Sunday, 31 May 2009

Under the Skin

I've known for a while I've been headed downwards. I just did myself a favour today and surrendered to it, instead of fighting.

Maybe it was the heavy shit in my last post that tipped me over the edge. All of a sudden I got very weepy about not having a dad. I hardly ever get weepy about my dad(s) .... I repulse myself when I do. Watching Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler today ... the scene where he explains to his daughter that he sucked as a father .... seeing her anger soften, and the honesty in his words - "I tried to forget about you, tried to pretend you didn't exist. But you do exist .. you're my girl."

Kind of cut me to the core, in ways it hasn't for ages. I sat there on the couch, blinking back tears ... wishing so badly I had a lonely wayward dad to come back into my life to offer apologies, want to know me. When I feel this way, it's like a tornado of black-holeness. I don't want to be here, anywhere, anymore, and I collapse into myself like a retractable folder. Grief death abandonment addiction suicide abuse depression. It's all too much and I go into overload.

I used to think that I had been through SO much already in my life, that the next half of my life would just be slow and content and quiet, studiously picking up all the pieces. And then my husband gets cancer right before the baby came HAHAHAHAHAHA and stole any remaining safety in life I was clinging on to. Bad shit happens, man. Bad shit. I really really hope the cancer doesn't come back. What REALLY pisses me off is other people's reactions to his remission. They're all like, "How's Dave?" Cocking their heads to one side, reminding me of my auntie at drunken family functions offering me "lemonade." With this pitiful look on their faces - and when I say he's fine, he's in remission .... there is no change in their expresion. And they just nod, offering simpering words like, "Ohhh, good luck." Then skulk off, because I do not handle people who shit me like that, and my eyes accidentally start lasering them to death.

Cancer means different things to different people, some obviously think it's only a matter of time until the cancer comes back - "Hopefully not in his internal organs, tsk tsk." (Cue laser eyes).

I'm sick of Dave's cancer business. But it sent me for the biggest six of my life, adding more fuckedupness to an already fucked up unit.

Lately, Rocco has been screaming and screaming every night again, I can't placate him. Nothing works - bottle, rocking, dummy, soothing. Every night now ... usually a few hours at a time. It makes me want to lose the plot, like Marge did when she got scared of flying and she was running up and down the aisle like a lunatic. Except instead of big blue hair I have long red hair and I just want to run around the house at 3am waking everybody ELSE up screaming "I GIVE UP I GIVE UP I GIVE UP I GIVE UP." My sister has told me a few times to ring the helpline available with a 24-hour midwife on call .... I think I'm so fucked up I will ask for help.

Things MUST be serious.

Where is that pesky gratitude I had? I can't remember where I put it.

It's difficult, this "life" business. Last week I was in Kmart looking to price an electric blanket for Max because winter starts tomorrow .. and I saw the most shifty people, caps pulled down over their hoodies, loading their pockets up with stolen shit.

I did what any self-respecting member of the public would do and felt jealous of the junkies.

I wished I could just say "fuck it" and join them, but, I'd end up in some lady's driveway in Cabramatta dazed and confused thinking "WTF? Didn't I just have a family and a warm safe house somewhere??"

And I would miss out on moments like this.


Thank you so much for your comments about my brother. He read them, and I hope he got a bit puffed up. We all deserve a bit of puff-uppery every now and then.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Cameron. Cam. Cambo. My Little Bam-Bam.

"I have a brother
A brother like no other.
He got soul soul soul
... sweet soul."

U2 - The First Time

In the middle of 1980, a grainy black and white ultrasound picture was stuck on our fridge. I was eight, my sisters were eleven. Our mother had remarried to David, my stepdad (who we were bluntly told to call "dad" from now on, please) ... he hated being called Dave. Funny that I married a guy with that same name ... who hates being called "David". Everybody must call him Dave.

So, I was getting a new sibling. SO exciting. On the day of the birth, my beloved grandmother came to school to tell my sisters and I that mum had the baby, and whether it was a boy or a girl. It was lunchtime, but I was nowhere to be found. My sisters were so annoyed, but Nan stayed true and did not tell us until we were all together. They eventually found me on detention, sitting bored in my classroom. I was so happy that Nan had waited until I was found until she told us all, like I was important or something. It's the simple things.

It was a boy! "His name is Cameron!" She proudly told us. I loved that name, and could hardly wait to see him.

Our stepdad drove us down to meet him. I remember he had bought a ring for mum - he said it was an eternity ring, but I misheard and thought he said "maternity" ring. It was years before I found out there was no such thing.

For the first time in my life, I fell utterly in love. I remember the feeling, so strong and distinct. I like to believe that he felt my love too ... I swear he gave me his first smile ever when I held him in the hospital room:

(Apparently my hair is channeling Ricky Schroeder in Little Lord Fauntleroy. "Oh, dem golden slipperrrrs ...)

Finally, there was somebody in the family who didn't hate me! (I copped the brunt of terrible hatred and a lot of violence in my family, when I was growing up. It was pretty bad.)

Cam was this beautiful, blonde-haired little guy. He brought joy and light to all of us. I loved him so fiercely ... I was his biggest advocate, his best mate. Sometimes, late at night, we would all be out in the backyard, swimming in the pool. I would freak out, having just watched a documentary on the Lindbergh kidnapping ... in a panic I kept running inside, sure that Cam had been taken away. I would run up to his cot to make sure he was still there ... even run around to the outside of his second storey window, expecting to see a long ladder propped up against it.

I couldn't wait to get home from school .... fleeing myself on him, always saying the same thing: "Howz-a-ma-boy??" Covering him with kisses and love. I taught him how to write his name, pushed him up to the shops in his pram, stopping to phone mum from the phonebox so he could say "hello." (She loved it. He was her absolute favourite child - I didn't care, he was my favourite too.)

The poor guy though ... he had four mothers, I remember mum shouting to us a lot "Stop smacking him!" ... but only when he was naughty.

Once he was asleep in his car seat ... I wondered if he could still breathe if I held his mouth AND nose. He couldn't, and awoke with a start. (Sorry, champ!) I would save up my pocket money and buy him toys, tried to give him everything I had to keep him happy.

When he was eight, we moved to England. It's such a long, tired story ... but we ended up coming back to Australia, broke, living in a caravan at the front of my nans house.

And then, one day, my stepdad - Camerons dad - bought a hosepipe from the hardware shop, drove to a secluded spot, and gassed himself in the car. Dead. Finito.

That was the one defining moment in my childhood ... the day I was no longer a child, ever again. The grief, for me, was huge. Mine and my sisters real dad had died four years previously, from alcoholism. Our stepdad comforted us then, at the funeral. And now we had another funeral. A policeman came to our door, the morning after he had been missing all night. Cam was at school ... I vividly remember feeling excited about it all. Of course, he would be found alive and everything would be ok.

The policeman didn't have a hat or tie on, and I read somewhere that if a cop is giving bad news, they must be in full uniform. SO, I relaxed when I saw him. Phew!

Wrong. My dad, my stepdad David who I had know for eleven years, was dead. The grief was just terrible - I knew we had a shit family, but damn it was the only family I knew. My very first thought was my brother, sitting at school, oblivious.

Mum decided to tell him his dad died in a car accident. Months later we were watching "Cocktail" and when Brian Brown's character killed himself, mum turned to Cam, and with a few too many wines in her, told him that that was what his father did.

I was in the other room and came running, thinking that she must have been hitting him, so loud was he shouting.

My poor Cambo. I was Pebbles to his Bam-Bam. I took him for a walk, to a toyshop, the day after dad was found. I remember walking, confused at all the cars whizzing past. The world was carrying on regardless? How could this be? I told Cam he could pick any toy in the shop - ANY toy. He looked around, listless and numb. I felt the same.

After the funeral, my sisters and I weren't allowed to go to the cremation. I was so upset about that .. mum said only she and Cam would go. We were just the stepchildren. I wanted to go so much ... we used to have two dads, and now we had none. WTF?

One of the biggest regrets of my life is leaving my brother living at home with mum, when I moved to Sydney at the age of 18. I started getting up to mischief, and Cam was left to grow up alone. I'm so sorry about that. Mum re-married, but it was never the same. I would see Cam at family functions, always kiss and hug him, tell him I loved him - wishing I could take away all of his pain.

Cam has his own life to live and his own demons to slay. He's 29 - at the moment, he's over in the northern part of England, recently he sent me a big fat long email detailing his adventures. I told him to come back to Australia and live with me and be my nanny in lieu of rent, STAT.

The last time I saw Cam was a year ago, Rocco was three weeks old and Dave had just started his chemotherapy. What a fricken happy family we were then. Cam came up to visit before he went overseas, and just sat on the lounge watching TV with us all day. Dave was too sick to do anything, and I was too fucked up.

Before he left, I leant over to him and said: "Cam .... if anything *cough* bad happens, I need you to come back and be there *cough* for my boys, ok?"

Basically if I were to be a widow I needed my brother to help my sons out, because my brother is unfortunately an expert in being a male and growing up with no father.

But I'm not a widow! Cam is still overseas .... I still miss him a lot, and pray that he is ok and safe. Look how hot he is:

Is it odd to call your brother hot? Well, he is .... and he is also SINGLE. Heh. Cam is the smartest guy ever ... with a cutthroat sense of humour. He knows a lot of stuff, gets frustrated with the world, is waaaay taller than me (and I'm tall.)

I love you Camel Cam. One day you'll have kids crawling all over you, a beautiful wife, and you'll be stressed but happy.


Annoying sidenote: I plan to write a nice story about my brother, and end up detailing dads suicide. It's frustrating, this big turbulent childhood of ours. So big, and hard to contain. That death was a puncture, blowing us all open and out of the water, and defining us for many many years to come. Maybe it still does. Meh. I'm off to eat my lunch dessert.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Gratitude. It's what's for dinner.

This is what I was doing at 6.37pm tonight. How lucky am I? (Even though my neck is obviously a tree trunk)

I really am blessed beyond belief. Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles needs to come and spend the night at my house.

Right now the fire is cranked up so high that all the guys are complaining and peeling off layers. Except me. Take THAT autumn! It's like a sauna. Max is sitting up on the couch next to me, past his bedtime. But I don't care. There are just too many rules in life sometimes, too much stuff we are "supposed" to do. I've already promised him ice cream for breakfast. You'd think he was going to frickin' Disneyland tomorrow.

Tim came home from work, played with his brothers, talked and laughed with me ... and then cooked dinner!! It was so good that I told him he had to cook on every day that ended with a "y". He shrugged, and said sure. Half an hour later he's like ... "Hey, hang on!!"

As for the one year old ... the instant the candle was blew out on his cake last week, it all changed. It's awesome - he's one. No more first year, infancy is over, and I don't miss it. It wasn't what I thought it would be (UNDERSTATEMENT) .... but now we have got our groove on. I was putting his jammies on in front of the fire tonight, and I whispered in his ear three "I love you's".

And they weren't forced, or from guilt, or sorrow. They were real.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Vlog: Meet Dave

Recently I had a bit of a meltdown (UNDERSTATEMENT!) when I could not find the video camera charger. I still can't find it, so naturally all I want to do every day is film. But I can't, so it makes me want to do it MORE and it's driving me darn crazy. Here's a video I took back in January ... Dave talks! AND Max!

(Please ignore the close-up of me when I held the camera to myself, FAIL.)

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Wee Thievery, and Other Fluffy Tales

Tonight, Rocco did a big wee on his carpet, approx 1.2 seconds after I took his nappy off. He sat there, trying to pick his wee up. Naturally, he couldn't pick his wee up and grew increasingly agitated. I made matters worse by mopping up said carpet wee ... he started hollering at me, all like, "MUM! I made that wee! I wanted it that wee was miiiiiiiiiiine!!! How dare you take it my WEEEEEEE!!"

As Dave was driving in the car, I had weird gas pains in my tummy. Not wanting to make a big deal of things, I hunched over and made big noises like I was about to die. "What's up, hon?"

"Ohhhh. I'm ok. I think it's just my non-hodgkins lymphoma."

We both laughed at my repulsive, dreadful "humour."


I have the house to myself, utter bliss. Noticing myself doing things like: walking around in my undies, eating half a banana while staring blankly out the window for a full nine minutes. And then listening to Kings of Leons latest album ... LOUDLY. I have a real sense of myself again. How YOU doin??


My friend is coming up on Saturday night, for a sleepover! Woot! Have not had a sleepover in years.


Just them, I caved and cut a big fat hunk of leftover chocolate birthday cake. Half walked back to the couch and thought .. who am I kidding? Walked back and cut a second big fat slice, put it on the plate next to the untouched first big fat slice, and THEN sat down on the couch. Then ate them both, hunched over. I eat like a CAVEMAN when no-one is watching.


Sometimes, my stepson and I are watching TV, and he tries to really irritate me. Silly noises, wild hand gesticulating, farts in the middle of my favourite show .... I warn him.

"Mate. If you don't stop it, I will talk to you about tampon ads again. Remember what I told you about heavy flows."

Silence descends on the room, like magic.


The next day, however, he gets me back. Walks up to me and looks intently at my face.

"Eden. No offense, but you really need to pluck your nostril hairs."

He leaves the room, I run to the mirror, and gasp at my nostril hair.

And curse God for giving me so many frickin' man features. Do you know how painful it is to pluck nosehair? That shit HURTS.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


Monday, 18 May 2009

There's an Angel in the Window

"Today is the last day of the worst year of my life."

That's what I shared in my recovery meeting this morning, cranky and pissed off that the worst year of my life has been the first year of my baby's life. If Dave didn't get cancer, would Rocco have been a happier baby? Not cried so much? If I had given him more attention and patience, how different a child would he be now?

Fruitless questions, really. Unprepared for the intensity of feelings the past week has brought ... panic and sadness, immense relief it's all over - the chemo/newborn era can now be laid to rest.

There is a chocolate cake in the oven, baking right now for Rocco to demolish it. Tomorrow he will wake up one. One. For months now, he has woken every night every few hours, screaming and hollering the whole house down. I lay him down, put his dummy in - give him his bottle - still crying. 12am, 1am, 3am, 3.20am, 4am ...... I end up standing in the doorway of his room, stricken with sleep deprivation and frustration, crying.

This morning was different ... he woke up smiling. I changed his nappy and he didn't kick me to death. He crawled around and I was able to get dressed with no tears and tantrums. I think we're turning a corner. He is a hard baby, sometimes. I hate having to struggle for gratitude, and much prefer it when it flows freely into my Spirit.

Winter is coming, which also triggers the memories of last year. Dave would sleep upstairs in his chemo wing, and the baby would sleep next to me in his bassinette. Dark, lonely, terrible nights alone with my baby. Max would usually come in and want to be close to me, I'd hug him tightly and tell him everything was going to be ok and not believe it myself. Dave would call me upstairs, needing help to vomit in the toilet. The baby would wake up all night - all night, to feed. Going to bed was a military operation ... nappies piled next to the bed. Nappy cream. Wipes. Blankets ... lots of blankets. They were terrible nights ... carnage would greet me in the morning, nappies strewn everywhere, blankets askew, dirty sheet piles.

I was bereft, and filled with quiet white fury. In my bedroom, I had to hide from the world, because the world wanted to know everything that was going on and I was frozen.

But there was always the Angel in the window, watching over me. She would remind me how sacred it was, to be a mother and to have the honour of looking after a tiny baby. We have stained glass windows in our bedroom ... I took a photo:

Do you see her? She has a pink face, holding a baby close to her. My eyes would always be drawn to her. She's still there, of course. Quietly holding her baby. She always reminded me to hold mine, and I love her for that.

In the early days, the unspoken was that Dave would die. So the baby was an afterthought, an appendage. Even when I was right there in front of him ... I was not "with" him. Always absent, folded inside myself.

Just before I put him to bed tonight, he crawled over to the fridge and took a photo off. A pic of me holding him. I watched him study it closely, intent. He lifted his little hand and stroked his mumma in the photo. He got upset, and thought that I was in the photo and not with him.

"Hey sweet guyo ... here I am! Here's mumma!" He turned to me, saw I was with him, and gave me the biggest and best heartmelting smile ever known to mankind.

I am here, with him now. It only took me a year.


Dave is busy all day tomorrow, so apparently we have to do Rocco's cake and candles at breakfast time. Chocolate cake for breakfast ... could a first birthday be any better!

I will have lots of yummy pics to share here ... maybe even a video. I want to shout it from the rooftops .... we got through! Look at us now! We are all well, and all accounted for!

This is the ad that's appearing in our local paper this week. I'm a poet and I didn't even know it. Let the gushing begin!!

On Saturday:
Me: "Hon we have to go to Kmart to buy Rocco some presents."
Me:"Because he's turning one."
Dave:"So? We don't need to get him anything, he won't remember."


Two hours later we were pushing a trolley around Kmart, choosing toys. We finally decided on a drum even though he already HAS a drum .... I turned and looked down and Dave had already given it to him. Dave's reasoning was that by the time we give it to him, he'll forget that he'd already played with it.

Because, you know, Rocco is a GOLDFISH.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

That Awful Day

This morning my mobile phone rang. It was Dave.

"Oh .... ahhhhh .... who's this?"
"Eden. Eden your WIFE."
"Oh. Heh heh sorry hon ...."

Then he launches into this big involved spiel about the forty thousand things he needs to do today and manic and stress and worry.

Five minutes later I rang him back.

"Ok hon .... just think you should know something. Exactly a year ago, you drove into our driveway and told me you had cancer. Tumours. Cancerous tumours. So, while you may be stressed out and blah blah today .... for goodness sake you certainly have a better level of problem, yah??!!"

He agreed, and I could hear his breath get caught in his throat.

I never thought I could have a worse day than the day of my dads suicide ... and I did. It was the day I wrote this:

"We just got back from the cancer clinic. Looks like Dave has some form of 'systematic lymphoma' in his stomach/intestines. He is in extreme pain, the doctor is going to find a surgeon for him asap, hopefully tomorrow. He needs to be opened up, to see how advanced it is and how far it has spread.I cannot believe I am typing this. The doctor said it's likely he will need chemo. We sat in the waiting room that was full of old people and there was a wicker basket of free knitted beanies. He probably won't be there when the baby is born, we will be in different hospitals.We are both in shock."

And this tasty treat:

" ..... I keep waiting until I feel better to post. But I'm not. Thanks so much for everyone's comments, and for keeping us in your thoughts. It really does mean a lot. My poor sweet man, Goddamit I love him so much and I'm so scared. The night we found out, we just held each other all night. I couldn't sleep at all - literally, not a wink. Just my two eyes peeping wide out into the darkness, holding him so close, with disbelief at what is happening underneath his skin. He got up to go the toilet and nearly collapsed, I had to help him back into bed. I listened to his breathing all night, afraid it would stop. We got up at 2am and sat up on the couch next to the fire, watching some elder Aboriginals on tv making boomerangs by hand. It was amazing. We kept telling each other we loved each other, Dave said "It's like it was when we first met!" And it was, our love in the room around us like this big, palpable presence.

The day gave us some light. I'd written lists and lists of stuff we needed to do before we both go in. He's very worried about his business - he employs 6 people, they're all on different jobs. He has just built a beautiful brand-new house that we can let-out for holiday accomodation ... we need to get it furnished and up and running to start getting some money in. Hopefully his co-workers and employees can all pitch in and come to the party. (Cancer party! Yay!)

He gets admitted on Sunday, for a biopsy and 'look' operation on Wednesday. Strange that he has to spend three nights in there first, but 'a good bed is hard to find' in the public system and we can't risk losing it. The doctor has been so lovely, really working hard to find a surgeon for us. Hopefully Dave can get a daypass out on Monday, to be there with me when the baby is born.We need to find out what we are dealing with, before they can treat it. I didn't expect to be asking about the effects of a person on chemo being near a newborn, during my last-ever doctors appointment yesterday.

I keep crying at really inopportune times .... standing in line at the grocery store, walking up the street. How strange for people to look at me with such sparkly excitement in their eyes ... when having a baby is the furthest thing on my mind. I have organised a quick release program from hospital, so that I can be visited by the midwives. This is mainly for my little Max, who got in the car this morning, and after picking up on all the 'vibes' with Dave and I ... said "Geez mum. Today is just really weird." We have told him that daddy is a bit sick in his tummy and has to go into hospital, but that Auntie Linda and Auntie Leigh will be here to take good care of him and then mum and dad will both be home. My sisters will be here on Sunday. I think I have been putting that off, because I know after this weekend that our lives will be forever different, no matter what happens.

I have an awful feeling that I have created this, which is quite irrational. Dave always reckons I fear spiders so much that they always come to me, and scare me. I have experienced a lot of deaths of people close to me, and sometimes I have worried about what would I do if Dave ever died. Like the whole "The Secret" thing, manifesting your reality. But, I think, if that was real ..... then there would be no infertility blogs, would there.I'm a bit all over the place today.

This morning, we were all having a cup of tea by the fire, and Dave was telling Max he'll have to take the garbage out as one of his jobs. Max goes "No - you can take the garbage out when you're a ghost." I felt sick, and hoped Dave didn't notice. Then the dog jumped off the ute ... when she was leashed on there, so she was dangling like a freaking hangman. Dave grabbed her and she was fine, but she has never done that before. It's all surreal and strange and numb. I can't believe the timing.

In twenty years from now I want to be talking to my twenty-year old child about what a scary week it was before he/she was born. And then Dave will walk into the room and crack a silly joke about it and I will laugh but say a silent thank you up to the universe."


One year since that time. Recent events made me petrified for Dave all over again, but I think he is ok. If he is not, there is nothing I can do. I think he is ok.

SO many people at that time told me ..."God never gives you more than you can handle." And my head screamed BULLSHIT.

Til one day I went to a Knitters Anonymous meeting, and someone said: "God never gives you more than you can handle .... but life does."

And it does and it did and now it's not. There are no crises here ... only the ones I create myself. We are all well, in this house.

All well.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

If I Were a Fish, I'd Be a Flounder

This morning I was so cold that I sat in my car and cried and cried and CRIED so hard that as I was crying I thought, "Hell Eden, you need to do an Annette Bening in American Beauty and slap yourself." Then I cried some more, couldn't compose myself so had to drive back home to my messy bedroom and turn the heater on and cry. Good thing about crying is, you eventually stop.

Then I looked for a snippet of Annettes slapping scene on YouTube, couldn't find it but instead found a guy impersonating it. Here is me in my car this morning:

Which made me laugh and laugh and now I feel a bit better.

Why the cry? Working my butt off, all morning, to get to a massage appointment. My friends pitched in and got me a voucher for my birthday, I have not had a massage in YEARS. I tried, last year, but it ended badly before it even began when the person wanted to know every detail about Daves condition and then told me "chemotherapy can exacerbate tumours." I walked in today, on time, and was made to wait - and wait, while the lady finished talking on the phone. 15 minutes passed ... I was looking around at this beautiful shop filled with zen-like objects and dreamcatchers and Buddhas, thinking how if it were ME on the phone I would have politely asked the caller to hold and then serve the customer. Then I was given a form to fill out, and THEN I was brought back to the room, by a really nice girl. She left, I stripped down to my undies, looking around for dead bodies because obviously I was in the morgue.

It was freezing.

And she left me lying there for so very long, waiting in the freezing room. Mortifyingly, I started to cry. She came back in, I was already up, putting my clothes back on. It was just too cold, even if she started the massage anyway. It was too cold and I'd had enough and I had to get out of the room. I was really nice to her, she felt bad and it wasn't her fault. I just get very badly triggered when I am ignored .. I spent my childhood being ignored and it damaged me in some places that I can never fix.

So I got in the car (after being accosted by reception-lady who is obviously the boss .... now you want to talk to me?).

And sat in my car and cried and loathed myself for getting so upset when climate change is a very real threat, the financial crisis is looming, people are living in war torn countries and poor Widdle Eden didn't get her massage boo hoo!!??


AND: Last night the baby was up for three straight hours, 11pm to 2am - and I had to just rock him gently back to sleep and it's hard - motherhood is hard and I am not full of kindness like some mum blogs are.

I've had a spate of nasty comments and emails lately - I already HAD haters who are reading here (memo: why??!) ... but on the weekend I stepped into a minefield by addressing an anonymous comment on somebodys blog to defend my friend about an issue that is very close to my heart. Somebody started trawling my backposts, leaving snarky comments about stuff I have wrote. I enabled comment moderation, then thought fuck it. There is nothing anybody can ever say to me that is as bad as the stuff I say to myself. And also, I try not to take myself too seriously - life is too important for that. This is why I blog about my failings, my nosehair , and my manhands ..... it's just a blog, not the fucking Declaration of Human Rights.


Once when I was in the car, I turned to Dave and told him that if I were a fish, I would be a flounder. I just flounder around, in life. Unorganized, unkempt, foggy, vague. Then he kept calling me flounder, all day. Thought he was so funny .. till he had some cross words with the kids, and I was all like, "Ooooooh, if YOU were a fish you'd be a snapper. Snapping at people. Snap snap. SnappppEEEEEEE".

Then he shut up and I shut up and then we fought over the radio station and I won because he listens to fricken Vega and there is only so many times I can listen to Supertramp.


Now I must go and do the grocery shopping for five people, thinking up bold, new and healthy recipe ideas for the week. HAHAHAHAHAHAAAHA.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

My Mothers Day Really Sucked and I LOVED it.

(This pic was taken eleven hours ago, during our sunchasing sojourn).
Had the WORST time. It rained, my calf muscle is sore, I am really sick again. I've been sick for a month now - tonsillitis is back, terrible headaches - I honestly wondered if I should get checked for swine flu. Max got a vomiting bug, he spewed all over his bed and his floor. After he heaved for the third time, we locked eyes and just looked at each other. What in Gods name are you supposed to do with steaming chicken casserole vomit? Piles of it? I led him into the bathroom, sat him down, and went to clean the mess. Except, I'm not really a "proper" mother when it comes to shit like that. I started wiping it, but that led to me heaving and gagging, which scared him. So I threw a towel on it and tried to scoop it all up. "Pretend it's the babys poo. Pretend it's poo." But I couldn't trick myself - there were chunks, man. That shit is WRONG.

I threw the towel in the bin afterwards. There's probably some rulebook on how to scrape and wash spewy towels but, whatever.

So then Dave gets sick, Tim gets sick, and then Rocco Baby gets it too. The family that gets sick together, goes on five hour car trips together. This is how we roll.

Tim and I had a HUGE blowup, which was all just me being a bitch. I apologised to him profusely. Rocco banged his teeth so hard they all bled - I didn't even bat an eye. I'm getting used to it now, just held the tissue while the blood pissed out, wiped it all off, and sent him on his merry way.

Dave sent Max to get the mothers day card out of the car, Max locked the keys in the car. Tim spent the next three hours jimmying open the sunroof with a knife, and sticking a wire coat hanger down in there, trying to press the "unlock" button. He was in his element - "Eden, it's like ... the ultimate skilltester."

Unfortunately, his device didn't work, we were in a secluded town, Dave had to smash a window to retrieve the keys. And grumbled for the next day that it was the "most expensive mothers day card ever made."

We went out for dinner to Lone Star, Dave and Tim had a TOOTHPICK fight in the carpark while I stood there, incredulously watching my boys all STAB each other. With toothpicks.

Because that is how we roll.

I had a pretty shit time. It was magnificent. I am so so so blessed to be able to have a shit time. Last year, I was looking forward to mothers day so much. I was seventeen years pregnant, and woke up to my husband limping around the kitchen table, setting it for pancakes. He was in agony, but was waiting til he made pancakes and then was going to the ER at our local hospital. I sent him there straight away, they sent him back straight away with a diagnosis of a bowel infection. Phew! Bowel infection! Lucky we got to the bottom of THAT. But we both knew something was wrong. It was an uneasy mothers day. We hired out Quentins Tarentino's "Deathproof" (HA!) and I sat in a bean bag at his feet, (Dave's, not Quentin's) ... looking over at him with an awful feeling of dread. A friend popped in but we sent her away, not knowing why ... we needed to be by ourselves. The baby moved in my belly but other undercurrents started swirling, and I never got my pancakes.

I didn't get pancakes this year either. But I have him, standing tall and strong and proud. Jamming toothpicks into his sons arm in a Penrith carpark of Lone Star because this is how we roll.

I wish I knew, last mothers day. If only I knew that in a years time, we would be sitting next to each other on a beach bench, looking at the ocean. I could have handled the past year so, so much better. With more grace. And hope.

But I didn't know, because nobody knows, and I handled it sometimes ok, mostly messily, and always with a big fat slice of dark fear in my heart.
This is how life rolls.

The boys at Lone Star ... having a competition to see who could float Max's Mr Men figurines on the helium mothers day balloons -

Me with two of my four guys. I look tiiiiired .... the Lone Star waitresses kept walking past, picking up all the stray rib bones, toys and spoons that a VERY cranky Rocco kept throwing onto the floor. After my twelfth apologetic thankyou, I was like, you know what? I'm not saying thank you any more -

Then I made Dave drive to Krispy Kreme and we got a big fat box'o'lard. YUM. I've eaten so many that it feels like I probably can actually roll.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Happy Thirty-Tenth Birthday, Linda and Leigh

Last Friday, I was throwing clothes into a suitcase for a weekend away with my husband sans children and I hear a glass smash, then a baby crying. I started running before I could actually run, like a cartoon ... so tore my calf muscle, neatly in half. Flapping in the breeze. It felt like a jelly blubber, just blobloblboblbob and HEY PRESTO! Mummy can't walk! But baby was still crying so mummy walks anyway to find blood streaming down her babies FACE. A quick wash down to find the cut .... a teeny cut on his pinky, but he's thoughtfully wiped the blood all over his face, just to, you know, fuck with mummy!!

So then I hurled abuse at Dave down the phone (because obviously it was Daves fault, derrr!) and got in the car and took Max to soccer, crying but stopping before any other soccer mums see me. (Because we all live in pretend-land, where nothing ever goes wrong. Right?)
My calf was hurting like a bastard and I still hadn't packed, but I just took my shoes off and planted my feet in wet grass. All these years later I still have a wise mans voices implanted in my brain when I go beyond Thunderdome into Kookyland: "Eden, you need to ground yourself. Get outside and stomp around with no shoes on. Feel the earth on your feet and breathe."

So I did and I felt better. I wondered how was I going to go on a weekend away with my husband when I'm giving him the silent treatment?

We did go away ... we exchanged a few f-bombs to each other in the car on the way down, and then proceeded to have the best weekend we have had together in YEARS. He got lucky, I got to sleep in the day, we both read magazines in bed. On Saturday night we went to some certain twin sisters' Thirty-Tenth birthday party, woooot! They looked hot, I was limping but still had a bit of a crump, there was free pizza, what more could you ask for??

During a delicious dinner of ribs and rocket salad one night, Dave looked at me and said, OMG how long have we been together?? (Nine years). How many kids do we have? Who are we? SHIT. Fully spun himself out. Was ve-ry funny to watch. Then I saw his face furrow over. What's wrong? I asked him. We were smack bang in the middle of a crowded restaurant, filled with pretty young things. He looks down at his khaki work shirt. "I'm dressed like Steve fucking Irwin."

It took every ounce to not laugh and point and say "WHAT A LIL RIPPER!" Because he so totally did look like Steve Irwin. I said, "Maaaate ... you look cool. It's fine - at least you can walk properly. I'm Limpy Limpster."

My sisters are now forty. We gave them extravagent presents this year, because they just so totally deserved them. But nothing I give them can ever properly show our gratitude at being there for our family last year. The chemo runs. The strained soup. The lentil sausage casserole story (HAHAHAHAHAHA) .... the love and compassion.

I have two big sisters and I totally want to be like them when I grow up.

Here is a pic of Leigh on the night:


Oh wait - no, here she is. Kept calling herself Mr Strong all night. BECAUSE SHE IS HILARIOUS LIKE THAT. (When she put her arms up her dress went square).

Dave and I got back to the hotel on Saturday night and ordered an eighteen dollar hamburger. We then spooned, talking and laughing. This never happens, as he is a freak morning person and I am a night owl. He was so chatty. I said, "Hey, can I tell you how I made swine flu?!"

"Sure!" He laughed.

"Well, I made a big pot of pea and ham soup on Friday morning. I kept two rashers of bacon aside, thinking I'd fry it up for Max to have a bacon sandwich before soccer training. Except I forgot about the rashers, and at 5pm that evening, saw them sitting forlornly on the kitchen bench. So then, (laughing) ...." nudging Dave."Hey, I'm telling you a funny story!"


"So, I lift up the rashers and there's all this pig sweat formed underneath the bacon rashers, and I think, cool, I've totally formulated the Worlds First Riley Strain of Swine Flu."

Laughs hysterically. Dave is silent. "DAVE."

He sits up. "What the fuck are you talking about, swine fucken soup flu?? Go to sleep!"

Bed shakes from my laughter.

He gets the shits. "STOP LAUGHING!"

"But I made swine flu!"

"Seriously hon. Come ON."

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