Saturday, 19 September 2015

September Fly on the Wall

So it's time once again for the September Fly on the Wall. I can't believe it's nearly the end of another year. Can someone give me Father Time's phone number please? Me and him need to have a serious talk.

So anyway today 16 bloggers are giving you a rare and uncensored (or in my case a slightly censored) view of what it would be like if you were a fly on their wall.  Below is a list of all the bloggers participating today. Please be sure to go and visit all of them.

htttp://    Baking In A Tornado     Menopausal Mother      Never Ever Give Up Hope        Just A Little Nutty                 The Momisodes Someone Else’s Genius              Dinosaur Superhero Mommy         Cluttered Genius Eileen’s Perpetually Busy    Southern Belle Charm                  Go Mama O

Me: What do you want for dinner?
Mum: Oh God, I don't know, um...
Me: That's one of the hardest questions I ever ask. It's right up there with what's your number?
Mum: Those are always the two hardest questions anyone ever asks me.

A few weeks ago I took a day off work sick. Miss K was slightly miffed by this because it meant she wasn't going to be babysat by my big sister Sam for the afternoon. Shortly after lunch she started asking to go visit Sam.
Miss K: Go to Sam's house?
Mum: No you don't need to go today, mum's home from work, so you can stay home with her.
Miss K: Go to work mum.
Me: No I can't, I'm sick.
Miss K: No, go to work so I can go to Sam's house.

We finally had a warm weekend after what felt like an eternity of winter, so I sent Miss K to play outside. As usual, she spent the time running back and forth from the yard to the house. This happened on the second lap, and should have been a harbinger of what the rest of her play time was going to be like.
Miss K: Mum, mum
Me: What?
Mum: I'm playing outside but I'm going to run inside every five minutes and  yell at you. Did I get it right?
Miss K: Yeah.

I bought some reeeeeeally expensive rocky road at a craft market last month, and then remembered that I don't like rocky road, so it stayed in the cupboard until Miss K discovered it, then started asking to eat the zig zag road.

Miss K: Knock knock
Me: Who's there
Miss K: Lettuce
Me: Lettuce who?
Miss K: Don't cry, it's only a joke.

Number 9347 of things I never thought I'd have to say:
If you're going to pick your nose in the toilet, could you please not wipe it on the wall.

So my big sister and my niece got sick with a virus right after Miss K and I did (so I guess we know who they can blame...) but it meant that Miss K couldn't go to daycare, and she couldn't go to my sister's house as she was too unwell. Thankfully for me my baby sister Kim stepped in and played babysitter for two days so that I could still go to work. Not so thankfully, Miss K came home having learned the term FFS. (Google it if you're not sure) Apparently Kim kept saying it while trying to get Miss K in and out of the car...

Also on Kim, her and her partner Scott had to go to the funeral of the father of a friend of hers. As is customary at Australian funerals, you have to get drunk afterwards. She ended up at a stranger's house several doors down from my big sister Sam's house, and decided to wander down. I happened to be visiting Sam at the time, so I got to watch two very drunk people have very drunk conversations. These were the cleaner ones.

Scott: What's going on? Why am I seeing two of you? One is bad enough.
Kim: What are you talking about?
Scott: You've got two noses.

Sam: Scott do you want a coffee?
Scott: Yes please. (At this point Kim starts laughing)
Sam: How do you have it?
Scott: One, no, one and a half spoons of coffee and one sugar. I mean two sugars. (Kim is laughing harder by now.)
Sam: Do you have milk?
Scott: No. I mean yes. I mean no. Whatever. However you bring it to me, I'll drink it. (By this time Kim is lying on the floor with tears of laughter streaming down her face and Sam is getting very confused.)
Sam: Kim, how does Scott drink his coffee?
Kim: Scott doesn't drink coffee. He hates it.

I also discovered that night that my 11 year old niece Eliza has a sharp tongue.
Eliza (to Scott): That is a very feminine coat you're wearing.
Scott: Are you serious? I just got shot down by a kid.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Signs you may be a Practically Perfect Parent

This post is brought to you by Ski D'lite, now with 25% less sugar.

I have a confession to make today. My name is Erin and I am a practically perfect parent. Does that sound too braggy? We're not meant to tell people we think we're awesome parents, in fact we're not even meant to think we're awesome parents. But I'm here to change that today, and I challenge you to do the same. Just to make things a little easier for you, I've included a checklist below to help you determine whether or not you are indeed a practically perfect parent.

Below is a list of habits of practically perfect parents. Lets see how many of these habits you have.

  • Let your kids stay up well past their bed time simply because it is easier than listening to them complain that they're not tired.
  • Spit polish your child's face while strapping them into their car seat because you don't notice every speck of grime until right before you take them out in public.
  • Let your children destroy their dinner by eating too many biscuits too close to dinner time (just for five minutes of peace and quiet).
  • Allow your children more than 30 minutes a week on an "electronic babysitter".
  • Believe your children when they tell you their teeth are clean, even if their toothbrush is bone dry, just this once (and every other time after this).
  • Blame any gas that you pass on your infant simply because they are too young to deny it.
  • Wash the same load of clothes three days in a row because you're too tired to unload it from the washing machine, hang it on the line, bring it back inside, fold it, put it away...Just the thought of all that activity makes you want to take a nap.
  • Refusing to punish your children by taking away their tablet/iPhone/laptop/television privileges because really, that just punishes you.
  • Step over the same toy five times a day because you're too busy with every other job you have to do today, and you'll get it on your way back, you promise.
  • Eat leftovers for more than one day in a row, because it's easier than coming up with a new meal to plan, shop for, and cook.
How many of you scored a perfect 10? I know I did, and I'm just starting to scratch the surface here. I could spend the whole day listing all the things I do which go against everything a perfect parent would do, but at the end of the day all I need to do is look at my happy, and healthy little girl, and I know despite my flaws, or perhaps because of them, I am an awesome parent. 

Research shows that only 3% of mums in Australia will give their parenting skills a 10 out of 10, but if you ask any child to rate their parent's performance, odds are they will always give their parents a perfect score.  Too often these days we let external pressures get us down. The image of the perfect parent is splashed all across our televisions, our computers, and even our play groups. The pressure this makes us put on ourselves is too much. So before you begin to beat yourself up because you follow the "five second rule" if your kid drops a chocolate on the floor, just remember the best indicator of your skills as a parent is right in front of you, and they always think you're the best parent in the world.  And that makes you a practically perfect parent. You're welcome.

Are you an Australian resident over the age of 18 who likes free stuff? Tell me in the comments below in 25 words or less what makes you a practically perfect parent, and you could win one of two vouchers for a month's supply of Ski D'lite yoghurt. 

This competition is open to Australian residents aged 18 and over. Two winners will be picked based on your answers. Competition ends Thursday 24 September 2015 at 8:00pm. Winners will be announced here and on Facebook and Twitter on 25 September 2015.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

September Use Your Words Happily Ever After?

Hello again my lovelies, it's time for another Use Your Words, the group challenge where 17 bloggers get together and swap words with each other. We each submit a group of 4 - 6 words and in return we get someone else's words, and then we have to try and build something around those words. Below is a list of all the bloggers participating this month, so that you can be sure to visit them all and share the love around.

So today my words are wall ~ tree ~ reading ~ piggy bank ~ fan and they were submitted by the lovely Eileen at Eileen's Perpetually Busy.

Today's post is a continuation from the last two Use Your Words. If you want to start from the beginning, you can find part 1 here and part 2 here

The last few hours had been a blur. She really should be more used to her life being so out of control, but it still took her breath away every time the rug was pulled out from underneath her. She'd grown complacent. That was always how it started though, with the small things. You start taking for granted the fact that they will always pick your towel up where you drop it, then they start assuming just because you didn't mind them watching the football game on telly one weekend instead of doing something together, you'll let them do it every single weekend. You both bite your tongue at first, still not willing to let the honeymoon be over, but eventually the real world comes crashing in through the wall bringing the first big argument with it.

Things had been going well over the past six months. Given they lived an hour apart they really only got to catch up on the weekends, but they alternated whose place they stayed at each weekend, and caught up the rest of the time through daily phone calls and the odd mid-week visit when work schedules permitted. Given they only spent two days a week together, the opportunities for arguments were few and far between, and they were usually fairly small grievances that were sorted out quickly with a few placatory words. This time however, things were different. The conversation had started innocently enough, they were lying in bed together, she was reading an e-book on her tablet, and he was playing poker on his,  and she asked him what he wanted to do the next weekend. He admitted he'd already made plans to catch up with his mates for footy and beers. The initial disappointment that she'd miss out on seeing him for two whole weeks quickly turned to annoyance, as she remembered she'd been invited out to catch up with her girlfriends next weekend as well, but had turned them down so that she could visit him.

She had tried her hardest to hide her frustration and disappointment, but being stoic had never been her strong suit, so he picked up immediately on her mood. Instead of comforting her as he usually did, this time he became defensive. "I haven't spent any real time with these guys in months, and I just felt like catching up with them" he said, the almost whiny tone in his voice setting her teeth on edge. Before she could stop herself, she spat out the words "Well I'm terribly sorry I've been hogging up so much of your time lately. I'll be sure to check your diary next time, just to make sure you can squeeze me in." He rolled his eyes at her. She knew she was being slightly crazy about the whole thing, and as much as she didn't want to be the crazy girlfriend right now, the words kept spewing out of her, and she quickly felt herself losing control of the whole situation.

"I'm sure the fellas will be much more valuable company than me next weekend anyway. I'm sure they won't care when you clip your toenails in the bed, nor will they care if you leave the milk carton in the fridge with just a dribble of milk in it. And hey, I'm sure they'll just love it when you burp so loud you could rattle the window panes every single night after dinner like it's some kind of damn compliment." She stopped to catch her breath, but the look of hurt on his face told her she should stop entirely. He waited for a second then started speaking very calmly. "First of all, that was one time, and I excused myself. And second of all, did you store up all of these grievances in a piggy bank to yell at me at the opportune time? Because I gotta tell you, that was a pretty big list to come up with on the fly." She thought for a second and realised she had stored all those things away, remembering every tiny detail when they happened, and the thought horrified her. Now she was just as disgusted at herself as she was at him, but it didn't seem like the time to yell at herself, so she turned her attention back to him. "I'm sorry that I notice things around me. I happen to be observant you see. Unlike others in this room, who can't even remember to turn the fan on before they shower. The bathroom turns into a rain forest any time you go in there." She knew she was clutching at straws now, but she needed something to be angry about, as angry was easier to deal with than disappointment or self loathing.

Realising she'd run out of things to yell about, but not willing to stop and admit she was being an idiot, she wrenched back the blankets and got out of bed. She started grabbing up her clothes and pulling them on. He sat in the bed with a bemused look on his face as she dressed. As she went to walk out of the room he called after her. "Where are you going?" he said pulling himself out of bed. I'm going." She replied. "Clearly I'm an inconvenience to your super busy social life, so I'll fix that problem by leaving." "Don't be stupid" he said, walking after her. "Come back to bed and we'll talk about this in the morning." She desperately wished she could turn around and walk back to him, but that meant admitting she was being dumb. It also meant admitting she cared more than she was willing to say that she was going to miss seeing him the next weekend. That thought brought a lump to her throat and she ducked her head and walked away from him, not willing to let him see her cry. "Forget about it" she called behind her. "Say hi to your friends for me" She walked out the front door, slamming it for extra effect and started walking towards the street. She spent the first few blocks willing him to chase after her, but she was alone. After twenty minutes of storming along the empty streets she stopped to catch her breath and leaned against a tree. Unable to hold it in any more she burst into tears, hating herself for throwing away the best part of her life. She sat under that tree for an hour crying before the sobs finally died down, then she was left alone with her thoughts, the only sound to be heard were the leaves rustling above her, and the footsteps on the path behind her...


I hate to leave it there, because there is more to this story, but it was starting to turn into a novel, so I've decided to leave the rest for next month. So if you want to know what happens next be sure to come back here next month and read the rest of the story.

Thursday, 10 September 2015


Hello my lovely readers, today I am taking a break from all the parenty goodness that makes up my crazy world to bring you an important message. Today here in Australia it is R U OK day. Today is the day to bring awareness to suicide prevention, and this is a cause that means the world to me.

In Australia every single year there are approximately 65,000 suicide attempts. 2,320 of those attempts are successful every single year. That is too many lives lost from something that is totally preventable. Suicide is one of those uncomfortable subjects we don't like to talk about, but talking about it is the only way to break down the stigma, and let people know they are not alone. The aim of R U OK day is to get the conversation started. It is as simple as asking people if they are OK. Let them know that they are heard, let them know they are not alone, and let them know that there is help out there for them.

Mental illness is still one of those subjects people don't like to talk about. I had a fight last week with my boss because she didn't believe me when I told her I have depression. It shocked her because I am able to get up every day and go to work, able to complete my tasks, and I don't look like a stereotypical depressed person. But that's the thing with mental illness. It is an invisible disease that can be easily hidden with a fake smile. You can't trust that just because someone looks "normal" on the outside that they aren't struggling on the inside.

I have lost a cousin and a brother to suicide, the 14th anniversary for my cousin's death was just last month. I watched her family's anguish when they lost her, and it changed them all forever. When my brother died 9 years ago, I thought my dad would die with him, his heart was so broken. My sister and her family are still dealing with the loss of her husbands baby brother two years after the fact. His son will never know his father because he died before his son was even born. My baby sister has lost too many friends to count to suicide over the years, and many of these happened before she was even in her twenties. Suicide affects the living just as much as the deceased, as they are left behind, wondering what they could have done to help the victim, wondering why they didn't see the warning signs, and wondering how they are going to go on without their brother or sister, without their friend, without their spouse or their parent. The anguish the victim felt is now transferred to the people they loved, and they carry it with them for the rest of their lives.

So to get the conversation going, check out R U OK today. and ask the people you love if they are OK. Remember if you are struggling with feelings of depression, there are people around to help you. For Australians, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you are in America contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1800 273 8225. For all other countries check out this Wikipedia list for suicide prevention contact numbers around the globe. And remember that you are not alone. You are all loved, and you are all worthwhile to somebody. If you have any thoughts on suicide prevention or mental health issues, I'd love to hear from you too, I think you're all awesome, so leave a comment below.
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