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Archive for December, 2011

Opening up a can of worms and expanding the family language

French Kissin (song)

Image via Wikipedia

I love playing with my children. It is one of the true joys in my life and a never-ending source of entertainment that adds to our family language. Wait. What? Yes, our family language. I’ll explain.

Every family has a language of their own. It might be silly phrases that eventuate from, well, acting silly. It might consist of pet names that you have for each other. It might also be nonsense songs that are made up. Whatever it is, it is yours and no one outside the family would understand it because it just wouldn’t be the same if you had to explain it and the weird looks you would get trying to explain it, well, enough said.

My sisters once made up a song after their adventures with a flat tyre and trying to find one in a small country town on their way to visit me. It was to the tune of  ‘Old Susannah’. The chorus went a little like this:

‘Oh Daniella, now don’t you cry for me, for I come from Cooranbong with a spare tyre on my knee’. It had verse upon verse that they sang to me to explain their late arrival.

When Red was little, my sister made up a little verse for him which she would say to him every time she saw him…’I love you more… than the whole wide world…and back again!” he still remembers it at 19 along with the fact that he used to call the moon…’the mooin’. That we remind him of.

Our family language has evolved and developed from the jokes, songs, games, nonsense play and general goofing off that began when our young brood were old enough to talk. You need a well rounded sense of humour in this house to fit in and the children are no exception.

Bieber used to get called Chubba on account of his bright red, chubby cheeks as a baby and it just kind of stuck. My mother extended that to Chubba-lubba. The Princess was called Chloe goat legs when she was three. Her father somehow extended that to Goatisha and then to Tisha Boots, which she hated and demanded he stop. Dizzy Lizzy had that name when I met her father, bestowed upon her by her Uncle. She also got Lidbet which became Squidbet then just Squid for short. Red was always Joshie then Doshie (because Master 6 couldn’t say ‘j’) then Yoshie. He also got Joshskewer which was a take on the pronunciation of Joshua also bestowed upon him by the aforementioned Uncle. I have been known as The Dragon Lady but I ignore that one in the hopes that it will go away.

Last night, as I played with Master 6, we revisited some of the silly things that were said when he was a baby and a toddler. Some he even remembered. Some, I am still hanging on to which I know will change as he outgrows it. Like Tooty-Kissin’.

Tooty-Kissin’  has been a huge favourite with our children since they were babies and Master 6 is the last of the Tootie-Kissees. I would just grab his foot when he wasn’t looking and give it a great big kiss much to his delight and giggles. He tells me he is a big boy now and that I don’t have to tuck him in at night. I am not allowed to walk him to his classroom. Too old for that too. Apparently he is not too old for Tootie-Kissin’. We even have a song, made up to the tune of the Deborah Harry hit ‘French Kissin’ in the USA’. I sang that to him last night as we laughed and tickled each other, each trying to get the better of the other. Suddenly, Master 6 stopped. Where did you get that song from Mum? he asked. I told him about its origin and sang the line of the original. Ohhhhh, he said and laughed. Pause. What does French-kissing mean Mum?

Can of worms. Opened. I asked for that.

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Avoiding the Baker’s Binge

This morning I woke up with the incredible urge to bake. I resisted, of course, much to my husband’s disappointment. I knew that if I gave in to my inner voice , I would be spending most of the day in the kitchen instead of studying like I should.

Birthday cakes are the exception

I am not the kind of person that will bake one item. I can’t just bake one cake or a tray of biscuits and leave it at that. Oh no, on and on it goes until the session is over from lack of clean dishes or complete physical exhaustion. Or until dinner time, whichever occurs first. This is what I call Baker’s Binge and I must avoid it at all costs.

Get out of my way...I'm baking

Let’s look at the other reason to resist the baking binge in my household. My family. I bake enough to feed a small village and they eat everything in site in one day. Like a cross between piranha feeding and watching Pacman. First, the sharks circle then, it’s get out of the way or lose a body part. Seriously, I watched them one day after the neighbour delivered a plate of freshly caught red claw, barbequed in garlic marinade. Gone in 60 seconds. They didn’t even sit down, this feeding session all took place standing at the kitchen bench. Scary. OK, in their defence, the red claw were to die for and I admit I did nothing to stop it and even played my part. Mea culpa.

This was gone in less than a day

Our friend has been living in Utah for two years now and came home for Christmas this year. He brought the family a huge bag of American chocolate goodies. Gone in less than a day. Back to the baking.

My family defends their positions by telling me that I do not bake often enough and they have to enjoy everything while it lasts, which is not very long. So  it is not quantity they want, it’s not even quality ( I do burn things occasionally and they scrape the burnt bits off and still eat it)  it’s frequency they want. Red is still complaining about the fact I only make trifle once a year for Christmas.’ Why can’t I have it more often break the rules Mum, go on’.

The very last Baker’s Binge I gave in to consisted of this:

  • Bacon and Tomato Quiche (2)
  • A batch of scones
  • Jam Drops ( 48)
  • Vanilla cupcakes (24)
  • Pizza Scrolls
  • Vegemite and Cheese Triangles and
  • Tomato and Cheese Triangles.

    Have you tried it?

This, of course, extended into dinner time after  the dishwasher was on for its second load. We had Chicken, pumpkin and parmesan risotto. Why on earth I decided to make that time-consuming, can’t-leave-the-stove dish I will never know. How my family ate that after sampling demolishing aforementioned items I will never know.

I must mention that in any one given day, there could be up to 10 people for dinner and with the children’s friends and neighbourhood kids coming and going, my baking is walking out the door with others. ‘Here, try these, my Mum just made them’.Yeah, knock yourself out.

Gołąbki 12

I have a plan. My next baking binge  going to have a theme. I am going to bake, cook and deliver a Polish Food feast to celebrate the Polish heritage on both sides of the family. The children have already expressed their disinterest in my cabbage rolls, called Golabki but I think I may win them over with the Pierogi. I have never made a Black Swirl Poppy Seed cake but I remember having that at my Babcia’s house when I was young. That woman could bake!

Yeah baby!

The Polish Food Pyramid courtesy of The Princess and the Pug.

I will now return to study, having avoided the Baker’s Binge and given in to the Blogger’s Bug. Have a great day.

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2011: A strange odyssey

The canvas that is Master 6
English: A variety of Sharpie-brand markers. A...

Is nothing sacred?

Question dog

There are often some strange happenings  in our home. You never know from one day to the next what may occur.

As 2011 draws to a close I thought I might do a year in review post  based on the totally odd awesome day-to-day goings on in our madhouse home sweet home. Before I begin let me first refer to the above photo.

Master 6 came to me one evening sporting his new look courtesy of a visiting friend who is now banned from our home until further notice. Yes, very creative and yes, it was permanent marker.

There was no end to it

My husband went on a label tirade and labelled anything and everything in sight. The Princesses’ birthday was no exception.

Yes, really he did

Red’s girlfriend thought it would be funny to plait his hair and put her flower in it. He also wore her skirt and went to the shops like this.  I know, I did warn you. It’s OK, you don’t have to read on. You can stop here.

There was a really annoying e on TV for pay TV with the slogan ‘Happy EOFYS’ ( end of financial year sale) and it was driving me nuts. The kids really wanted pay TV and along with their father decided to plaster the house in pay TV brochures…I mean EVERYWHERE conceivable. Where they got that many from I have no idea. Every time I opened a drawer, the fridge, under my pillow, on the stove there they were. We still do not have pay TV nor will we have it. Serves them right.

For the love of...not another one. How??? Why???

Every time I checked my photo gallery, there seemed to be a photo like this. I blame The Princess. How does this happen? Why does this happen? Photos of my Iphone screen.

I think the song went '...and a pink carnation' not a pink bow tie

Bieber dared his father to buy him a pink bow tie if he could find one (he did)  and he’d wear it to Graduation (he did).

Master of the funny faces

Master 6 was the master of the funny face this year. It seems in every photo I tried to take of him, there he would be pulling yet another face.

...and again

Like this

Or he would just ‘appear’ in photos like this ^.

Bieber was woken up on Christmas Day by an Air Horn. Nothing unusual in this house. Could have been worse. He didn’t think so. His father was not very popular at the time.

There have been paintball fights, rubber band fights, food fights, water fights and Wrestlemania. Some of it has been outside. I will now wish you a premature Happy New Year because you never know what the next 48 hours will bring here. There has been talk of confetti guns.

Before you go thinking that this would be a great place to visit, consider this…the food is a little weird. I will leave you with this…

We have had some unusual concoctions in the kitchen this year…

Blue question mark

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Salad?

Bubble thingy

Put on your Mother Shield

Shield

Today was one of those days.  If ever I needed my mother shield it was today.

What, I hear you ask, is a mother shield?  My Mother Shield is that little invisible force field that fends off

all the awful things that my children say from time to time when they don’t have the words to vocalise how they feel or what is upsetting them and it just comes out like a diatribe.

Here are some of the things my mother shield has had to deflect today and the proper translations:

  • Mum, I hate you…… Mum, I am so angry with you
  • You’re so mean…….I am angry that you won’t let me play with my remote control car outside in the street when it’s dark
  • I’m not ever going to cuddle you again, EVER………I am upset now and need to calm down
  • You are the worst mother ever……….Why can’t I stay up late when I am rubbing my eyes, whining and can barely stand up?
  • I’m finding another Mummy………Please see previous attack
  • You never play with me anymore, you should leave………I would really like  you to play with me like we did yesterday. Right now.
  • Why don’t you just find another little boy to be mean to……….Again, the remote control car issue ( see previous)
  • You don’t understand me, go away……..I’m really upset that you’re not taking my side and you should really be speaking to The Princess now about what SHE did
  • You never listen to me, EVER……..(See previous)
  • I don’t want you, I want Daddy…………Maybe if I ask Dad, HE will let me

Sometimes these little attacks do chip away at my Mother Shield and I have to hide my face away for a little tear. Some days I hide to giggle. It all depends on how stressed I am or what is happening at the time.

You see, I must have my Mother Shield on….because I shed all the Mother Guilt and I need something to absorb all those angry words floating around out there.

 

 

Finding the joy this Christmas

christmas 2007

Not my usual style, I know.

I am still trying to regain the joy in Christmas since my father passed away in September, 2010  and oddly, I have found this Christmas much harder to navigate emotionally than last. Perhaps now that I have more distance and perspective, it has hit me harder. I am not sure. Last Christmas seemed to go by in a blur. This Christmas I was painfully more aware of who was not amongst us. It has been almost 10 years since my Mother passed away.

I talked to my beautiful, sweet sister this morning and gained some more perspective, gained some more healing ground.

I realised that it is me who has to make new traditions for my family. I am no longer the child , I am only the mother.  Now that I have no living parents, that painful truth is all the more evident.

I say to all of you right now, enjoy every moment you have with your loved ones, whether it be Christmas or other. Each day is a gift and don’t take it for granted. Find a way to appreciate the positives in all people and don’t focus on the negatives. They aren’t important. Clearly, don’t endanger yourself physically or emotionally but find a way to cut through all the drama, hurts and insecurities that can accompany family relations.

I once had a friend who constantly complained about her mother to me. Her mother would in turn call me up and complain about her daughter. I will never know if either realised I was the very same sounding board for both of them  because I always respected their right to have their feelings heard and never betrayed any trust. For years that continued. What I did tell both of them at times though, was…You have each other and that is the gift. Nothing else matters, no matter how annoyed, irritated or hurt you may feel.

I don’t have the gift of being hurt, annoyed or irritated with my mother or father anymore.

Our unofficial Christmas present

Eddie the rainbow lorikeet

Meet Eddie, the rainbow lorikeet that had the misfortune of being hit by a car, bouncing off it and then being hit a second time by my husband’s ute. My husband rescued him just before Christmas  and we thought he wouldn’t make it after being hit twice then surviving a hot car until my husband finished his shift at work. If ever there was a bird that deserved to live – then it’s Eddie. Here he is two weeks later and refuses to leave the cage thank you very much but I’m fine here.The children have tried two unsuccessful releases. We will try again in a few days.

Failed release attempt No. 1

      Our family has quite a tradition of rescuing animals. My sister started it with

      rescuing joeys from injured kangaroo mother’s pouches. My children grew up

      with that joey. Next was a wedge tailed eagle that she made a stand for  and

      hand fed.

Wedge tailed eagle in flight03

Wedge tailed eagle in flight

Dizzy Lizzy rescued a baby possum whose mother had been killed and nursed it

before handing it to WIRES. The Princess rescued a kitten and reared him when

 he was 4 days old, his eyes weren’t even open properly. He had been dumped byThe common Brush tailed possum Trichosurus vul...

 the mother and forgotten, probably when she was trying to move her entire litter

to safety.  “Lucky” is still with us today. Cosmo is also a foundling ( and some days

he is so naughty I wish someone else would find him!)  discovered as a puppy,wandering  through traffic. Many “found” posters later and he is still with us.

We have rescued a water dragon, a Shingleback  lizard ( Red called him Komodo) and a baby pigeon called Cheapa who fell from the nest and was abandoned by his parents. I couldn’t read a newspaper or use my computer without his curious pecking.

Shingleback <i>Tiliqua rugosa</i>

Shingleback Image via Flickr

I am so glad that my children care about and care for animals. I was looking for Ash ( our resident baby lorikeet) the other day as his cage was empty. I should have known better. I needn’t have worried. For there, under Bieber’s arm was the little green baby lorikeet, fast asleep.

Who? Moi? The Versatile Blogger Award

I have some fun news today. I have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award. Not once – but twice this week!

I am not sure if this is VBA acceptable but I am killing two birds with one stone here and thanking Cheesecake Summer and happilyeverafterorsomething for nominating me! I am absolutely tickled pink! (OK, is that just an Aussie term or does that traverse the cultures?)

For those of you that don’t know the rules – here they are:

  1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post
  2. Share 7 things about yourself
  3. Nominate 15 recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading
  4. Contact the bloggers you have nominated and let them know about the award

Here goes…

7 things you don’t know about me ( and might not want to!)

  1. I colour match my pegs when I hang the washing on the line. I mean I have to. My sister once pegged all my pegs in matching colours on the line and said to me “There, how’s that for your OCD?” Err, thanks.
  2. I accidentally wore my PJ pants to school in Grade 5 under my uniform. I just forgot to take them off. I spent the day in total mortification of someone finding out. You know the little frill bloomer numbers of the late 70’s? Yeah- those.
  3. I have trouble sleeping
  4. I have never had my driver’s licence
  5. I don’t have any tattoos
  6. I do have my nose pierced (a small gold heart). My husband payed for it on my 40th Birthday so I couldn’t chicken out.
  7. I once fell asleep at work, sitting on the toilet. In my defence it was after a 12 hour night shift.

The 15 13 bloggers I have stumbled upon recently and you should take a look at (OK,  I know I fell short of the required 15 but if you read my blog regularly – are you at all suprised?)

  1. Suz’s Petals
  2. Shambolic Living
  3. fishinginthefields
  4. Tamara Out Loud
  5. EduDad
  6. Mightier Than the Pen
  7. Michael Cargill
  8. Catas Trophy Wife
  9. The Rookie Dad
  10. The Laughing Housewife
  11. my family is not broken
  12. Johnlmalone’s blog

That wraps up this post for today. I still have my blogging ‘L plates’ and am trying to work out links in my posts but I think I may have mastered it. I am off to contact all the recipients of my nomination now. I promise.

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