Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: A Dreamworld Year In Review

Woowee - what a year! My first as a mama and as an engaged woman, its had its share of ups and downs. And what better what to put everything in perspective, in its place ( and the crappy things to rest! ) than with my annual wrap up of the year! Oh, and reminder - anything that is my " best " of the year is my favourite; anything that is " worst " is utterly crappy in my humble opinion. Agree or disagree, but dont argue the technicalities in the comments, ok?

1. Sherlock Holmes - ok, technically this come out in the last week of 2009 but i was stuck in hospital with a newborn and didnt watch it til 2010, so it makes the list. Also, it features Robert Downey Jnr and i think its the general consensus that he is one of the coolest dudes in the universe.
2. Eat.Pray.Love - bah to anyone who's laughing at this choice! It was my favourite book of last year, so why would it be one of my favourite films this year? A little schmaltzy, sure, but its still appealed to my love of travel, of self-exploration and the romantic in me. Javier Bardem ? Delish!
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt1 -  i only saw this on Monday but i loved it and i cant wait til the last film comes out next year. And no, i still havent read any of the books, though i want to. I think i'm gonna wait til i see the last film ( so i dont spoil the film series for myself ... ) and then read all the books...
4. Precious - If you have not seen this film, go rent it now. Its certainly no light, fluffy, rom-com and it had me in tears more than once, but you need to see it for the strength of the acting alone. Its hard, and its harrowing, and its probably altogether to real for some people, but its a film that will stick with you.
5. Hot Tub Time Machine - awesome! I loved this film - this was funny in the way i was expecting " The Hangover " to be ( but it wasnt it ). Totally crude and juvenile but an easy, hilarious way to spend the afternoon, without having to think too much or make too much effort. What a cack!
Notable mentions : " Beneath Hill 60 "; " Iron Man 2 "; " Shutter Island "; " Alice In Wonderland "

I have to go with " Cop Out ". Not that it was an awful film, only that i didnt watch a lot of new films this year, and the stuff that i did watch was pretty good ( you know, because i had to be selective with my time ). So this gets my "worst " nomination because the average/ok film out of a really good bunch. Sorry Bruce Willis.

1. " Whatta Want From Me? " by Adam Lambert - i love me some good pop and i think Adam Lambert has been one of the great pop finds of 2010. And he has in own thing going on without verging into total weirdo territory (  i'm talking to you Lady Gaga ).
2. " All My Life " by Thirsty Merc - i loooooooooooove this song. Its on the list to be played at my wedding. Sometimes, when i'm alone, it even makes me cry. A great Aussie band producing great Aussie music ( and it doesnt hurt that they hail from my hometown ). A beautiful love song....awww!
3. " Teenage Dream " by Katy Perry - Katy Perry annoyed me for a while when she first came out but the more i listened, the more i realised she had some really well crafted pop songs. Like this one - its sweet, it makes me feel young ( which i am, but young as in " before baby " young ) and it sums up the way i feel about my relationship with Mick. Another for the wedding dancefloor playlist.
4. " Grenade " by Bruno Mars -  this one was only released in the past month-ish but it is really damn catchy, and i l.o.v.e his voice. I also love the sentiment and the harmonies in the chorus. Oh, and the video clip. And his hair is ace. That is all.
5. " Forget You " by Cee-lo Green - waaaaaaaaah, i love this song! Its funky and upbeat ( despite the subject matter ) and hot damn it makes me wanna dance!
Notable mentions : " Love the way you lie " by Eminem ft Rihanna; " If its love " by Train; " Need You Now " by Lady Antebellum

AND THE WORST? "Only Girl In the World " by Rihanna. Sorry, but RiRi has majorly grated on my nerves this year, and everytime i heard this song come on the radio i switched stations. Too repeative for my liking and her voice is beginning to annoy me aswell. Bah! Oh, and also, anything by Ke$ha... yuck!
BEST BOOK -  " The Hour I First Believed " by Wally Lamb which i already blogged about here. It was just an awesome, awesome read and its really stuck with me. If your a big reader and you havent already read this, get your hands on this. In fact, do yourself a favour and read anything by Wally Lamb - the man is in my top 5 favourite authors.

BEST TV SHOW - Aside from my unwavering obsession with " The Amazing Race ", i've really felt myself fall in love with  " How I Met Your Mother " this year. I've always liked this show, but the second half of this year i started to not want to miss an episode and it dawned on me that HIMYM is like the new " Friends". Ensemble cast, really funny but still poignant, and everybody seems to love it. And they especially love Barney, and even though its a bit of a bastard. Legen....what for it!....dary!

PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT - anything involving my son learning a new skill. But seeing as there are too many to choose from there, i'll go with the Tim McGraw concert back in September...good times with Mick away from our baby, dancing til our feet hurt and staying out late!

PERSONAL LOWLIGHT - breaking up with my best friend. I've already talked about it enough so i wont go into anymore details, but suffice to say it sucks arse bigtime, even more so because i really had no say in it, and even now 4ish months later i'm still bitter, and confused, and hurt.

And thats it ladies and gentleman! Tune in tomorrow ( or whenever i get around to it ) for my New Years resolutions. Wishing you all a happy New Year and hoing everyone gets to celebrate in style ( even if that means stained-tshirt, at home with the kids, eating dip and crackers with a West Coast cooler kind of style! ) tonight - pool party at the neighbours for us!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Operation Slimdown - A Day Late. Again.

My apologies for the tardiness of my usual update - i had to get the letter to my son in first! In any case, i didnt really feel like writing an update anyway because...well... my results suck, ok ? We all had a feeling that would, what with a weigh in on Christmas Day ( of all bloody days! ) but still, they sucked enough to make me cry. In front of my parents, and Mick. Wah, wah, wah...poor fat me!

Let me explain. But first, lets go to the tape:
Bust: 97.5cm - up 0.5cm
Waist 82cm - no change
Hips: 103cm - up 1.5cm
Bum: 108cm - no change
Thighs: 66.5cm - up 0.5cm
See, that doesnt really look so bad considering the fortnight of Christmas parties ( and few days of, uh, that time of the month, which of course equals mega-bloating ) but, once again, those nasty, nasty scales have brought me undone. See, i only weigh myself on a Saturday morning, once a fortnight. However, this week i was at my mum and dads house ( i dont own scales... ) on Thursday afternoon and i couldnt resist taking a sneak peek. 74.8kgs - woo hoo! That was 800g down in a fortnight! I would totally be able to hit a full 1kg loss by Saturday morning! However....
Weight 11.12.10 - 75.6kgs
Weight 25.12.10 - 75.7kgs
I burst into tears - how could i have put on 1.1kgs in ONE DAY?!? It just wasnt fair - Thursday afternoon i was ecstatic about finally having a good loss, and then one day later that loss is completely gone and has turned into a 100g gain. I was shattered. I just cant wrap my head around it. And i'm sure that if i went and weighed myself again today, the scale would have something completely different to say again ( loss? Gain? who knows? )

So i guess i just push on. Try harder. The four days of non-stop eating over Christmas are now officially over and i know i can handle New Years Eve. I'm not back at work til Tuesday 4th of Jan so i'm going to try and fit in some exercise everyday this week. Establish some new, good habits. And then, maybe next fortnight, i will have that 1kg loss to report. I hope. Because i'm thinking if that doesnt happen the only way for me to shed the weight might be to cry it out. I could get rid of a kilo through tears...couldnt i?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dear Flynn, Aged 12 Months - Happy Birthday!

Dear Flynn,
Well you made it, my gorgeous little man - as of 5:05pm yesterday afternoon, you are now officially a one year old. ( Which means that Daddy and I are now the parents of a one year old....which is kind of weird to say ). Over the course of your first year you have grown into such a beautiful little dude - and you are a dude, a wrestling, wrecking, crazy little boy right to your very core. Yes, i've seen you play with dollies, but 99% of the time its trucks or tractors or pulling things apart ( and making a big mess while your at it ). And you weren't ever one of those androgynous-looking babies either - it was clear to every random old lady who stopped us down the street that you were a little boy. See - you're a total dude.

Chowing down on some birthday cake yesterday - it got soooooo much messier after this photo was taken

You love your food and though i try not to let you eat too much i am starting to become convinced that you do, indeed, have hollow legs. And its not just how much you eat, but what you eat - i'm so glad you're willing to try pretty much everything ( you know, like gherkins, or olives or yummy, yummy prawns .... ).However, i'm concerned that by the time you turn 15 our groceries will cost us $1000 a week, just to keep up with your appetite. So, whats happened in the three months since my last letter ?

* You've totally mastered the whole crawling thing, and have progressed to pulling yourself up on everything and anything, cruising your way along the furniture. However, despite being awesome at the whole cruising thing, and very easily able to hold onto things with one hand and stomping those little feet, you havent started walking yet. I know its not really cause for concern but, let mummy be frank here, i think your just being lazy. I've seen you stand on your own - holding something in both hands, without holding ON to anything - and once or twice you've easily taken little steps behind your cousins dolly pram.... but when Daddy and I try to get you to take those first steps, you just giggle and squat down your little bottom. I know you can do, and i'm i know you know how to do, you just wont. I know i'll regret saying this later but hurry up and get your walk on little man!
* You're turning into a real little chatterbox. Sure, a lot of it is crazy, indecipherable baby-babble, but you have picked up some really great words, like " hello! " ( which is the first thing out of your mouth of a morning, and doesnt stop until you go to bed ) " En-nen " for when Aunty Erin is hanging out with us, or just in the last week Mummy has started hearing a " ank ooh " when I ask you for a " thank you ". Too cute!
* Lastly, but most importantly.... i can finally add "champion sleeper " to the list. Yes, since our visit to Tresillian back in October, you have kept on with the 11-12 hour sleep throughs overnight, and the 1-2 naps twice a day. This has not only allowed Mummy to get her sanity back, but it has also transformed your personality. You werent ever naughty before, but you were a sooky-la-la baby a lot of the time and, in retrospect, i know its because you were overtired. Now? You're a sweet, affectionate happy little man, who is happy to play with other little people without having to be attached to my lap, and who is laughing, and smiling, and gibber-gabbering more often than you are sooking.  Halle-freaking-lujah!

Oh, how i love you, little man. Daddy and I were talking about it the other night, and we just cant imagine life without you anymore. You are our sunshine, the love of our shared life, and our " little mate ".
Love ya guts little man,

Your very proud Mama.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas Ever-ree-body!

 Merry Christmas from the New Adventures household! And yes, that is my beautiful, handsome little man turned into a screaming banshee for his Santa photo. Luckily, the photos were taken by a good friend of mine in her private studio where she had more than one Christmas set up, so we did get some nicer shots. Like this one, which i have been using as my screen saver at work for the last few weeks:

 Still no smile, but much more angelic. And look at all his little chinnies! I'm raising a total chubba-lubba-bubba.... i swear the kid has hollow legs, he eats that damn much. But anyhoo....yea, we tried really hard to get Flynn to crack a smile for at least one of his photos. We did get this one:

Way cute right? Unfortunately we failed in getting him to smile and sit up straight at the same time. This is probably because he's a cheeky monkey and even at his tender age does naughty,cheeky things all the time. So there you be - a photo essay of Flynns 1st visit to Santa. Look at in the next few days for a chronicle of his 1st Christmas Day and then, two days later, his 1st birthday!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bah Bloody Humbug!

In a show of very un-Christmas-ey spirit, a co-worker of mine made another co-worker cry today. How? He admonished her very loudly, in front of the rest of us and full view of any customers that might come in, for a simple mistake she had made. And it was a very simple mistake, one that could be very easily fixed and was not a big deal at all ( and that he made himself moments later because he was too busy fuming at her to pay any attention what he was doing ). Needless to say, the rest of us in the office were quietly appalled and, after we encouraged her to go for a walk ( disguised as needing someone to go to the bank... ) we told him so. How very rude he'd been, and how over the top his reaction was and, seeing as the girl in question is still in training, its not something he'll reallly needed to jump on her for. It was a simple mistake. We all make them, even though the rest of us have been here for years. The whole display was just uncalled for.

And why has this got so much on goat? Well, aside from its being Christmas, i just really have no time for people who treat people in that way unjustifiedly. Sure, if she'd done something that was going to burn the building down or coast as millions of dollars then yea, maybe jump up and down and throw a tantrum at her. But something that cost nothing, destroyed nothing, and took one 30 second phone call to fix? There was just no need. And the worst part is that we had an ex-manager who spoke like that all the time, only her little tirades were always directed at HIM..... so i guess the proverbial( managerial) apple doesnt fall far from the tree. All those years of him getting roused on and saying how much he hated it and the first chance he gets to be in the training role and he does exactly the same thing. I had to pull him up on it - tell him he'd become the monster, so to speak - and you know what he did? He spent the next 40ish minutes hiding in the kitchen, upset, while the rest of us got on with it and did our work. How.Bloody.Frusturating.

Luckily, today was my last work day of the year so yippee for me! No more part-time office politics just sweet, sweet family time and a chance to relax for a while. But i tell you what - if i hadnt already given this guy a Christmas card, he would totally be off my Christmas list! Bah humbug to him!

Monday, December 20, 2010

20SB Blog Swap 2010!

Good morning (afternoon, evening, night... take your pick ) and welcome to the 20 Something Bloggers Blog Swap for 2010! I was crazy enough eager enough for a bit of blog-swapping action to sign up this year even though a) i had no idea who i would be swapping with and b) not a clue what we would be asked to write about! But it all worked out in the end - todays post will be brough to you by a lovely young lady named Bell, a brave 20-something who is chronicling her move to the big city ( the big city being New York! ). You can find me over at BellDuJour while Bell will be hanging out here today. What is she posting about? Read on....

“Action – What Will You Do Next Year That You’ve Been Putting Off For Too Long?”

I’ll be honest; when I signed up for the 20SB Blog Swap I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. The irony of it all is that it may be one of the first ‘actions’ I’ve taken.

I made a big, big change in my life in 2010 when I moved from a small town in Massachusetts to New York City. With one carry-on suitcase I settled onto my friend’s couch and started work here September 1st.
After a few weeks on her couch and two months in a tiny sublet I moved into an apartment in Harlem with a co-worker who has become a dear friend of mine.

Sigh of relief. With somewhere to live, I feel lighter and somehow more alive. With the boulder of worrying about finding a roommate and a home off my shoulders I can breathe easier. Being able to leave work and go somewhere that is mine, and feels like home, is indescribable, especially in comparison to living in the sublet where I was uncomfortable and unhappy.

I now have a lot more time to be myself. As I decorate according to my own tastes and watch my home come together as an extension of my own personality, I’ve found myself thinking more and more about why I’m here and what I want to accomplish in my time in this city of opportunities.

I dabble. I sing. I sew. I write. I bake. I decorate. I speak French. I’m late for everything.

Ok that last thing isn’t really a skill. It’s more of an anti-skill.

I don’t like that I dabble. I’m not a jack of all trades I’m just someone who knows a bit about a decent amount of things. What’s that going to do for me?

I want to speak French mieux, I want to learn to play guitar so I can put my words to music and play at open mic nights. I want to be able to sew all the outfits that I think of but can’t find/afford on commercial racks. I want to be a better journalist and writer. I want to learn about photography. I want to learn more about journalism, and photojournalism. I want to learn to speak Italian and Portuguese. Buongiorno! I want to explore, and experience all I can no matter where I am. I want to arrive early for things, instead of really late. I want to see a show, check out new restaurants, go to museums. Problem is, I don’t really have anyone in New York City that would want to do that with me. Or I already spend 40hours of my life with them. I want to stop being afraid of going out and doing things alone.

My roommate was confused when I told him I was scared to go out and check things out by myself.
“You moved to New York City where you didn’t know more than one person, and you’re afraid to go to the museum by yourself?” It’s funny the way he puts things in perspective for me.

The thing is, none of this will happens unless I take action. If I don’t get up and get out, I’ll always be scared of it. Steps, whatever they may be, need to be continuously taken or I’m never going to succeed at learning any of these things.

I’ve wanted to learn to play guitar for almost seven years now. For seven years I’ve been thinking and wishing and dreaming and not doing. So, what will I do next year that I’ve been putting off for too long?


My mother bought me a guitar for my birthday. Last week, I bought a guitar book.
I have a sewing machine and I’ve made clothes but I don’t know the basics at all. I signed up for a sewing class.
I want to learn about photography. I bought an SLR. Scratch that, I traveled alone all the way out to Queens to pick up an SLR I found on Craigslist (in a public place). First trip alone.
I want to write more, so I started the 30 Days of Truth List and signed up for this blog swap.
I want to be healthier, more fit. I have a gym membership - but anyone who’s made a New Year’s Resolution knows that doesn’t mean anything.

2011 will be a year of moves. I’ve laid the groundwork, now it’s up to me to keep moving. Get up, get out.
Stop talking baby, move.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Getting Crafty With My Bad Self!

So do you remember how i mentioned i wanted to make Flynn a Santa sack for Xmas? Yea, well - i've done it! I'm finished! Now bearing in mind that a) i dont own a sewing machine so i had to pain-stakingly hand sew everything, and b) i havent done that much hand-sewing since Yr 12 of high school ( which will be 10 years ago next year....crap, where has the time gone?! ) ... well, knowing all that, i think i've done a pretty good job. Judge for yourself:
There it is, the finished product. Not everything is perfectly straight, and if you had a look on the inside the stitching is pretty shithouse wonky, but hey, you know what ? I'm pretty damn proud of myself! I set myself a goal, i did something that i havent done in ages and never anything as tricky as this, and all without a sewing machine or even a pattern. Go crafty me go!

Only thing is, Mick wants one for himself now and with only 5 more sleeps til Xmas its just not going to happen. He'll just have to wait til next year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Choppy, Choppy!

Sick and tired of my son's ultra fluffy, skater-boi shaggy, baby hair.... i took him to get his first hair cut yesterday morning.
Witness Flynn's hair before the hair cut - cute, yes, but see all those fluffy, sticky-uppy bits? He had those on the top of his head, on the back where he was growing himself a nice little mullet and occasionally it would stick out from behind his ears. It had to go!
Getting the first few snips off - he had to sit on my lap because our hairdresser doesnt have a child seat.He was a little wriggly and kept looking up at Sally ( our hairdresser ) as if to say " Who are you and what are you doing to my head? ". Oh, and you cant really see it but he has a cool dinosaur on his cape.
Cracking it right towards the end. I think the crying was less about having his haircut and more about the fact he was well and truly ready to get off my lap and crawl around. Typical boy - he doesnt like sitting still for too long!
The end product. Because sister is a) a bad photographer and b) a bit dopey, she neglected to take any photos of his beautiful face, so you'll have to make do with a view from the back. Suffice to say, my beautiful baby is now looking more like a gorgeous little boy. He was pleased to see the fluffiness go, but was a little sad to see Flynny transformed from baby to boy in the space of 15 minutes. And only 10 days til his 1st baby is gone forever!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Operation Slimdown Tuesday

Hello again, and welcome to the results week of my sort-of fortnightly updates. First though, a word on how the week has gone - which is, to say, alright i suppose. I had two really great exercise sessions in which i sweated up a storm ( seriously, i dont think i've ever sweated as much as i did at last weeks Zumba... ) and i ate pretty healthily all week ( until Saturday nights Xmas party for Mick's work ). So yea, all was good. However, after really sweating out a Zumba i felt myself really missing the gym. I loved going to the gym - i went up to 6 days a week - and i loved pushing myself on the treadmill especially. However, i cant afford gym fees and somehow i cant find the motivation to run on the street. I think i liked the numbers game on the  treadmill - the knowing exactly how far i had run, how fast i was going, being able to set an incline or a program to run to, pushing myself to run just for one more song on my Ipod.... i cant replicate that on the street. And i feel weird jogging through my neighbourhood, especially seeing as i am waaaaaaaaaaaay unfit at the moment and can only manage the old " run to one lightpole, walk the next three " type of session. Ah well, perhaps that a goal for a later date... Anyhoodle, on to the numbers!

Bust - 97cm - up 0.5cm
Waist - 82cm - no change
Hips - 101.5cm - down 1cm
Bum - 108cm - down 0.5cm
Thighs - 66cm - down 1cm
Weight - 75.6kgs - down 200gms
So....nothing too spectacular there, but as my dad said " a loss is a loss". Well yea, but that didnt stop me pondering ( once again, silly woman ) why things are moving so slowly for me. Even when i get a good result with the measurements, the change in my actual weight is miniscule. Bah! And, somewhat oddly and crappily, my next weigh in and measurement is due on XMAS DAY. I mean, who is going to weigh themselves on Xmas Day, after two weeks worth of Xmas parties, rich food, and little exercise? Me - thats who! My goal for the next two weeks is to do enough work that i get a "loss " result on Xmas Day. Even if it is only 100 gms, i will consider that a win for this time of year. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Check Out The Smoochiness!

Oh yea, thats right - i got one thing off my to do list!
I found this great little template on the Microsoft website, downloaded, added the sweet smoochy picture, changed the background and voila! - Save The Date cards. Sadly, i forgot that they were formatted to be a 5x7 size and got them printed as 6x4's ( which meant that the text at the bottom got a teeny, tiny bit skimmed off the edge... ). But, seeing as they arent actual invitations, i'm not going to worry about re-doing them and have stashed them in with the Xmas cards to be mailed tomorrow. I figure putting them in one envelope saves on paper, and on postage. Oh yea, i'm a tight arse eco-warrior!

So thats one thing ticked off. I'm halfway through Flynn's Santa sack - which i'm hand sewing because i dont have a sewing machine - and only have one Xmas present to go. Way to work Amy! Ooh, and i found a make up artist for my wedding who'll do my makeup for free . Again with the tight arse-ery. Turns out its kind of awesome when one of Mick's workmates wives is a beauty therapy teacher at TAFE and is also an awesome lady who offered to come round and do my makeup, as a favour from a friend. Your awesome Ange! And that is, if i could only manage to get all the washing on the room of our floor, washed, folded and put away...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Good Golly, She's Great!

Wow - i've been lax with the posts so far this month havent i? And i have no excuse really except to say that i  havent really been inspired by anything much lately... til now. I found some inspiration, and she goes by the name of Holly.

You can find her over at Good Golly Miss Holly! and if you arent already reading her, you should. Seriously, go check her out - she's funny and candid and she's a mama who rocks! But aside from that, why is she inspiring the blogger in me? Because not only did she buck up and find the courage to lose her vlog virginity, but she decided to make her first ever vlog about post natal depression.

Lets face it - thats a tough subject to write about, let alone to sit and talk about, straight down the webcam to your loyal reader/viewers. The girl has balls ( well no, not literally, but you know what i mean... ) to choose that particular subject, which so many of us find confronting. And not only did she go with PND as a theme, but she spoke about it with such composure and grace... i would have been a blithering mess, and my brush with PND was minor compared to many others. And with that 4ish minutes of webcam honesty, i found a new inspiration and motivation to blog. Thanks Holly!

Now all i need is some tips on how to make my blog awesome-er. Is there anything you like and want to see more of? Anything you think i should be doing? Do i need a blog makeover? Make-under?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Labour of Love?

So i was surfing over at yesterday and i came across an article entitled " Do Men Belong In The Labour Ward ? " And, i have to say, its gotten up my nose a bit. The gist of the article is that a respected obstetrician has implied that men get in the way during labour and shouldnt be permitted into the ward during the birthing process. Its not so much the article itself that has incensed me ( i'm sure this guy made his big statement months ago, so its kind of old news to me... ) but rather the discussion in the comments section afterwards.
The majority of the comments are overwhelming in favour of having men in the delivery ward, and i am too, thats not my problem. My problem is in the way that a lot of women in the comments have judged men who havent been present for the birth of their children. How.Bloody.Dare.They? I'm sure these same women would jump and down and scream bloody murder if anyone dare judge them on any facet of their parenting, but they feel its ok to judge the fathers who, for whatever reason, havent made it into the delivery suite with their wives/partners/mothers of their children. One woman even described blokes who dont want to be in there as " cavemen ". Others have suggested ( subtley ) that men who arent present for the birth of their children mustnt be good fathers - if they dont want to be there for the very beginning, how are they going to be with the rest of the whole parenting thing?

I have to say - those kind of comments have mad me really mad. I've already written the in depth story of my sons birth here ( feel free to have a read if you havent already ) so i wont double up on the details but Mick was NOT present in the room for my labour. And, frankly, i'm glad about it. We spoke about what would happen when i went into labour, and from the get go Mick said he would prefer not to be there. When i asked why, he explained that he's very squeamish and aside from that, he wasnt sure how he would be able to cope with seeing me in pain. He was man enough to admit that, rather than be the tower of masculine strength that society insists our men should be, he would probably crumble in the face of a difficult birth and probably vomit, pass out or both. It wasnt that he didnt WANT to be there, because he loved his unborn baby and could not wait to meet him, but rather that his physical limits would prevent him being much help. And, though i was a little shocked at first, after thinking it through, i agreed - if he was going to get whoozy, or spewy, or go silent and just sit across the room and stare at me like i was some hideous, terrifying lady-beast, what use would he be to me? He'd be more of a hindrance and a distraction, for me and the midwives, than he would be a help, so i was quite content to say " Babe - you just make sure your there to hold your bubba for the first time and thats enough for me". And it was - i had my mother there for the labour and the birth, and Mick stepped into the room as Flynn was being laid on my chest for the first time. Bliss.

So why then would some women judge my fiance, a man whom i love and who is a wonderful, amazing, loving father, labelling him a "caveman "? In my eyes, he's a real man for having the balls to admit his weaknesses. I'm sure there are a lot of men who would prefer not to be in the labour ward, but are guilted into it by the mother. Some of those men may find a reserve of strength and be awesome birthing partners; some may be completely useless and the mother may regret having him there at all. I know there are also plenty of men who cannot wait for those first contractions, so excited are they to be there for all the grunting and moaning and " YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!! ". To me, its all good either way - if he wants to be there, good; if he doesnt, no sweat. Its for each and every couple to long as the decision is made together. As so many of these women at Mamamia said, child-rearing is an equal partnership, so the decisions surrounding birth should be made together, as a compromise.

Just dont judge men like mine who werent there when they could have been.I'm fine with him being in the waiting room, dealing with all his fears and trepidations about immediate impending why shouldnt you be? If it worked for us, and we were happy, aint none of yo business to be judgin'!

Monday, December 6, 2010

And Update And Some News

Ah Tuesday - Operation Slimdown update day. Some weeks i cant wait for you to get around, some weeks i dread you turning up. This week ? I'm not really fussed either way. I'm thinking i may just do a fortnightly update when i do my weigh ins, because its seems a bit redundant to do an update on a week where i have no results to share. Its essentially going to be the same post over and over - either " i ate well, did my exercise " or " fell off the wagon this week! ". This past week has been a bit odd really - i ate well but i didnt get any exercise at all in because i was feeling so gross. Flynn had gotten croup and i spent three days with a small, sooky, sick baby attached to me, only wanting his mama.... and by the end of those three days i'd picked up the cold/flu portion of his illness. And i've been felling blah ever since. So Zumba was off the agenda and even though i felt up for my usual walks with my sister the constant rain ( as mentioned last post, down there ) wouldnt allow for it.  So there's the update.

The news ? Its only small but i wanted to share... that i am now part of the admin team over Blog This! I'll be doing a monthly " Blogs of Interest " post, which involves me choosing a theme for the week and finding 5ish blogs i think fit the theme and would be of interest to others. My first post will be Boxing Day ( Dec 26th ) but i'm not giving away my theme, so if your a Blog This! member watch out for it! And if your not a member - what are you waiting for?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Here Comes The Rain Again...

So i may have mentioned previously that i live in a rural town by the name of Dubbo ( yes, Dubbo - its a funny word. Have a laugh ... ). And those of you living in Australia, and especially in New South Wales, may have heard that Dubbo is currently experiencing a liiiiiiiiiiitle bit of a flood problem. Farmers in the middle of harvest have lost almost all the crops they still had in the ground, people in low-lying areas close to the river have had either there land or the homes water-logged and, most inconveniently ( read: sarcasm ), people living on the west side of town now only have one bridge to use to get home instead of two because the lower-lying bridge has gone under water. Fear not though - I and my family are safe. And not only safe, but happy.... because its looking likely that i wont have to work on Monday! Hooray! See the shopping centre where i work has had its carpark completely flooded, and because all the electricity, sewage and gas controls are in the underground carpark, all the stores need to shut down until the controls can be used again. Woo! Wana see some evidence?

The carpark of the shopping centre where i work - totally underwater!

Some rescue workers cruising their boat up the street where i usually drive...

My dad, hard at work. He might need a snorkel soon!
*Note* - all pics courtesy of the awesome Speaking OneThousandWords Photography. Look her up on Facebook!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Operation Slimdown - A Day Late

Yea, yea....i know i usually do my OS post on a Tuesday but yesterday was Mick's birthday so we had cake with the family after work and then i cooked his favourite dinner ( Sesame Beef ) and we had quality time together, sans baby and blog. But nevermind that - onto the results!

I gotta say, the last fortnight i've been living in a state of anticipation. I've been trying to eat as healthily as i can, i've exercised ( when i can ) as hard as i can and i've been successfully drinking at least a 1L of water a day, most days almost 2L. So, lets go to the tale of the tape. Last time i did my measurements, that fateful week that ut me into a fitness funk and saw me chuck just a little tanty , this is where i was at:
Bust - 100.5cm
Waist - 85.5cm
Hips - 104.5cm
Bum - 109cm
Thigh - 67cm

That was October 26th. So, a month after almost packing it and giving up on shedding some excess kilos, these were my measurements on November 27th:
Bust - 96.5cm - down 4cm
Waist - 82cm - down 3.5cm
Hips - 102.5cm - down 2cm
Bum - 108.5cm - down 0.5cm ( i cant believe i actually, finally, lost a little from my bubble butt! )
Thigh - 67cm - no change

So hey, there ya go - down, down, down, down! Didnt i say my pants had been feeling loser, and i could actually see a little of the change around my waist? It has me slightly puzzled why my top half is shrinking at faster rate than my bottom half ( although i've always been pear shaped... ) but i'm happy with those results. And what about my actual weight you ask:
November 15th - 76.6kgs
November 27th - 75.8kgs
So only an 800g drop in 2 weeks, but, combined with the drop in measurements, i'm satisfied with that. I would really, really, REALLY love to be at 70kgs by New Year, which is only 4 days shy of my original goal date. I'm not sure if its going to be possible coming into the Christmas period, what with all its rich, yummy food and lazy days ( and rain, rain, rain by the looks of the weather forecast... ) but i'll see how i go. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dearest Santa Baby...

Its Blog This! challenge time again and i have to say, this one is season appropriate. This week the blog post directive was:
Now's the time to start putting together your Christmas wishlist. And I want you to share the top 5 items on your Christmas wishlist with everyone this challenge.

Don't let money stop you either, make your list as realistic, or as wishful as you want!

Dearest Santa Baby,

Its Amy - remember me? I havent written for a while, and i'm not exactly a " girl " anymore but in the spirit of the season i'd thought i'd send you out a copy of my wishlist for this year. I promise i've been very, very good ( and even when i was bad, i was very good...wink, wink, nudge, nudge.. ) so if you could see fit to gift me with any of these five things that would be ace. In no particular order:
1. Some more charms for my Pandora bracelet - i dont have my eye on any in particular ( ok, except the little book stack - its cute and appropriate for me! ) but if you're going to pick me up some coloured ones, i'm thinking blue will look nice with orangey-pink ones i already have.
2. A publisher for my childrens story - I'd love to share " There's A Giraffe In My Bath " with the little masses. Or my latest work - " There's A Sheep In The Shed ". The more i think about, and talk about it with my family, the more i adore the idea of being a childrens author and making kids and their families happy. I've been doing a lot of research into how you go about these type of things ( that is, writing good stories and getting them published ) but it would be waaaaaaaay easier if you could just drop a publishing contract right in my lap.
3. Some cds and books to add to my collection -  its been so long since i bought myself a brand spanking new cd. Oh, yes, thats right, i dont do digital downloads - i'm still a cd kind of gal. This past year i've been hearing some great pop music on the radio and would love to be able to bop around the house to it whenever i wanted to. I'm thinking maybe some Pink, some Adam Lambert and some Robyn? Ooh, and if you could just scout around and get me some great new reads that would be wonderful also.
4. An overseas trip - i know i'm already going to be going on a honeymoon next year ( to the Gold Coast ) but i'm just gonna be a little greedy and ask for an overseas trip aswell. Europe would be nice seeing as i havent been there yet but i'll settle for a return trip to SE Asia so i can show Mick around ( he's never been outside of Australia you see and i'd love to share some of the world with him ).
5. Some weight loss and a new wardrobe to go with it - you know i'm trying to get this one on my own but a little magical Christmas help would be much appreciated.
And thats all. I'm not going to be like a typical child and ask for, like, a million things.... just one ( or two ) of those five will do. Oh, and world peace and all that jazz would be nice aswell, if you have enough room in your sleigh.
Love, love, love!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Books!Books!Books! - How Many Have You Read?

So.... i came across the meme on Kylie's page over at A Study In Contradictions   and i thought i'd play along. See, apparently the BBc has published a Top 100 booklist ( i'm not sure of what the list actually is tho - best books ever in, like, history? Bestsellers? Who knows... ) and they've come to the conclusion that the majority of people have only read 6 of the 100 books listed. Really? Only 6?
The aim of this game is to highlight in bold those which you have read, and italicize the ones you started but didnt finish, or have read parts of.
Feel free to play along!

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen ( one of my top 5 favourites.. )

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (also a top 5 pick )
6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott  ( i read this when i was 11ish - i would love to revisit it now )
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare ( i've read " Romeo and Juliet " and " Taming of the Shrew " )

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger ( i have to admit though for all its hype, i wasnt really a fan... )

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame ( started this as a kid - i dont recall ever finishing it )

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma -Jane Austen ( This is my current read - i'm halfway through and i gotta say Emma is not a likeable character at all... )
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood (One of my Top Ten)

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan ( loved the book, loved the movie... sooooooo want Keira Knightleys green dress! )

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (read this earlier this year and really enjoyed it )
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Inferno - Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom ( its kind of short, but its really ...well...good. Inspiring good. )

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton ( read some of the books as a child, but not all of them )

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Operation Slimdown....Its Back! Week 2

" Operation Slimdown " time again!

I have to say, i'm not feeling too bad about the whole excess weight thing this week. Hell, just thsi morning i looked at my tummy in the mirror this morning and it didnt make me cringe. Its still a soft little " mummy tummy " but i can see the abs i used to have underneath the layer of pudge. And even if i couldnt see that definition i worked hard for, Mick says he likes my tummy - its all soft and womanly and whatnot. A compliment from a fella always helps a ladies self-esteem...

Plus, i think my work pants are a little less snug this week - but i'm not going to count my chickens before they hatch. I'm not doing measurements or a weigh in until this coming Saturday ( which will be in next Tuesdays post ) so i cant be sure if anything really is happening or not. What is happening is exercise. I wasnt overly diligent with the whole exercise schtick this past week but i DID exercise. I did my usual Zumba class on Wednesday night ( which i'm still enjoying - yay! ) and went for my usual morning walk with my sister on Friday. Unfortunately we had to skip Thursdays walk because i had to go into work for the morning but that was unavoidable. But never fear!There will be more exercising than that this week - 1 hr of Zumba at class, two morning walks, i'm going to try and fit in a half hr Zumba session at home, and then there's the zoo.

I live in a town which is home to the largest open range zoo in the world ( Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Google it ). Sunday it is having free entry to celebrate the opening of new picnic grounds and play area so Mick and I are taking Flynn out for the day. The best thing about it - other than the free-ness - is that we'll be parking our car and walking around, which is a 5km long walking trail....which equals exercise! But hey, the rest of the zoo thing will be a whole other post so stay tuned...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Off My Plate

You know that expression - to have something " off your plate "? As in, " Glad thats off my plate! " Yea, welll, i'm starting to think i might have too much on my plate for the next few weeks and some of it is making me anxious. Dont get me wrong, some of it is going to be way cool heaps fun, but some of it is just bogging me down mentally.

* I've still got to get around to actually organising my sons first birthday party - which means actually decided on a guest list ( to invite his little mothers group friends or not ? ), what time of day is appropriate ( i'm thinking to start around 11am and run through til 12:30pm ) and what i'm going to feed the guests (and where i'm going to find the funds to pay for food ).

* Finish the Christmas shopping - this one isnt too bad because i have one more toy layby to get out ( thank you Target! ) and then i only need to get " Santa " presents for Flynn and buy a little something for Mick. Its more the " where am i going to find the money for it all ? " bit thats doing my head in a little. I'm trying not to worry, and its not like we're sending ourselves broke or anything, it justs that i really want to make our first Christmas as a family special and a little extra disposable cash would come in so handy right now ( i know - join the club right ? )

* The collapse of my "best " friendship - i know i've already written about it, and i know your probably tired of me harping on about it but.... i just cant get past it. I'm still so angry - i've never been the angry girl before ( i've been the sad girl, and the tired girl but not the angry one ) and right now i'm trying just to sit in the anger, to take it in, let it out and to let myself have that moment and be done with it. But the more i try to just " let it be " the angrier i get. I just feel so cheated and lied to and resentful. I've never been resentful before, and i dont like it. Its the resentment thats tearing me up. This is one i REALLY want off my plate, and soon...

And the rest? The rest is the way cool heaps fun stuff - birthday parties, Christmas parties, a day at the zoo, Santa photos with my awesome photographer friend, visits to the park, " Save The Date " cards, cooking and Mario Kart marathons. Stuff to keep me busy. Stuff to keep me smiling, and to keep me sane. I just gotta get some of that other crap off my plate first!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Short Post Entitled - " What Has Channing Tatum Done To His Head " ?

What has Channing Tatum done to his head? No really - what has he done, and more importantly, WHY, WHY, WHY ?

Oh Channing, you were so hot in " Step Up " and " She's The Man " ( yep, i've seen those movies, dont pretend you havent... ) and now....THIS.
Ladies - discuss.....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Opinions - Please?Please?Please!

Ok - so remember a while back when i said i would like to write a childrens book one day? Yea well, i need your help on something. See, inspired by my son dumping one of his toys in the bath a few nights ago i sat down and wrote myself a little story entitled " There's a Giraffe in my Bath ". I've read it to a few people and one in particular encouraged me to see if i could get it published. I laughed it off but she said to me " Amy, if i can change careers in my mid-30's, a widow and a mum of 3....YOU can be a writer ". Fair enough. Unfortunately, there is already a childrens picture book called " A Giraffe In The Bath " ( by the very talented Mem Fox, which as far as i can tell isnt like mine at all, just shares a first line ) but i thought i might just post my little effort here and see what you beautiful mummy type people thought of it. Here goes:

There’s a giraffe in my bath

He’s quite big and tall
With him already in
I’ll have no room at all!

I scrub his long neck
And clean under his chin
Then he moves over a little
So I can get in.

I slide in with a “splash! “,
Settle down in my bath
I’m a little bit squished
Up against this giraffe.

The water is warm
And there’s plenty of bubbles
But if mum catches us both
We’ll be in big troubles!

“ Could you pass me the soap? “
I ask with a smirk.
A bath with a giraffe
Is such difficult work!

I have a quick scrub and
Get as clean as I can
But a big, tall giraffe
Wasn’t part of the plan!

Its time to get out
Before the water goes cold
“ You have to go now “
The giraffe is told.

He stands up and climbs out
And he shakes himself dry
And off into the night
Goes that strange giraffe guy.

I smile and laugh
Cant help shaking my head;
I’m done in the bath,
But now who’s in my bed?

So there you go...thats it. If you could give a quick opinion on it, and maybe link it on your blog so i can get as mnay opinions as possible, i would be really really appreciative!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Holiday! Celebrate!

So - i think its about time that i participate in another " Blog This! " challenge. I know, i know...its been a while. Anyhoodle, this weeks challenge is:
Holidays! This week's challenge is to share you favourite holiday photo with everyone! It doesn't matter how old it is, or how old you were, share it with us and tell us the story behind it!
A photo challenge hmm? I had to go a little ways back through the files for this one but here you go:

Thats me in front of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, back in 2007. I did a 19 day trip through SE Asia, taking in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand with a company called Geckos Adventures ( whom i totally recommend by the way. I did a trip in Peru with them too .)

SE Asia was awesome - i'd definately go back, given the chance - but the temples at the Angkor complex were one of the highlights. Besides being able to get my Lara Croft on ( Angelina Jolie filmed the first " Tomb Raider " film there ) i also got to marvel at what human beings were able to do WITHOUT technology. Its amazing that hundreds of years ago humans were able to build these huge, complex structures without the aid of cranes, backhoes, trucks etc etc. And that the buildings are a testament to their intense faith in their Gods is inspiring. I dont believe in God or, indeed, in organised religion ( its nice for other people, its just not for me ) yet i found comfort and inspiration in what man can do in the name of something they feel so strongly about.

So there was that - other highlights of the trup include:
* A guided motorcyle ride around the city of Hue, and out into the country to meet some of the locals
* A beautiful mud bath and Vietnamese massage
* Shopping at the markets in both Siem Reap and Bangkok
* Delicious, delicious food
* And all the friends i made!

*NOTE* - See how slim i look in that photo ( ignore my billowing hiking shorts )? I was about 63kgs in that photo - THATS where i'd like to be again someday soon!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Operation Slimdown....Its Back!

So - the weekly " Operation Slimdown " post is back! I was considering calling it " Operation Slimdown - Mach 4 " but that sounded a) a bit pathetic ( like how many times do i have start this bloody thing over ?! ) and b) its not like i fell off the diet bandwagon for good. I just .... umm...took a two week break from blogging about it.

Ok, and i took a break from the exercise bit but i promise i kept up with the healthier eating part. I was just so disheartened by the lack of good results that i had a bit of a dummy spit and went " Poo to you excess kilos - you suck! " Which they do - and so did my attitude. I'm a grown, sensible, reasonably intelligent woman , yet somehow i let logic slip away from me when confronted with those all important numbers. Of course my weight is going to fluctutate from week to week, and of course the measurements can be effected by things such as how much water i've drunk that day or (ahem) " that time of the month ". I know these things but, just like many a sensible, reasonably intelligent woman before me, i let myself become a blithering mess, all over a couple of stupid numbers.

Well - no more i say! Those bloody numbers are not going to get me down fact, i'm going to get THEM down! Clearly its not going to be easy ( see the last four " Operation Slimdown " posts for further evidence of this fact ) and its going to take me longer than i thought, and had hoped for. The good news is that when i weighed myself on Sunday the scales showed up 76.6kgs - which is less than the last weigh in, so boo yea to me for that!

Oh, and lastly - i've decided not to weigh in every week. I'll still post about how my week has gone physically and nutritionally but i'm only going to weigh and measure myself once a fortnight ( or even less ). I'm not on " The Biggest Loser " - my scales are not going to show fantastic numbers every week, and my weight loss is going to be on the go slow. I think if i can just plug away and work at it and then see an improvement over a longer period of time, i can keep my spirits up and keep motivating myself. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Little Ray Of Sunshine

Well - my blog has been a whole sack of sad lately hasnt it? My apologies for that people, and i hope that it hasnt driven too many of you away. I think we all ( usually ) blog about what we know, and what we're going through at the time, and the last month or so has just been a steaming pile of wah, wah, wah for me.

But fear not! Not everything in my life is dreary - we're on the downhill slide towards Christmas ( which is almost always a highlight ) and, 2 days after that, my little Flynn will be celebrating his 1st birthday! I know i'm not the first mother to say this but holy bloody boojesus - how did we get here so quick?! I could swear it was only a few months ago that i was wearing XXL polo shirts to work and had slowly lost sight of my ankles but no, here we are, a mere 41 days off me having a " one year old ". Good bloody gravy.

Also, i'm into week #4 of being back at work and i have to admit it aint half bad. I was so NOT looking forward to going back, i was so sure i was absolutely going to hate it and i was going to have to haul myself off to work 3 mornings a week smiling through clenched teeth but... i'm kind of, sort of, maybe enjoying it a little. I feel like i've gained a little of "me" back ( even if it is " work me " and not " Sunday-afternoon-naps-on-the-lounge " me ). I dont have an adorable little monster attached to me all day long, and nor am i chained to the dirty washing pile... i'm back in a familiar environment, doing familiar things, but i'm doing them on my own. Achieving a little something again that doesnt have anything to do with crawling, teething or learning to sleep through. Granted, its not like i'm going to be volunteering to do extra shifts anytime soon, but at least i'm coming to work with a smile on my face and leaving ( on time! Thank you " i have to get Flynn from daycare " excuse... ) each day not dreading having to go back.

And there we be. In the 41 days til Flynny's birthday i plan on getting a little crafty by making him his own Santa sack; making/organising " Save the Date " cards for my wedding next November; and co-planning with my Dad this years Christmas menu. Anyone for Christmas icecream pudding ?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Go Now, Into The Light

I have just come from the funeral of the schoolmate i mentioned here.

I cried - i cried tears of empathy for his mother and the mother of his children, both whom were shuddering with big, animalistic sobs. I cried tears of grief for his children, who will grow up without a daddy. And i cried tears of happiness for myself, that somewhere inside i found the strength that he could not, and escaped the same fate.

And i was ashamed. Who cries for themselves at a funeral? I have every empathy for his family, even more so that i am now a mother, and each moan that escaped his mothers body broke my heart. My own parents have had to bury a child, so i have some understanding of how much strength it would have taken for her to stand in front of everyone and place loved possessions on her sons coffin. I hate that they have so many unanswered questions, and that they'll never get the chance to have them answered, except when posed hypothetically. I cried tears for all of that, for their heartbreak and their grief and their anger. Yet, mostly, i cried for myself. Everytime suicide was mentioned my thoughts turned to how close i came to that decision, and the lyrics of the songs his family chose to farewell their son, brother and friend brought me further undone.

I didnt attend the internment - i felt i didnt have a close enough relationship to be at this more intimate rite of a funeral, and that my presence at the funeral ceremony was enough to show my respect. Instead, i drove straight home and gave my son the biggest hug i could muster, and sent Mick a message telling him how much i love him. Its all i could do and i hope, in case of dire circumstance, it will be enough....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm Still Here People

Well - i've been absent for a few days. Why? No reason. I've been good, feeling ok, not down in the dumps or anything....just somehow everytime i've sat down to blog my mind has gone blank. Blah. Nada. Not a single interesting thing to write. And come to think of it, this is just a " hey, i havent died! " post and isnt actually anything interesting at all.

So, in the interests of keeping my blog alive and trying to unblock my stopped up brain, this is todays post. I hope you enjoyed the blah.
P.S Also - that last post? That was a bit of creative writing. I may find my blog writing brain backed up, but i find myself itching to write a proper, creative, piece of prose again. Good idea or no?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Start?

I'm not going into detail, just asking if you could read the following, and leave a comment. Please? Thankyou?

It was dark when i started looking for myself. Ordinarily you wouldnt conduct a search in the dark but, with me, it was the best ( and only ) place to start. Truth be told i had been in the darkness so long that had a light appeared and shone itself directly in my face i would have shyed away from what it might illuminate, and slunk back into the comfortable black i knew so well. I was afraid – i wouldnt have copped to it then, but i can admit to it now. I was afraid – of having to see, of having to know. At least in the dark i could pretend. I could ignore what might really be there, and imagine a whole other, different, BETTER world for myself. Its just that, one day, i realised i was tired of playing pretend. So very, very tired. I couldnt pretend anymore, i couldnt keep up the pretence of “ normal “, i couldnt keep being a “ me “ that wasnt really me at all. So i was tired, that much i knew. The only other thing i knew for sure is that i DIDNT know who i was anymore. I DIDNT know who i was, or where “ I “ might be.  And what do you do when you dont know where something is ? You start looking – just, ordinarily, you don’t start in the dark....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Find Your Peace

I made my way out of the darkness once, fighting through thunder and lightning til i could ride the winds of change all the way to the safety of shore....
Some people arent as lucky. I recieved news yesterday that a school friend has taken his own life, after a struggle with depression stemming from a relationship break up. He's left behind two small children and, presumably, a broken hearted family. This boy(man ) was always so confident at school and, truth be told, i had a little crush on him. We werent great mates and we didnt share any classes, but he was the cute-but-naughty boy that all the girls thought was a bit of a hottie.Even though we were never close friends, it really hits home how lucky i am that i found the strength and courage to fight through my depression and break free of it.

I wish he could have done the same. He is the third classmate of mine to commit suicide. Three young men, all dead at their own hand, in 10 years. As far as i'm concerned, thats three too many over the course of a lifetime, let alone three missing before we've even had a chance to have a high school reunion. And what for? What struggles were they fighting against? What support was lacking? Its too late now to answer these questions but i cant help but wonder.... if they had the support i had, the family to rally around, to understand the mental health issues or emotional battles, would they still be here?

If i am able, i will attend his funeral next week. Like i said, we werent close friends and i wouldnt know his family if i tripped over them, but i feel its the right way to pay tribute to the fun, cheeky, bright spirit i remember from school and put to rest the broken spirit that has hopefully, in death, found some peace....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Big 4-0-0

Hello and welcome to this, the 400th post here at New Adventures In Dreamworld. I'm your host Amy, and here is what on tonights agenda:
* An explanation
* A smile
*And a thankyou.

The explanation - you may have noticed that my regular weekly weigh in is missing tonight. It is partly because today is my special 400th post, but also because i didnt weigh or measure myself today. Shock!Horror! I wont lie - i was really bloody disheartened with last weeks result and then Mick tells me today that he's lost 3kgs...and he's not even trying. It all just seems really unfair - granted i havent been overly strict but i HAVE been trying, purposely eating less and exercising that little bit more. And i'm just not going anywhere. Its not like i'm completely disgusted by my body, and nor am i morbidly obese, i'd just really, really, REALLY like to lose at least those 8kgs i mentioned before. And its just not happening. I may have to investigate Tony Ferguson or some other weight loss aid type of thing. What do you think? Had anybody had any succes with those?
The smile - Gawd i love my baby! Since we've come back from Tresillian its like he's a completely new child. Yea, he's a champion sleeper now but he's also much more smiley and snuggly, and less clingy and sooky. I've completely fallen in love with him all over again - its beautiful to watch him playing and learning and then see him look up and crack this big, huge smile as if to say " Look at me Mum! Look what i can do! ". Its gorgeous. With only 2 months til his 1st birthday, i'm relishing these last days of his " babyhood ". Everyday seems to bring with it a new trick, and a new smile...
The thankyou -  to you reader people! Ok, so only one of you made a suggestion of what you'd like to see more of ( thanks Hayley! ) and no-one suggested a topic for this post, but you guys are here most other times and, most importantly, here when i really need you. It might be selfish to say but without the comments and support from my followers i dont think i'd love blogging as much - i enjoy the writing aspect ( i always have ) but its the sense of community that keeps me coming back. So thanks guys - hope you stick around to help me reach the big 5-0-0!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wa, Wa, Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

So - i've had an ( emotional ) rollercoaster couple of days. I'm not going to into details and dont fret yourselves because it hasnt been anything major, just petty little arguments and missed opportunities juxtaposed against great lunchtime catch ups, beautiful snuggles and big belly laughs. Amongst it all, i have noticed that this will be my 399th post....oh how time flies! It feels like yesterday i was back at 14 followers and 300 posts and now, here we are, one away from the 4-0-0. And only 7 away from the magic 100 followers!

So my question is this - what would you like to see as my 400th post? What would you like more of around here ? I secretly aspire to be more like someone such as Lori at Random Ramblings Of A Stay At Home Mum but am unfortunately not possessed of the writing talent to reach the lofty heights of her fame ( man, oh man, if only someone offered me the chance to interview someone from Sesame Street! I'm still way jealous of you Miss Lori... ). With that in mind, leave ideas for my 400th post or things you'd like to see more of in the comments section!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Operation Slimdown, Mach 2 - Week 5

This week sucks. I hate this weeks guts. If it were a person, i'd want to talk trash about it and maybe kick it in the throat. How bout we dispense with the small talk and just look at the stats?
Weight - 77.2 kgs. Up 600g ( so there goes the 500g i lost last week )
Bust - 100.5cm. Up a whopping 3.5cm. This may because i'm pre-menstrual ( TMI? ) and could be helped along by a better bra than other weeks...
Waist - 85.5cm. Up 3cm.
Hips - 104.5cm. Up 1.5cm.
Butt - 109cm. No change ( suprised? )
Thigh - 67cm. Up 0.5cm

How is that even possible? How can i only go up 600g - which could be water retention seeing as i drank around 1.2l of water before my weigh in - but have my measurements go up so dramatically? I'm not going to lie - its really, REALLY, freaking disheartening. I didnt do as much exercise as i would like last week because of the crappy weather ( cant take a baby for a walk in the rain ) and Sunday was a big bbq lunch for my sisters birthday ( and i've got another one this Sunday for my brothers birthday ). I'm just so disappointed.... in the past i've found it easier than this to lose weight. It never came off super quickly but it came off consistently. This non-consistent crap? This sucks.

My only consolation is i think my Zumba dvds are waiting for me at the post office, so i can definately get some more exercise in this week, regardless of the stupid weather, and i'm already drinking more water during the day at work. For now ? I'm going to go cry into a bowl of ice-cream and climb back up on the stupid, rickety, diet bandwagon tomorrow...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hi Ho, Hi Ho....

... its off to work i go! Oh yes, tomorrow will be my first day back at work after 11 months of maternity leave. I am about 10% looking forward to it and 90% not wanting it to happen.
I dont want to leave my Flynny.
I dont want to miss his first steps ( seriously, i reckon he's a month away from walking.. )
I dont want him to get upset because i'm not there with him.
I dont want to go back to work and have to re-learn all the crap i've forgotten since i left ( i think i'm going to have to read the manual that I wrote for my co-workers last year! )
I dont want to have to deal with the state manager that i just cannot stand.
I dont want to deal with rude and obnoxious customers when i could be spending quality time with my son.

But, most of all, i dont want to be broke....and thats why i'm going back to work. 3 days, 9am-5am, is the minimum amount of work i can do to get paid enough to cover our bills and, combined with Micks wages, leave us enough to live comfortably. Some weeks, maybe, not even comfortably - just to make ends meet. So even though i'm not looking forward to it, even though i'll miss my little bubba and i might miss one of his huge milestones ( and i'll be incredibly upset and guilty if that does happen ... ) i recognise that i HAVE to go back to work, for the good of my family. Its that whole unselfish, sacrificing mother thing - despite what i really would like to do, i know that sucking it up and just getting in there and doing is going to be what benefits us most.
Lets just hope i can last more than a week before i get the shits with someone....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Seven Stages

I dont know if its common knowledge or not, but apparently there are 7 stages of grieving for a human being.
1. Shock and denial
2. Pain and guilt
3. Anger and frusturation
4. Depression and reflection
5. The " upward " turn
6. Reconstruction
7. Acceptance

Strangely, after the "break up " with my best friend, i find myself going through these stages. No-one has died, yet i still feel grief for a relationship lost. Is that weird? And do you know where i think i'm up to?
3. Anger and Frusturation - Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else . This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion. Yes, after all these years of being meek and mild, of being the kind of person who dislikes confrontation, who can find the good in most people, i've finally arrived at "angry ". I'm not exactly wanting to " lay unwarranted blame " because as far as i'm concerned it takes two to tango ( so they say ). I am at the stage where i have confronted the accusations thrown at me and come to accept that even if i dont understand where they have come from, i do understand that they are real to her, and i have accepted responsibility for that. However, i have also looked back on the past few years of relationship and have had the clarity to see all those little things i missed, those signs that i was on the outer....and i feel stupid. I feel like i've been lead on and played for a fool, and that makes me both sad and angry. Sad that i missed them all and i could have saved myself this heartache, if only i werent so trusting; and angry that i could have been treated that way by someone who once, supposedly, loved me.And angry, too, that she can't or wont "own " how she's made me feel.
And yes, its time for the release of bottled up emotion. But i wont do that here, and i wont do it to her face ( partly because i dont want to cause any more trouble, and partly because i have no line of communication with her anymore ). No, i do it in the shower, like all good women. In the shower i'm free to talk under the sound of the water, to whisper all those words i'd like to say, to let out the feelings that have been dragging me down the last few weeks, and to cry and cry and cry, and let the water wash away any evidence of my tears.
In the shower i can be naked, physically and emotionally, and i can let.It.Out. I just wonder how much longer til i reach the seventh stage and i can let it all go....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Operation Slimdown, Mach 2 - Week 4

Ah, weigh in day. Somehow i manage to simulataneously love and loathe you. Love - because i'm kind of excited to see how i've gone over the week. Loathe - because i'm afraid of what i'm going to find!

I cant say that this week has been particularly good, or bad for that matter. I've exercised, but havent pushed myself to my limits; i've eaten healthy food but probably too much of them; i drank more water than usual but still not enough. I've looked forward to exercising each day which i suppose is a start, but each session bar two this week has been pretty easy. I did my weekly Zumba class and loved it, and i found this was the one session where i really gave it everything and worked up a good sweat. I think its easier to go hard when your doing an activity you enjoy. With that in mind i tried a half hour Zumba session on DVD that my sister had burned for me, but it was an advanced power workout, and i gave up halfway through because i didnt know what i was doing and just felt overwhelmed. However, i have just last night purchased myself the full 4 DVD Zumba beginners set ( for $25, on ..... take that Danoz Direct, you ripoff merchants! ) and plan on doing some Zumba 5 days a week. If i can convince Mick to let me use the one tv in our house for a little while on the weekends....

So, onto the important stuff - the numbers!
Weight - 76.6kgs. A loss of 500g. Again, not an overly awesome result, and i'm a little disappointed that it wasnt more but a loss is a loss...
Bust - 97cm. Down 0.5cm
Waist - 82.5cm. Down 1.5cm. Maybe all that twisting at Zumba is starting to pay off around the midsection!
Hips - 103cm. Up 0.5cm. Hmmm....
Bum - 109cm. Up 1cm. What the?
Thigh - 66.5cm. No change.

So, we can see that apparently i am turning into some kind of Kim Kardashian clone. What is up with that? How can i lose a little from the top and gain a little on the bottom ? Maybe all the fat from the middle just slipped down a bit, but whatever is going on it has me worried about the near development of a bubble butt. So, onto next week which will see me back at work 3 days a week. I kind of see that as a plus because it means i'll definately be drinking more water ( i keep a 1L bottle on my desk and sip during the day ) and less opportunities to make bad snack decisions. That is, i can only snack once ( on my 10 minute break ) and i can only snack on what i've brought from home, so if i pack myself a nice piece of fruit or a tub of yoghurt i cant be tempted by chocolate or a yummy piece of peanut buttery toast because they wont be there!
Tune in again next week to see how well i go during week one back from maternity leave....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Weekend By The Numbers

2.5 - hours spent bored on Friday night. Seriously, there was nothing on free-to-air tv ( and we dont have Foxtel ) that i was interested in, although Mick was quite happy watching " boy " programs on the new 7Mate channel. I thought i could start reading a new book ( and by new i mean one from own library that i havent read in a while... ) but i didnt want to seem like i was ignoring my sweetheart. So lie down on the couch next to him, shoved my feet on his lap and asked for a massage. It didnt work...

$169 - spent on this weeks groceries. A little more expensive than usual, bu that did include a new tin of formula, a 10 pack of AA batteries and sensitive skin shaving cream - all relatively pricey items we dont usually buy. And i managed to do the groceries in under 45 minutes because Mick decided the weather was that shitty i could go do the groceries on my own and he'd stay home with Flynn. See what i can do without the two male distractions in my life?

2 - movies watched. Yep, the crappy weather meant it was perfect for a movie day, so we chucked the spare mattress on the loungeroom floor and veged for the afternoon. We watched " Iron Man 2 " which i really enjoyed ( even though i fell asleep and had to catch up the half hr i missed later in the evening ) because, lets face it, i'm kind-of-not secretly a comic book movie fan; and " Shutter Island " which we both agreed was a great movie ( despite Mick falling asleep and me having to catch him up on the half hr he missed ). I'm not going to give away an details for those who havent seen it but its one of those head-trippy thrillers that has you questioning everyones motives and everyones truths... ooh, mysterious!

7 +3 - slices of bacon + eggs cooked for breakfast on Sunday morning. Ah, bacon and eggs on a Sunday... its not exactly a ritual around here but is rather kept for special occasions or just as a way to say " i appreciate you baby ! ".

1 - year anniversary. Of what ? Sunday was one year since Michael proposed to me...aww, romantical. Thats why i was making the bacon and was both a special occasion and a appreciative thankyou breakfast.

5 - people that we had over for afternoon tea: my mum, dad, brother, SIL and almost-2 yr old neice. Despite my love of baking, i had no time up my sleeve to whip up a tasty treat, so we just grabbed a pack of lamingtons from Woolies. Everyone loves a lamington! Or a mint slice biscuit, as i found out when my neice only ate half of hers before it was time for to leave, and Flynn found the discarded half about 20 mins later when he woke up from his nap. Mmmm, chocolatey mess on the carpet....

750 - millilitres of cheap champas sparkling wine drunk by Michael and myself over a romantic candlelit dinner after Flynn had gone to sleep. He cooked dinner ( a yummy Indian Curry Chicken Rice ) and i made dessert ( Chocolate Mousse with mixed berries ) and we sat and chatted across the rarely used dining table and enjoyed our lovely meal without the interruptions of our ( gorgeous ) crazy baby. Then we retired to our boudoir for the snuggle. And sleep. What else would we be doing in their you perves ? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Do We Really Need To Go THAT Overboard?

I think i have may have mentioned before but.... i'm getting married next year. November 5th, 2011 to be exact. So even though my wedding is still quite a ways away i'm already bookmarking wedding blogs, and searching Google images for pretty wedding hair and bitching about the other brides on " Four Weddings".  And yesterday i came across this article about a women who's wedding budget blew out so much that her wedding debt has now outlasted her marriage ( a shame on both accounts ). Which, though i have pondered it before, got me thinking - why the hell is there any need to spend sooooooooo much on a wedding which is, in reality, only one day of your life?

We've all heard of the crazy bridezillas who spend fifty, sixty, seventy thousand dollars on their "dream wedding ". Celebrities i can understand, but how on earth any normal person can justifty spending the equivalent of a house deposit on one day - hell, its only a few hours of the day! - is just beyond me. I'm sure there will be women out there saying " But i loved my day! And it was MY day, what i WANTED, so why shouldnt i spend that much ? " To that i say - fair point. Its your day, spend what you want it on it. But to me, i just cant see how a $5000 dress makes you any happier than a $500 dress, or how Swarovski crystal table centrepieces brings you any more real, lasting joy than a beautiful bunch of flowers. Sure the pretty things and the extra fine dining might give you momentary thrills, but a few months down the track, when your struggling to pay all your bills, is that really going to be worth it ? I wouldnt think so.

Mick and I have a budget of $10 000 ( very kindl, traditionally and generously supplied by my parents. Otherwise, we wouldnt be having a wedding because we gots very little money of our own ). We're hoping to squeeze at least part of the honeymoon cost in under that $10 000 and i cant see why we cant make that happen. We're simple people with simple tastes - though " simple " does not ( as some people seem to think ) equate to " tacky ". No - i like fine, pretty things as much as the next woman, i just refuse to spend exorbitant amounts of money for those fine pretty things. I've already bought my dress and i paid $400 for it, marked down from $1200. To me thats nothing to be ashamed of - its a beautiful dress, it looks gorgeous on me, and its savvy shopping! I'm not the kind of girl thats dreamed of her " big day " since she was 5, but my dress is a beautiful Grecian style and thats what i was looking for. It may have been on sale, it may have been " cheap " but i fail to see how spending a few thousand dollars more on a similar dress would make me any happier....

What i'm trying to get at is I personally am not going to feel the need to spend a small fortune on one day of my life. The wedding is, after all, only one day and what is going to matter to me more is the marriage ....all those days after the white dress and the flowers and the cake. I'm going to be grossly, vomit-worthy happy to be in my $500 dress, in a local park beside a pretty (albeit man made ) lake, exchanging vows and jewellry with the man i love. And i'm going to enjoy my reception afterward at a local " boutique beer " establishment, upstairs in its function room with its fairy lighted ceiling, eating gourmet " pub grub " and more than likely dancing to an IPod playlist. As long as the man i love, and the little man i love, and the rest of my people are there enjoying it with me, the dollars spent ( or not spend, in my case ) wont matter a dot....
What about you? If your married, did you have a budget do or a an extravaganza? If your not married - what do you think ?