Phoenix is settling in

Sphinx

Our dog has truly made himself a part of our family. My son describes him as mischievous and that’s a pretty good word.

When we first got him he was really well behaved and I thought he was too good to be true for a one year old dog. But he obviously feels more comfortable with us so his true nature is gradually being revealed.

I was on the phone to mum one day, sitting out in the back room. Phoenix had been into JJ’s room and was sneaking one of his soft toys outside. He knew he shouldn’t be doing it by the look he gave me as he slinked past.

He’s also started taking dirty socks and JJ’s shoes to his bed, or outside where he can lick and sniff them. While he doesn’t actually chew the shoe he will get the insert out and chew on that so now JJ has to put his shoes away. Clean clothes hanging on the clothes drier are okay, it’s just the dirty clothes he likes.

We never used to let Monty on our beds, but somehow Phoenix accompanies JJ when he’s going to sleep and I get him out when I go to bed. No doubt one night I’ll forget and wake up to someone creeping around in the hallway, and freak out until I realise it’s the dog.

JJ likes me to give him a tickle and whenever we’re mucking around on the lounge room floor there’s inevitably a dog trying to muscle his way in to the fray as well. We’ve nicknamed him the attention seeker because when he does that I start patting him and am therefore distracted from the tickling my son duties.

We took him to the beach a few weeks ago and he had a great time biting the waves and running up and down the beach. He even came in the water because we were all in there. He had that wild look in his eyes like Monty used to get when she was swimming. I think it’s because he wasn’t too comfortable being out there but it was better than being left out. I’ve still got a scar from where Monty’s claws got too close to my hand so I avoided his mad paddling front legs.

He still gets car sick which is frustrating for us, and no doubt for him. I’ve tried the expensive tablets the vet prescribed and have am now trying ginger tablets as a cheaper alternative. I need to give one to him more than half an hour out from a car ride because the last time we tried that we’d nearly arrived at our destination and he started doing the madly licking his lips thing that he does before he’s about to be sick. Luckily I was able to pull over and get him out the car before he threw up. His ginger tablet and the piece of salami I’d wrapped it in was still evident which is how I know that half an hour isn’t long enough to digest something.

On the way home that night he was fine so I wonder if night time car rides are fine and day time ones are the ones that make him sick. I hope this is something he gets over. We can’t always go somewhere when it’s dark.

But we put up with this because we love him and couldn’t imagine our lives without him now.

Macro is a bust

I went to my first photography meetup the other day – a macro shoot. I had a Sigma lens I’d bought second hand which I thought would work with my camera and it did, but only when the camera was using 2.8 f stop. Not ideal. So the shots below are using that aperture, and I’ve thrown in a couple of others with my 24-70mm Canon lens too (my favourite lens).

Am trying to do my bit about getting out more to take photos. So much to learn.

Flower

Himjei Gardens

close

flower

Spiderweb

Himjei Gardens entrance

Berry good

Bee good

plant

leaf

blossom

blossom

lake

leafy

For Wordless Wednesday.

A poem about ‘The Rabbits’ book

Rabbit

I wanted to share this here as a bit of a mummy brag, and to keep it for posterity. It’s a poem my son wrote for a school project after reading a book by John Marsden and illustrated by Shaun Tan called The Rabbits.

I think by reading the poem below you get an idea of what the book’s about. The reviews on Good Reads (link above) are divided. I’m in the I loved it camp. I thought the illustrations were superb and I enjoyed the narrative as well.

He was awarded 6/5 – yes he got a bonus point for excellent work. Well done JJ.

Century in the past the rabbits came
Some were friendly some were a pain
The Elders warned us what evil they had within
The elders said they would have many sins
They came from sea
Without the key
They destroyed our land
But not with their hands
They brought terrifying machines
And ate our beans
They brought terrifying creatures
With terrifying features
Nothing could stop the rabbits
With their hostile habits
They killed us because we were different
They took our kids in a shipment
They stole our food
They were very rude
Took our young
Just for fun
And they kept on coming
They were very cunning
Nothing could stop them
They destroyed us
Who will save us from the Rabbits?

photo by: Rob Stemple

Baby showers – what do you think?

Julian on Carrickalinga beach at sunset

I’m not a fan of baby showers. When I was pregnant I was asked if I was going to have one but as I’m not a fan I also decided not to be a hypocrite and therefore decided not to have one.

I’d already been overwhelmed with the generosity of people and had most of the stuff I would need so I thought it would be greedy of me to also have a baby shower. If you’ve not been pregnant and decide to have a baby, those wanting to get rid of their baby gear are usually more than happy to do so. Keep that in mind before you go and buy all brand new stuff.

Once my son was born I was given even more things for him, including some gifts from people I rarely saw, and I was really appreciative of all of them. And during those first few months of his life I hardly had to spend any money on him as I was able to breastfeed and I mainly used cloth nappies.

A couple of friends have had babies in the last year and both of them had a baby shower. Due to other commitments I wasn’t able to make either of those functions but I did pop round to their places after they had their babies with a present, and food for the parents.

If anything, I think that’s more useful, friends bringing you food after you bring the baby home. A couple of friends did that for me and it was great. I also had two friends come over weekly and bring us all takeaway. That was my weekly social event sometimes. Being a new mum, especially a single mum, can be quite isolating.

I recently read about a poem a woman who’d just had a baby shower sent to those who didn’t attend trying to guilt them into buying a gift for the baby. Read it for yourself. It has to be seen to be believed.

I hope it’s a hoax, but unfortunately it’s probably not.

If, god forbid, one of my friends or acquaintances did something similar to me they wouldn’t be on the friends list any more. Some of the commenters were suggesting sending an equally passive aggressive poem back but I would just ignore it and fade out of their lives. If that’s all they saw me for, a present giver, then they’re not worth it.

What’s your thoughts on baby showers, and/or the supply of food when you’ve got a new baby?

 

 

Rusty and crusty – farm machinery out to pasture

A few weeks ago I had a childfree weekend. I spent it with 20 other women for three nights and it was just what I needed at the time.

These photos have nothing to do with that weekend except that the photo subjects were in the yard of the farm house that we stayed in.

I can’t express how fantastic it was to spend a weekend with some really good mates – no men and no children. If this isn’t something you do – THEN YOU MUST DO IT.

Silhouettes

Fence

44 gallon drums

Silo

Weedy

Old truck

Old truck

Old truck

Rusted out

Headlight

Trader truck

Truck

For Wordless Wednesday.

Womad’s in the house

Welcome to Womad

Going to Womadelaide this weekend was the perfect antidote to a bloody busy and stressful week.

A few weeks ago I happened upon a house I liked, went to see it, made an offer and the offer was rejected. I looked back at that house and missed it even though I’d only visited it once. I didn’t dwell on it heaps but just over a week ago the real estate agent contacted me to ask if I was still interested.

I was, so I went back to have another look. I took a friend and she and I both noticed a few things that would need fixing.

I stayed with my offer and a few days later it was accepted.

I contacted a building inspector who I’ve used before who just happened to have already inspected that house so he briefly told me his findings and when my offer was accepted sent me the report. As he didn’t have to physically do another inspection I got a cheaper rate for his report.

After evaluating the report, speaking to him, speaking to others, I pulled out of contract during the cooling off. Besides what needed fixing in the house I would have had to rent it out for up to a year while my house is sorted out. There’s some council stuff happening at my house which could affect me, and affect a sale until I know one way or the other.

While all this was going on I had a job interview to prepare for, and my son to get ready for a scout camp this weekend. So by Friday night I was physically and emotionally exhausted.

 

Flags

 

I always love the atmosphere at Womad and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a well-oiled machine – the organisation of it all.

I had a massage not long after I got there and that helped set the tone for the rest of the day for me. It was a bit warm but there’s plenty of shade and free sunscreen near the first-aid tent if you forgot to put sunscreen on your feet like I did.

 

Sunday evening parade at Womadelaide

Sunday night is parade night and it’s a sight and sound spectacular.

Stage 1 Womadelaide

There were definitely some music highlights too. We left there 12 hours after arrival feeling very satisfied.

Fairy story? Not likely.

Holding a butterfly

I grew up on a diet of fairy stories. The ugly duckling grows into a beautiful swan and her life is transformed. The orphaned step-sister gets to frock up for the night to go to a great party, meets a handsome prince and they end up getting married. A princess is outcast by her wicked stepmother, is poisoned and falls into a deep sleep but a handsome prince wakes her up and they live happily ever after.

Is it any wonder that I expected to meet my handsome prince and fall madly and deeply in love, with it being reciprocated, and we live happily ever after? Of course that hasn’t happened.

I got pregnant 13 years ago and the father is nowhere to be seen. I struggle along as a sole parent then I meet a bloke who I fall for. He does the fade, comes back into my life we go out for two years. We break up. He comes crawling back and I take him back – falling for the smooth words and the promises of change. Falling for the promise of what could be.

It’s pretty good to start with. However, it’s not the fairy tale relationship. He says he loves me but somehow it’s not quite enough. There’s something missing. I bring up the thought of a family holiday – his and my kids and us. He neatly avoids this commitment so I organise a holiday with JJ to go on by ourselves and keep mentioning that he could join us. Still no commitment. Then he goes and organises an overseas surfing trip with some mates. Right!!! I brush that off with the thought that he’s entitled to do that and next time it will be us.

I think about organising some time off over christmas and new year during the summer school holidays and ask if he’s taking any time off. He says that he’s not thinking about it. Then just as I go back to work after three weeks off he tells me that he’s got the next two weeks off. So that was a sudden thing was it?

We live in our separate houses half an hour apart which means that we really only see each other on weekends. He might come over one night during the week when he hasn’t got his kids but it depends on what he’s organised for his dog so often that won’t happen because he doesn’t want to leave his dog in my backyard unsupervised for the day.

So that leaves weekends. But JJ has Scouts on Friday nights during school term so when he’s got his kids that cuts out Friday nights unless they come here and that happens very rarely. Saturday night is the night then. He either comes here or we go there and spend the night. Sometimes we’ve got a party or an event on so depending on where that is, depends on where we stay for the night.

Then it’s Sunday and back to the working week and we don’t see each other during the week, especially now that I don’t work near him anymore.

I bring up the ‘where do you see our relationship going’ conversation. ‘Do you see us living together?’ He mumbles something about JJ and high school locations and obviously doesn’t really want the conversation to continue. He then mumbles something about he’s tried to go down the living together path with previous relationships and it’s gone pear-shaped.  I try to keep the ‘talk’ going but give up because conversations need two people. Especially a conversation about a relationship. I already know that he’s not considering marriage because my sister has asked him about it – with nothing to do with me. That was awkward.

The conversation winds up and he acts as though nothing has happened and it’s not mentioned for the next two weeks until I bring it up again. This time we’re not interrupted but there’s still no reassurance for me. I know deep down that if I were in a healthy relationship I wouldn’t need the reassurance I’m seeking.

We could carry on with just seeing each other maybe once a week. We could carry on like this for the next five years when our kids are out of high school. Is it magically going to change then? No, probably not. I can’t shake off the doubt. I know what I need to do.

So I think about it all for the next week or so. I give it a fair shot. After all we’ve been going out for nearly four years, but I decide to break it off. I tell him that I can’t continue like this. Ok, he says. He agrees with what I’m saying. He doesn’t come out and say that he’s madly in love with me. I actually wasn’t really expecting him to. His response just confirms things for me.

Five minutes later he picks up his stuff, gets his dog, we give each other a hug, then he’s gone without a backward glance.

I walk back into the house and inwardly pat myself on the back knowing that I’ve done the right thing.

So today is Valentine’s Day and I’m not celebrating it with my lover but I’ve got other plans which I’m looking forward to.