Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I will just blow it dry

How many towels do you have?  Just curious.  You see, tonight we had an adventure, and it led me to discover that I have too many towels.  Forty five in fact.  Gee that sounds like alot!
As I am aiming for housewife of the year, (keep in mind it is only February), hubby is away for the week, and I am doing a weeks worth of ironing at 5:30pm, which is generally known amongst all those parents out there as "witching hour". You know, the time of day when words are screamed "I'm hungry!  I'm tired!  Feed me or I will eat my younger sibling! PS, Mummy you are main course! If daddy ever comes home he is dessert!"  Needless to say, no matter what time I program, 'healthy afternoon snacks', I still hear these 'requests', sometimes from both spawn at the same time, oh lucky me.
Tonight we are fed well, not too many interuptions, some rice, some pasta, some chicken, some tomato, beans, cucumber, celery and carrot.  Sounds disgusting , but I figure I have ticked each box if they eat it all.  Big tick.  Awesome.  Now shower, "Yay, who wants a shower?  Showers are so much fun?  Wish I could have a shower?  Showers are so much fun?  You are so lucky having a shower!" I've never shown so much fake excitement before ... but it worked to get them in the shower without too many dramas. Is anybody 'Hi-5' ing me here or am I all alone?

I am ironing. "Mummy, mum, mummy, mum, mum, mum, He has my dolphin, it is swimming away!" Really, I am ironing a business shirt is my first thought. I quicly do a mental stock take of our bath accessories... and I respond, (from 3 rooms away), "Do you have a shark, sharks are so much faster, can you find a shark?" Response, "Yes mummy, I am eating him with a shark!"

All good.  Correct?  Ummmmm.... Not exactly.  Next call... "Mummmy, now my shark is swimming away!"  I sigh.  Similar to a 15 year old just finding out her boyfriend crush is now dating her bestfriend in the netball team.  "Arrrrgggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh......"  I look at the 2 shirts left in the basket, (out of 2 baskets, so close yet so far!)  stomp, stomp, stomp, down the hallway.  Absolutely nobody around to see me stomp, purely for my own theropy.  Stomp, stomp... oh dear...... cool.... calm.... collected.

"What the!  Oh my!  So wet! Oh know!  So expensive!"  They were exact words spent as I walked around the corner to find a swimming pool fountaining out of the shower and creeping along the carpet towards both of the bedrooms.  So; how many towels do you have?  I actually suprised myself with "okay, mummy is sad, very sad, so sad because we rent and do not own... To make mummy happy, we need to do the running dance, it is similar to the warm up dance."  (A dance that is performed in the pool, running in circles holding hands while mummy does minimum 10 laps in the pool to warm up.)

I had been complaining about the marked carpets, but they were other peoples marks, not my own.  It is harder to complain about something that is your fault. Keep in mind these are old carpets.  Not tight nit.  Not stain resistant.  The edges of each wall are disgusting also, so on the positive side, now they have had a good wash down.
Princess decided, that obviously bath was better than shower, so she covered the plughole with a face washer.  I am not angry and we very calmly tramp on over 20 towels to clean the mess, which is actually quite fun, stamp, stamp, stamp, "like a dinosaur" (while mummy irons.)  I finish ironing my last 2 shirts, while cleaning the carpet turns into a game for the little ones.  They actually did quite a good job.  And princess assures me that, we will just leave it now and it will be all dry in the morning, if not we can blow on it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day of Advertised Love

Many people give cards called valentines to people that they care about and sometimes chocolates, or candy if in America, and flowers are exchanged, too! But where did this tradition come from?

The history of Valentine’s Day is a bit mysterious to me. Apparently back in the 3rd century there was a man named Valentine who was highly looked upon by religious people and was made a saint. However, there were also several other St. Valentine’s in history.  We do know that legend associates Saint Valentine with being a heroic and romantic person and the tradition of sending love notes comes from him.  It’s a good occasion to express care for one another!  Or perhaps "Valentines" was really created by 'Mr Hallmark Cards' or ' dating service' in an attempt to boost sales.  After all, look at how much money can be made on the hype of Christmas and Easter.

Basically Valentines Day holds two options for everyone;
  1. You panic about how you can proclaim your affection for someone special without being too obvious.  Sending flowers once a year doesn't really impress, so it is time to stress over a restaurant, with a set menu of 'the romantic favourites' with a complimentary glass of cheap sweet fizzy wine.
  2. You panic that you do not have anyone to proclaim your affection for, so you waste your money and effort on purchasing new sparkly collars for your dog or cat, or spoil yourself with a stay at home dinner for one, that is most likely portioned to be a dinner for two!
So you thought it was easy?  Why roses? Nana is the only one who grows them.  And to be totally honest, they hurt.  A lot.  No matter where you try to hold them, those things are lethal.  Is it a hidden message?  I love you so, but I will hurt you just the same? Roses are the traditional gift given on Valentines Day, but before you buy roses, know what message you're sending. Colour means a lot.
Red roses proclaim "I love you."
Yellow roses indicate friendship and freedom
Pale pink roses connote grace, gentleness, and gratitude.
Deep pink roses say "Thank you."
Lilac roses indicate the sender has fallen in love at first sight with the recipient and is enchanted.
Pure white roses symbolize truth and innocence.
Peach roses speak of appreciation and gratitude.
Coral roses express one thing with their passionate color:
Orange roses communicate enthusiasm and desire on the part of the sender. 
Dead Roses rregardless of the original color, dead roses say "I love you more than ever", just joking, "It's over" loud and clear.
And then there are combined rose combinations that bring on an entire new meaning.  I wonder if anyone has received a bunch of roses mixed deep pink and dead.  "Thank you, it's over", how very polite!
Shouldn't everyday be Valentines Day?  After all, it feels like it is when you are in the first 3 months of a relationship.  I would much prefer a post it note on the bathroom mirror proclaiming love.  Or even "please clean the mirror, love hubby", it is the thought that counts.
I am the first to say "don't waste your money on flowers, I would prefer quality time together".  But when I received a delivered bottle of champagne and dozen long stem roses delivered to my door, I must admit, I did blush.  (And then I thought, 'doesn't my husband know me?  Shouldn't it be a long stem rose and a dozen bottles of champagne?')  Actually, not really delivered to my door.  I received a call from the delivery service...
"Is this Mrs Gonzalez?"
"Ummm, yes"
"I have roses and champagne to deliver and you are not home."
"Ummm, okay"
"What do you want me to do?"
"Ummm, keys under the mat, light the candles, pop the champagne and prepare the oysters...."
Okay so I did not really say the last part, and luckily so as the delivery person was female and over the age of 70, (not my type).  She was, however, willing to wait the two minutes until I arrived home, then she passed the champagne and roses to me via my car window as I drove in the driveway.  How many of you can say that you had flowers delivered to your car on Valentines Day? Not many I am sure.  I am one lucky lady!

Flowers from hubby and friend, 2 dozen roses, I'm feeling the love!
Last thought, for now, the words.  Who is cheating on the Internet for a romantic message?  Be honest with yourself.  Don't worry.  Majority are just writing "Dear you", "Love me" on a Hallmark card.  Don't kid yourself, there will be no rose petal messages across your King sized bed that drapes an imaginary mosquito net, nor will that message trailing behind that bi-plane be for you.  After all, your name is not Audrey, no matter how much you try to alter or twist your nick names for each other, it is still not Audrey.  (By the way, happy Valentines Audrey, blah, blah, blah, seriously some people in Perth have money to burn, they are obviously in the first 3 months of a relationship.)
So I receive a card with my gift today.  I hope hubby does not mind that I share it with you.  (He is away in Karratha for the week, he has a memory like a goldfish, so I figure if I speak now, he will of forgotten by his return.) 
"Dear You,
You made my dreams come true when you became my wife.  I hope JK you will be my Valentine for the rest of my life.
Love you,
Isn't that sweet, although.... who the $%£& is JK?  Seriously, do you know?  I've been trying to turn my name into JK all afternoon, and it can not be done.  I've been trying to make cute nicknames for myself with these initials, like... JK, Jolly Kisser, or JK, Joyous Keeper!  But they just don't seem to be right.  So then it hits me, JK, Just Kidding!  Oh no! Is hubby breaking up with me in a Valentine card.  Just Kidding will you be my Valentine! Really!?!  Then why waste the money on the roses and champagne?
So once again, I jump the gun, or not jump, but leap a country mile over the gun.  Apparently hubby has no idea who JK is.  When he scribed the message to the florist JK was not included.  I am presuming the florist is single and hates this romantic day of celebration and is out to cause turmoil amongst lovers.  That is my guess.
Happy Valentines Day.  A day to let anyone that you care about, know that you are there.  Does not matter the message, or the colour of the flower, it is all about the thought.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Can I close my mouth now please?

We all love something free.  What is almost as good as something free?  A really good voucher, that is what!  I have recently started looking at Internet sites that offer special deals for your capital city.  I actually think I am a little addicted.  I first started with the intention of finding cheaper options for my family to 'discover' Western Australia.  There are some fantastic deals out there, (if you do not read the fine print), admittedly, I am a victim for anything that boasts 50 to 98% off. (Apart from the wearable demtel blanket, I do not know how this was ever marketable, it's a blanket!  Isn't it?  Did I miss a hidden heater, personal trainer or free steak knives in the offer?)

So far we (I) have bought a 2 month gym pass, one month of boot camp sessions, canvas prints, a weekend in Margaret River, a weekend at an eco resort, a photography course, teeth whitening and 3 Swedish massages, an Indian massage and a reflexology foot treatment, kids socks and men's underpants.  Do you know what I have redeemed so far?  One thing.  The canvases.  And only because I could do it over the Internet with out getting off the couch.  I've obviously been very busy?

Anyway... with the children just about to start 2 days of care each week, it was time to redeem some of our good fortune and start making some bookings, now that time will be available.  Priorities.  Massage first please.  My last massage was 3 years ago, so needless to say, I've been thinking about this one for a while.  But alas, apparently the company will not honour the massages, "they were all a mistake and were not supposed to be offered, it was supposed to be a men's head massage", (I can see how this may be confused with 4 massages and a foot treatment, practically the same really).  If I contact 'Sharon', I can organise a refund.  So starting 2 weeks ago, I established a great relationship with Sharon's message bank service, and I speak to her most days.  Do not think she views our relationship with the same enthusiasm as she is yet to return my calls.  And I have a funny feeling that if or when she does contact me with my refund, she may also give me a little restraining order for stalking her.

Time to try another voucher.  This time teeth whitening.  I did not quite know what to expect.  I presumed they would rub something on my teeth, and "abracadabra", I look like Taylor from The Bold and The Beautiful.  (Yes in my mind, my beautician did appear magically with a pointed hat and a sparkly wand in her hand.) Not quite.  This was the third most traumatic experience of my life.  It closely followed my first child birth, and a Brazilian wax given to me by an apprentice.Two experiences I do not want to repeat.

Imagine if you will, 'Clockwork Orange' the movie.  If you have seen this then it may be easier to visualise my discomfort.   Do you know the scene where they keep the mans eyes open and he can not close them? This is what they did to my mouth.  I am always being told to shut my mouth, surely I knew this was going to be difficult?  I ALWAYS want to do what I am told not to do. I am placed in a chair about a metre away from a mirror and told to rub my teeth clean with a wipe then place protective gel on my lips and gums.  I look at the girl next to me, only to notice that she has a waterfall of saliva pouring from her mouth and running down her bibbed chest.  'Ewwww', is my first thought.  Second thought is, 'Good Lord, have they given her an electric shock, how does she not notice this happening?' She is just sitting happily reading a magazine.  Mind you, I am presuming she is happy because her mouth is stretched with a mouth guard to look like one of those clown games at the exhibition that you pop a ping pong ball into.  Clowns are always happy!

Anyway... back to me.  I clean my teeth, pop in the mouth guard, put on my gel, then wipe my teeth with the magic pen.  Not so bad.  I am told I do two 15 minute blocks, than three 10 minute blocks, applying more whitener in between.  Sounds easy enough.  Apart from the fact that once I apply my goggles, and the light is up against my mouth, the timer begins.  Do you know how I know the timer begins? Because I am looking cross eyed at a timer that is counting down at the tip of my nose.  Horrible.  I've been told not to take the light off my teeth and I feel as though I have been strapped with C4 explosives to my mouth and asked to watch the timer countdown to my demise.  To make matters worse, an extra loud beep, (but I hear siren) occurs on every minute.  Have you ever held something heavy that you can not put down, then all of a sudden, out of the blue, there is an itch, it is unbearable, it is on the tip of your nose, and you have no available limbs to scratch it.  Absolute torture.  Only I did not have an itch.  I had the urgent need to close my mouth.  Why?  No idea.  Probably because I was not allowed to?  But I can't.  Not allowed.  Do I ruin the experience of my first bought voucher.  What if it turns me off and I never voucher shop again?  I must be strong, after all, I only have 56 minutes to go.  Welcome anxiety, are you here to stay while we count down together.

Bombshell, my hand is wet... why is my hand wet?  I look at the mirror in front of me to see Niagara Falls spilling over my bottom lip.  Now I am looking worse than my drooling bulldog neighbour, I panic and grab for the tissue box next to me.  After wiping my lip, all I do is create a cob web of saliva that I seem to be passing from hand to hand to bib to chin to hand to chin to bib, then back again, you get the point.  I have never done this before, but I am officially juggling my own drool.  (Another tick off my bucket list perhaps?)  Awesome. Beep, beep, beep, beep.  First 15 minutes is complete.  Well would you look at that, juggling your own drool is a great time kill; although probably something you should not proudly perform in public.

Believe it or not, I did last the full hour with out removing my mouth guard, without closing my mouth, without using a full box of tissues, and without managing to get a single tissue into the bin next to me.  I did it.  I honestly feel as though I have accomplished something important.  By this I am referring to redeeming my first voucher, NOT by having my teeth whitened. 

Why you do these things to yourself I am not so sure.  Is it pure vanity or a need for extra self confidence? I am told that there is no consumption of drinks that could stain your teeth for 24 hours, such as coffee, red wine, or red juices.  Red juices?  Seriously?  I just purchased a bottle of V8 Strawberry, Banana and Raspberry smoothie from the Cafe next door because I needed to use the toilet.  Now I can not drink it?  Was this experience worth the 2 weeks of a white smile?  Perhaps for the experience.  But someone flick my ear lobe if I start talking about botox.  Unless I am over 40.  Then it is totally acceptable.  Right?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Feeling out of place

My little princess had her first day of school today.  Not really school, but Kindy.  Two and a half days a week at the off campus community Kindy associated with South Perth Primary school.  I am feeling like a failure of a mother.  I left it too late to organise a uniform, (yes she wears a uniform, how very grown up), and the uniform shop is all out of clothing her size and will not be available for a few weeks.  I really did not want her to start on her first day feeling out of place. I had been advertising the fact she would get to wear a uniform for weeks and now she has nothing to wear, and would feel out of place.  My compensation, I bought her new underpants from Target and told her they were special uniform underpants.  She seemed happy enough with that.  (Please keep in mind that she also wore other clothing, not just pretend uniform undies!)

She was pretty excited to go and spent an hour before departure walking the hallways dragging her bag behind her. She then alerts me to the fact, (5 minutes before we leave) that she needs to rest now as she is soooooo tired from waiting for ever and ever for school to start.  Oh the drama that a 4 year old girl must endure!

So she rests on the couch playing my ipad when I am then notified that she should take mummies computer to school in case she needs to use it there.  What's going on here?  Is my four year old expecting an important email?  I inform her that you are not allowed to take toys to school, it is one of the rules.  To which she replies, "But it is not a toy mummy, that is what you yelled at me yesterday when I put it on the couch."  Firstly, yelled?  Is that we are calling a firm tone of voice nowadays?  And secondly, pretty sure you 'threw' it, you did not 'put' it on the couch.  Thirdly, you are getting a bit too smart for me, best get you off to school to challenge your teachers.

Did not want to be late.  Did not want my daughter to feel out of place. Did not want to be known as the late mum who did not provide a uniform.  So we arrive 10 minutes early and wait outside for the doors to open.  I breath a sigh of relief as there are only two children in uniform.  Poor kids, can not believe their parents made them wear a uniform on their first day of kindy, they look so out of place.

It is a lovely old centre, with an extremely warm and inviting feeling.  The staff are of mature age and they all talk as though they are filming an episode of Playschool.  The back yard is amazing with large fallen trees for climbing, wooden climbing frames, water troughs and even an old petrol bouser!  I am impressed. As is my daughter and she leaves my side and starts to play straight away.  I speak to the teacher briefly, say my goodbyes to my precious one and leave the centre extremely light hearted.  I was actually singing "If your happy and you know it" in my head all the way home. (Substituting the "clap your hands" with "drive the car", "stop at the lights", "get out of the car".)

First day only goes for one and a half hours.  Extended to three hours next week and then full days the week after.  It is all part of the orientation process to help with adjustment.  Unsure if this is for the benefit of the children or the teachers?  My daughter waved goodbye so happily.  I doubt there will be any adjustment issues.

One and a half hours is just long enough to do a quick grocery shop, put away the groceries then return.  Right?  Wrong?  I only live 5 minutes from the shop, and 2 minutes from the school.  How could I get it wrong?  I was watching the clock, then some sort of time warp happened and I was stripped of ten minutes of my life...(think it was somewhere between throwing out an old yoghurt from the fridge and emptying a packet of biscuits into a jar).  Anyway, now I am becoming hysterical.  I do not want to pick her up late.  I do not want her to feel out of place.  The thing is, I don't even have a good excuse.

According to the clock on the wall I am 10 minutes late, but am pretty sure I have set this 10 minutes early so I am on time for things, (apart from picking my daughter up on time on her first day of kindy).  My mobile phone is telling me I should of been there 2 minutes ago.  Oh dear!  I sprint to the car.  According to the car clock I am pulling into the school driveway 4 minutes late.  Not too bad.  Anyway I walk fast from the car, and get a glare from a teacher from the kitchen window.  I have a sneaking suspicion she wants me to run? As I enter the room my princess is sitting on the floor, all by herself with her bag on her back, ready to go home.  My heart dripped all the way down my body and out my toes.  I had single handedly made my daughter feel out of place! And to make matters worse, the extra large clock on the wall behind her read 15 minutes late.  I decide that now is not an appropriate time to point out to the teachers that there clock is running 10 minutes fast.  I apologise profusely and make a quick exit, now known as "the mother that picked up her daughter late on the first day of school".  I felt so out of place.

I tell my daughter how proud I am of her going to big girl school, to which she replies, "I am not proud of you not coming to get me mummy".  (It would of felt like a stab to the heart, if my heart had not dropped from my body earlier.)  Luckily her statement was followed quickly by how much fun she had, and asking if she can go again tomorrow.  I tell her she needs to wait until next week, and next week mummy will be the first one there doing blow fish on the window when it is time to pick you up.  Promise.