Friday, May 31, 2013

Elopement in the park: Returning to the scene of the crime

 These two photos sit just like this in a frame on our mantelpiece. Those feet, that green, green grass and those roses, that plate of cheese and crackers and fruit decorated with honeysuckle flowers. That's our wedding, right there.

On a Friday afternoon while most everyone else was at work, my (then) Lovely Man and I drove into town, stopping at a flower store to pick up a bunch of roses in whatever colour they had available. The florist clucked like a hen when I told her I was getting married and promptly pulled the simple bouquet apart and laced it with baby's breath. Fifteen minutes later, I sat at my father's kitchen table and pulled it all out again.

In the park, it started to rain, so we moved into the Rotunda, the same one where my Dad and J had been married many years before. Our minister friend conducted the ceremony and his lovely wife was my witness, taking these lovely photos with an old SLR camera. 

I wore a green dress and Lovely Man wore a white shirt and khaki cargo shorts. We both wore flip-flops.

We recited a short set of vows. We exchanged rings. And when we kissed, two older ladies walking their dogs clapped and cheered.

Afterwards we kicked off our shoes and wandered down to the gardens where the early blooms were only just beginning to peep through. Lovely Husband and I made awkward models, smiling and making each other laugh as best we could as a camera click clicked away behind us. 

At Christmas, I took Dear Boy back to the park, and we crawled and ran barefoot over the green, green grass. The flowers were an explosion of colour and the ocean behind us a crystal blue, calling us down to the  beach. 

This marks the end of the Blog Every Day in May challenge. And I can't believe I made it all the way through. No late posts. No forgotten posts. No mixed up posts. If you've found your way here through the link-up with Story of My Life, then I hope you'll stick around and see what's coming next.

Lessons learned from blocks


  1. Play is serious work.
  2. Sometimes the things you make don't go the way you want them to. You can either a) smash the whole thing and have a hissy fit; b) smash the whole thing because that's fun; or c) adapt and make something a little bit different to what you had originally planned.
  3. Sometimes the round pegs fit in the square holes.
  4. If the arched blocks are hard to fit in the arched hole, you can always turn them on their head and put them through the square one.
  5. Sometimes playing with blocks one at a time is more fun than having a whole mountain of blocks in your lap.
  6. If your hands are full and you need to take the lid off, you can either a) put one of your things down; or b) ask for help.
  7. Emptying and repacking can be more fun than building.
  8. Shaped slots are both frustrating as all get-out and a barrel load of fun. 
  9. Try, try, try and try again. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Breaking up is hard when you're 1

Today's prompt for the Blog Every Day in May challenge is to riff off the phrase 'letting go'. I am not one to let go easily, in fact I'm not great with anticipation of change at all. This week my poor Dear Boy is the one in a state of transition and finding it hard to leg go. It's time to kick the bottle once and for all (just one before-bed milk bottle now) and make a full transition over to sippy cups and straw bottles and sippy bottles and all those other lids cups with all manner of teats and nozzles and valves. He's done fine on these during the day, but the last few nights, he's been throwing some (thankfully rare) full-body, rolling on the floor hissy fits when he spies any cup or bottle other than his beloved Avent. It feels like that final step from babyhood into toddlerdom. Maybe he's not the only one having trouble letting it go.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A soundtrack in five categories

Today's writing prompt is to provide five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or have strong memories associated with them. Given I was never going to be able to narrow it down, I've decided to work with five categories of music instead.

First songs:

My father is a musician. So he wanted to specially choose the first song me and each of my siblings ever heard. Songs that would mean something as the years rolled on.

Mine is the first song from George Harrison's self-titled album, 'Love Comes to Everyone', and the Oldest Little Brother's is the last, 'If You Believe'. Middle Brother Mountain and The Littlest Brother's both come from The Beatles' Abbey Road: 'Because' and 'The End' respectively.

The first sound of music in dear Boy's life was a quiet radio playing in the recovery room after his birth. Lovely Husband heard the song and nudged me as I cuddled our boy. Bryan Adams isn't my most favourite artist but his 'Everything I Do (I Do It For You)' is apt.

Favourite Songs as a Child:

Each of us kids had our own singles and EPs added to the stack in Dad's record boxes, and on the weekends when we'd visit, we'd get to take turns picking out our favourites and playing them. 'My' single was Shakin' Stevens' 'You Drive Me Crazy'. I thought he was Elvis. he probably thought he was Elvis too.

Other favourites include Eddy Grant's 'Electric Avenue'; 'Music Machine' (which my Dad hated); Sam Brown's 'Stop'; Martika's version of 'I Feel The Earth Move', and a little later, the whole of Carol King's Tapestry.

Our Songs:

Lovely Husband and I never had a tradition wedding where I walked down an aisle or a reception where danced our first dance. Instead we have songs from various moments of our 'togetherness'. If we had 'a' song, it's be Coco Lee's 'Love before Time'. It's a gooey sappy song, but it was the soundtrack of our first kiss while we watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the proper, official start of 'us'.

Lovely Husband is not generally a sentimental type of fellow, so I'm not entirely sure what songs he'd pick. Must ask him.

Songs with moments:

I have a thing about songs with small, perfect moments in them. It might be a line in the lyrics, a series of notes, a chord change, a solo, just some little... something that grabs my attention and won't let go, that makes me turn up the volume or lean the back of my neck against the speakers waiting for the shivers. I'm not necessarily a fan of the band or the singer, but there's... something. I have these moments in REM's 'Night Swimming', Paul Kelly's 'Song from the Sixteenth Floor' and Powderfinger's 'My Happiness'. I'd have to sit down with my self-compiled compilations to think of the others. Can you pick the ones that get me in these?

Musical comedy and comic songs:

Alright. So I'm a sucker for comedy routines using songs. I'm a sucker for music spoofs and alternate videos. I'm fairly sure there's something shameful in that but I don't care.

Tripod and Tim Minchin belong in this category but there are songs from these comedians that aren't necessarily funny (or meant to be) but are gorgeously beautiful. The first is a collection of songs from Tripod Versus the Dragon (full movie of which is here), which is a D&D themed long-form comedy show featuring Elana Stone as the Dragon. it was an amazing show and Stone's voice is one that burrows deep in your memory. Loved 'On Paper'; loved 'Grow Up To Be a Bard'; loved 'I Think I Like Him'. 'Ivory Tower' is gorgeous. The last is Tim Minchin's 'White Wine in the Sun', which also qualifies as my most favourite Christmas song. I cried listening to this the first time. I cried even harder listening to it after Dear Boy was born.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Oh Mr Postman: A Letter to Lilybett and Boy Readers

Hello, is anybody out there?  

I started this blog a little while ago as a completely different beast. It was just a wandering, wondering little patch of the internet with no readers. Then a few months in, this happened:

And like that, it became a bit of a pregnancy blog. I posted about the indignities of pregnancy and shared the growing bump. And then Dear Boy arrived and this place lay silent for a while, much more silent than our home where a tiny, new human was squalling and I was crying and Lovely Husband was watching season after season of The Big Bang Theory. And after the silence there were baby photos. Lots and lots of baby photos because there just weren't a lot of words, or maybe too many words and just not enough time or motivation to get them down. But the words have been returning, and the photos are getting a little better and the blog changed a bit, and then changed a lot. I mean, for goodness sake, I got crafty.

And with all those changes, readers have come. One, two, some, a handful, a dozen. You have come.

Thank you. I hope you hang around for a while to see what comes next.

Lilybett xx

P.S. Please let me know if there's anything you'd like to see or hear about, if there's something you'd like to return, or something you want more of.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I like noise; I like riot

Dear Boy discovered the pots and pans cupboard. Lovely Husband turned up his Mp3 player to max. Now it sounds like this (- play the sample if you can).

Reading about Gillard Curing Cancer

I've already flagged this article in this month's list of links but I thought it was worth it's own solo show... or at least a long instrumental.

The article is 'Gillard Cures Cancer in Spare Time, Approval Rating Plummets' by Cameron Smith, and read via the Honi Soit website. Don't be fooled by the fact that it's student journalism. Sure Honi Soit has it's fair share of earnest, lefty, commy, hippy, greenie, professional protester crap writing, but this is a gem.

As I mentioned previously, it's an excellent satirical piece that captures the reality and lunacy of two-party and personality politics perfectly. The depressing part is that this is why not enough gets done in parliament: not because the ideas aren't good or the money's not there. Rather, the Opposition doesn't want the government to get the credit for it, doesn't want them to be the heroes of the day, doesn't want them to be successful, doesn't want the country to run smoothly - because it did, why would we vote in the other guys? The Opposition opposes because it's their job to do so, regardless of whether it's for the good of the country or not. The Opposition opposes because they want to sit in the big chair. The Labor party did it (although not to this horrendous degree) before they brought down the Coalition in 2007, and I'm sure they'll do it again when they lose this next election (I wish they wouldn't and Tony Abbott makes me want to vomit but I'm not naive enough to think they'll pull through... bar miracle... and miracles can happen... right?)

Another aspect of this is that quite a few people don't want Julia Gillard specifically to be the hero. A woman, with red hair and average dress sense and an annoying voice and a union history and balls bigger than their own.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

You smell

When I was in high school, one of my friends told me that I have a smell, that my home had a smell. They said: it's not a bad smell, and I can't explain it, it's just a smell. Another friend piped in: yeah, you're right, I've noticed that too. A year or so later, an unrelated person said essentially the same thing. This person was stoned at the time, though, and sitting in a haze of bucket-bong smoke, so I'm not so sure how well her olfactory senses were working at the time 

If you've ever been a teenage girl, you'll know that this kind of non-specific statement about how one smells does not go over well. If you want to make a teenage girl paranoid and slightly obsessive, this is a great way to do it. I started sniffing things, my room, myself, checking to see if there was a smell, what it was. Was it BO? Was it something I ate? Was it my shampoo? No, no, no, my friends said, nothing like that. Was it a mould smell because sometimes there was rising damp in my room? No, ew, no. 

To me, my home smelled like my mother and my younger brother (long after my sisters had moved out). He owned a pair of socks with an upwards pointing arrow and the phrase 'where farts come from' that were pretty apt. He smelled of boy armpits, unwashed socks and squished sandwiches at the bottom of a school bag. But he also smelled of clean laundry, a cold bedroom, dishwashing liquid and our non-smelly cat who slept curled up underneath his shirt, and vita-wheats and melted cheese. 

My Mama made up the rest of the smells, and she smelled of make-up and face cream and warm, wet face washers and special shampoo and new leather shoes and African violets and English Breakfast tea and cold toast with lots of margarine. She also created the smell of Friday night for me, a wicked combination of Coco Chanel and take-away pizza, as she headed off into the city for work drinks. 

Moving in with Lovely Husband, our home smelled of his t-shirts, which smelled like him, and I would sleep with them under my face whenever he'd be away overnight. When he spent six weeks in Denmark, the shirts started to lose their smell in the last week or so, and the house smelled more like my things, like steamy lavender oil, rosemary, lemon juice, open windows and sweaty gym shoes.

With Dear Boy in our lives, I'm fairly sure our home smelled like old milk and poo. I'm fairly sure I smelled like old milk and poo. Now he's older and not leaving milky posits all over us and the carpet, he smells like toddler. Our house smells like toddler, like soft toys and wooden blocks, like his favourite trains clenched in his fist, like wet towels and baby shampoo, like slobbery kisses and dirt. 

Other than my deodorant and moisturiser and shampoo, I still don't know what I smell like. I'm not smelling much of anything as another congested cold has had me in its grips for the last week, just a week after I got rid of the last one. Our house could be smelling of anything by now and I wouldn't notice. 

*This post's photos are completely unrelated to its content. These were just shots sitting on the SD card that had never made it onto Facebook or another post. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Worst Traits (...not 'trays')

Today's prompt in the 'Blog Every Day in May' challenge is to list your top 3 worst traits. I quickly tapped out a list of three:
1. Anxiety
2. Caring what other people think too much
3. Conflict avoidance
But to be honest, I think these could all be different aspects of the one trait. So I'll call that one 'worrying about what other people think' and put it right there at the top.
1. Worrying about what other people think - it causes a lot of my anxiety ('oh my god, this isn't good enough, so and so is going to hate it'; 'why don't they like meeeeee?', etc.) and it makes me avoid pushing issues or saying what's on my mind a lot of the time. It also means a lot of issues I really should be dealing with out loud end up stored like badly bottled ginger beer. It's just a matter of time before it explodes.
2. Judgemental - for someone who worries so much about what other people think of me, I am strangely quick to put on my bitchy-girl pants and judge away about many aspects of other people's lives. It makes me feel like a terrible person and I try to keep it to myself but it just seems to be there. Waiting for the opportunity to make itself known. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) bad trait no. 1 usually keeps it at bay.
3. Lazy - I am more often than not on the path of least resistance. Sometimes this is to do with bad trait no. 1 and sometimes it's just plain 'I can't be arsed'. It is a terrible trait at work and one I work at one a daily basis when I'm there. It is also a terrible trait at home when I would desperately love for my home to not look like Target exploded in my lounge room. I am lazy as, but I hate the mess. Ugh. 

I think if the list was to keep going, it would include things like my eyes being bigger than my belly, want, want, wanting, and easily frustrated. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

School didn't teach me that.

Because of my age - ahem - I didn't learn anything about computers at school. There was a computer subject but I didn't take it. We didn't even have one in our house until after I graduated. Today's writing prompt isn't about what school didn't teach me, though. Rather it's about what schooling won't teach you, more generally. 

That's a tough one for a few reasons. Firstly, what do you mean by schooling? K-12? K-Uni? Secondly, my Catholic school education was probably quite different from public school education here in Australia, and different to a lot of other education systems around the world. Thirdly, are we talking official curriculum or do things you learn in the playground, amongst your friends during that time count? For instance, hello, Catholic school - no contraception education but we certainly all knew what sex and condoms were.

Despite my lack of clarity here, I'm going to compile a little list anyway. It's a list-y kind of day

School won't teach you:
  1. That most teachers aren't actually experts at what they're teaching. You can get a specialisation within a teaching degree doing just a handful of subjects over two years in addition to the actual 'teaching' subjects. And by two years, I'm talking four 12-14 week semesters, not 104 weeks of learning. I'm not sure that qualifies anyone as an expert in maths, science, English or just about anything really.
  2. Much about relationships and how they work or don't work. Or how to get into one or get out of one. Or what to do to keep one going.
  3. How to live.
  4. How to love.
  5. How to deal with what happens after school.
  6. That the HSC or the VCE - or whatever other year 12 system you're in - is not the be all and end all. It doesn't determine the rest of your life. It doesn't really even determine your university career. If your results suck, there are other ways of getting in. Or moving on.  
  7. That 'just' being a mum is okay.


Death, cancer, space and politics: A list of links

Another month and another list of links to things I've been reading and watching and listening to and thinking about. 

1. At the beginning of the month I saw my first ever dead body. I have been to two funerals but I didn’t see their bodies. I’ve not been with someone as they died. Or found someone after they’ve slipped away. I read a lot of fictional and non-fictional accounts of death and dead bodies but this really brought me up short. A stranger, laying on the ground, as ambulance works manoeuvred his limbs into a body bag. At the time, I couldn’t even tell if it was a man or a women. There was no indication of a car accident, and no real clue why they were there, why there were dead, why they were there and dead. It got me thinking about death and the body in a way I haven’t since I read Jessica Mitford’s ‘TheAmerican Way of Death’ – an excellent piece of investigative journalism (collected in John Pilger’s Tell me No Lies – and an interesting prelude to 'The Massacre at My Lai' by Seymour Hersch). I couldn't find an online excerpt to link you to, but if you know your way around Google Books, this is a link to Mitford's chapter in Pilger's collection. It'll change the way you think about your own funeral. 

2. Our national budget was announced recently and amidst all the analysis and praise and derision was this little piece about the pre-budget lock-down for journalists – where they’re shut up in a room the morning of the budget speech with an early release/embargoed copy so they can get a head-start on their stories and the government can get a head-start on their spin. I love reading about the way other journalists work, about how stories develop and the cultures they build around themselves and with their own words. 

3. There’s a scene in The West Wing (there’s always a scene in The West Wing) from one of my favourite episodes (‘Galileo’) where there’s a passionate monologue about going to Mars. And now there’s this. Not a government funded dream of travelling beyond the stars, but a privately funded big-brother competition to take a one-way trip to colonise the red planet within 10 years. A one-way trip. And within days there were thousands of volunteers. Are these the people we want out there? Every day people who would volunteer for what is essentially a suicide mission. One way with no realistic chance of return. I want to know what happens when the ratings drop, when the public loses interest on the long, long journey in between lift-off and a far off and not guaranteed set down. What happens if/when they die?

4. And on the space theme, here's a glimpse at the recent annular solar eclipse seen in Western Australia, taken from three positions in the Pillbara.

5. Like the rest of the world – I read this piece by Angelina Jolie. It is a brave move for her, not just to have the operation but to discuss it publicly. I commend her for making it a public issue and using her celebrity (as well as her body) to raise awareness just as she’s done for her humanitarian causes. But I would hate for this to become a bandwagon. I hope people realise that having the gene isn’t the same as cancer being a sure thing. There are also other preventative options including regular screenings and prophylactic chemo. Ovarian cancer is a tough one because the screenings aren’t as reliable as they are for breast cancer and often symptoms don’t show until it’s very advanced. But I think the decisions for radical surgery there are also quite different ones. Both are entwined with ideas about being a ‘whole’ woman but one is about reproduction; the other is about the ability to feed a child. I think you make different decisions based on those circumstances. Preventative surgery is also a different proposition around the world as standards of quality and care differ from country to country or even state by state. Angelina Jolie has the money to receive the very best of care from the very best of surgeons and doctors and other healthcare professionals. Very few people are in the same position. I imagine there is a long, long waiting list for public patients wanting this done in Australia. There is also a need to consider, before you are screened for the gene, how the answer will affect you and your decisions. Would knowing one way or the other change how you live your life or the decisions you made about your health? Ovarian cancer is the one I worry about. There’s a family history of it but that doesn’t guarantee I have the faulty gene. But I worry about it all the same. I wonder if I should have the genetic screening to be sure, to give myself a little reassurance, but if it came back that I had a 40% chance of developing it (which is roughly what the increased chance is if you have the gene), what would I do? Would I opt to have my ovaries removed? Am I done with having babies? How would it affect me hormonally over the rest of life span? Those are big questions with really iffy and uncertain answers.

6. This is an excellent satirical article from a student journalism site about the Prime Minister’sapproval ratings dropping because she cured cancer. It’s a hilarious but actually really quite depressing commentary on the realities of the politics of personality and the way the Opposition spins and spins and spins and will never ever say ‘good job' because... well... that's their job.

7. I spent 10 minutes scrolling up and down looking at the photo tricks in this article from the Mama Asia series on the ABC’s website. Look at all that HTML fanciness.

8. I’m liking these 19things to tell my son before he’s all grown up, especially the ones about his penis. Yeah, I just said penis. 

9. This is an interesting article by the writer Amanda Filipacchi on Wikipedia’s apparent sexism towards women writers. The list of American novelists was slowly being culled of its women writers who were being ghettoised over in their own ‘women novelists’ category. Here’s the follow up where Filipacchi was heaped with scorn (and had her Wikipedia page savagely edited in retaliation) for suggesting that this was a problem. And about how the culling was quickly reversed.

10. This story about young girls dancing is not going to go over well. But one of my glorious, gorgeous nieces dances and, watching some of her concerts, I have felt incredibly uncomfortable with the small costumes and sexualised routines. Why do 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 year olds (or any girl under 18 for that matter) need to thrust their hips suggestively? And why do they need to wear hot-pants and bra-tops to do it? And why do they need whorish make-up plastered all over their faces? What's wrong with age-appropriate moves, clothes and performance make-up? With an elite dance school owner recently charged with all manner of depraved activities and abuse, I hope dance mums around the country will get a better clue about what this kind of thing does for their daughters. I hope they think about the term 'grooming' and just what exactly this fun and healthy activity is actually doing to their kids. 

11. Okay, you sat through the rest of that. Now here's a video of baby pandas drinking milk.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sporting chance: a rant with no answers

There are many and varied things that tick me off, that I consider to be pet peeves, but there are very few I feel soapbox-ish about. I am more of a 'blurt-it-out-and-get-if-off-your-chest' type of person when it comes to these things.

Here's some blurts:
  • I hate when students plagiarise!
  • I hate it when students send me emails asking questions that I've already answered in class, online and in previous emails!
  • I hate when students don't do the weekly readings! (Can you tell I'm at work at the moment?)  
  • I can't stand Tony Abbott, the smarmy, slimy, reactionary naysayer; the fact he'll probably be our Prime Minister come September makes me want to spew!
  • I thinks it's a really dumb idea to take several billion dollars worth of funding away from universities to pay for Gonski Review changes at primary and secondary school level! Universities generally use that funding, not just for education but also for researching and inventing stuff like medical breakthroughs, technology, national security, etc. 
  • I think comparing gay couples raising children to the Stolen Generation is obscene!
  • I think Fred Nile is a horse's arse!
  • I think the Catholic Church (of which I am technically still a member) should be deeply ashamed of themselves for covering up and enabling sexual abuse and child abuse over its long history as well as using its sphere of power and influence to make police officials complicit in these crimes and to make investigations disappear!
  • I think most official religions are hypocritical in at least a few but generally many aspects of their official doctrine and "company policy"! I don't mind faith and belief but dogma gives me the shits!
Most of these blurts are followed with many more exclamation marks, hair-tearing or long strings of expletives that really aren't for public consumption.  

I already had my soapbox-ish stand on vaccinating so I'll try one on this longs-standing gripe instead: inequality in sport.

I am not a fan of any sports. I don't mind playing it occasionally or watching it in person or being an armchair expert during the Olympics but I am not a follower of any type or code. I don't have a 'team'. 

One of the reasons for this is sexism or just a general inequality. This comes in two forms:
  1. Sexist behaviour that is accepted and valourised as part of sporting 'culture'
  2. An inherent inequality in sport and sports broadcasting itself.
Sporting culture gives me the shits. I am, in theory, happy for sportsmen to be role models and the types of people that young kids adore. The problem lies when these same people are generally allowed to act like arseholes (and a generally given barrel loads of money for it) or when clannish or clubbish behaviour makes them think its okay to treat women like meat, and to treat them that way en masse. This kind of behaviour doesn't just leap right into gang-bang territory - it starts small. It starts on the amateur field when parents scream at the kids and their coaches and the umpires. It starts in the grandstands when fans yell and hurl abuse at the players, at each other. It starts when alcohol is so tightly embedded in 'watching the game' that drunken behaviour is usually overlooked. It starts with the highly charged competitive atmosphere on the field and off that overflows into the rest of world in verbal abuse and brawls. Okay, maybe golf fans aren't like this but golfers certainly aren't boy scouts. Of course there are exceptions to these stereotypes - there are deeply sensitive, family-oriented, homosexual, well-educated or articulate players in most of the football codes. I've met a couple. But these are usually not the ones that are put on the posters. These are not the ones with the sponsorship deals.

The professionalisation of sport also gives me the shits. On the Forbes highest paid athlete in the world list, Maria Sharipova is first woman at No 26. The next woman doesn't appear until No. 81 (Li Na - another tennis player). And that's it. Of 100 of the highest paid sports people, only two are women. How many sports can women play at a professional level with access to (almost) equitable pay/prizes and public broadcasting of games/bouts/matches/races? In Australia, the women I see in professional sport are playing tennis, playing golf or playing netball. I'm pretty sure in all of those, their pay and their prizes are less than what men receive. Okay, in tennis women play three sets (are they sets?) to the men's five, so they get paid less but they receive equally air-time when the Australian Open's on. The Williamses, the glamorous Sharipovas are just as much stars during those times as the Federers.  

I don't know if this issues starts at the amateur level, the social level or the professional level. I live across the road from a sporting oval where they play aged and graded cricket in the summer and AFL in the winter. There are never any girl/women cricketers and only once did I come across young girls playing in a mixed team. At some age, women are "un-mixed" and then forgotten. I don't know if this is because girls become interested in other things while boys hold onto to sport, or if they quit because the opportunities aren't there. Why would girls keep playing when they don't see a place for themselves as professional AFL players? If they never see role models that they can aspire to?  

Sure we have "women's" sports like netball that receive (minimal) airtime but does that go anywhere to redressing the balance? Yes, I understand that men and women have different physical abilities and capacities (on average) as well as different interests (on average). But what happens when women want to play? When they can play? Should they be allowed to play in the professional AFl or NRL ranks with the men if they are able?

Okay, rant over.

What do you think?


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My favourite me and mine

Today's prompt is to create a list of links to our favourite posts from our own blog. I'm not sure that these are my most favourite, but it's really hard to scroll through and pick and choose. Firstly, I really need to create more descriptive titles and, secondly, how do you choose when they're all your babies?

I've managed to pick out a few that jumped out at me for some reason or another. These are not in alphabetical order or any real order at all.

1. Formula fed - this post was one of the most difficult to write and that's probably part of the reason why I feel a little proud of it. It still makes me feel raw to read it. 
2. Post-holiday photo dump Part 4 - the surprise ending. 
3. Arrival - The first post after welcoming our Dear Boy.
4. Labour list - I love reading labour stories but I never got around to writing mine down. Just before (or after?) his first birthday I wrote this list of the small things I remember. For some reason the little details mean the most. 
5. You've got to know when to hold them - I'm not a fan of these photos but I am still struggling with this idea of protecting versus letting my boy adventure in the world.
6. The heart of Hoot.
7. Post-holiday photo dump Part 4  - pictures from his strange first birthday where he had a half a party after all the guests fell to gastro one after the other. 
8. Post-holiday photo dump Part 1 - pictures from Dear's Boy's first Christmas, spent at Mama's place at the beach. 
9. This hippo's bum make me feel happy 
10. Things I learned working at a chicken factory - this post was a long time coming but I'm glad I finally got it on the page.
11. Saying the F-word
12. Toot toot - pictures of an afternoon with trains. 

Are your favourites on the list? Would you have trouble choosing your own favourites too?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Not a post about struggling. Okay, it is. Sorta.

Oh, excuse the awesome bread and butter pudding that I made. Yes, I know you normally cut the crusts off, but I like crusts and that's such a waste. The 'after' shot is certainly proof that I am no food photographer. It was taken in my kitchen as it came out of the oven after dinner. It was dark by then and the baby was waiting. Impatiently.

Today's prompt is about being real and discussing something I'm really struggling with at the moment. The pudding and the photography don't really have anything to do with that. 

Here are two things I'm considering at the moment. 

Firstly, a lot of the online talk I come across is sprinkled with xx's and 'hun' and 'love' and solidarity and sisterhood but in person some of these women are not all xx's and 'hun' and 'love' and solidarity and sisterhood. They are not entirely the mean girls of high school. There is no garbage in my bag or Coke spilled over my clothes or beatings with sticks or books. But there are silences and de-friending and stiff smiles that tell me I am not their kind of person. I am not their friend.
Secondly, I've been thinking about what kind of role model for womanhood I want to be for my boy. Are these the kinds of relationships I want him to see me having - where I'm on the edges of conversations, where I'm not included in the 'renegade' group? Because he is so much like me, it hurts. I see already the same look of bewilderment in my boy's face when other kids hit and bite and push and pull at him. I'd really prefer he think people, women, mums in particular, will always treat others, will treat him, well. For just a little while longer anyway.


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