments don't matter to them is LYING! Bloggers love to know what you think and know that you're reading.)

And so, even though I'm not a huge fan of Blogger's commenting system, I've reverted back to it. Sadly, this means I have lost the comments that were left on my blog since installing Disqus late last year. But you know what? I've printed them all. That's how much they mean to me. I spent donkey's years the other day printing off all my blog posts and comments - even dashing to the shops for more print paper - just so I could have them to look back on. I printed off Angela's beautiful post the other day twice, so that she could have a set. I know all those comments you all left for her meant a lot to her.

Anyway, it'll all be good. I hope there aren't too many glitches from hereon. *crosses fingers*

Now, please come back tomorrow (Tuesday) because I'm having that GIVEAWAY I'm excited about. If you have kids aged 3-8 years, you might like to pop on by.

Until then...

Image: We Heart It

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Dance of Revenge - Chapter Thirteen

Happy Sunday. Time to grab yourself a cuppa, sit down, and read the next instalment of The Dance of Revenge

You know, I don't know why, but I didn't include at the beginning of these posts the poem I wrote that was to be included at the start of the book. It was always a pretty big thing in Sweet Dream romance novels to have a poem at the beginning of those books - hence the reason I included one, I think.

Now, seeing that this week is a very short chapter, I thought I'd include the poem for your, er, reading pleasure.

Before I do though, let's recap last week. (For all new readers, this is a book I wrote at age 14, and all the chapters so far can be found on the RHS of my homepage - just scroll down until you find the pink ballet slippers.)

So, last week we revisited Elizabeth and Adam, with Elizabeth experiencing renewed hope that Sherrie may, in fact, be still alive. Elizabeth was making a phone call to find out more information just as we finished up.


Ok - here's the poem, followed by lucky Chapter Thirteen. (And remember: anything written in red [and in brackets like this] are my comments about my writing back then.)

The Dance of Revenge

It started as a dance of love
a bond they'd hold forever. 
Hopes and dreams and fantasies
they thought they'd share together.

And then one day he came along
and tore their world apart.
For daughter it was now the end
for mother now the start.

Far away their bodies stood
until there was no more.
Their love was gone, their friendship ruined
their hate was always sore. 

And now that dance is of revenge
one seen from all above.
Except for two who now it is
another dance of love.

Whoa. Maya Angelou - eat your heart out.

Ok, now it's time for this week's instalment... enjoy ;)

Chapter Thirteen

LOUINA sat in the doctor’s office watching him read over these papers. [Yeah. You know, there were, like, these papers - you know?] She seemed to think they were probably about her. Louina didn’t feel uncomfortable with Pierre. She felt very much at home.

Pierre looked up at Louina and smiled warmly. His lips shone brightly and his eyes contrasted well. [Huh? Was the man wearing gloss?]

“It’s nice to see you looking healthy, Louina. These records,” he said, holding up the papers, “are wonderful. They tell me that you are a healthy young girl. This is good, Louina, because in exactly three days we start your first operation.” Louina looked at Pierre in surprise. Three days? So soon.

“Three days,” she repeated quietly. Pierre laughed gaily. [I doubt laughing ‘gaily’ is an appropriate response by a doctor. Even a good-looking plastic surgeon.] These records show you to be in very good condition so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t start the operations as soon as possible. You’ll be fine.” His words gave little comfort to Louina but she attempted to settle down. She would be fine. Everything would be alright, because Pierre said so. And then…then she could start her new life.

“Alright, Pierre, I’m in your hands now. I will be ready.”


*     *     *     *     *

Marianna was very pleased with Pierre’s decision.

“That is wonderful, Louina! You’ll become and feel a whole new person. Just think how better you’ll feel. Then after that, you may want to look for your real parents. After all the operations, I mean.”

Louina frowned. She already knew who they were. They were bad people. Awfully bad.

“Did I tell you my news, Louina?” Marianna asked cheerfully.

“No, you didn’t, Marianna. What is it?” Louina asked, curiously.

“They have found another body in that horrible river. Now there are only five more people to find. Three of them are thought to be your age. If they are found and identified Louina, your identity will be known. Then we will be able to find your parents. Won’t that be good for y…,” Marianna looked at Louina’s face. She looked horrified. “Louina, what is it? Are you ill?” Louina looked at Marianna. Her forehead had worry lines. Louina looked at her feet, her head felt too light. They couldn’t find any more people. Marianna would find out who she was. They would all find out. Everything swerved in front of her and she attempted to grab Marianna, but it was too late. She had fainted. [Dontchya love the drama?]

*     *     *     *     *

Something cold was on Louina’s forehead. She wondered what it was. She opened [her eyes] to find Marianna asleep in the seat next to her bed. For a moment, she tried to remember what had happened, then it came to her. The news. Marianna’s news. Louina shuddered. Marianna thought that it would cheer her up, but it hadn’t. It had made her feel more scared and anxious.

She felt her forehead, and on it was a damp flannel. She pulled it off and threw it down on the ground. She sat up, but felt dizzy, so she rested back against the pillows. Louina looked silently at Marianna. What a nice woman. She had been so kind to Louina. Maybe they wouldn’t find the bodies after all. There was no use worrying at that moment anyhow.

Marianna stirred slightly, so Louina quickly closed her eyes and pretended to sleep. She felt a hand rest on her forehead, then the flannel was placed on it instead.

“My poor Louina,” came the hushed words of Marianna. “Sleep well, ma cherie.” There was silence for a short moment, then she heard her door open then shut. Marianna was gone.

Slowly Louina opened her eyes. Never in such a long time had she felt more lonlier [or just ‘lonely’ would have done] than she did then. Her heart felt empty and so dead. Marianna leaving had left her feeling unhappy. For so long she had felt hatred for her mother and Mr Brair. Now she felt sorry for them almost, sorry that they could have been better people, but they weren’t. They were and would always be bad people. Louina knew this, though she wished she were wrong. For her mother. For the first time since the day she awoke in the hospital, Louina began to cry - for Sherrie. For the person she was. For the person she wouldn’t ever be again. 

Enjoy your Sunday, people.

Friday, February 25, 2011

This Week I'm Grateful For...My Location, Location, Location

It’s time to be grateful, with Maxabella acting as the hostess with the mostess. 

When Hubby and I purchased our home back in 2001, we really had no idea how handy the location was. We just saw the potential that the house had. (Or rather, Hubby did – he has a good eye for such things. I recall walking out after my first viewing and exclaiming, “Too hard.”)

But, oh my – it may not be considered the best street in our suburb (not by a long shot – but it’s also not the worst), but it’s location, location, location as far as I’m concerned.

At one end of our street is the bus route. At the other end, we have a bunch of shops – everything you need is just a short walk away. I can stand outside on the front verge and watch the 8yo and 7yo walk down to school, and enter the school gate (with no need to cross the road). The church we attend is right next door to the school. I can get in my car and drive to my local Westfield in about five minutes. I can walk there in around fifteen. We have restaurants, caf├ęs and hair salons close by.

Hubby and I actually decided, just over a year ago, that we really needed to move. To be honest: we do need more space. Our boys aren’t getting any smaller, and a rumpus room would be awesome.

House hunting was torturous though. It was hard to find the right thing, and when we did, we either couldn’t afford it, or we missed out on buying it. The boys were beside themselves having to spend hours getting in and out of cars every week. It was such a nightmare in the end.

So we gave up.

Now, I’m kind of grateful we did. Everything is here, and if we add a little storage in the attic (which we’re looking in to now), and maybe add a small pool (maybe), then we might be ok here for a few more years yet. With the 4yo starting school next year, how handy will it be to drive home from dropping off the 8yo (he’ll move schools) and then just walk him and the 7yo down the road?

Yes. This week I’m grateful for where my house is. At the end of the day, it really does make my life a whole lot easier. Besides - there's no place like home. ;) 

What are you grateful for this week?

Top image: We Heart It

On Mummy Mayhem This Week

My, doesn't a week fly by? 

Feels like I only posted this a few days ago...not seven! It's time to catch up on what you may have missed on Mummy Mayhem this week. (Was quite a busy one actually!)

Last week, I rediscovered playgroup after a few years' absence. And I am grateful for that.

In this week's instalment of The Dance of Revenge, we revisited Sherrie/Louina's mother and step-father, with Elizabeth finding out some new information that may help her reunite with her daughter.

I haven't had a rant for a while, but I did this week: about The Self Absorbed Parent. Know one?

I wrote my second piece for Kleenex Mums: The Challenges of Raising Boys. As a mother to three of them, I certainly know there are challenges ahead of me!

This week I invited you to meet my friend, Angela. She wrote a beautiful, inspirational piece for my blog about a brave decision she made quite recently. (She doesn't call herself brave, but I certainly think she is!!). Every woman should read it.

Sometimes I like to share stuff I've found that I think you might like. Find out what stuff I think you should look out for!

I finally posted a new recipe on my recipe blog. Hooray! Perfect for this warm weather: Pasta & Egg Salad with Ham.

Now, next week, I'm having a fabulous new GIVEAWAY! If you have kids between the ages of 3 and 8, this is the giveaway for you. So pop back for that, ok?

Have a great Friday, ya'll.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stuff to Look Out For...My Review

Apart from the fact that I get to write whatever I like here, and receive some lovely comments on my posts from so many of you, I also occasionally get sent some free stuff to review. Bonus!

I'm a bit fussy about what I receive though. I only want to accept something if I think it might interest you lot. I'm not paid to write these reviews (although, I do get to keep the stuff!), and I don't promise a review to the companies sending them either. I just always, from the outset, intended to share stuff I like with my readers.

So here are a couple of items I was sent recently...

Stubbies Schoolwear
Stubbies have a schoolwear range that you can buy online. Isn't that handy?

The 7yo has himself a gorgeous sky blue in the polo top pictured above (which has been endorsed by SunSmart), but I'm thinking I might get him the same in Gold for his Athletics Carnival later in the year (and for the almost 9yo too). I really like the fabric. It's soft and the tops have underarm venting which is a big bonus. (Smelly armpits = ewww.) I like sports tops with collars. I think they look sharper. ;)

They come in a range of colours and RRP is $14.99. Very reasonable price for the quality in my opinion.

Inner-B Stationery
You know how I love stationery, right? LOVE it. So do many of you, I know. Well, Inner-B sent me the Mum Organiser (RRP $44.95) - a really beautiful looking diary/organiser. Mine is in 'Fuchsia' (ie hot pink!), but it also comes in a gorgeous green, blue and sand colour. 

At first glance I thought that the week-to-view on the diary was a little small. But, when I looked at it further, I realised there was also a section underneath the calendar part for recording birthdays and anniversaries, and then underneath that, a section for the kids. You can write up their activities, play dates - that sort of thing. So in actual fact - more than enough space for the average Mum trying to organise her life. Here's an example below (click on the image to get a closer look):

But it's the stuff at the back of the organiser that I think is really handy. There's too much to list here, but there are sections to record:
  • Contact Info - broken up in to sections like Emergency Contacts, Entertaining Contacts, General Contacts etc
  • Special Days to Remember
  • My Goals
  • Must Read Books/Must Listen to Music/Must See Movies
  • Favourite Restaurants
  • Family Medical Information
  • Immunisation Schedule
  • Holiday Ideas + Planning
  • Holiday Checklists
the list goes on...and if you like lists - this is definitely for you!

My only concerns with the product was, firstly, that the diary is kind of chunky. If you're someone who likes to carry your diary around with you all the time, you're gonna have to get a bigger handbag! But, if you're like me, and tend to keep your diary on your desk/opened up on your kitchen bench top - only taking it with you to school meetings etc - then that will be no problem for you.

There was also a little issue with the wrapping around the diary using a glue which removed some of the diary's cover (inside), but Inner-B assured me that they were aware of this and had taken steps to have it rectified, and all new product should not be affected. (And that stuff happens. Easily fixed. Trial and error, you know?)

Check out their website, because they also do a bunch of other stationery items, like a Pregnancy + Baby Organiser, Feeding + Sleeping Journal (I would have LOVED one of those when feeding my three boys), as well as some planners for Family activities, Meals that sort of thing.

Thanks Stubbies and Inner-B!

Oh, I'm having a GIVEAWAY next week of a product I'm really, very excited about. It is something we use in this house every day. So handy! Keep an eye out for that next week. ;)

Got a product you'd recommend right now? 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Meet My Friend: Angela - Her Brave Decision

I am in awe of my friend, Angela. Awe. 

I have no idea, if I were in her shoes, how I would cope with making the decision that she has had to make recently. How I would cope knowing what she now knows. But as you will find…Angela (rightly) believes knowledge is power, and having a supportive husband, family, friends and a will to see your own children grow old, made Angela's decision a whole lot easier.  

Here’s Angela’s story…

Last November I was diagnosed as having the BRCA 1 gene. This gene gives me a higher chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer (around 80 – 90% for breast cancer and 40 – 60% for ovarian). It wasn’t a huge shock to me to find out I was positive, and I am so glad I know.
I have a history of breast cancer on my mother’s side of the family. My grandmother had breast cancer at the age of 40. My aunty had it twice: once at 48 and then again at 52. My cousin Sally first battled breast cancer at the age of 37 and then again three years later. She has just undergone her last round of chemotherapy and, fortunately, her latest scan is clear. It was during her first round of breast cancer that Sally had the gene test done – it came back positive. Sally was the first person in our family to be tested. At the time, her Breast Surgeon discussed the possibility of her having a double mastectomy but she refused, a decision she now regrets, as the cancer came back last year.
My mother decided to have the gene test last September. Her test result also came back positive. As soon as I knew her result, I made an appointment with the Sydney Genetic Clinic. There was no way I was going to sit around wondering if I had it too.
It’s not a simple test to have done. I had an hour long, quite intense meeting with a Genetic Counsellor where we discussed the outcomes of the test and what my reactions to either result might be. The test itself is a simple blood test, but two tests have to be done twenty minutes apart to make sure the results are completely conclusive. Another appointment was made at the time of the test to meet with the Genetic Counsellor and an Oncology Professor for four weeks’ time to discuss the results. 
I knew even before I went to that appointment that my test would be positive. I just had a feeling.
I went to the appointment having psyched myself into knowing the result would be positive. I did feel nervous: I was about to hear something that was going to have a big impact on my life. My husband John knew I felt terrible, and when we got to the hospital he turned to me and said, “No matter what the test result is, it’s all good news. If it’s negative - then that’s a great thing, and if it’s positive - then that’s a good thing too, because we can take measures to prevent it.” 
I remember sitting down with the Professor and the Genetic Counsellor. The Professor didn’t beat around the bush, “I’m sorry, unfortunately you have tested positive.”
Wow – it was as though I had been slapped in the face. I felt tears well up in my eyes and sat there completely shocked. I really thought I had been prepared for this result, but when reality hit it was obvious I wasn’t. In that second I felt as though my life had completely changed. I sat there in a daze whilst the Professor whirled off statistics and gave me referrals to a Breast Surgeon and Gynaecologist/Oncologist. Luckily John was with me, because I didn’t hear a word! I went home and called Mum - she was devastated for me and in her silly way blamed herself for passing the gene on to me and maybe to my twin daughters. I remember crying and then getting angry with myself – I shouldn’t be crying. There were women out there who really did have breast cancer. I was lucky. I had received information that could save my life in the future. Get over yourself, Angela!
John was right. Although the test result was positive, I now had the opportunity to do something about it and beat the odds – in that way, I’m blessed. I can be in control.
It’s been three months since my test result. In this time I have met with my Breast Surgeon and Gynaecologist/Oncologist. The Breast Surgeon was wonderful. She gave me two options: the first is to have a preventative double mastectomy and reconstruction (this involves the removal of all breast tissue including the nipples, then a plastic surgeon will reconstruct them). The second option was to be vigilant. I can have ultrasounds and mammograms done every six months. However, the Doctor warned me that if I took this approach I could experience quite a roller coaster of emotions – feeling anxious as the tests approach, anxiety during the test period as any lump found is biopsied, and more anxiety as you wait for the results. I have had lumps tested in the past and knew exactly what she meant by feeling anxious – it’s not a fun couple of weeks! I knew that if I took this approach, I would become obsessed and be constantly feeling my breasts for lumps, and if I felt something I just know I would make myself sick with worry!
I don’t just have my breasts to worry about though. I also have an increased chance of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is harder to detect and when it is detected it is often at an advanced stage. The Gynaecologist has told me that after the age of 40 (I am now 38) I can have my ovaries removed to lower the risk. This will mean I will enter early menopause and will have to go on Hormone Replacement Therapy – lucky me!
At the moment though I am focusing on my breasts. I have decided to take the radical option and get my breasts removed. They’re coming off in June this year! To me, I have no choice. I have two beautiful girls and a wonderful husband. I want to be around for them. I am so privileged to be able to have this information that enables me to do something about it. I can’t sit back and do nothing. I don’t want to get breast cancer in five years’ time and think,‘I had the opportunity to do something – why didn’t I do it...?’
People have asked me if it has been a hard decision to make. It wasn’t. At the moment my breasts feel like two ticking time bombs just waiting to explode! They have served me well in the past, but it’s now time to say goodbye. I will have them reconstructed though as I do still want to look and feel like ‘normal’. During my operation the Breast Surgeon will take them off (including the nipples) and then my Plastic Surgeon will come in and reconstruct them. Easy!!
My Mother, who is 69, is having her double mastectomy and reconstruction next month. She is a very fit and healthy woman and I cannot ever recall her having ever been sick. However she has met with a lot of opposition towards her decision. People see her as being too old to have such a big operation and have been quite forward (and rude) in telling her so. This, in turn, has quite upset her - but fortunately she has stayed strong and is sticking to her decision. My family want her to be around for many years to come!
I have only told close friends, and they have all been extremely supportive - something that has made this decision so much easier for me. I was also fortunate that a close friend from school had a friend who had the operation done last year. I have met with her and she told me it was the best thing she has ever done. She also let me look at and touch her new breasts – quite eye opening!
Talking to my cousin, Sally, has also reinforced to me that I have made the right decision. Sally has three young children and said that the last four years of her life have been “absolutely horrific” and she wishes nobody to go through what she has. She said she just wishes she had taken the “damn things off” when her Surgeon suggested it, but vanity got in the way. Sally has basically ordered me to have a preventative mastectomy!
For me this has been a relatively easy decision to make. I refuse to let this cancer gene control my life, and will do what I deem as necessary to change its course. There could be a chance that I will never get breast cancer, but the chance of getting it is much bigger – and I don’t want to take that risk to find out...

Thank you Angela. You’re amazing. A-MAZ-ING. An inspiration to many. x

I'll keep you posted on Angela's progress after she undergoes surgery later this year. 

If you have any concerns about your risk of breast cancer, please see your GP. They can point you in the right direction.

Images: We Heart It

The Challenges of Raising Boys

I'm over at Kleenex Mums again today.

I've written about a subject close to my heart: Raising Boys.

So, why don't you pop on over, take a read and leave me a comment there?

I'd love that. :)

Image: We Heart It

Monday, February 21, 2011

Having a Rant: The Self-Absorbed Parent

You’ve met them. Right?

They’re the ones who put themselves and/or their kids first, with complete disregard for others. They are the parents who, for example:

- Enter an enclosed play area/playground to attend to their child, during which they leave the gate WIDE open so that all the other kids can escape should they choose to (and usually do). Repeatedly.

- On arriving at your child’s sports class, they can’t be bothered parking their car out on the street when they discover the car park is full, so they park their car in front of all the other cars, ensuring no one can get in or out. Because, you know, they’ll ‘only be a minute’. (Sure, you will.)

- At a child’s party, have a ‘word’ to the judges of the dance competition because their child really, really wants to win. (Good luck when your child gets older. It's a big, bad world out there.)

- Wouldn’t hesitate to discipline anyone elses child, but conveniently turns a blind eye when their own is misbehaving (and doing far worse than your child could ever do).

Oh, I could go on. 

Actually, I think I will.

I was at a local toy store once that had a very small, enclosed play area built for the purpose of keeping kids amused whilst their parent/carer perused the store in peace. On this particular day, there were two mothers who had decided to sit in the play area on the floor, not leaving much room for any of the kids who wanted to play in there.

If that wasn’t bad enough, my 7yr old, who was about 14 months old at the time, was playing in there - bashing away at the toy stove - when he spotted something he wanted. He leaned to his right to retrieve the toy, and in the process, accidentally knocked over a little girl who fell backwards on to her bottom.

The mother of the child was one of the mums sitting in the play area. She grabbed my son’s arm and said to him, rather harshly I might add, “Hey, you have to be careful!”

Now, I’m all for others having a word to my child if: a) I’m not around to discipline them; b) my child has actually done something on purpose that needs to be addressed; and c) my child is, like, at a reasonable age to understand the point that parent is trying to make. But this was nothing short of ridiculous. My son was 14 months old, for goodness sake. And grabbing his arm? Not on, lady.

Rest assured, not being particularly shy during such situations, I had a little word to her. ;)

Unfortunately, you come across these parents almost on a daily basis. 

The mother who gets out of her car in the kiss and ride lane at school because she needs to talk to someone – holding up all the other cars in the process? She’s one.

The father who takes his kids to visit his mate and lets them run riot, leaving it up to the wife of his mate to watch them and discipline them? He’s one too.

The mother, for whom you open up the door for at swimming lessons almost every week so that she can get her child's stroller through, who never thanks you. She's one as well. 

The parents who arrive late to the school concert and try to squeeze their way in to a pew as close to the front as possible, then get upset and make a fuss when there’s no room for them – and their party of five? Yup. Bingo.

Unfortunately, self-absorbed parents are everywhere. All we can hope is that they all get a taste of their own medicine at some point, and the penny drops. Agree?

How about you? Have you experienced a self-absorbed parent?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Dance of Revenge - Chapter Twelve

It's time to catch up with all that's happening in the ongoing saga of The Dance of Revenge.

Last week, Louina (ie Sherrie of pre-train wreck days) met her surgeon, and he was planning her new look. How very exciting. Wish I had before and after shots for you. No such luck.

This week, my 14-year-old, incredibly inexperienced self, dabbles in yet another sex scene. I tell you, I'm so glad I'm not reading ahead with this book, because I doubt I'd have ever decided to publish it! I just hope my mother isn't reading this!

In fact, I'm quite sure she never read it when I was 14 either. At least, I don't think she did. Must ask her about that...

For those of you who are new followers, The Dance of Revenge (if you haven't already guessed) was a book I wrote at age 14. I think I wrote it mostly to entertain my friends. I remember handing it around in English class (how appropriate) and the girls reading it. Of course, looking at my writing/spelling/grammar - I probably should have spent more time paying attention in English class. (Just saying.)

Enjoy this week. If you have missed any chapters to date, just scroll down the RHS of my homepage, find the pink ballet slippers, and they're all there for your reading pleasure.


Chapter Twelve

ADAM Brair stood in the doorway of the attic, looking over the space in front of him. He thought about what he could do with it. A pool table, some lounges and a bar fridge in the corner would be perfect. He could have an ice-crusher and make great drinks with it. [‘Great’ drinks. I like it.] He imagined having his pals over to shoot some pool and sit around drinking beer and smoking cigars. It could be his space now.

But Elizabeth wouldn’t let him. She was still waiting for her precious daughter to come home.

God damn little bitch, he thought. 

Adam counted himself lucky. Turns out there was one survivor from the train wreck that had forgotten who she was. He had made sure that Elizabeth hadn’t seen any news about it, and had spoken to the authorities for her, telling them that she was too upset and delicate to speak to anyone. Which was sort of true, anyway. Now he just hoped no more bodies would be found and that the little bitch wouldn’t remember who she was.

Adam thought about the day in the attic when he’d almost had her for himself. Because she did ballet, she had a body like a dancer. [Ya think?] Long and lean. He thought about her breast, and about his tongue on it. He started to feel the excitement building in his body. He thought of her thighs and what it probably would have felt like to be inside her.

Now he was hard. [Nice. LOVE the subtlety in the writing.] He and Elizabeth hadn’t made love since the train accident, and he was sick of it. He had needs, and Elizabeth was his wife. She owed him, and enough was enough.

He went back downstairs to find her. He knew where she would be. Where she always was these days. In bed, sleeping. Sleeping so she wouldn’t have to think about her daughter laying dead in the bottom of the river.

He reached the bedroom door, and there she was. Asleep again. He moved over to the bed and took off all his clothes. Then he lifted back the sheet and looked at her. She was wearing an old t-shirt and underwear. She never wore the sexy nightgowns he had bought her anymore. He was finding it hard to feel bad for her anymore, and the sexy waitress at the bar he stopped by most days was looking better and better to him. [Key word in this paragraph: sexy.]

He thought about Sherrie’s breasts again, and it made him want Elizabeth.

He climbed in to bed with her and kissed her on the neck. “Honey,” he said sexily, [MORE ‘sexy’] “Wake up. I need you.”

Elizabeth stirred. She turned towards him and gave him a half smile. I’m in luck, he thought. He bent down and kissed her lips. She kissed him back hungrily. Finally, he thought to himself, his desire finally growing for her again.

Adam was just climbing on top of Elizabeth when all of a sudden, she suddenly pushed him away. [Did you get it was ‘sudden’, people?] “Stop!” she yelled. “Get off me!”

He was taken aback. “WHAT?” he yelled at her. “God damn it, Elizabeth. What’s going on? I thought…”

“I was asleep, Adam. I didn’t realise what was happening. I’m not ready! I can’t do this. Not when Sherrie is…” her voice trailed off and she started to cry.

Adam rolled his eyes. This was too much.

“You have to snap out of this, Liz. It’s been ages now, and laying around crying isn’t going to help anything.”

Her eyes glared at him. “How dare you?” she said, shaking with anger now.

“How dare I? How dare I? I am your husband, Elizabeth. Your husband. You owe me this.”

She was about to yell at him again, when all of a sudden, he grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her back down on the bed. He sat on top her and pinned her arms back with his own. “You are going to have sex with me, Liz. Right now.” She struggled, crying more loudly now.

“NO! Adam, stop. I don’t want to. I can’t.” He wasn’t listening. He had played the supportive husband for too long. Still holding her arms down, he forced his body on top of hers and moved so he could be inside her.

Elizabeth cried, and kept yelling for him to stop, but he didn’t. He couldn’t now. He pushed himself inside her over and over until finally, he was done. Then he rolled off her and collapsed next to her on the bed.

Elizabeth turned away from him. He could hear her crying softly. He thought of trying to comfort her, but he knew she was angry. [No kidding.] Too bad, he thought to himself. Now he knew why Sherrie had been such a bitch. She got it from her mother.

He closed his eyes. All he wanted to do now is sleep. “Will you shut up?” he said to Elizabeth without turning around. He didn’t want to see her face. Finally, she went quiet.

*     *     *     *     *

Elizabeth lay still next to Adam, her heart thumping quickly. She waited until she heard his heavy breathing, proving he was asleep, before she got up and went to the bathroom attached to their bedroom [that’d be the ‘ensuite’, yes? And to think I could have snuck another French word in there]. She looked in the mirror. Her eyes were red from crying. She had cried every day since the train accident. Her life felt empty and worthless without Sherrie. Oh, how she missed her little girl. If only…

It had been a very difficult time since the accident. Elizabeth hoped that Sherrie was still alive, but it wasn’t looking good. She had heard from a friend of hers, that there were still people missing, and her friend was about to give her more information when Adam had interrupted their phone call because he thought Elizabeth needed to rest.

Adam. He didn’t want Elizabeth to talk about Sherrie or to read the papers, or to make any phone calls to the authorities about Sherrie. At first, she thought he was trying to shield her from it all, but now…she wasn’t so sure.

She looked at herself in the mirror again. Adam had just raped her. He had taken her against her will. She felt dirty. She ran the shower, and then stood under its hot spray, wishing for the pain to go away.

After she got out of the shower and dried herself off, she heard the doorbell. She grabbed her dressing gown, and ran downstairs to see who it was. Adam was still sleeping. Good, she thought.

She opened the door and was surprised to see Sherrie’s friend standing there. “Aliza!” she exclaimed. Her eyes began to brim with tears again.

Aliza looked concerned, “I’m sorry Ms Dol…I mean, Mrs Brair. I don’t want to upset you.”

Elizabeth shook her head. “No, no, Aliza. I am glad you came, non? It is good to see you.” She embraced the delicate girl in her arms. “Come inside, please.”

Aliza shook her head. “No, thank you Mrs Brair. I shouldn’t. I am on my way home from ballet class, and my mother will worry about me if I don’t get home soon. I just wanted to bring you something I found today.” She lifted up a shopping bag and handed it to Elizabeth. “These are Sherrie’s. She left them behind the day of the…” her voice trailed off. [I was really in to the whole ‘voice trailed off’ thing. I think this was used a lot in those Sweet Dream romance novels I was in to back then. VERY dramatic.]

Elizabeth looked inside the bag and pulled out two shiny, pink ballet slippers. They were Sherrie’s favourite and special slippers that her grandmother – Elizabeth’s mother – had bought for her. Elizabeth stared at them in shock for a while. Then she burst in to tears.

“I-I’m so sorry, Mrs Brair. I just thought…”

“No, Aliza,” Elizabeth interrupted. “You were right to bring these to me. Merci. Merci.” She hugged the girl again.

“I have to go now, Mrs Brair. You will let us know if you hear anything else, won’t you?”

“I promise you, Aliza. Promise.”

Aliza turned and ran down the steps. Then, suddenly, she turned back around and said to Elizabeth, “Did the police say whether they had found out who the girl who lost her memory was?”

Elizabeth looked confused. “Which girl, Aliza?” she asked curiously.

“Oh, you didn’t hear? That’s strange.” She frowned. “There was a girl they found after the accident. She was badly burnt and couldn’t remember who she was. On the news, they said they hadn’t found her parents and no one had claimed her. I just thought that maybe…” her voice trailed off. [Like I said…]

Elizabeth was shocked. Adam had not told her about this girl. “Do you know where she is, Aliza? The girl?”

Non, Mrs Brair. I think I had heard she was going to some place in Paris to have her face fixed.”

Elizabeth drew in her breath. “I will keep you posted, Aliza. I promise.”

“Ok, merci. Au revoir.”

Elizabeth didn’t answer the girl. She was deep in thought.

Adam had not told her about a girl being found. What if it was Sherrie?

She raced inside to her kitchen and hunted for the business card of the policeman she knew Adam had spoken to. Finally, she found it under a pile of papers on the kitchen table. Her hands shook as she dialed the number.

Bonjour, madame,” she said when a woman answered the phone. “Could I please speak to Mr Lamond?”

Oui. Of course. I will put your through,” came the reply.

Elizabeth’s heart was racing. Maybe she had found Sherrie? Maybe the girl without her memory was her daughter?

Bonjour. This is Mr Lamond, speaking.”

Bonjour, Mr Lamond. My name is Elizabeth Brair. I am the mother of Sherrie Dolty who has been missing from the train accident. I wanted to talk to you about the girl who has lost her memory. I want to find out if it is my daughter.”

Oooh. It's getting exciting, isn't it? Ahem. 

Catch you next week. ;) 

Image: We Heart It

Friday, February 18, 2011

This Week I'm Grateful For...Rediscovering Playgroup

It's time to join Maxabella and tell you what I'm grateful for this week.

The 4yr old and I haven't really done a lot of the stuff I used to do with my two big boys. I'm currently working on rectifying this. I have some big plans for us this year as it's his final year before he runs down the road off to school, and I'm going to enjoy some together time with my little man.

You know, up until Thursday this week, we had never been to playgroup together. EVER.

I used to take my other boys ALL the time - especially my first born. We tried a couple of different playgroups before we found one that really suited us (or rather, me).

I'm not someone who's comfortable at small community playgroups where your input is required. I don't like the responsibility of remembering to bring the plate of fruit in Week 3, and I'd just rather come and go as I please. I also don't want to feel like I have to socialise if I don't feel like it. When a playgroup's a little bigger, you can just lose yourself there if you want to.

There's so much to do there for the kids: painting, climbing, playdough, craft, sand activities, sport...tons of stuff. It's two hours of bliss for the kids, and I'd forgotten about how great it can be for the parents too.

We had a great day weather-wise for our first day...

Blue sky...

Watching the 4yr old painting under the shade of the surrounding trees reminded me so much of painting at my kindergarten when I was the same age (fond memories).

Le Artiste!

Of course, the 4yr old was in his element with all the climbing equipment there. That was by far his favourite part of the morning.

He was singing the theme music to Indiana Jones during his climb. ;) 
How wonderful that playgroups are available - both for kids and parents. How on earth did I manage without it for the past few years?

What are you grateful for this week?

On Mummy Mayhem This Week

What did you miss this week?

Last week I explained why I was grateful for Patience, Good Advice and Signs from the Universe.

In Chapter Eleven of The Dance of Revenge, Louina met her surgeon. Was he good-looking after all? (Very important when choosing a plastic surgeon, you know.) Find out.

Last Sunday, my family and I headed off to Chinese New Year celebrations. Find out which Masterchef I met there, what he's up to next, and read my review on a great book called Rabbit's Year. Kids will love it. :)

Are you determining your child's place in the family by labeling them? We may have (unintentionally) done just that with our 4 yr old. Find out why.

You simply MUST enter my latest GIVEAWAY - a great portable - tiny, but powerful - speaker for your iPod, iPhone or computer. And the giveaway is open to residents of ALL countries. So you - my reader in Greenland - YOU CAN ENTER!

Nothing on the old recipe blog (again) this week. Must do something about that. Stat.

Have a great Friday, people.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Music on the Go - The X-mini II Capsule Speaker

I am VERY excited about this new giveaway. I love, love, love this product. And the best news? This offer is open to everyone - no matter where you live!

Ever out and about - maybe at the beach, the local pool, on a picnic, at your kids' cricket match - and wish you could play your iPod so that everyone could enjoy it? Yes? You're in luck.

The X-mini II Capsule Speaker is so compact, it fits in to the palm of your hand. Like this:

Which I'd moisturised before that shot.

Just plug it in to your iPod or your computer and instantly you have music wherever you are.

I was fortunate to receive my very own X-mini Capsule Speaker and a set of the black X-mini MAX II speakers. (You can connect them all together for even higher quality sound, but even the X-mini II Capsule Speaker on its own is nice and LOUD, and the quality of the sound - especially for such a small speaker - is amazing!)

Anyway, here's just some of the places I've used mine...

By the pool (with the X-mini MAX II speakers)

In the kitchen

On a picnic

Whilst reading in the lounge

In the bedroom

I'd have taken a picture of me listening to music in the bath the other night, but one of two things probably would have happened: 1) I'd have dropped the camera in to the bath; or 2) I'd have given you a little more insight in to my world than you need to see. You know? *wink*

I threw all three in to the suitcase to take to Perth with me, and we instantly had music to dine by at night time. Fabulous.

Now, if you'd like to WIN your very own X-mini II Capsule Speaker, the good people at X-mini have a lovely red one (like the main picture above) ready to send to you. All you have to do is leave a comment below and you're in the running! However - if you also go to the X-mini Australia Facebook Page, and 'like' their page - you get another entry. Double the chance to win! (But you have to comment here first, and if you're not already a follower, well I'd be honoured if you'd become one. ;) )

Competition will close next Tuesday 22 February at 6pm (AUS EST) and the winner will be announced on Wednesday 23 February up the top under my noticeboard - so keep an eye out for that. And don't forget - this giveaway is open to ALL readers - wherever you are!

Good luck, people!