Thursday, May 17, 2012


I realise that was nearly a week ago, but i've been rather consumed trying to open a restaurant while still spending the same amount of time with Q.
Q, meanwhile, spent Mothers' day reminding me that it is still all about her and was so intense I cried. Twice.

This week she's decided we need more than the 29 hours a day we spend together by waking between 12.30 and 2am to talk about, whatever it is that consumes an 18 month old at 2 o'clock in the morning.
And the next morning when my eyes are gritty and my head hurts worse than the worst teenage hangover, I still love this motherhood gig.

But it's hard at the moment.
Really hard.

I don't want to work 5 nights and 2 days. That's too much time away from her.

But I don't have a choice, at least for the first few months. We need to earn money so we can give her the things she needs and deserves. And there's a nobility in that. In working hard to take care of those you love, and we're working hard at something we love. That's not a bad spot to be.

Yesterday I bought muesli bars for her for the first time in her 18 months. Typically I make all her food. I'm not saying that to brag. Quite the opposite. We've been on a pretty tight budget since she turned up, saving for the restaurant on one income, I like to bake, she likes to help me 'mix mix mix' and when the days are as long as they are with Q, you tend to have time for a lot of activities.

So tonight I took a break from the restaurant madness and made her some muffins.
I have just discovered I forgot the egg.
Do you think they'll still set?

It would seem mad to the outsider to spend half an hour making muffins when you've got an urgent 'to-do' list that is...well, urgent, but I needed to do this for her.
No I didn't. I needed to do it for myself.
I needed to reassure myself that no matter how tired or sad or poor or stressed or focussed I am, she's still my number one.

I might have forgotten the egg, but I'll never forget my girl.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Noticed I haven't been around much?

I blame this.

I know quite a few people in the special forces, and apparently they spend an awful lot of time learning to cope with sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation?
I'll give them sleep deprivation - Miss Q and a restaurant.

Cry me a river I know, the choices were all ours, but jeez am I looking forward to Christmas.

Miss you blog and blogees, hope you're all well.

I haven't yet, but that's probably only because
Q is always in there talking to me.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


'I half expected to turn up and find you sitting on the couch in your dressing gown, rocking back and forth talking to myself.'

This is what my friend said to me yesterday when she turned up to see if I...well, to see if I was sitting on the couch in my dressing gown and rocking back and forth talking to myself I suppose.

Not gonna lie, this opening a restaurant gig is fairly intense. Neither G nor I are getting much sleep at the mo', but I have to admit that's also because I'm being selfish. I'm about to start working 5 nights and both days of the weekend.
That is an awful lot of time away from my little girl, and because i'm going to battle with that so terribly, I'm clambering for as much time as possible with her now.

I honestly don't know how I'm going to cope not putting her to bed 5 nights of the week.
I try to remember that that also means 5 nights where I don't have to scrub the highchair, read the same lame arse book and fight about how many times she needs to clean her teeth.
Nah, I'll even miss that.

But I'm also very excited to see my husband's dream come true. 

And last time I checked, the trust fund stood rather empty, so working for a crust is really the only way to go. Unless I help a rich old lady across the road and she leaves me her millions in her will. I have fantasised about that happening for a long time now, but no luck yet.

It's a really tough battle to fight I'm finding. I'm excited to interact with new and interesting people. To get back into the pace of restaurant life, where I finish each night with a warm glass of red and a specially cooked meal from the kitchen...ok the reality is going to be a little different from when I worked in restaurants in LA and NYC. This time, i'll be dashing home to relieve my parents who are our fabulous (and affordable) q-sitters.

Which brings me back to Q. And just how much I'm going to miss my little girl and her zest for life. What about all those adventures she's going to have without me...
Is motherhood just one big lesson in letting go?

That's the part that will have me rocking on the couch...

But since I wasn't in my dressing gown and was in fact dressed when my friend turned up, we had a lovely morning nattering away like two little stay-at-home-mums. She's definitely a friend I'd see more often if we lived closer.
But she lives on the fancy North Shore and last time Q and I visited another friend of ours over there, Q screamed the entire 45 minute journey.
It got so bad I thought my ears were starting to bleed and I seriously considered putting the hazards on, getting out of the car, and leaving Q to it, right in the middle of the Pacific Highway.

Surely some tan booted, slim jeaned, Country Road wearing mother would have picked her up and enrolled her in Montessori School quick smart.

So no, I don't see my friend as often as I'd like and it was terribly nice of her to endure the dreaded Pacific Highway and come my way...bringing dinner with her.

That's right. Despite being the mother of two small children, and step-mum to two teenage boys which would surely be enough to do anyone in, she brings me (mother of one) a home-cooked meal.

My finger is protecting the identity of her son, because that small meal was actually intended for her son.
Somewhere on the north shore a little boy is going hungry tonight...

I'd always thought this particular friend and I were aligned in our parenting and housekeeping sensibilities, but here I find things are not as they seem.
She labels her frozen meals.
I just whack 'em in the freezer and it's part of the fun as the day progresses, to watch a meal defrost and discover it is not bolognese but rather the duck fat leftover from G's last menu test.

And she puts the date on them too.
That is proper Martha Stewart housekeeping right there.

And I love how she thought the meal on the left would serve two.
Not a chance.
Q and I downed both containers before you could say microwave.

What she did was really, really nice.
So now I owe her.
Next time I'll have to be the one to visit her...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


This time a year ago, my family was busy celebrating the marriage of one of my brothers, a fantastic party including a game of two-up played with 'bride money' (pretend money made using a portrait of my new sister-in-law).
It was a wonderful event somewhat overshadowed by the memory of having to breastfeed 17 000 times throughout the day, getting my cans out of the only fancy dress I managed to find that didn't require a complete strip in order to feed my human.

But that's a blog for another day...taking your baby to a wedding is lame. Next time, I will be sure my baby takes the bottle. Even sitting on the couch milking myself like a cow to prepare for the event, would be preferable to negotiating a 5 month old at a wedding.

This year things are a little different. This year we're celebrating the fact that another brother is half way through a tour in Afghanistan and grateful he and his mates are safe and well.

I never really imagined myself to have much to do with the military. It's not really my style. Before my brother became involved, the closest I'd ever come to it all, was the festival scene when I did a production of The Sound of Music. You know the scene, the one where the Von Trapp family is singing Edelweiss surrounded by Hitler's Goons. I was a nun in that production, so we weren't in that scene, but I seem to recall we took it as a fantastic occasion to commit whatever antics were required on the side of stage to make all the male chorus men dressed in Hitler pants and holding wooden guns break on stage.
So mature.

I'm not much of a rally person either. Crowds drive me a bit mental. Although I did do the 'sorry march' across the bridge. I prefer to sign a petition. Or write a letter. Does anybody write letters these days?

Am I against war? Sure. Who isn't?
But I also very much like the quality of life afforded Australian citizens and it's something I think worth preserving.
Do we have to fight for it? I don't know to be honest.
New Zealand seems to be maintaing their high standards of living without engaging in battle.

But I tell you what is worth preserving. My brother. And all the brothers like him, wherever they are in the world.
Yes, they agreed to go. No, they weren't conscripted, the choice was entirely theirs. But what we don't necessarily know is their reasons for making those choices.
While we sit on our couches enjoying a public holiday, our impotent inertia is perhaps a tad insulting. Particularly to the innocents caught in this brutal crossfire.

I wish things were simple. Hitler was bad. So was Stalin. And Mussolini. Not many people would dispute that.
But this conflict is not simple. In either warfare or ideology.

It's so sad to me that we haven't really learned from the fallen men and women of yesteryear, at least not enough to stop repeating the same behaviour. Just like they didn't learn from the people who fought before them.

We're not that smart, are we? Well, we're all programmed to fight to survive, so at its basest, we're just following our natural instincts, I suppose.

But right up there with survival though, my other natural instinct is to love. I suspect that's why we want to survive in the first place. To be with the people we love.

I love my little brother very much, and I love my daughter with a fierceness known only by other parents.

I would fight for her. For her rights, her freedom, her very life.
And I know I would do it with a ferocity seen only in a lioness.
Every animal instinct would emerge to protect that human that I made with my very own flesh.

See, that's why it's so complex, we just don't know what's driving other people. What their love is.

Q and I will make ANZAC biscuits this afternoon, and box them up to send to my brother overseas.
It's a small and completely ineffectual gesture.
But those biscuits will be made with thought and love. Conscious of the lives being lost in conflicts all over the world and with a gratitude that at our basest, I pray our natural instinct is still, and always will be, to love.

Stay safe little brother, you're in my heart.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Q has a cold.
Punch me in the face.
I blame daycare.
I sent her for two mornings last week, 9-12 on Wednesday and Thursday so I could get some work done for this restaurant that is supposed to be opening in less than four weeks time.

But now I've spent the last 56 hours not sleeping and dealing with my 'responding like her father to what is in fact just a common cold' daughter, which means I'm now 50 hours behind and exhausted to boot, so daycare has turned out to be a total, utter waste of time.
And money.
But that's another issue in itself - paying on a public holiday even though they're not open anyone? What's up with that the tightarse in me wants to know.

And what's wrong with sick kids anyway?
Don't they know it's a perfect excuse to curl up on the couch, tuck in a rug, sip hot drinks and catch up on Oprah?
When they actually have a clue, they'll be wishing they could do it.

But not Q. Oh no, there's not enough action in tv.
It's engaging for about the first twelve seconds until she realises it's a one-way communication device.
Where's the fun in that?

And to add to it all, it is, of course, raining.
And we live in a one-bedroom apartment.
So she gets cabin fever and I want to stab myself in the eye with a dull pin rather than listen to her whinge  anymore.

This stay at home parenting gig is for the birds. Where's the escape clause?
I've eaten the entire cake my friend made me, and almost all of my sister-in-law's birthday cake. (I told her if she left it here, I couldn't be held responsible).

She's sleeping now, but I've squandered nearly all her nap time talking with Optus (nearly as much fun as caring for a sick 16 month old) and having a whinge on this blog.

If she doesn't wake up feeling better, I'm going to pour the panadol bottle down her throat and chase it with a rum toddy.

Last week started out so well, what with reconnecting with my childhood school buddy Cadel Evans (I think fame by association suits me to be honest).
But if today is an indication of the week ahead, there isn't going to be enough cake in the kingdom.

But for now, there's one piece left. And I'm determined to eat it before she wakes.

Perhaps they should serve this in parliament and we could get this
gay marriage issue done and sorted once and for all.
Post script...I am certain the blame lies with daycare. No way is it because I let her pal around in the rain for an hour last week with her buddy, while the other mother and I watched from under cover. No way at all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


According to that learned journal, Wikipedia, Marie Antoinette never actually said 'feed them cake'. She was far too busy eating her own to even notice the famine going on at her feet.

Now, while we may be working to a fairly tight budget these days, no one is going hungry. Q sees nothing wrong with Tuna Surprise, Breakfast for Dinner and Crock Pot Invention.
I think they appeal to her sense of chaos.

And I see nothing wrong with cake.
Whether you're starving or very well fed.

And this morning at approximately 11.15am, my very own Marie Antoinette knocked on my door and dropped off a delicious orange and coconut cake.

Check out that icing. Slathered on nice and thick. And since no one has seen it but me, I was able to lick all the extra icing off the paper without having to share and they'll all be none the wiser.

Her name isn't Marie, it's actually Marnie. And she lives on the hill by us, so I call her Marnie on the hill. I'm terrible with surnames, so everyone is in my phone with their first name and the last name identifying how I know them.
Marnie on the hill.
Ed Coffee
Dave Sparkie
and so on...

Makes it a bit difficult to sink your details with your email and whatnot, but I've never been up to speed on all that anyway.

A lot of the men in my contacts list, I met through their women, so they're in my phone as
Chris Sheryl and
Paul Christies Man (Christie having her own title of Christie Mothers Group).

It actually makes a lot of sense, particularly if you've never recovered the brain cells you lost growing and then feeding and raising your own human...which is the reason you need cake in the first place.

She's lovely that Marnie, we met because we both get cabin fever staying inside too long with our little humans, and have bonded over such contentious issues as:

  • is co-sleeping because you're too lazy to move them back into their cot bad?
  • where can you buy a wedding dress for $500 or less
  • and the latest issue on our street - what's your stance on nanny's who smoke. Seriously hot stuff. This one could cause a feud if we're not careful.

So, with Q off napping - growing while she does - I've just indulged in 2 pieces of delicious homemade cake right now and it's my sister-in-law's birthday tonight, so I'll back up with a piece of ginger cake then.

If you consider that both cakes are based on fruits, (well a fruit and a rhizome to be exact. And no, I didn't know that off the top of my head, I had to google it) I'm really just eating according to the food pyramid. Carbs down the bottom, then fruits and a bit of sugar above that.

As long as I come out on top, the rest of the day will be easy as pie.
Sorry, terrible pun. Blame it on the sugar rush.

I didn't actually use the spoon.
I just put it there to look fancy.

This post has been sponsored by Marnie on the Hill. Widely known in these parts for her skeleton leggings, flower wreath headband and generosity of spirit. Thanks lady. xx

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


This week Q is growing, which means she eats more than me (instead of just the same amount) and she sleeps in.
Instead of the usual 5.32am wake-up call, we've been rising at the dignified hour of 7, sometimes 7.14, once even 8am!!!
Of course, I don't use this time to enjoy a coffee in peace instead of gulping it in between shovelling spoonfuls of warmed weetbix into Q's mouth, no instead I sneak peeks into her cot every 30 seconds as a sleep-in is so rare, I fear the worst.

Now, when you're going to bed at 12.30 (that's what happens when you're opening a restaurant and co-owner of a 16 month old) waking up at 5.32 hurts.
It just hurts. Your brain, your gritty eyes, your soul.

And come 2pm that afternoon I have hit such a state of desperation, the only substance capable of dragging me through till 12.30 that night is sugar.
Sugar in all its nasty unrecommended by the Department of No-Fun forms.
Cookies, chocolate, Nutella straight from the jar, my world famous microwave brownie.

I'm not that fussy really. Just give me sugar with a hot cup of decaf tea while my tornado girl takes a brief break from life and I can carry on.

Now, I have made an interesting discovery over the past three days of extra sleep...
I don't need the 2pm sugar hit. It appears that more sleep decreases the need for sugar.

And by 'need', I mean need in a manner so intense, I've been known to break into my landlord's house and steal his eggs so I can make afore mentioned brownie if he's not home to ask. (I replace said eggs as soon as possible, and for the record, our landlord is a family friend so the boundaries are rather blurred. Let's just say he drops in for tea, wearing his dressing gown having just gotten out of the shower. Whether or not he is dressed underneath that dressing gown is a mystery I wish never to solve).

So now I'm in a quandary.
I have such a serious 2-dessert a day habit, that suddenly forgoing one portion, would cause such a disruption to my system, I fear a complete and utter productivity meltdown.

With a restaurant to open and a 16month old to wrangle, that, my friends, is just not an option.

And so, after great thought and consideration I announce my intent to continue my 2-dessert habit, as the side-effects are just too massive and all encompassing to contemplate.

Change only happens when you're ready to tackle the problem, and I ain't ready. Not by a long shot.

I can hear all you celery eating yogis out there shaking your organically shampooed hair and scolding;
He who rejects change is the architect of decay.

Yeah? Well, the only thing I'm decaying is my teeth people.
And right now, that seems like a small price to pay.

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