Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The difference between you and me?

I make this look good.

It's sad, but that's like the one line I know from 'Men in Black'. And the only reason I reference it is because they are flogging the absolute crap out of the Blu Ray launch for 'Men in Black 3'.

Anyway, moving right along.

There are a few things that have come to light since I've starting working again (and no, I still don't like mornings, but I'm getting there).

1) I actually like work. I know, weird right?! But it's true. I like my job, I like my boss, I like the people I work with. It's not my 'ideal job'.....

But it's not horrible. And the extra money coming in doesn't hurt either.

2) I have rediscovered all my high heels. I keep opening shoe boxes and finding shoes that I haven't seen or worn in almost two years. It's like running into an old friend that you haven't seen for ages. 'Hello nude and white pumps. I've missed you so.' 

It goes a little like this: "You reach for a box, knowing that what is on the outside is likely not what is on the inside, and you get a little feeling of butterflies, excited to see what's underneath that lid. You ease it open, and oh my, emerald green heels!" It's like a little bit of Christmas each time you open a new box. It's exhilarating, and tiring.

3) I look good in a suit. Shameless I know, but oh so true. To quote one Agent J 'I make this look good'. It's nice getting a little bit dressed up each day. I'm not super keen on having to be up at 5:30am everyday just so I have enough time to shower, get dressed, do my hair and make up before the munchkin wakes up, but, you know, you do what you have to do.

And it's been good for Little P too. She's adjusted nicely to being at school four days a week (Monday's is 'Daddy/Daughter Day') and she's slowly, slowly getting better with eating food (one day soon she'll decide that she wants Peking Duck, I just know it). She's always been a social butterfly, and seeing her adjust easily to a new school environment just proves we made the right decision.

I do miss my Mommy friends - I still get to see them, just not as much. And I can't just swing by a friends office for lunch anymore, but that's okay too - just means I have to have my people talk to their people to arrange a 'play date'.

I know it's not for everyone. And I know not everyone can do it. But for me, going back to work has been a wonderful experience. 

Now, if I could just find someone who would be willing to pay me to drink wine and look on Pinterest full time, I'd be set.

Till next time...


Like a thief in the night...

Little ones are sneaky. It's a simple fact. They don't do it on purpose - at least not till they are old enough to know what they are doing is considered 'sneaky' - but they do do it.

It starts when they are little (well, 'littler'). You have just come home from the hospital with your little bundle of joy, and finally, after a whole lot of crying and cajouling and rocking, they have fallen asleep. But now, you can't tell if they are breathing or not. So you lean over to see if you can hear them. Nope. Okay... so you try putting your hand near their nose and mouth to see if you can feel their breath. Nope. Okay... now you are starting to panic a little bit. Hand on their chest....it's not moving. Okay... now you are totally freaking out and thinking you need to start mouth to mouth when all of a sudden they let out a huge sigh. Little bugger was holding their breath.

We've all been there. Perched precariously on the edge of total freak out and trying to stay calm. And they don't do it just one time, or even two. This goes on for months... and months. Even at almost two, Little P can get my heart racing and my mind going a million miles an hour trying to think of every possible scenario, only to have her either sigh, burp, fart or do a combination of all three.

And it doesn't stop there. They seem to have this uncanny ability to disappear right in the split second when you look down to get something. It's like 'poof' and they are gone. Like a thief in the night, there isn't any trace of them. So, trying not to be 'that' parent, you know, the one who panics at every little thing, you start to look for them, almost nonchalently at first - checking in the tunnels, maybe looking under the slides, all the places little ones like to hide. But you can't find them and now, you are starting to worry. Wasn't there something on the news the other night about some little kid being taken right from their backyard? Or was it a playground? Maybe a school. Should I call 911 and report a missing child? No. Hang on. They've been gone for like 30 seconds. They can't have gone far. So you extend your search and just when your 'cool' is starting to crack, you hear them laugh, and there they are, playing in the dirt with another little one. Of course they are. Were else would they be? And even though you know it's been mere seconds since you saw them, you race up to them and hug them, thanking the gods above for keeping your little one safe and saving you from looking like a complete lunatic. Meanwhile your little one has no idea what you have been going through and gives the kid they have been playing with the look that says 'Your Mom crazy too?', and you just know the other kid looks at them with a look that says 'Kid, you have no idea how crazy they can get.'

See. They are sneaky. And it's not just when you are out and about with them. They do it at home too. Ever been at home and all of a sudden think 'It's too quiet'? And in the few short seconds it takes for that to register and you to locate your little one, you've already envisioned all sorts of horrible things, only to find that they are actually just in their room reading a book, or playing with their toys, or if you are really lucky, curled up asleep with their favorite blanket and toy.

They have no idea, absolutely no idea, how many heart attacks they give you in a day. No clue what so ever. And finally it dawns on you. All those times when your Mother or Father said to you, 'Just wait till you have kids. Then you will understand what you put us through.' Yup, I get it now.

And I know it's only just begun. I'm sure that even though I'm grown up and now have a child of my own, that, from time to time, I still cause my parent's hearts to race. I have no doubt that there a many a sleepless night ahead of me, worrying about Little P and where she is and what she is doing and who she is with. It comes with the terriority. And I for one, wouldn't change that for the world.

So, bring on the heart attacks, the panic attacks and every form of anxiety there is. I'm ready for it.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey, Indians, Pilgrims and more...

Thanksgiving has always been one of those days that I never really fully understood. We don't have anything that compares to it in Australia (heck, we are always down for a day that involves food, drinking and taking a day off from work, so if we did have something like it, trust me, I'd know), so it's been something that I personally have had trouble wrapping my head around.

Which makes me wonder, how do I explain it to Little P as she gets older? I mean, I get the basics of it, but even Wikipedia seems a little 'all over the shop' about how it started, why it came about and what it really means.

Think about it. How would you describe it to someone who has never experienced it in person before. When all they have to go on is the cartoons and movies that they saw as kids (or even as adults). For me personally, what springs to mind first is the Addams Family. Yup, the second movie, where the Wednesday and Pugsly are sent to camp and are forced to perform a version of the 'first Thanksgiving' and where all hell breaks loose. Yup. That's what Thanksgiving brings to mind for me.

And then of course there's all the stories friends have told me about how the only reason they go home for Thanksgiving is to watch their dysfunctional family implode over turkey, stuffing and way too much alcohol.

I understand the modern day concept of being thankful. It's something we should do every day, not just on one specific day, but that's beside the point. And, honestly, the few times I've been able to be with M's family for Thanksgiving, it's been an awesome experience (perhaps a little too much food and wine consumed, but hey, comes with the holiday), but really, what does it mean?

Christmas is a little easier to explain - even the whole 'Jesus isn't Santa, Santa isn't Jesus' deal. But Thanksgiving? I just don't know. 

So, my wonderful readers, any suggestions? How do/did you explain it to your little ones? Do you take this route: Mommy Bog ; which I think is kind of how my conversation with Little P will go, or do you try to use books, movies or just hope their teachers at school cover it all? I know I have a little time, but forewarned is forearmed right?

Either way, Happy Thanksgiving to you beautiful people. Whether you take part in this tradition or not, take the time today to be thankful for all that you have.

From my family to yours, have a fabulous Turkey Day. Gobble Gobble!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Poop! There it is.

We all do it. Some of us a more regular than others. Some go everyday, others every other day, and even others need a little help in getting going. But at the end of the day, we all poop (yes, even the Queen).

Little ones take it to a whole new level though.

With me back at work, Monday's have become 'Daddy/Daughter' day for M & Little P. Which I think is awesome. M however is quickly finding out that it's not all sweetness & light when it comes to spending all day with your munchkin.

Yesterday was a perfect example of this. Apparently it was Little P's 'poop' day. She had gone a couple of days without pooping, and usually after she does that she has a couple of really big ones and then she's done. Not today. Today was 'I'm gonna poop all day' day, and M was in for a fun one.

He hit every possible level on the poop scale. The ' wholly Mother of God, what is that smell!!', to the 'where's my gas mask & hazmat suit'. Onto 'child, I just changed you, you can't possibly have another dirty diaper', to 'how can something so small produce something so smelly?'. Moving right onto 'dear lord! That's the size of a small baby animal! No wonder you were making all that noise'. To finally, 'how can you possibly have anymore? It's physically impossible that you could have anymore poop in your body!'

Welcome to my life. By the time I got home he was done with poop. But apparently Little P wasn't it. Two more before she went to bed.

And the next day, as I was leaving for work she did another poop. M's reaction? 'You're leaving me with another poopie diaper to change?' Yup, sucks to be you.

Seems only fair I say. I had a year & a half of this. I think Daddy can handle one day every now & then, don't you?


Friday, November 9, 2012

Miss Matched

Do you remember all those funny little things you did before you had kids?

Like sleeping in on a Sunday, then staying in your PJ's all day, watching bad movies and eating nothing but ice cream and cookies? Or staying in bed because it was cold and rainy outside and all you wanted to do was read a book and sleep? Or wearing outfits that you really had no right to wear out in public, which in turn made you want to do it even more, so you did? Or having your knickers and bra's match (and yes, I said 'knickers'. To me, 'panties' are what little girls wear, not grown women - but that's just me). 

Yeah, that last one is a kicker, huh?

Having a conversation with a friend of mine a little while ago and she turns to me and says "I bought matching underwear for the first time in 20 years yesterday."
I wasn't quite sure how to respond to that, so all I said was "That so?"
"Yup." says she. "I showed Hubby what I had bought, and he looked at me with this look of complete and total panic. He says to me 'Did I forget something? Our anniversary? Your birthday? It's October, so it can't be Valentine's Day and Christmas is still two months away. So what's the special occasion?'"
By now, I'm starting to understand where she was going with this. "So, what did you say to him?"
"I said, 'No special occasion. I saw them and liked them and decided to buy them. Why? Don't you like them?'"
That's a loaded question if ever I heard one. "And what did he say?"
"He said they looked great and he was excited for me. What's that supposed to mean? It's not like they were even that fancy. Just a beige bra and panties that matched and had the bra had a little bow on it."

At this point, I can't tell if she's upset at his response, at the fact that she didn't buy something more fancy, or just at the simple fact that in the past 20 years, she hadn't bought matching underwear. I personally can't imagine not owning underwear that matches. Really. It's kind of an obsession with me. Before Little P came along, when I went underwear shopping, I would buy extra pairs of knickers with a bra just so I could always have a pair that matched it. Obviously, once Little P arrived, that kind of stopped - heck, in the beginning I was just impressed if I managed to get out of my PJ's let alone have on underwear.

But now I'm back into the swing of it, and I still can't imagine not matching my underwear. Sure, there will be days when they might not be the same color (you know, those days when you want to wear white pants and a black shirt) but they will be the same 'make and model'... so to speak.

My friend however, had never had a pair of underwear that were even made by the same company as her bra's. She had been just grabbing handfulls at the *gasp* discount bins and hadn't really been concerned about whether they matched any of her bra's (and sometimes she didn't even look at the size). Sure, she had some that were close in color - in the same 'family' of black or white. But that was pretty much it. 

I was kind of at a loss. I didn't know what to say. I know I'm weird when it comes to the whole underwear thing (I can't do bargain store ones for example. I tried, I really did, but the girls need their proper support and $10 bra's just don't cut it for me), and I know most women don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about their 'support garments'. But ladies, for the love of all that is wonderful about a woman's body, please, please, please, spend a little extra time when trying on underwear and bra's, and if you can afford it, a little extra cash. A great fitting bra and matching knickers can do wonders for you and how you feel.

Which is exactly what I told my friend. That she should be excited about this new phase in her life; both her kids are grown and out of the house. So, go crazy. Buy that bright purple lacy bra you saw in the store. Get the knickers that match. Why not even buy stockings?! Celebrate your body. Enjoy it for what it is - yours. Go on. You deserve it.

And while you are at it - get Hubby some new underwear. You know he probably needs it.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Readers Request

Okay, beautiful people, I'm going to do my 'nailed it' post a little different next week. I've been asked a couple of times to show how I do the 'blocks' (like my Fall ones, and the soon to be published 'Give Thanks' ones), and I was wondering if any of you readers out there are Pinterest addicts like I am (Hi. I'm Kelly. And I am addicted to Pinterest), and if so, is there something that you have seen on there that you thought would be a great craft to make, but you are a little hesitant to try? Send it over to me and if it's something I think I can pull of (and even if it's not), I'll give it a shot.

Just a couple of parameters - nothing that requires sewing. Me and sewing machines are not compatible. No way, no how. And if it's a recipe, I'll give you a word of warning - I'm not a big fan of cooking. I mean, I know a girl has to eat, and I'll do it, but I don't enjoy it. However, if it involves chocolate or alcohol (or both), I'm totally down for giving it a go.

The post would appear next week (you know, cause I am a working woman now, and I'd have to gather supplies and the like), but send your suggestions my way - I'm game for it.

Looking forward to see what you lot have in mind for me.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hello. My name is Inigo Montayo

You killed my father. Prepare to die. 

It's an awesome (and often quoted) line from the Princess Bride. And it makes me think of a story I heard last week from a friend of mine.

She has a little boy, all of three years old, called Matthew. Matthew has recently learnt how to spell his name. 'M-A-T-T-H-E-W - that spells Matthew. That's me.' He's quite proud of himself (and rightly so). In fact, he will tell anyone who listens what his name is and how to spell it. But don't try to tell him he's 'cute'. Or 'handsome. Or a 'little boy'. He will quite emphatically argue this with you. 'I'm not cute. I'm Matthew.' 'But you are your Mommy's little boy.' 'No! I'm Matthew!'

No matter what his mother does, he will not accept the fact that he is indeed Matthew, and also a little boy. As far as he is concerned, you can't be both - you have to be one or other. And she's not alone in going through this phase. A lot of parents have a hard time trying to convince their little ones that yes, they are 'Sophie', but they are also their 'little girl', or 'Grandma's little princess'. For a little one, the concept of self is purely reliant on their idea of who they are.Yes, they may indeed by someone's little one, but as fair as they are concerned, their name is who they are.

Which explains them referring to themselves in the third person a lot. 'It's Jason's turn.' 'Sally wants to go play.' 'That's Toby's toy', and so on. Being able to define themselves by their name helps them to develop who they are among their peers.

But it goes the other way too. You can't be 'Mommy' (or 'Daddy') and be 'Joan' (or 'David'). You are one or the another. I'm not quite sure at what age they understand that a person can be many things to many people - heck, I know some adults who still don't get it - but it's certainly an interesting thing to watch.

So, till next time, just remember, Sybil may have had multiple personalities, but when you are a parent, you have multiple names and jobs (is it any wonder we are tired all the time?).


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

One down, 999 more to go

Don't ask me where I got the '999' from. Just kind of popped in there.

First week of work successfully completed and I'm no worse for wear (relatively speaking). While it was a good week - met some great people, had most of my office stuff (that's right people, I have my own office) sorted out and am slowly getting into the swing of things - a couple of things quickly became apparent.

1) I Hate (and that's with a capital H and with a passion) commuting during peak hour traffic. It sucks. Aside from the fact that most people don't seem to understand the concepts of actual speed limits (their more guidelines really. Ha!) or merging into traffic doing the highway speed (that's right, 40mph isn't going to cut it), some people really do need a high five...in the face....with a chair. As a good friend of mine likes to point out, 'You can't fix stupid.' No, you can't, but really people, this is just common sense, stuff you need to know to pass your drivers license. (Okay, rant over).

And 2) I'm kind of surprised by the number of negative reactions I've had about coming back to work. Really, really surprised.

For the most part, people I know have been super supportive of my move back in the workforce. Comments like 'good for you', and 'you'll be awesome' have been thrown around. And I appreciate the support, I really do. But I've also gotten quite a lot of 'Seriously? You're going to leave your daughter to go back to work.' And, 'Don't you think you are cheating your little one.' Or how about 'Wow. Selfish much?' Um, ouch.

Look, I know there is a difference between being a SAHM and a MWW (Mom Who Works), but at the end of the day, as long as Little P is cared for and loved, isn't that all that really matters. I was proud and honored to be able to stay home and spend the past 20 months with Little P, but now it's time for her to continue to develop her own little personality and for me to get my brain working again.

And to be honest, I enjoy working. I don't feel guilty about going back to work - why should I? I'm in a position now that enables me to provide for Little P in a different way. Yes, the amount of time we spend together is shorter, but that in no way means it's any less important or not quality time. Having an extra income is going to allow us to set up savings for her and us, to put money aside for college, should she choose to go that way, and to do fun little things like go away for the weekend.

I in no way feel like I'm cheating my daughter, or that I'm being selfish. And I personally think people who say things like that are incredibly ignorant. Would you say that to the parent who HAS to go back to work, just to be able to make ends meet? No. So why is it any different for someone who CHOOSES to go back? 

Before you go judging me and what I do, take a long hard look at yourself. 

Just saying....