Warrior Wednesday - Wall of Alive Time

When Zy died, I did not know if I was going to survive. The pain was so deep, so raw and so overwhelming that often I didn't think I would.

Not long after leaving the hospital, a dear freak gave me a way to at least take some of the overwhelming-ness (what on earth is the word I am looking for there?!) out of the equation... Fifteen minute 'get throughs'.
By breaking time down into 15 minute chunks, surviving suddenly became a whole lot more possible.

It didn't take long for all of the freaks to jump on board the "15 minute" bandwagon.
At first, they would knock on my door every 15 minutes, poke their heads around the corner and whisper, "Fifteen! Way to go!".
Then they would set an egg timer for 15 minutes and when it got to the end they would do the 10 second count down and then go crazy - shouting and whooping and cheering like mad.

Finally, they began decorating those brightly coloured origami squares and putting them up on the wall, with each one representing 15 minutes.
This was my favourite of all the 15 minute celebrations. I loved the bright colours and the notes of encouragement, plus, watching all of those 15 minutes adding up was like visual proof that I was surviving. That I was living.

By the time the squares ran out, the wall was covered in vibrant patches of energy - celebrating life, 15 minutes at a time.

There were three packets of squares bought, and some squares were used for other things. Nobody counted them as they were going up on the wall, but when the last square went up someone decided to add them.

When we figured out how many hours of 15 minutes were on the wall, we counted again.
Then again.
Then one more time, to be sure.

They add up, exactly, to the time Baby Zy spent with us, alive.

His alive time.

I have the best friends in the world!

Megan from Imaginif did a post today about gratitude. It got me thinking about the things I am most grateful for at the moment, and after a while I realised that every single thing is made even sweeter by the people I can share or experience them with.
I am grateful that I have the best friends in the world!

I have friends who don't make me feel bad for those bad days that didn't include a shower.... Because they smell worse than I do.

I have friends who aren't afraid of my leaking boobs.... They just call me a cow and throw me a towel.

I have friends who aren't afraid of my pain.... Even when I am.

Friends who answer their phone to me - who let me cry and sob and vomit grief everywhere, and who hang up for me when the phone is stuck to my ear and I am terrified of being disconnected from them.... Friends who will do this today and still answer the phone again tomorrow.

Friends who listen when I tell them I feel as if I am drowning - who will then push me backwards, without warning, into an icy cold swimming pool... To prove that I will not go under forever.

And friends who jump into the icy cold water with me.

I have internet friends, who are just as magnificent as the freaks this side of the screen.

Friends who's thoughts and well wishes transcend the words of an email, a comment or blog post.

Friends who care enough to give virtual hugs.

Friends who find the time to comment or email, even when the time (and the words) are difficult to come by.

Friends who offer support, encouragement and understanding, even when it must certainly poke and prod at their own grief.

Friends who allow me to share what I need to share, feel what I need to feel and blog what I need to blog - And who still drop by to read, even when it's not all warm and fuzzy.

Friends who ignite a little of Baby Warrior's light, just by reading about his moments and believing in his love.

To my friends,
Real life, internet, or otherwise,

Thank you!

You are the best friends in the world, and I am so very grateful that you are all part of my life experience.

Warrior Wednesday

The two most important men in my life both left their bodies at 8:30pm on a Wednesday.
Sometimes this is a down right horrible thought and it turns my Wednesdays into crap days - but mostly it is comforting, because I believe in magic moments and I believe in their significance. Our little warrior could have died at any time, but he didn't. I like to think that when Zy died, Daddy Kewl was there waiting for him. Actually, I don't just like thinking this, I like knowing this.... It's significant.

The last few days I have pushed myself into blogging some of the moments from three other kewl and significant people. "Their lives deserve celebrating." I told myself... "You can't stop forward movement. It's time to move forward."

But to be honest, I'm struggling.

I love the moments I have to celebrate with my kewl girls, and I do not - for one second - underestimate their value. What I'm struggling with is the fourth kewl and significant child who's moments aren't being celebrated in the same way. Some are, sure - but to fully appreciate many of them, there is a need for details and history and explanation that is still too raw to blog about. So, while Zy is constantly present in my thoughts and in my heart - as every child is for every parent - his moments are missing from this "forward blogging movement".

Honestly? The thought of moving forward without Zy is totally and utterly terrifying. I know he will always be in my heart, and in the hearts of the people who love him... But there is still that niggling voice that screams it's bloody head off when I post about something other than him - something 'normal' - because even though he is constantly present in my heart, and the people close to us hold him in their hearts, what about the others? What about the people who don't know his story?
The thought that Zy is being left out is like a red hot iron being driven into my soul.
It hurts. And I don't like it.

So.... Instead of dwelling on it and feeling awful and not posting anything.... I am coming up with a solution. I'm going to make Wednesday each week "Warrior Wednesday" on the Kewl blog. This way I can be OK with blogging the every day moments, because I will know that Zy's moments are not being forgotten, overlooked or left out. It is also a clear and positive way of creating a balance between "now" moments, and those that are a little more reflective... A way to bring Zy with us on this whole forward movement thing.

Does this make sense?

Lol... Oh well. It is my plan, and it feels good.

As today is Wednesday, I have a couple of moments - one that I've wanted to share for a while, that didn't make it onto the Baby Blog because it happened in the midst of a whole lot of freaking chaos! And another that is a Baby Warrior and kewl girl moment from the 'now'.

The first happened while I was pregnant, and is a testament to just how big and FAT I got carrying Baby Warrior around in his overfilled water bed....
The kewl girls and I were at the park when, just for something different, I had to pee. Leaving the girls safely with our nanny, I made a fast waddle for the loo's. Then, satisfied that my bladder was no longer about to burst, I went to return to the kewlettes.

Errr... Not so fast....

I went to open the stall door and discovered it was stuck. Well, more to the point - I was stuck...
My belly was so big I could not get the door open wide enough to make my escape, and my baby brain was not about to come up with a solution any time soon.
After about 20 minutes of sitting in a public loo stall, half laughing, half crying, Mary Poppins finally came searching and was able to manoeuvre the door open... But only after another 20 minutes of hysterical laughter on her part.
(Reading back over this moment, I realise it may be one of those, "You had to be there" things, but hey - I was there and today it makes me smile.)

The next moment is from an inspired Miss J.

This morning her and her sisters were playing dress ups when Miss J gave up her high heels and fake fur to come and see me.

Miss J: "Mummy... We're hungry."

I asked her what she felt like to eat, and she replied, "Salt and vinegar chips."

Seemingly not such a special request, except that Miss J and her sisters all hate salt and vinegar chips and are not allowed to eat them anyway because of the gluten factor.

And that salt and vinegar chips were also one of the few things I craved, non stop, whilst pregnant with Baby Warrior.

Me: "Are you sure you want salt and vinegar chips?"

Miss J: "Yes, we do."

Me: "Your sisters too?"

Miss J: "Oh mum... *insert teenage style rolling of eyes* ... Me and Zy want salt and vinegar chips."

Of course.

Needless to say, we now have a cupboard full of salt and vinegar chips.


In the service station (aka gas station) today, the man at the counter asked the girls if they were being good little children so that Santa would bring them a present for Christmas. Being that we're not really into the whole Santa thing, the girls were somewhat confused by this question, so the man went on to explain how Santa brings presents for all the good little girls and boys, but..... If you've been bad, he leaves a lump of coal in your stocking instead!!!

Miss F was not impressed.

"Well that's just silly!" she said....

"Hasn't Santa heard about global warming?!"


From the back seat of the car....

Miss J: "Mummy?"

Me: "Yes Miss J?"

Miss J: "Are you a virgin?"

Me: "No darling, I'm not."

Miss J: "Oh. OK then."

In other news.....

Miss V made a new friend today.
She wants to put him in her pocket so they can play together.
I am all for diversity, but being pocket pals with this guy?

Um.... I don't think so.


Miss J and Miss F have been getting a lot of attention for their twin-ness recently. "A lot" as in, a lot more than usual.
We are in a new town - a relatively small town, at that - and I am guessing they have not seen many identical twins before. Well, actually... Considering the people at the supermarket welcomed us at the doors with big smiles, energetic waves, and exclamations of, "Oh LOOK! The double kids!" .... It's not really a guess so much as it is a stating of the obvious.

Thankfully we are also surrounded by our own bunch of freaks, who have been wonderful in celebrating Miss J and Miss F as individuals and making their twin-ness into a kind of kewl, freak talent, rather than a defining feature.
Still, I was so very relieved when Miss J herself started a conversation about her and her twin sister's individuality at the breakfast table today....

Miss J: "People look at us because we look the same, don't they?"
Me: "Yes Miss J, some people do. Being a twin is very special and not many people get to have a twin sister. You only look the same though, people who know you know that you are both different."
Miss F: "Yeah... We look the same, but we're not the same, hey mum?"
Me: "No, you're not. You are both different.... Like how Miss F loves to sing and twirl a lot and Miss J loves to dance and jump a lot. That's different."
Miss J: "Yeah, and Miss F likes yellow jelly but I don't."
Me: "Yep. How else are you different?"
Miss F: "My scooter is white and it has flowers and it has 4 wheels but Miss J's is pink and no flowers and it has 3 wheels."
Miss J: "Yeah, and I like painting hearts but Miss F likes painting flowers."
Me: "Exactly!"

I have to say, I was finding our conversation very reassuring at this point - hearing both Miss J and Miss F speak about themselves as individuals was music to my ears.
It was also a relief not to have to worry about them developing any kind of complex from all the extra attention.

Then, just as this last thought passed through my mind, Miss F added,

"Yeah, and Miss J's farts stink but mine don't!"

Oh dear.

LIZ! In the car!

We (myself, the three Kewl girls and a Mary Poppins freak) had a 2 and a half hour road trip today. Well, it was three hours really, by the time you factor in 50 gazillion toilet stops. (For me, that is, not the girls!)

As a touring freak, I spent a lot of time on the road and I got very good at amusing myself with travel games. One of my favourites was, and still is, license plate words. That is - taking the three letters from a passing license plate and coming up with a phase using words beginning with each letter.

Today, about an hour into our trip, we turned off the busy main roads and began winding our way inland. This is my favourite kind of travel - removed enough to be quiet, but not so isolated that it becomes unnerving. The passing traffic dwindled in volume until there was just one car every 10 minutes or so, and a calm settled over the car. The girls either window gazed or amused themselves quietly and Mary Poppins and I enjoyed the greening landscape after too many days in the city.

It was just lovely, being with my four favourite women in the world, all drifting with our own thoughts. I must have been a good few miles away when the bright red shine of a car approaching in the opposite direction caught my eye and drew me back to the present moment. As it got closer, more out of habit than anything else, I looked for the 3 letters on the license plate.


My thoughts went immediately to Z.
Z is for Zy.

Then I wondered if maybe it was Zy saying hello...
H... Hello...
Hmm. Of course it was.

ZSH - Zy Says Hi.

By the time my thoughts rested on this the car had long passed - but I said it aloud, anyway. And so Did Mary Poppins.
In perfect sync, we both said softly, "Zy Says Hi".

Naturally, when the next car approached we were both ready and waiting to catch the license plate.


Again we spoke softly and in unison,

"Look! It's Zy."

When we spotted the next car in the distance their was absolutely no doubt in our minds that Zy would say hello again.
And he did.

As the car drew closer I drew myself up tall in my seat. Once more we spotted the letters at the same time and once more we spoke in perfect unison -


"Hi From Zy."

We didn't pass any more cars again before it was time for another loo stop, and so a break in our momentum - but I didn't need any more confirmation that our little Warrior was in the car with us today.

Thank you, darling Zy.

I will always be watching and listening for you.

For Zy, Our Warrior

Once upon a chocolate rainbow, there lived two candy clouds called Pink M and Blue M.

Pink M wasn't always called Pink M - because she wasn't always pink! When she was a small sugar puff cloud, her soft, warm, marshmallow centre was covered in a thin white fairy floss icing. Her colour was quite magical, because it came from the love that spread over her entire cloud body, the very first time she saw her candy man cloud - Blue M.

Blue M got his colour from the deep blue sea, where he spent many of his days bobbing up and down like a tic tac in teacup. When he saw the beautiful rosy glow of Pink M, floating high above the chocolate rainbow, Blue M shook the deep blue ocean drops from his cloudy eyes and watered his way up to the deep blue sky, where he and Pink M became a sweet like sugar Candy Couple.

Together they spent their days floating along the chocolate rainbow, sprinkling a little sugar here and scattering some cinnamon starlets there, until one day they noticed something strange. Although they both had baskets full of the sweetest sensations imaginable, they both also had strange feelings bubbling up from their soft marshmallow cloud centres and making their outer candy colours run and drip and fade.

"My basket feels empty!" said Pink M, "Even though it looks full."

"Mine, too!" agreed Blue M. "And look! Every time I try to pick up some sweetness, it just slips right through my fingers."

The Candy Couple floated still for a while, in quiet contemplation, until finally Blue M said, "Maybe if we had someone to share our sweetness with - our own precious little sugar puff cloud - maybe then your basket wouldn't feel so empty and my sugar crystals wouldn't slip from my fingers so quickly."

"I think you're right, Blue M," said Pink M. "But how can we ever have our own sugar puff cloud when we don't have a baby basket to grow one in?"

Blue M thought so hard that his thought bubble burst and it showered drops of left over blue ocean onto the rainbow underneath him. He tried thinking again, but when he still could not come up with an answer, more blue ocean drops began falling from his eyes.

"Maybe it is just not meant to be," said Pink M.
As she spoke, big, fat, salty tears began rolling down her pink cloud cheeks, stripping them of their colour and sweetness, and running away into the sky.

"Hey!" cried a voice from not too far away. "Where are these pink and blue polka dots coming from?!"

It was the Candy Couple's friend, Chocolate Freckle.

"I have enough sweet spots without yours as well, my Candy friends. Stop with your crying already and pass me the chocolate! Then you had better get your sugar puff sprinkles together, because I have a baby basket but not enough ingredients to put in it. We can can grow your very own sugar puff cloud in there!"

And so, Pink M and Blue M mixed up all the sweet-essentials for their very own sugar puff cloud and they put them into Chocolate Freckle's baby basket, where something very magical happened...

The sweetest, most perfect little sugar puff cloud began to grow!!

He was a precious purple mix of Pink M and Blue M, with a soft centre and sweet iced coating, and he had magnificent, brightly coloured polka dot freckles from his Chocolate Freckle growing basket.

Everyone waited impatiently as the magical sweetness swirled it's way around the baby sugar puff cloud in his borrowed baby basket. Then the baby sugar puff cloud became impatient too! He decided he had had enough of basket weaving magic and he wanted to come out and weave some more magic of his own!

The little sugar puff cloud left his baby basket and he entered a new world - A world that wasn't ready for his love, or his magic, or his sweetness.
Or his brightly coloured polka dot freckles!

No, the outside world was not made for the little baby puff cloud, and it was so very cruel to him. It made fun of his polka dot freckles and it attacked his sweetness. It tore holes in his soft, white cloud wisps and it tried to drip horrible, dark, stinky negativity into his wounds.

But the outside world underestimated the little baby sugar puff cloud.

He had a whole lot more than a soft white marshmallow heart...

He had a mighty warrior heart!

For 26 hours he battled, and even as the harshness of the outside world slowly destroyed his sugar puff cloud body, something else - something so very magical - was happening.

The outside world could melt his polka dot freckles and suck out his marshmallow centre, but there was nothing in the whole entire universe that could fade his magic, his light or his love.

With each moment that passed the wisps of his cloud body fell away, but the light from his warrior heart was growing stronger and stronger and stronger. It was brilliant and bright and white, and it beamed out from his warrior heart, filling all of the other hearts in the world with his sweet sugary goodness, until finally his own heart did not need to beat any more, because it was beating inside the hearts of all of the people who loved him.

The Warrior's sugar puff cloud is gone now, but we don't need his body to have him with us.

Listen carefully to the silence, and you will hear his magic.

Look up into the sky at night time, and you will see his light and all of the other star hearts that are twinkling for him.

Best of all, put your hand on your own heart, and you will feel the beating of his love.


Four weeks ago, our little warrior's body drifted away...

But his magic still surrounds us,
His light continues to shine in our world,
And his love will always beat with our hearts.

For Baby Zy,
With all of our love.

Freak Fest - Week 5 - and feeling like the mother of all freaks

This week, I thought I would share with you some of the things I've found myself screaming saying during Freak Fest thus far...

"Please do not eat any more worms before lunch."

"No guinea pigs on the dinner table!"

"OK - Who's been swallowing my good kitchen knives?"

"How did Uncle Freak's false teeth end up around that brush turkey's neck?"

"Who left their unicycle on the roof again?"

"No, I do not know where you can buy 50 bottles of dish washing liquid and 2 dozen boxes of condoms."

"And even if I did know - I wouldn't tell you."

"Please get down from the tree - The neighbours do not want to see your full moon."

"Darling, the dam is not a good place for my keys."

"Oh no.. Please don't walk wet paint through the house again."

"No you cannot move into the cubby house. And no, I do not plan to install satellite TV there any time soon."

"Accidentally stepping on the smouldering camp fire in the middle of the night because you're disoriented and trying to find your way to the toilet - Is NOT the same as completing.. 'the sickest fire walk ever, man!' .. But nice try."

"For the last time - The washing line is not a tightrope!"

"Please.. If you're going to cartwheel down the main street in town, trade your skirt for some pants... Or at least, put on some underwear."

Oh - And not a single sentence was directed to my children...
Or indeed, anyone under 25.


The kewl girls and I went to a Special Education School today. I had to drop in to pick up some equipment I left behind last time and the girls wanted to come too. We got there just before lunch and even though I did what I needed to do in 5 minutes, the kewl girls stayed and played happily with their friends all the way through lunch break and into the next lesson!

As we were leaving we bumped into Mrs. E, a teacher and ex colleague from the State School next door. We exchanged how are yous and then she turned her attention to the kewl girls.
Even though Mrs. E was the certified 'teacher' in the group, I think the kewl girls did most of the teaching in their conversation today...

Mrs. E: "Aren't you lucky girls, going to work with mum?"
Miss J: "We didn't go to work. We went to school."
Mrs. E: "Of course you did! Silly me! Do you like going to school with mum?"
Miss F: "Yes, it's fun."
Mrs. E: "How lovely. And do you play with the little disabled kiddies?"
Miss F: "No."
Mrs. E: "No?! Don't you play with any disabled children at special school?"
Miss J: "No."
Miss V: "No."
Mrs. E: "Well what do you do then?"

Miss V: "We play with our friends."

Miss F: "Yeah.. We play with our friends."

Of course. Silly Mrs. E.

Freak Fest - Lessons from Week 3 and Week 4

Week 3...

When a little girl tells her new favourite uncle that her favourite colour is pink and her favourite animal is her white pony - Do not be surprised if you wake up the next morning to find said white pony has turned a brilliant shade of magenta.
Also, do not be surprised if there are no beetroots left within a 10km radius.

If someone tells you to "lighten up", do not reply "make me". Unless you want to be woken at 3am by 4 spotlights shining into your tent.

Circus freaks do not make good show and tell guests. Especially when you're a teacher, not a student, and the freaks rock up to class wearing t-shirts that read, "I was born smart, but education ruined me."

Week 4...

If, whilst you are grocery shopping in town, you see 6 freaks flash past on a ride on mower that looks an awful lot like your own - It probably is.
It is also probably best to walk very quickly in the opposite direction.

When your children call to you, "Mum! Quick! Freaky Uncle has four fingers stuck up his nose!"... They are probably not lying.
Especially if Freaky Uncle was last seen with the super glue.

A freak attempting to contort herself into a kitchen cupboard because another freak says "I bet you can't fit in there any more".... Is probably not going to end well.
But it will probably be very entertaining.


We are home. We are adjusting. We are celebrating the joyous moments and allowing time for the crappy moments to pass.

I am under close observation by Miss J after getting into trouble for not taking small enough bites of my apple... "Baby can't swallow big bits mum! You'll choke him!"
Miss F has taken it upon herself to educate the world as to how babies are born. I just know the doctor was thrilled to learn that... "Baby is going to come out of mum's vagina, you know."
Miss V is refusing to eat watermelon after one of the freaks convinced her that Baby is actually a watermelon growing in my tummy - because I swallowed a pip and drank lots of water to make it grow.

Most importantly...

Thank you for the supportive comments and good vibes.
They are better than chocolate!


For the first time since I started blogging, I am sitting in front of the computer, wanting to write this post and struggling to find the words.

Maybe it is because the moments I am recalling are not all love light and bliss ones.
Maybe it is because I have cried for almost 48 hours straight and my brain is being squashed by my swollen face.
Maybe it is because I feel like I have left it too long, and now I'm not sure where to start.
Maybe it is because this blog is a place where I can control how much I show of myself - or more to the point, what I show of myself - and writing this post is a little outside of my comfort zone.
Maybe I am still in hiding, and I am struggling because writing this post makes it real.

Or maybe I am just talking shit in an attempt to avoid saying what I need to say.

I am very good at procrastinating.

OK, how about a timeline? I can do a timeline.
Here goes...

24 weeks ago -
My two dearest friends in the universe (M&M) made a baby embryo.

24 weeks ago -
Their baby embryo was transferred to my uterus.
I became pregnant with their child.

20 weeks ago -
We announced our pregnancy to close friends and family.

18 weeks ago -
We started a Baby Blog.

12 weeks ago -
We announced our pregnancy to the wider community.

8 weeks ago -
An ultrasound showed us Baby has a penis.

2 weeks ago -
Another ultrasound showed there was too much amniotic fluid in Baby's water bed.

2 weeks ago -
Baby was diagnosed with atypical Esophageal Atresia (this means his esophagus hasn't formed properly) and he also has a cyst in his throat.
These things are stopping him from swallowing amniotic fluid effectively.

1 week ago -
Amniocentesis results came back.
Baby has a genetic disorder called Cri-du-Chat syndrome.

This syndrome will change Baby's life.
It will change a lot of things.

What it will never, ever change, is how much Baby is loved.

So there it is. The time line.
Now we are going to take some time out to adjust to this change.
For the second time in as many months, we are going away to the beach.
See you all when we return.

Freak Fest - Lessons from Week 2

  • Thirty something year old freaks are not above planting buckets of water on top of door frames.
  • I am not above retaliation.

"Have a nice trip?"

"See you next fall!"

Freak Fest - Lessons from Week 1

Anything not bolted down will be juggled. This includes any of the smaller pieces of furniture, any of the smaller animals and most of all - the small children.

Anything recently bolted down eaten by the small children will make a rather messy come back.

The shed roof makes an excellent bass drum when played with maracas, clap sticks and especially riding crops.

Shed roofs within reach of a hose make for very wet drummers, especially when the shed owner was not invited to join the band.

Asking a bunch of wannabe ex circus freaks to keep both feet on the ground for more than 2 minutes is like asking a fish to stop swimming.
Not. Going. To. Happen.

Keeping both of your own feet on the ground for more than 2 minutes when you're surrounded by a bunch of wannabe ex circus freaks is like asking a fish to swim backwards.

Ten years might have past since my "serious" circus days, but this week I have realised it is true what they say -

Once a freak, always a freak.

Freak Fest '08

Check out the new Kewl banner!!
How kewl am I?!!

Yep - Very. Especially as I got someone else to do it for me!

A big big thank you to Sammi - A darling freak who is here for the reunion and whom I am lucky enough to have as a friend. She has commented on here a few times (usually to dob me in for eating too much chocolate) and even though she doesn't blog herself, she is actually quite the computer whiz!

Sammi created the new banner in about half an hour, using software she'd never worked with before, AND she figured out how to put in on the blog for me! (Oh yeah, she is a typical, over achieving freak.)

She also came up with this image:

I quite like this one - But I think it is almost a little too perfect and I love our beautiful green garden in the background of the other one. What do you think?

My profile photo has also been updated. The last picture was taken at sunrise on the second anniversary of M's death - but as Sammi was kind enough to point out, "That was over a year ago now - move on already!"

Nothing like a freak telling it how they see it.

Three Times Kewl is not the only freak show benefiting from Sammi's creative genius... Not only does this blog have a new banner - The Freak Fest has one, too.

SO kewl.

Now I must go and freak out again, but as a final thought, I leave you with our festival slogan.
Given there are now 30 freaks here, with another 8 arriving tomorrow - It is not so much kewl, as it is highly appropriate...


"Never underestimate the power of freaks in large numbers."

Time and Energy

First off - Thank you for all of the kewl thoughts that were sent our way! They were greatly appreciated!

We are back and we are doing well, though energy levels are still somewhat low.
Life is needing most of my attention at the moment and I'm sorry that posting and blog visiting has been just that little bit out of my reach.

Things might remain quite for a little longer, because....
Next week our home is being invaded by circus freaks from all over Australia (and some from overseas, too)!! We are having a catch up / reunion and for some of us it has been almost 10 years since we last got to play!!
It is very, very exciting and I am even looking forward to having 30+ people camping out in my backyard and fighting over the bathroom. (Man, we really are freaks!)

Thank you again for your kewl thoughts... I hope everyone out here in the bloggoshpere (Jeanie, is that a word?) is well and I can't wait to catch up as soon as time and energy are willing.

Three Years Gone

We have gone away for the 3rd anniversary of Daddy Kewl's death.
See you all when we return.

Welcome, Spring!

As is our tradition, we blasted this song this morning in celebration of the first day of Spring.
Any excuse for celebration, really!

Magic Moment

Miss V was born with a phobia of phones. She got it from me and from an experience we shared when she was in my tummy.
On the night Daddy Kewl was killed, he rang me on his way home from work. He was hit by the drink driver while we were talking.
As much as I am thankful that in a way I was with him when he died, we never got to finish our conversation or say goodbye and that unfinished phone call was stuck on replay for a long time.
So, it is no wonder really that Miss V and I do not like phones!

Mostly I am okay with phones now, but Miss V is still not keen on them. In an attempt to make phones fun for her, I took the girls on a mission a few months ago. We went to the discount shop and I set down the challenge: Find as many phones as you can!

Together we scoured the store in search of our communication treasures - and we scored well! We left with a bag full of 14 new (toy) phones! When we got home we played lots of games with them. I practised juggling them, Miss J had fun throwing them into a bucket from a couple of meters away, Miss F did magic tricks with them (making them disappear by hiding them in different hand bags!) and Miss V used them to play fetch with the dogs.

Having achieved a good level of phone fun, the next step was to practise talking on them. Miss J or Miss F would make fabulous phone ringing sounds and I would answer the call and pass on messages to them. "That was your god mother. She says hello, and she is making snot pie for dinner!"

Miss J and Miss F caught onto this very quickly and became great role models. They started answering phones themselves and passing messages on to me. "That was Whip. He says hello and your shoes are smelly!"

Then there was the "Hello Song". Miss V's unicorn sings this song... Imagine the most annoying, catchy, lame tune you have ever heard. Multiply the annoying factor by 2. Now add these lyrics... "Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, how are you? Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, how are you? Thank you, thank you I am fine and I hope that you are too. Do do do do do."
To infinity.

It drives me bonkers, but Miss V loves it. So we sang it - Every time the phone rang.

For all of our phone antics, Miss V still does not want to speak to people on real phones (and that's OK. I'm sure she will warm to them when she is ready). She is starting to get used to speaking on toy phones though. After watching her sisters and I talking and laughing and passing on hello's she is now quite comfortable chatting on them herself, and although the phone may not be plugged in, she certainly has connections.

One day this week I heard Miss V talking on her phone. I didn't catch much of her conversation, but when I walked into her room she had a message for me.
She put down the phone, looked directly into my eyes and said,

"That was dad. He says goodbye."

Eau De Vomit

It's my new scent.
  • 1 part Miss V
  • 1 part Miss J
  • 1 part Miss F
  • 3 parts gastro
Hoping to tip the last bucket full down the drain very soon.
Until then, we will be keeping our distance!

Never Ending Protection of Children Meme!

I knee knocked in front of the local child welfare office, my dry mouth wanted to scream obscenities at me and tell me to mind my business. The small child in my arms was doing enough screaming for both of us, arching his back, kicking his legs and waving his arms about furiously.

Here are the rules for this fantastic Protection of Children Virus, started by Megan from Imaginif

To continue this meme and add the next sentence in this child protection story, I tag Jeanie.


I have discovered the wonders of Google Analytics.
In particular, the "keyword" searches.
Oh yes. It is wondrous... Some of them really, really have me wondering...

My favourites thus far:

"No one helped me when I fractured my foot"... Sorry love - I would have helped you.

"Eating pimples" and "Eating pus" ... Miss F had serious attacks of the giggles when these ones popped up. (Remember the shopping queue?)

"Can you put a hot water bottle in the microwave" ... I don't know, so chances are you won't find your answer here.

"Love making with a hot water bottle"... Oh dear. Oh. Dear.

In all seriousness though, there was one search term that I am very excited about finding on the list. On the TOP of the list, no less.

The number 1 keyword search, clocking in at a massive (for me, anyway!) 52 visitors in just a few weeks and with an average time on site of 33 minutes:

"No Go Tell for kids"

HOORAY!! You, my searching friends, are very, VERY kewl!!!!!!!

Thank you for making time for child protection! All 52 of you have filled me with a renewed sense of hope for a safer world for our kids.

Megan from Imaginif
is another seriously kewl chick and her blog is ALL about child protection.
When I first joined the blogging world and found Imaginif I felt immediately at home, even if I didn't quite understand Megan's passion for blogging to bring about social change.

Well, today I get it. And I like it!

To the searches who stumbled across this blog by accident - whether you have fractured bones, or you eat pus, or you have a very close relationship with your hot water bottle - Welcome! The more the merrier!

But be warned - You will not get away with trying anything dodgy around here! Us 'No Go Tellers' are a force to be reckoned with, and we outnumber you, 52:1.

Potato or Vagina?

A few days ago, Miss J, Miss F and I learnt about syllables. It wasn't a planned lesson, but when the word came up in conversation and they asked about it, it was a perfect teachable moment.

I explained the concept, then we "clapped out" their names and once they had a good understanding we moved onto fitting different words into songs.

We started with seven po-ta-toes (more!), then in our garden we grew seven tom-a-toes, seven pine-ap-ples, seven ba-na-nas, seven cu-cum-bers and seven dal-mat-ians (Whip the dalmatian was standing in the veggie patch).

Later, while all 3 kewl girls were playing with their babies, Miss J helped Miss V to count them. Upon discovering there were four babies, plus themselves makes seven, Miss J and Miss F came up with another version of the Potato Song...

"One vagina, two vagina, three vagina, four. Five vagina, six vagina, seven vagina, more!"

They spent all weekend singing it at the tops of their lungs - Including through the main street in town. Yesterday I heard no more vaginas and assumed they were past this particular craze.
I thought wrong.

Today at the park Miss V was playing with another young boy on the see-saw. He started singing, "Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up, horsey..." and Miss V joined in. When they were giddy enough, the boy asked if she knew the Potato Song and he sang, "One potato, two potato, three potato, four. Five potato, six potato, seven potato, more!" Adding in the accompanying hand gestures.

Miss V replied, "It's not po-ta-to! it's va-gi-na!"
Then she sang, "One vagina, two vagina, three vagina, four. Five vagina, six vagina, seven vagina, more!" Complete with Auslan signs and a Pip! and RAY! at the end.

I don't think the boy was quite ready for a dose of Miss V's girl power...
He ran away screaming.

Miss V - kewl girl that she is - just looked at me, shrugged her shoulders and said, "No more vaginas for him then."

Oh yeah! That's my girl!


Below is a lecture given by Dr. Randy Pausch when he appeared on Oprah.
The full version can also be viewed on YouTube and it is a little over an hour long.
This version is just 10 minutes, though really, it can last a lifetime.

I wrote a whole lot of introspective ramblings here, clicked publish, then changed my mind.

Suffice to say, for the next few weeks I will be attempting to answer a question that has been burning ever since I saw this lecture.

If M had know he was going to die, what would he have said in his 'last lecture'?

Miss F's new song

At least I know where she got it from this time!

After having had the radio on in the car this week (because the CD player is broken!), Miss F has a new favourite tune. I have to admit - it rather suits her and her timing is perfect.

As you may or may not know, Miss F is a fashion diva. She has a love for hair, make up and accessories, but her first passion is clothes. It takes her twice as long as the rest of us to get dressed in the morning and her fashion flair is far too fabulous to be limited to just one outfit per day. Oh no. Miss F changes her clothes at least four times a day - usually every couple of hours.

This week, each time Miss F has changed her outfit she has gone into her room, selected her new dress, picked matching shoes, adjusted her hair clips and lip gloss accordingly, then proceeded to the mirror for a final inspection.

This is where her new favourite song comes in. Or, more specifically, her favourite line...

After making any necessary adjustments, Miss F looks adoringly at her reflection and belts out this line from Gabriella Cilmi's new song, 'Don't want to go to bed now'...

"You look good, you look good, you're good looking, yeah!"

"You look good, you look good, you're good looking, yeah!"

And again...
"You look good, you look good, you're good looking, yeah!"

And again!
"You look good, you look good, you're good looking, yeah!"

I thought it was very cute... Until she launched into another line from the chorus at bedtime tonight:

"I don't want to go to bed now, bed now, not now, not now, NOT!"

"I don't want to go to bed now, bed now, not now, not now, NOT!"

And again...
"I don't want to go to bed now, bed now, not now, not now, NOT!"

And again!
"I don't want to go to bed now, bed now, not now, not now, NOT!"

Okay Miss F, ha ha, very cute.

One liners

Recently the kewl girls have come out with a few one liners that really have me wondering - Where do they get these things from?!

First, Miss J accidentally stepped on Miss V's soft toy. Miss V looked at her angrily and shouted, "You dirty rat!"

Next it was Miss J's turn...
Miss J likes to tease the dogs with her food. She does it frequently, and she is frequently left without her food, because three dogs are faster than one child.

Yesterday she held her biscuit out for Beezie.
Then she took it back again.
Then she held it out again.
Then she took it back again.
Then she held it out again.
Then she took it back again.
Then she held it out again.

Then Whip took it.
And he ate it.
And Miss J cried.

And through her tears she yelled, "You just wait, Whip! I'll get you! When you least expect it, I'll get yooouuuu!!!"

Points for her outstanding melodramatic delivery, but sheesh! She's 3 years old!

Then today... Today we had the one liner to end all one liners.

After breakfast I cleared the table and left the dishes in the sink for later. When Miss F walked past the kitchen she pointed to them and said, in her most patronising little voice, "They won't wash themselves, you know."

Then she put her hand on her hip, wagged her finger at me and added,

"A good wife knows her way around the kitchen, mum."

Where, where would she learn something like that?!?!?!?!?!?!
I mean - we don't have a television, the girls are home schooled, I am precious about the environments they are exposed to, for the most part our friends share the same "kid friendly" values and I certainly wouldn't say something that disgusting!!

You are super kewl and intelligent people - I know you are, I read your blogs - Can someone please tell me where they get these things from and how to make it stop?!

Three year old sympathy

Miss F: "Look mum! Now my foot is like yours!"

Er.. Anyone know how to gently remove nail polish from feet?

(P.S. Sorry about the crappy photo - It's from the camera phone!)

Keep smiling

Apologies for our absence. We went to the beach to clear the cobwebs and be in our own space for a while.

There are a few things I could post about now - the YES challenge, the story of the broken camera, Miss V's renewed wish for a penis - but you know what? I'd just like to smile for a bit longer...


This week I have been missing Daddy Kewl a lot. No particular reason, just because he is not here.

Yesterday the girls' god parents came over and we went and had a picnic lunch under M's tree. Usually, visiting this magical place helps me feel closer to M because deep down, I know he is still here with us. Yesterday though, instead of loosening the bands of grief around my chest our picnic lunch had the opposite effect. The tree served only as a reminder that M is gone and all I felt was the ache for his physical presence.
For the first time in a long time, I was relieved when it was time to pack up and head back to the house.

Later in the afternoon, I set the girls up with some crafty stuff while I sat on the couch and tried to work out how I was going to climb back out of my misery hole - or at least stop digging it.

OK. Think positive. What am I grateful for? What brings me joy?

To be honest, I wasn't getting very far. I could name plenty of positives, plenty of things to be grateful for and plenty of things that bring me joy, but the feeling just wasn't there.
My head and my heart were not cooperating.

Right on cue, Miss J left the craft table and came to see me. She was holding something behind her back and she told me it was a surprise, so I had to close my eyes. I obeyed and Miss J reached out and gently stuck something to my chest.

When I opened my eyes, Miss J said,

"See? It's to make your heart happy."

Then she went back to her craft with a big smile on her face.

It was almost as big as mine.

More smiles and magic moments over at Mountaingirls Musings.

Perfection Personified?

In our house, once food is served, that is it. Everyone usually gets a say in what goes on the menu, but once it hits the table - that's it. Discussion over.
Miss J is not always happy about this house rule, so this week she has came up with a way to show her displeasure and express her fussy streak, whilst still abiding by the rules.

This week Miss J has decided she will not eat any piece of fruit that has a "yuck bit" on it.
Not until I have removed the offending yucky bit, anyway.

Now, it may not seem like such a big deal - simply removing a spot from an apple or extracting a stray dog hair (opps!) from a banana every now and then - but did you know that it is possible to find up to 5 yucky bits on every single piece of fruit, if you look hard enough?
It's true. And Miss J can prove it.

All week I have spent snack times taking bites out of Miss J's food in order to remove the yucky bits and return it to an acceptable state of perfection. I realised after the second day of yuck removing duties that I may be allowing a bad habit to form - but I decided it was not a battle I was up for fighting. So I continued removing yucky bits... And boy has Miss J continued to find them!

After biting off the 6th yucky bit from a single banana today I kinda sorta lost my patience for a moment.

When Miss J held out her banana again, I said to her, "Not everything in nature is going to be absolutely perfect all the time, Miss J!"

She replied, "Why not? I am."

Yes, thank you

It is now almost 2 weeks since I fractured my foot. I still have another 2 weeks to go before I will hopefully be allowed to throw away these horrid crutches and get back to "normal".

In light of my previous 2 weeks of immobility, yesterday, we had no food in the house. Nothing for us and nothing for the animals.
The day before, our neighbour offered to do some shopping for us. With another 2 weeks before I can attempt any kind of decent shop myself, do you know what I said?
"No thanks, we'll manage."

We have a nanny (our wonderful, amazing, hippie version of Mary Poppins) who usually hangs out with us Monday afternoon and all of Friday. Before I fractured my foot, she had arranged to take 2 weeks off, from us and from her other families. After I fractured my foot, she offered to spend all of her now free two weeks with us.
With 3 very energetic children who are hard enough to keep up with when all your limbs are working, let alone when 3 off them are out of action (it takes both arms to walk with crutches!), do you know what is said?
"No thanks, we'll manage."

Nelly is our foster puppy. She is going to be an assistance dog when she grows up. Right now though, she is a border collie puppy with more energy than all three kewl girls put together. Like all dogs, she becomes very destructive when she gets bored - so the key to a content, well mannered pooch is keeping her occupied. There is only so much you can do to occupy a dog with that much energy when you are a person with that much less energy... Nelly's wonderful trainer realised this and offered to find her a place in "vacation care" until I am back on both feet. Instead of thanking her kindly and wishing Nelly a happy holiday, do you know what I said?
That's right, "No thanks, we'll manage."

Now, I am not a liar. We have managed -

I let the animals loose in the veggie garden and we went to the shops and got as much food as the girls could carry (because when an attendant asked if she could help us with anything I replied, "No thanks, we'll manage.").

Mary is enjoying her two weeks off and when I explained to the kewl girls they would need to help their mum for a few weeks, they agreed to make it easier for me to keep up with them (now instead of sprinting off into the distance they just run rings around me).

Nelly is being kept busy enough by me throwing tennis balls into the scrub at the back of our house for her to fetch (even though I am getting RSI in my shoulder and have almost kneecapped all 3 kewl girls with the crutches when trying to bend down to pick up the ball).

Yes, we have managed - and will continue to manage - But I am not so ignorant that I cannot see I could be managing things better, with some help.
So I wonder, why did I just decline the neighbouring teen's offer to wash the dogs for me?! The words, "No thanks, we'll manage", had escaped my lips before I even realised what the offer was that I was declining!

Why do I find it so hard to say "Yes, thank you"?!

This morning Miss V had a massive meltdown because she could not work the zip on her jacket. I offered to help her multiple times and each time she declined. Eventually she cracked it good and proper, so we dealt with her meltdown and not until she had calmed down did I offer to help with her jacket again. I was tempted to just do the jacket up while she was screaming, but she had said NO and I wanted to respect that.
I understand that as a 2 year old, a tantrum over not being able to do something herself is nothing to worry about - she is just learning how to manage her emotions. It did get me thinking though...

I have no trouble at all empowering the kewl girls to say NO, and mean it - but what about empowering them to say YES?
Am I teaching them that it is OK to ask for and accept help?
Definitely not by my recent actions.
I might be better at managing my emotions than 2 year old Miss V, but am I really any better at managing my abilities? (Amazingly enough, now I would very much like to answer YES, even though I know the honest answer is NO!)

Whether fortunately or unfortunately, I am a kinaesthetic learner - I am unable to learn something without applying it practically. This means that all of the above ramblings will remain just that, ramblings, until I put them into action.
So - instead of spending the next two weeks swearing about how restrictive and inconvenient my fractured foot is - I am going to set myself a practical learning challenge.

I am going to manage my abilities and my disabilities more effectively.
I am going to graciously accept help when it is offered.
I am going to practice saying YES, and meaning it.
I am going to start tomorrow right now, by calling the neighbouring teen and asking him to come and wash the dogs.

And now that I have blogged about it, I am making myself accountable.
So there.

What's that? Would I like a piece of chocolate to start my 2 week YES challenge? Well.. If you're offering..

Silly mum

Miss F loves taking photos. In fact, give her a camera and she will amuse herself for up to an hour - That is how much she loves taking photos!

When she is in one of her arty photographer moods, it is best not to disturb her - She gets quite cranky when you interrupt her flow. If she could make such an offence punishable by death, I honestly think she would consider it.
I have learned the hard way that asking to look at her photos before she has finished with the camera counts as interrupting. I do like to see what she has captured though, so we came up with an acceptable alternative. When the memory card is full, we hook the camera up to the computer and go through her shots, saving to good ones and "clearing" the rest.

This morning Miss F spent an hour taking photos in town. She took so many photos that when we got home the camera was flashing "Memory Card Full", so we sat down at the computer together and started clicking through her photos. To her credit, Miss F is not afraid of good honest feedback, nor is she precious about her photos - most of them get "cleared" without so much as a second thought.

Today, after "clearing" 20 or so similar images, I started to have second thoughts. My mind went back to poor James and the forty four photos I sat through before finally realising I was looking at more than just grass. I started to think that maybe today's repetitive images also had a deeper meaning, so I asked Miss F to explain this photo to me:

She said,

"Silly mum... That's you and dad playing music in the sky."

I love "No. Go. Tell."

We went to the local park today. We love our local park... There is a small playground there - with swings and a bouncy thing (to use the technical name) - There is also lots of open space to run and explore, a pond to admire and picnic tables to eat at.
It is a beautiful spot and it's not just children and families who appreciate it.

Today we were sharing the park with a young couple. They were sitting about 10 meters from us on a bench under a tree, trying to swallow each other very much enjoying each others company.
The kewl girls were playing on the swings and didn't notice the couple until they came over to the table for food. When Miss F spotted them she was not impressed...

Miss F, "HEY! That's a sexy touch!"
Me, "Yes it is, and those people are grown ups, aren't they?"
Miss F, "Ye-ah.."
Me, "It is OK for grown ups to be sexy like that, when they both want to."
Miss F, "Ye-ah. But that's private. That's a sexy touch."
Me, "You're right, Miss F. What do you think we should do?"
Miss F, "I think they should go to their room!"
Me, "That would be a great choice for them! What about us? What do we do if someone is being sexy in front of us and we don't want them to?"
Miss F put her hand up, traffic director style, and shouted, "NO!"
Me, "That's right! Then what?"
Miss F and Miss J started running on the spot and yelled, "GO!"
Me, "Yes! So what will we do now?"
Miss J, "Let's go!"
Me, "Hooray! Let's go!"

Then Miss V cracked it because she wasn't ready to leave, so we just moved to another table... But that is not the point.
The point is - The kewl girls recognised a sexy touch!!
They remembered that being sexy is private!!
We took action!!

We said NO!
Then we said, let's GO!
And when we were at a safer table, I asked the kewl girls to TELL me what had happened.


Miss J has used NO GO TELL before, to keep herself safe at daycare.
We used it today, because we decided watching two people trying to swallow each other was not something we could swallow.

Some people may find our actions a little extreme - Moving tables just because a couple was kissing on a bench, 10 meters away.

You know what I find extreme?

The prevalence of child sexual abuse is said to be one in three.

I have three children.

While I do not live in fear, I refuse to live in ignorance, either.
I value self protection skills and we practice them all the time. Today was a perfect teachable moment and I am thrilled that the girls are applying the things we learn from books and games to real life situations.

Knowledge is power, and self protection is a power we should all have.

Yep. I love "No. Go. Tell."


Yep. In two places.
Well, it's actually fractured in two places, but as the kewl girls struggle with F words I thought "broken" would be a safer explanation.

As you may have gathered, my foot took on a bowling ball and my foot lost.
"Ouch" would be the understatement of the century.

I have been feeling very sorry for myself - Six weeks of immobility! - What's that F word again?
This afternoon I was sulking on the couch while the girls were making tents with my crutches. Miss V left the game and her big sisters to come and see me. In my sour state, I was more focused on snapping at her to be careful of my foot than being appreciative of her concern. She braved my bitterness though, and squeezed in next to me. She patted my head, looked sadly at my foot and said, "It's broked, mum..."

Then she handed me the sticky tape and said, "Here, now we'll fix it."


(And again, ouch!)

Wordless Wednesday: Foot vs Bowling ball


"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly."
~Richard Bach

"Look mum! Daddy's flying!"
~Miss F

Miss J's Lullaby

Miss J sometimes has trouble going to sleep. We have tried lots of different things to help her at bedtime - lately putting on some soft music has been a winner.

Tonight Miss J got up after bedtime and came to ask if she could put some music on. I said yes, as long as she put it on softly.
A little while later I crept down to her room to check on her, but when I opened the door I cracked up laughing...

Instead of Beethoven at Bedtime or Sounds from the Sea or any of the other multitude of gentle bedtime music CD's she has, tonight Miss J's chosen lullaby was The Cat Empire. Specifically, "Hello" on repeat.

Miss J was fast asleep.

Miss F, however, was now wide awake, jumping up and down on her bed and playing her teddy like a trumpet. She didn't notice me at first, but when she did, the timing of her reaction was so perfect we couldn't have done it better if we tried.

The trumpet sounded, her teddy was played, she swung around to face me and together with the Cat Empire she said,

"Hello, hello."


"Teeny Weeny Greeny McSeedy"

~ Sprout by Miss V - Our resident green thumb ~
~ Photograph by Miss F - Our resident "photo-grower" ~
~Title by Miss J - Our resident name "maker-upper-a"~
~ Post by Alison - for Photo Challenge day over at Mountaingirls Musings ~

Heads or Tails #46

Heads or Tails - The Tuesday Meme
This week theme is: HEADS - Anything starting with the letter O

Obganiate: To irritate someone by constantly repeating oneself.

Miss V and I seem to have this down to a fine art.
In fact, we are so good at it we can irritate each other simultaneously...

Mum? Can I have a smarshmellow?


Mum? Can I have a smarshmellow?


Mum? Can I have a smarshmellow?


Mum? Can I have a smarshmellow?


Mum? Can I have a smarshmellow?


Mum? Have you had enough of repeating yourself?


Can I have a smarshmellow?


But MU-UM!!!

Can I have a smarshmellow...?

In the end, I'm not sure who is more irritated:
Me, by constantly being asked the same question... Or Miss V, by constantly getting the same, dissatisfying answer.

Either way, I am OVER smarshmellows!!

Magic Moment

I love tax time.
I love working with figures... Finding ways to be clever and different within a system.
Talking to my accountant is exciting and our conversations are always interesting and progressive.
Organising receipts and statements and making estimates and adjustments and calculations is such a fun way to spend every evening.
Oh yeah - I love tax time...

Almost as much as I love positive self talk!

In all seriousness... This year is actually a big step forward for me. It is the first year since M died that I am getting involved in my taxes.

As a couple our finances were greatly intertwined. Even though M had his own business and I had my own work, we also had a shared business and our marriage, our children and our choices meant that tax time was very much a family affair - Something I'm sure most couples relate to.
We were both fairly good with numbers, and we really did enjoy working with figures and finding ways to be clever and different within a system. We'd sit together in our own world of calculations, occasionally coming together for a comparison or a congratulations when we were on roll. M - smarty pants that he was - would always remind me to take a "brain break" every couple of hours and then he'd make me laugh by asking, "Is it hard being so smart?".

Since M's death, the thing I have struggled with about tax is that even when a person dies, their records don't. M is no longer here, but his business, our business and the results of our choices are still alive and kicking. Or more to the point, alive and taxing.
For the last 2 financial years I've left everything to the accountant and a financially savvy friend. I preferred to deal only with the idea of doing tax without M, and not the reality.
This year I decided it was time to stop hiding, stop pleading ignorance and take responsibility...
Time to get real.

So this week I've been doing our taxes. I've been talking to our accountant and organising receipts and statements and making estimates and adjustments and calculations.
I've spent hours sitting in the office alone - Half the time working, the other half crying.

Yesterday, after a good hour of tears followed by a good hour of calculating, Miss V came in to see me. She climbed on to my lap and sat for a while, sucking her thumb and stroking the side of my face as I worked.
Then she turned her body to face mine and leant back into my line of vision, telling me it was time to focus on her now.

I put my pen down and kissed her forehead. Miss V sat for a moment, then reached up and tucked a few stray hairs back behind my ears. She looked into my eyes, holding my gaze and melting my heart, then she asked,

"Mummy? Is it hard being so smart?"

To read more Magic Moments or join in with your own, head over to Mountaingirls Musings.

Love a happy ending

Miss J directed my hands in a puppet show this morning... She says it is a "drama series"... I think it is more of a comedy, with a touch of horror and a rather - intriguing - ending...

Miss J, "Lefty was walking in the park and she saw Righty walking in the other park. They got closer and closer and closer.. No closer mum!.. Yeah like that... And closer and closer, then KABAM! They joined their heads together!"

Me, "Owww! Owwww! I'm sor...."

Miss J, "Mum! You can't speak, remember! ... So then Lefty fell all the way down but Righty only fell a little way. Then Righty fell up again and so she helped Lefty fall up, too. Then... It's not funny, mum!... Then Righty said 'Woof! Hello Lefty, it's nice to meet you!' and Lefty said, 'Hello Lef..' I mean 'Righ..' I mean.. Yeah.. 'Hello Righty! Awoool! It's nice to meet you, too, as well!'."

"Then they ate each other and lived happy never after! Pip.. RAY!"

I was kewl, once...

We had fried rice for dinner tonight and in the spirit of Bob Marley rewrites, I thought we could have a little fun with our meal. I bopped over to the table singing, "Get up! Stand up! Stand up for your rice! Get up! Stand up! Rice is really nice!"

I was greeted not by smiling, laughing, standing children - But by three blank stares.

I could have just sat down and pretended like nothing happened - But oh no - I had to go another round.
"Come on girls, sing with me! ... Get up, stand up! Stand up for your rice!"

Three blank stares.

Then Miss V rolled her eyes at me.

Then Miss J said, "That's not how it goes, mum."

Then Miss F said, "Ye-ah.. And you're not a'sposed to stand up when you're eating."

Yeah - Duh, mum!


Miss J:
Mummy? Why does the fridge light up but not the freezer?

Mummy? Why is the sun round? Why can't it be square instead?

Mummy? Why is the bubble bath stuff blue but the bubbles aren't?

Miss F:
Mummy? Why does that lady have a beard? Is she Santa Clause?

Mummy? Why does that man have breasts? Is he feeding a baby?

Mummy? Why do we have bones if they break?

Miss V:
Mummy? Why can't I have smarshmallows for breakfast?

Mummy? Why can't I have a penis?

Mummy? Why do clouds fly?

Mummy? Why did daddy die?

Mummy? Why doesn't he come back yet?

But mummy, why?

Bye bye, puppy dog

The girls and I took the dogs to the beach today and we made friends with another family who were out flying a kite. Their kids wanted to play with our dogs, and the girls wanted to play with their kite, so it was a perfect match!
After a while the kids decided to ditch us adults and make up their own games.
Miss J played leap frog with her new friend, Miss 6, and Miss F, Miss V and their new friend Mr 2 played puppy dogs.

When it was time to go our separate ways, Mr 2 tried to give Miss V a hug. Miss V put her hand up, meaning 'stop', and said "No thanks!".

Woohoo! Go Miss V! And Woohoo! A teachable moment!

I explained that hugs were for our family and for friends that we've met lots and lots of times before. Then I asked the girls what a good way of saying goodbye to a new friend was.

Miss V waved.

Miss J waved.

Miss F said, "Sniff their bum!"

Mum - 0
Puppy dog - 1

People First

The kewl girls and I were in town today and we bumped into L, the manager of the community centre where we do music. We stopped to chat and during our conversation I mentioned that we were shopping for a birthday present for the girls' friend R, who also comes to music.
It took L a moment to remember R from the 20 other children in the group.. When she did, she said, "Oh yes, the little down-sie girl."

In response, Miss J frowned and said, "Her name is R, and she's not a down-sie girl, she's my friend."

I couldn't have put it better myself.

R is a person, not a diagnosis.
Down syndrome is what she has. It is not who or what or all that she is.

We are all people first. No matter what our abilities, no matter what our diagnosis, no matter how smart our brains or how agile our bodies, we are all people first.

To only see a label is to be, in Miss J's words, "A big smelly bum".

How to jump shopping queues...

This afternoon we had to make a quick dash to the shops after a pretty full on day. The girls were genuinely tired, so when we were standing in the queue at the counter and Miss F complained, "My legs are DYING mum!", I figured it would be easier to pick her up than deal with a dead leg induced tantrum.

Now face to face, this is the conversation that followed...

Miss F, "Mummy look! You have symmetrical pimples!"

Me, "They're freckles, darling."

Miss F, "No they not, they pimples!" *Pointing* "One on that side and one on that side. See? Symmetrical pimples!"

Me, "Yes, they are symmetrical, and they are freckles because they are brown, aren't they?"

Miss F, "No they are pimples, mum. Pim-ples."

Sniggering from the people in front of us...

Me, "They're freckles, Miss F."

Miss F, "PIMPLES! They are pimples! 'Cause they are all red and gooey and 'scusting! Yucky pimples."

Silence from me...
Laughter from the people in front of us...

Miss F, "They are pimples, mum. Sorry - But they are."

More silence from me.
More laughter from the people in front of us...

Miss F, "Mum....? Mummy....? Hey Al....? Allllllll......????"

Me, "Yes, darling child?"

Miss F, "They are pimples, aren't they? Yeah, I know they are 'cause of the pus and stuff. They are really gross you know, mum."

Me, "OK, thanks Miss F."

Miss F, "Mum?"

Me, "Yes, Miss F?"

Miss F, "Are you going to stop eating pus now?"

Roars of laughter from the people in front of us...

Me, "What?!!"

Miss F, "Eating pus?"

Me, "I don't eat pus! Yuck!"

Miss F, "But L (her friend's mum) says that you are what you eat? So you shouldn't eat pimples, should you mum?"

Me, "No you shouldn't. I will stop eating pimples."

Miss F, "EEWWW! You eat PIMPLES!! That's GROSS!!"

Me, "I think you can stand on your own feet now, Miss F."

Miss F, "Yeah! 'Cause I might get sploshed with pimple pus otherwise! Oh no! Don't splosh on me, mum!" *Covers her head dramatically*

Hysterical laughter from everyone around us...

Then the person in front of us turned around and said, "You can go before me... I don't want to get sploshed on, either."

And that is how to jump the queue when shopping with pimples children.

(P.S. - I have symmetrical freckles.)

Shopping with Bob

Three somewhat random bits of information are needed to appreciate our moment this morning...
Firstly, I've rediscovered Bob Marley and had my favourite CD on pretty much non stop this week.
Secondly, we've recently been shopping for presents to share with friends when we go to Cairns next month.
Finally, our neighbours have just returned from a trip overseas and when they came over to catch up their 8 year old told us all about the wonders of duty free shopping.

On to the moment...
The kewl girls were playing shops this morning - Miss J was the attendant, Miss V was her lackey and Miss F was the customer.
Their shop wasn't fortunate enough to have a stereo system, so Miss F decided to make her own background music...

The happy customer grooved up and down the aisles singing, "I shop for sharing! But I do not shop in duty free... Oh no NO! .... They say they going to bring me big gifties... But what - I don't know! Do do do, do-do-do, do do do... HEY! I shop for sharing! But I do not shop in duty free... Oh no NO!"

I have to say, I'm with Miss F on this one - I'd much rather "shop for sharing" than "shoot the sheriff".
Sorry Bob!

Social Skills

The local primary school had their open day today and I took the girls to have a look around. They enjoyed the art displays and the music performances and they especially loved the playground equipment. They spent almost an hour cruising around the outdoor kinder gym having a great time and making lots of new friends. While they were playing one of the teachers came over and we started chatting. The conversation got around to us being home learners and the teacher became quite confused. She watched the girls playing with the other children for a moment, then she said to me, "But they have such good social skills! I'd never have picked them as home schoolers!"

So there you have it - We are not weird because we do home learning, we are weird because we do home learning AND have good social skills.

Who'd'a thunk it?!

Six Question Meme

Melody from biglittlesister has tagged me for a Meme...
I have to:
  • Answer 6 questions about myself
  • At the end of the post, tag 6 people and post their names
  • Go to their blogs and leave them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read my blog
  • Then, I must let the person who tagged me know when I’ve posted my answers
So here goes!

Places I have Lived
St. Kilda, Victoria
Kensington, NSW
New Farm, QLD
By the beach, QLD
Our current home in the bush, QLD
I've also spent time touring with different performance troupes and travelling along Australia's East Coast with M, living out of our combi and doing the "festival crawl".

What I Was Doing 10 Years Ago

I was touring with a circus troupe for all of 1998. In June I think we were somewhere in NSW.

Five things on my to do list today

Write a to do list... lol
Five things on my mental to do list were/are:
1. Put blankets in the bottom of the big "doof doof" drum for the kids music group so that it's not so loud.
2. Remember to hook the trailer up to the car before leaving home so that we can take 50 plastic chairs from the community hall to the school for their open day tomorrow.
3. Stop at the shops to get corn chips (to make nachos for dinner) and epsom salts (for a bath to help my aching muscles after lifting 50 stupid plastic chairs!).
4. Brave the scrub behind our house and go searching for the riding boot that Miss J threw for the dog to fetch (unfortunately the dog is not that silly so now mum has to fetch instead. Woof woof).
5. Replant the strawberries that Miss V helpfully "weeded" yesterday.

Snacks I enjoy
Chocolate coated blueberries
Chocolate coated sultanas
Fruit salad
Cherry tomatoes and snow peas from the veggie garden

What I would Do if I was a Billionaire

Make music, dance, art, drama, sexuality education and inclusive programs for people of all abilities compulsory for every teacher and every student in all schools.
Redesign every building in Australia to make it accessible to everyone. That includes people with a communication disability, people who have vision or hearing impairment, anyone who needs information presented in a different (and more effective!) way, people who use a wheel chair... Everyone. Then I'd build a centre that was inaccessible to "able bodied" people - a place where walking is a disability, where what you see is not what you get and where the native language is Auslan - so people might really start to understand that "disability" has little to do with the person and lots to do with the society.

Six People I Would Like To Know More About
(Feel free to pass or if you've already been tagged, my apologies!)
Deb, at Life's Funny Like That
Lani, a new blogger over at Me & Boo
The fabulous Bush Babe
Mountaingirl at Mountaingirls Musings
The gorgeous Rhubarb Whine
And the wonderful Preschool Mama


Today is Photo Challenge day at Mountaingirls Musings, and the theme this week is Spiritual.

This is a photo of Miss J playing with the curtains in her room yesterday:

I know, the image itself isn't exactly spectacular or spiritual - but the moment is.

When I saw Miss J playing with the curtains I asked her what she was doing. She answered,

"Playing hide and seek with Daddy".


We were playing at the park today and another child (about 8 or 9) came over to join us. When she noticed Miss J and Miss F playing together she exclaimed, "Oh LOOK! Twins!"
Then she asked, "Can I pat them?!"

A new strategy

Recently Miss J has been having trouble with our horse riding routine. She's great at getting ready on her own, she loves getting her horse ready and in my opinion, she is most at home when she is riding.

The trouble she has, is getting off.

After a week of full blown tantrums upon dismount, I decided it was time to come up with a new strategy. I also decided it was time to let Miss J have a little bit more responsibility. She is perfectly capable of understanding the reasons why she has to get off her horse and why tantrums over this are not appropriate, just as she is capable of coming up with better ways to manage her emotions.

So we sat down and had a talk. I explained again that her riding time is 30 minutes and the reasons it has to stay at 30 minutes are so she doesn't get tired and hurt herself, so her horse doesn't get tired and hurt himself, so no one gets bored and cranky and because there are other people who deserve a turn as well. We agreed that tantrums are not a good way to deal with feeling disappointed and sad because her turn was over and Miss J seemed keen to change her behaviour.
I suggested that she come up with something she could do after horse riding that she really enjoys so that when she feels sad, she could focus on this instead. We talked about some of her favourite things - toys, a favourite game, the box of colouring in things - and she seemed to grasp the concept pretty well. We agreed to give it a go and Miss J assured me that she knew what she was going to look forward to after riding.

This afternoon we set off for the paddock, all calm and confident and ready to try out this new strategy. The lesson came and went and when it was time to get off Miss J coped like a star. She told me she was sad her lesson was over but she would like to go up to the house please, because she was looking forward to something else now.

Hooray!! Even I was gob smacked at our brilliance.

Back at the house, Miss J disappeared into her room for about half an hour. When she emerged she was dressed in her favourite pink dress with her favourite pink shoes, she had just about every clip she owned stuck to her head somewhere and her arms were swimming with bracelets and beads. She had her 'Saddle Club' bag slung over her shoulder, a pink purse in one hand and a black, sequin, 'night on the town' number clutched in the other. To complete 'the look', her face was completely covered in purple lip glitter.

Miss V, Miss F and I were speechless.

Miss J, however, was not. She skipped over to the door, swung around to face me and announced:

"Come on mum! We're going shopping!"

She was so excited and so certain, I couldn't say no.

Today, we went shopping. Tomorrow, I think our new strategy may need a little refining.