Saturday, 31 August 2013

Escaping the darkness

I'm lying in the dark.

Exhausted, but I can't sleep.

The blanket of despair crawls up over me and I fear that I will never escape this horrid cycle.  I cry, slamming my fists into the covers.

I realise that I haven't brushed my teeth all day and I feel disgusted.  I force myself up to have a shower and brush my teeth.  But I leave the lights off - I don't want to see my red, puffy eyes.  I feel bad enough already.

I could call someone.  But I don't want their sympathy.  They can't do anything or give me answers.

Every.  Single.  Month.

Sometimes it's just cranky and snapping.  But sometimes it grows to this blanket of darkness that smothers me.

I feel broken.

And I know it will probably be okay tomorrow.  The hormonal storm will pass and all will be back to normal.  But why does it get so bad?  And will it ever get better?

I don't want to have to face the dark.  And if I must, I want to be able to walk through it rather than crawl or try to hide until it passes.

I could have 20 years before menopause.  Maybe even more!  Will it be like this until then?  Oh God!  I hope not!  I don't want to put my husband and son through that.

Today I wake up and all is well again, just as I suspected it would be.  I have escaped the darkness... for now.

Monday, 26 August 2013

The Wine Effect

Some people are happy drunks.

Some people are angry drunks.

Some people are just more of themselves.

But put a bit of bubbly in me and this is what you get:

First off, I become a bit happy.  And if the Big Fella is around, rather flirty.

But after a while things change.

I get super sleepy.  But if I'm required to do something (eg. look after anyone other than myself), I get short-tempered.  And it feels like I have very little control over it.

But I guess that's the thing about alcohol, isn't it?  You lose self-control.

My self-control when it comes to food is pretty good most of the time.  But put in a little alcohol and it's straight to the fats and sugars baby!!!!

Overall, I'm thinking wine doesn't have a great effect on me.  I guess that's why I don't really drink much.

Sunday, 25 August 2013


Over the past month I've had the privilege of spending time with both of my sisters (unfortunately not at the same time).  They are awesome women and I love them both to pieces!

One thing that they have in common is that they're ambitious!

My youngest sister started working in a major department store quite a while ago (maybe 10 years?) and has since worked her way from the shop floor to the office to now being the person who decides what products to sell in one of the departments.

My other sister is currently an at-home-mum, but has her sights set on major event planning.  Not just weddings, big parties, business meeting-type events.  She's looking at major festivals and shows.  She'll be starting study to meet those goals next year.

Then there's me.

I only ever dreamed of being a mum, and maybe a secretary.  And while motherhood has turned out to be WAY harder than I ever thought, I still haven't dreamed of anything else for myself.

Until now.

Talking to my sister this week made me ask myself, "why not?".

My answer so far is that my location and my son have caused me to limit my possibilities.  But that's not necessary.  Between the internet, YouTube, the support of my husband and friends, the reality is that I could do anything!

But what do I want to do?

Looks like it's time for a little dreaming!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Busy at home

Although we live in a town of about 360 people, out in the bush (or maybe the outback, I'm not sure if we qualify for that one?), with little in the way of shops nearby, and few facilities of entertainment, life gets kinda busy!

Here's a few of the things that have been going on since our return from Melbourne almost three weeks ago:

Our new couch arrived!  It is SO comfortable - all three of us have fallen asleep on it at least once!

Unfortunately I forgot to arrange for it to be scotch guarded, so I had to spray it myself.  After three cans of spray, my right pointer finger was pretty much numb.  Surprisingly, it's still numb on the end!  I wonder if that will ever fix itself?

The Big Fella and my new mattress also arrived.  It's taken a little bit of getting used to, because it's a lot softer than our last one, but now we like it very much!

We've been to our closest major town and tried out their cinema for the first time.  There was a cinema running in the next town, but it wasn't very comfortable, and they didn't even do real popcorn!  They did microwave-in-a-bag popcorn!  So the experience really wasn't there.  But the cinema we tried out satisfies the experience, as well as providing the movie, so we'll probably be going back.

The Little Big Fella and I have been for a dental check.  It was his first one ever (I know, I'm a terrible mother! ;-)  ) and he thought it was pretty cool.

Apparently his teeth were lovely and clean (amazing given how he seems to brush them), and I was told off for not flossing.

The Little Big Fella was wearing a path into our grass with his little motorbike, so the Big Fella took the mower across the road and cut a track through the paddock.  The Little Big Fella loves it, but not so much if no one is watching him (I think we may have created a little show off!).

Every time the Little Big Fella came close to the house, the dogs jumped and yelped.  They love chasing the motorbike around!

You may not be able to see, but Daddy is watching from the comfort of our little balcony.
Hmmm, what else has been going on?

Ah yes!  We had a bit of a girl's night out last weekend.  A friend invited us all around and the Big Fella happened to be home so the Little Big Fella stayed home with him and I got to go out on my own!  Ah, the freedom!  We had a few drinks, lots of food and lots of good laughs.  And one of the girls lit a fire - a very impressive fire!  It had to be moved so that it wouldn't accidentally catch on the verandah.

A new cafe/bar/restaurant has opened in the next town and we went and checked it out one afternoon.  It had gone on the "definite" list as a location for a future evening out!  Hmmm, I need to line that up with our babysitter.

The Big Fella had a few things he wanted to do with our camper trailer so we set it up this week.  Of course, the Little Big Fella then wanted to sleep in it.  So he and I had a sleep-out when the Big Fella was on night shift.

It was freezing!!!!

And no, I don't mean Queenslander freezing, I mean generally freezing.  As in, single digits, I believe below 5 degrees.  I spent the whole night with my head inside my sleeping bag - and I never have my head inside my blankets (it's the one experience that makes me feel claustrophobic).

I've also decided that I don't like sleeping bags anymore.  It was warm enough, but I hate how hard it is to turn over.  The result of that particular night was that I didn't turn over much and woke up with sore hips.

But the Little Big Fella was happy, so that's the point, right?

This week was also my 34th birthday.  Now, I have to say that I have some awesome friends and family!

A friend made me a birthday cake (spewing that I didn't take a photo because it looked spectacular, and tasted brilliant!), another friend bought me a birthday cake, I got flowers and presents and hugs...

I got a card from my parents that reminded me of how loved I am.  And you know what?  That's what I loved about this particular birthday!  As an adult, it's not the cards or the cakes or the presents that makes a birthday special for me.  It's the love of friends and family, and the effort they put in to make sure I know I'm appreciated.

How can that not make my day great?

So, as well as all that has been the normal housework, kindy runs, food shopping, cooking, reading, watching a little TV, hanging out with my Fellas, playing at the park, and (just this week) getting back into an exercise routine.

You know, sometimes I wonder how I will ever fit my life in when I go back to work???

Monday, 5 August 2013


We had a 4am start.  And I'm such a morning person!!!  But that's what you gotta do to catch your 6am flight.

Mum got up to say goodbye, and dad drove us to the airport.  I hate goodbyes, but I hate short, early morning goodbyes even more because I always feel like that hug wasn't long enough and I wanted to say "I love you" just one more time.

Anyway, I'd checked in online the day before, but we needed to check our bags through.  They have an ATM-style check-in at Melbourne airport with a couple of airport staff there to help you out.

We got the lady's attention and started the process when the Little Big Fella started jumping up and down.  Yep!  You guessed it!  He had to pee!  Right now!!!!

Of course, you can't just leave your bags with anyone at the airport.  And of course the closest toilets weren't exactly close.  So here we are running through the airport, just after 5am, dragging our bags and trying not to drop anything.

Thankfully we made it!  Yay!

We went back and finished our bag check-in then went and found our gate.  We were flying home with a different carrier than we did on the way down, and on this flight we had a breakfast included.

The Little Big Fella decided to "drink" his orange juice with the tiny stirring teaspoon.  It took forever!!!  But he was happy so where's the problem?

We had an hour or so in Brisbane between our flights.  Guess what we did for most of it.  We went up and down the escalators.









At least a dozen times.

But, again, the Little Big Fella was happy, and we weren't in anyone's way, so where's the problem?

Finally we were on our final leg home and I was anxious to get there.  I was tired, sick of being mummy 24/7, and ready to see my husband.

And when I saw him, I have to say he was looking fine!!!  He's been losing weight and working out, so when he turned up in his jeans and t-shirt, with his growing muscles showing, I did a double-take.  I know it was only 12 days, but he looked really good!

Okay, okay, I'll move on.

We went and had some lunch and did some food shopping then we were on our way home.

It doesn't matter how good a time you have when you're away, or how well you were looked after, or how comfy the bed was where you stayed, there is no place like home!

And even though there was lots of unpacking and cleaning up to do (the Big Fella had been away hunting for the past 5 days so all his camping gear and washing was added to what we had brought home), it was still home, the Little Big Fella was back in his normal space and routine, and I was ready to relax and recover from the great time we'd had catching up with family and friends and having all kinds of adventures.

Melbourne trip - Last days

Our last two days in Melbourne ended up being pretty busy!  I guess I wanted to squeeze in as many visits with people and activities at the same time as I could.

But, we "squeezed in" a sleep in first :-D

Most of the morning was unplanned so we had a sleep in and did a few domestic duties, then jumped in the car and went to find a motorbike gear shop.

See, since the Little Big Fella has started riding his motorbike by himself, my heart has often been in my throat watching him.  And while that will probably always be the case, safety gear can go a long way to making me feel a bit better about it!

We found the shop and found these funky motorbike pants (with appropriate padding) and a pair of little gloves.

We've since found some elbow pads that fit him, and decided that the gloves are actually too big for him, so found some that fit even better.  For now, we've decided that we're not getting boots.  Partly because they're ridiculously expensive and his feet are growing an an equally ridiculous pace, but mostly because he's riding pretty slowly still and there's no logs or anything where he rides, so covered shoes are okay (for now).

After the motorbike shop, we went to a camping place and found me a new winter jacket.  I'd bought the jacket I had when I first arrived for my year in America - in 1998!  Definitely time for an update.  Sorry, no pics for this one, but it was a bargain $50!!!

We got a call from the Big Fella's sister and partner and agreed to meet at a nearby shopping centre for lunch.  We ended up at a place called Outback Jack's.  There was a big crocodile hanging from the ceiling!

We had a great (BIG) lunch and a good chat then headed into the shopping centre.  While the girls were sorting some stuff out with their phones, the Little Big Fella was entertained on a car ride and by going up and down the escalators a million times.

We picked up some gorgeous pork chops to cook up for dinner then it was time to say goodbye until our next visit to Melbourne.  Obviously the adults wanted this to last just that little bit longer, but the Little Big Fella strongly believes that when we say goodbye, we're actually going.  So he headed up the stairs toward our car!

So we said our goodbyes and had one last hug.  I hate goodbyes :-(

We had a bit of time before needing to be "home", so we dropped in on Cadbury J and her kids for a last play.

You know the saying, "two's company, three's a crowd"?  There was a little bit of that going on for the first while, but thankfully (after a fair bit of frustration) it settled and they played well together again while us mums caught up some more.

Then it was time to say goodbye.  Have I mentioned that I don't like goodbyes?


Back at mum and dad's place, I made dinner, then my sister called to say she'd be coming over.  We ended up watching Origin 3 (kind of like a grand final for rugby league), which is kind of funny given that my family isn't very sporty at all and Victorians don't tend to watch rugby.  Dad totally got into it!

Just for the record, Queensland won, making it 8 years in a row :-)

Afterwards, my sister wasn't really keen on leaving and we ended up talking till pretty late.  Dad also pulled out a bunch of old letters between his parents.

I found out that they lived in a suburb of Melbourne when they first married, and we found the place on the map.  That area is now very hoity toity!

Eventually it was that time again.  Time to say goodbye.  I really hate saying goodbye.  Hanging with my sister (especially at P!nk) was really awesome.

But that's just the reality of life when you live in a different state, isn't it?  Goodbyes just become part of your life.  I guess they're a part of life anyway because even if you stay in the one place, others come and go.

Okay, time to move on again.

The following day, our last in Melbourne, was another friend day.  In the morning the Little Big Fella and I met up with my best friend to see Despicable Me 2 at the cinema.  Definitely a movie that will end up at our house!  It was very funny and entertaining.  Unfortunately, my friend hadn't seen the first movie, so some of it wasn't as fun for her.

After the movie, the Little Big Fella got excited about the games in the foyer and pretended to drive the cars, ride the motorbikes and shoot the guns.  We had a game of air hockey, which was pretty funny because he could only reach the smallest part of the table.  Obviously I tried to make it fun for him and not get the disc in the hole too many times ;-)

Again with the stinking goodbyes!!!

Then it was into the city to meet up with another friend.  K was my best friend for about a year in high school before I moved towns.  We met up last time I was in Melbourne, when the Little Big Fella was 1.

It turned out that the place we decided to meet had some snow for kids to play with/on.  The Little Big Fella would have literally spent the whole afternoon there!!!

Thankfully he got hungry so we went and had some lunch and had a really good catch up.

One thing I found difficult by the end of our time in Melbourne was being constantly in parenting mode.  At home, the Big Fella is there to take some of the weight of parenting, and the Little Big Fella has kindy so I get a break then too.

But in Melbourne I was constantly in parenting mode - thinking about distances and how far the Little Big Fella would be happy to walk, thinking about what kinds of food he'd actually eat when we were out, finding toilets in a hurry, dealing with the fact that he gets bored with stuff I like doing.  It's all part of being a parent, but it got a bit wearing by the end of our trip.

After lunch it was straight back to the snow to play, while K and I chatted some more.  I'd noticed a little earlier that the sky was starting to get quite dark, but hadn't paid that much attention.  All of a sudden it let rip!  The rain came down hard and fast and we ran to find some cover.  Thankfully it settled down a little so we made our way to K's car, because it was closer.  Then she drove us around to our car (although, I was a bit disoriented and we went the wrong way initially).

Then there was another goodbye.  Sigh.

You know, my biggest problem with goodbyes is that I'm a terrible long-distance friend.  I try to keep in touch, but I'm really just not good at it.  Life gets busy and it slips further down the to-do list.  And I'd understand if my friends felt that they weren't important to me.

But I honestly treasure each of you!  At various times in my life you've been the very reason that I love living!  Friends (and family - but they're my friends too) are my favourite thing about life.

So, I'm sorry that I'm such a terrible long-distance friend.  I will try harder to make time to call or write or text or send you a Facebook message.  Because I think you're awesome and I'm incredibly grateful to have had you in my life.

Back to the story ;-)

We managed to head home in peak hour traffic.  Woo hoo!

Okay, another side note.  I don't know how you guys stand driving that far, in those conditions, all the time!  I mean, I only drive a couple of days a week, for about 15 minutes each way, on the highway and it's plenty of car time.  But you guys drive up to an hour each way, often in the dark, with crazy people all around you!  Hats off to you!

The saving grace on this particular drive was the massive double rainbow!

Mum and dad have recently moved and now have a couple living across the road from them that they get along with really well.  So this night we had dinner at their house.

G & K are pretty cool and it was great to finally meet them in person (we would have met them when we were heading back to our old town, the day we had our little roll).  I can see why mum and dad get along with them so well - they're the same kind of crazy, as one poster I read recently put it.

We had a lovely dinner, and the Little Big Fella had a play with their dogs, then we retired to the front room and sat around the fire.  K had bought some American marshmallows and made some awesome little marshmallow toasting sticks.  So the Little Big Fella cooked them up for everyone (he only likes them uncooked) until we all felt kind of sick.

Then it was time to say goodbye and go "home" to finish packing, ready to head home the next day.