Friday, 31 July 2009

Writing the Wrongs

When I was about 8 years old, I bought a new notebook which I decided to use as a diary. I had the smart idea of writing in it every day, and to be efficient I wrote "Dear Diary" in every single page. Just to get ahead of myself.

Unfortunately, I had written, "Dear DAIRY". My sisters clocked it and teased me mercilessly, so I threw it in the bin, so disgusted at my spelling mistake. (I'm usually a good speller.)

This did not deter me. During a recent cleanup at home, all of my old random notebooks over the years got reunited. I'm loathe to look in a lot of them - especially the dream diaries. The one constant theme is that I never finished writing in ANY of them. Some of them are filled with bad poetry; odes to dead dads; written under the influence. Eight years ago I kept a half-hearted pregnancy journal with Max. It has three entries - one at 3 months, 6 months, and then 10 months as I stood at the kitchen table in labour, my waters dripping all over the floor. After he was born, I had to put my occupation on his birth certificate. I didn't have one ... so I wrote "writer" and felt like a liar. I joked with Dave that I wrote shopping lists.

My grandmother always told me I would be a writer one day. Once, not long before she died, she stared at me. "You really are going to be a writer - but not until you're after thirty. Until you chalk up enough life experience."

HA. Shitting my pants in taxi cabs from too many red wines? Life experience. Psych ward? Life experience. A boyfriend a week for every year of my twenties? Life experience.

Last year, during Dave's cancer fiasco, the sky opened up and some beautiful paintings slipped through the clouds and into my house. I was asked to write the text to go with some paintings that were getting published as a childrens book. One of those thick cardboard books, for toddlers. I had all the paintings in an upstairs room, waiting. My sister Leigh came up, to take Dave for his chemo. She fell in love with all the paintings, and really got my interest sparked in writing it. She slept in the same room as them all .... swears she woke up feeling amazing after "sleeping with the bees."

After she left, I lined all the paintings up in the order I thought best, and wrote the story -

The artist told me I could pick one to keep. I chose this ... the buzzy bees flying over the Sydney Harbour Bridge -

One day in September last year, Rocco was asleep, Max watched TV, and Dave was beige, sick, cancerous and chemo-ridden. I blasted my iPod with U2's Live in Paris, and listened to a 1980's Bono sing amazing versions of Bad, Running to Stand Still, and Party Girl. Crying, I had the heaviest fucking heart in town. I guess my grandmother would call it life experience.

Anyway, so it's writ, now published, next week will be a launch in my home town. With live music, wine, and nibblies. There's a voice in my head saying "But it's only by a niche publisher! It doesn't count!" Dave keeps asking why I haven't told anyone ... I don't really know why. It feels odd. Like, in the end of Shrek II when Pinocchio finally gets made real, and yells, "I'm a real boy!!!" But before he blinks he's changed back again.

The book was meant to be published back in January ... then March, now August. If anyone reads here who used to read my other blog, and I have your address and you've waited a mere millenia for the parcels I have promised .... this is the reason. I'm going to send you a copy, amongst some other Australiana stuff. You have no idea how your addresses have been burning a hole in my psyche ... promising something and not delivering, I am SO sorry.

I have started writing something else now ... but haven't devoted that much time to it lately. This week I forgot to blog about the night Rocco didn't get to sleep until 4AM. No joke. I ended up walking round the house a wailing wreck. I appear to be coming out of a foggy depression I didn't even realise I have been in for a few months. Maybe my whole life will just be a series of depressions and coming out of them, who the hell knows. The last therapist I had sat slack-jawed at me. I almost wanted to buy her a bucket of popcorn as I told her about my life. She was like, "And THEN what happened??" I can't be bothered to find a new therapist. They annoy me.

Today all I could do was weed the garden, while the boys mulched. It was great. Dave and I are still on a high from dinner last night. We ate truffles - (grated on blue swimmer crab omelette) - not the chocolate kind, the underneath oak trees kind. At $2000 a kilo, Dave leant over and whispered to me - "Two grand a kilo! Fark, it's like smack!"

My sister Linda is egging me on to write a memoir, we joked that instead of spicing it up with falsehoods I would have to leave some truths out, to tone it down. I just don't know. I owe blogging a lot of credit ... it has kept me writing, continually finding my voice. But best of all it has led me to you.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

We're on a Remission from God

In the car this morning:

Max: "Forty- THREE! Oh my goodness, that's a long long time. That's HEAPS of years. And he's still alive! Wow. *Shakes head* Forty three."

It's Dave's birthday. I am taking him to a surprise destination for dinner tonight, told him to dress sharp, as it's a very top-notch restaurant. I can't wait ... I drove there this morning, to find out where to park. And read the menu on the door .... full of fancy stuff, like pigs cheeks and trotters encased in pastry! This is the best restaurant in the area we live, and neither of us have ever been to it. As I drove off I accidentally did a big burnout on the fricken' gravel. What an idiot. This morning he opened up his pressies, laughing and smiling that we all got up at a God-forsaken time to celebrate with him. Rocco bought him a holder for the remote controls, Dave laughed and laughed. One of Dave's pet hates of all time is getting all comfy and then Rocco has put the remote somewhere. If he can't find it, even I get a little scared - and usually I am the scary one.

Some relationships seem so much more easier and fluid than ours. I shouldn't compare, but you know how you see those old people and they're all like, "We're soul mates! Not one cross word in sixty years." And I'm on the couch looking at Dave thinking, Soul mates Pffffft. Not one cross word in, ooooh, 40 minutes!

And I fantasize about never sharing the bed again and his big stupid booming voice and the way he walks in the house when I'm trying to write, wanting to talk and talk because he has a spare ten minutes and I have to say "DAVE! You know when I ring you and you're on top of a roof or some shit and you can't talk?? Well, I'm on a roof, mate. I'm on a frickin' roof."

But then ..... he is the guy who tamed the untamable. Who got just as excited as me, in the beginning of our relationship nine years ago, when I would buy tins of soup and heat them up - with toast! Look ... I made dinner! Dave is hands down the most grounding influence I have ever had in my life. Everybody needs a Dave. He laughs at my neurotica, taught me to love long walks and exercise, and wholesome food. Made me stop wearing black every day of my life. He turned to me once in those early days of dating, and said, "I'm going to marry you one day. And build you your own house to write in."

And he did! He says things and DOES them.

Some people are so shameless in their assumption he is going to get sick again, that even he notices. They get this slapped-arse look on their face and say, "And how's Dave? Tsk tsk." And we say he's fine but they STILL HAVE THE SLAPPED ARSE FACE. Like, it's unspoken that he's in remission for now, but relapse is just around the corner. I want to punch them, but Dave just laughs about it. We won't tell anyone, anyway. If I have to parade Dave's dead corpse around town like in Weekend at Bernies, and get asked by people "How ARE you Dave?" And I'd make his hand wave and parrot behind him "I'm fine! Nothing to see here, people."

But, luckily I don't have to lug my husbands rotting dead body around town pretending to all the naysayers that he's ok ... because today, he really is ok. And we argued for a week straight but now we're not and we are celebrating the birthday we didn't really know he'd get to see with a shwanky plate of steaming pigs trotters.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Vlog: Chocolate Starfish

(If you can't view it click HERE)


1. I have permission to post this.

2. Rocco's scratch on his face is self-inflicted.

3. Cover your ears when I start laughing. (I have a man laugh. Surprised?)

4. The song "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard ..." is playing in the background. It was on the radio - I do not own it on CD I swear.


I am exhaustipated .... tired, but nothing's coming out. Marriage is hard work! I should write the book "Marriage for Dummies" ... or, "Marriage IS for Dummies."

The next two days will be spent on my own in cafes, drinking soy flat whites, writing, and hacking wi-fi. Exactly what I imagine heaven to be.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

The Cocksecure

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The Lesson

Today I watched the baby stumble across the floorboards, like he was drunk. He likes this walking business. He cried and whined all morning, I started counting down the minutes until daycare and felt very guilty. But not so guilty I stopped counting.

Today, I watched Max play with a friend, saw his chest heave with pride doing tricky jumps on the trampoline. For the first time in his life he is refusing a haircut, so he has these crazy tendrils and sideburns all over. When he wakes up in the morning he is called The Professor, until he smooshes it down with water. His dad wants him to get a haircut ... so did I at first, but now I think, be free, wild and woolly hair! Be free.

Today I was so cranky about more of my ideas being stolen ... that I cleaned off my whole desk and vacuumed my office in frustration. I will succeed, Godammit. I have originality, and I will just keep on churning out more, bigger, better ideas and claim them quickly and fiercely.

Today my marriage is not the best, culminating in a thrown wedding ring. (His, not mine). I quickly picked it up off the floor so when he goes to look for it later he won't find it. I don't know when I'll give it back to him.

Today, I wondered if anyone notices that I don't talk about my mother much. Somebody else ... not her ... taught me if you can't say something nice about somebody then don't say anything at all. So here's what I have to say > <.

Today I remembered all the nightclubs that I used to own ... all the toilets I used to snort coke off. Imagined all the lines that have lined the cistern since my time.

Today I wanted to write a poem about how I feel. Then realised somebody else already had.

The Lesson

I keep on dying again.
Veins collapse, opening like the
Small fists of sleeping
Memory of old tombs,
Rotting flesh and worms do
Not convince me against
The challenge. The years
And cold defeat live deep in
Lines along my face.
They dull my eyes, yet
I keep on dying,
Because I love to live.

- Maya Angelou

How are you doing, in this "life" business?

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Each Day a New Beginning

"The problem is not merely one of woman and career, woman and the home, woman and independence. It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal forces tend to pull one off centre; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel."

- Anne Morrow Lindbergh (From the book "Each Day a New Beginning"- Daily Meditations for Women)

I've had a profound weekend. Spiritual, even. There have been long walks, cloudless winter skies .... and the rock solid bonding with Rocco. Down on the floor I've actually played with him. Let him linger in his high chair after every meal, both delighting in each other. Looking - really looking at him, and talking and laughing.

I have not hurried him once. Ever since he was born, I seem to forever be putting him down. Trying to get him settled on a blanket, on the floor, with toys in his room, or it's bedtime now. Don't disturb mummy .... she is busy freaking out.

Sadly, he still ABHORS nappy changes, almost as much as nose wiping. Sometimes he wrestles his legs through the air, I'm holding them up trying desperately to wipe all the poo off but it's too late he's got it everywhere. I've even said to him, "DUDE! I am doing you a FAVOUR! Stop kicking me!!"

Hard baby to wrangle, this one. (The Force is strong, in this one.) Except for this weekend .... where, instead of crumbling and wailing like I thought I would, I have doted and loved and nuzzled. And he's nuzzled me right back. My status update on Facebook says "I think Rocco likes me!" And I mean it. I think he likes me ..... oh my Lordy, I think I like him back.

This morning he was getting stroppy in his seat, so to soothe him I started to sing "You Are My Sunshine". (This is one of my favourite songs ever.) Suddenly, I had a flashback .... two weeks before he was born - before we knew about Dave, Rocco went batshit in my tummy. I sang that song to him, and sat down, rubbing my belly, to calm him down. It worked then and it worked this morning. It felt like, a click of the fingers ... like no time had passed since I sang that song to him the first time, as he kicked in my belly. Feeling all the love and hope that you usually feel, before the birth of a child. Today I felt all the love, streaming straight from my heart to his.

He is fourteen months old today. Getting more steady on his legs every day. He can say "dada" "mama" "na-na" (banana) and "ni-ni" (night-night). He could start a booger factory ... the boogers I wrestle out of his nose resemble pieces of chicken, they are so big. This tough babyman guyo is the favourite in his daycare. All of his carers adore him, all scramble to tell me about his day when I go pick him up. He really loves it there, and starts to laugh when we walk in there, so excited he is to play with his friends.


The tricky thing about my family is the constant juggling, making sure everybody's physical and emotional needs are met. And the boys all have such varying ages - 17, 7, and 1. All at different stages of development. And then there's work and stress and money and cooking and stress and marriage and recovery .... it's hectic. Keeps me honest, though.

I've felt like time has stopped, a little bit. I can rub my eyes and truly enjoy the moment. I went to a meeting this morning, Rocco sat on my lap for almost half an hour and kept resting his head on my shoulder. He's never done this, before. I think he's dissed me as much as I've dissed him ... but we are now coming together, starting to realise the other is pretty cool. And funny.


I'm updating my blogroll. If you read me, and would like me to read you, please let me know. If you have left a comment lately and I haven't replied, SORRY! I'm so sorry. Life overwhelms me very easily ... I go to comment and write a few and then something else happens. I do try and catch up on reading ... and when I DO comment, I mean it, it's not just some drive-by. I have one of those updating blogger blogroll things .. sometimes a few fall through the cracks, but it's usually pretty effective. Are you supposed to comment back to every single comment you get? What is the protocol?

Look! Rocco found a severed arm to play with! -

Don't look too closely ... you will see ... ummmm, chicken *ahem* smeared all over his nose -

"Hmmmm. Corned beef is tasty, broccoli not bad ... all in all, a pretty good dish Eden. You might just make it through to the next stage of the competition." -

Friday, 17 July 2009

The Winter of my Discontent

This afternoon, my sister Linda phones me. I miss the call, but listen to her message.

Linda: "Hi it's me, oh my God did you watch Greys last night shiiiiiiit!!!!! Hey are you at Bong Nanna's yet? Call me bye."

I ring her back.

Linda: "Hello?"

Eden: "Oh my GOD!!!! GEORGE WAS 007!!!"

L: "I KNOW. I didn't see that one coming, unfuckingbelieveable."

We chatted and laughed, I apologised in advance for writing a happy 8th birthday on my niece's card when in fact it should be happy 9th. Linda was all, are you RIGHT!!? Aunty of the year. I blamed it on my preoccupation with packing.

L: "Oh, are you already at Bong Nanna's?"

E: "HA! I wish I could blog about that! Mate, I have been to Bong Nanna's and back."

(A seven hour round trip)

L: "What? Are you at home?"

E: "Yes."

Linda starts laughing. "What happened this time?"

"Well, I walk in the door yesterday afternoon, said hello, got alternately ignored and then shooshed, beacause The Bold and the Beautiful was on. And, after four nights apart, Dave was all pissed because he had to help me unpack the car when he really wanted a shower."


Every time I go to my MILs, it's just ridiculous. Eventually, I was acknowledged (after B&B had finished) ... and her youngest grandchild was looked at. How nice.

I give her so so many allowances, I wasn't even surprised. As soon as I got there I slunk into a pithole and just watched TV the whole time. It's a very depressing atmosphere - usually I keep busy and go to the beach or shops, but I just gave up.

E: "Yeah .... AND I got a fucking speeding ticket when I was driving there! Like, what the hell was I in a rush for!! The copper pulled me over and asked if there was any reason why I was speeding. I'm like, oh, well, that's just because I'm an IDIOT!!!! I just kept apologising to him, saying how sorry I was, I'm such an idiot, the car goes too fast. Actually, I think he wanted me. He was pretty hot. But when he went back to check my licence I looked down and noticed I was COVERED in crumbs and pieces of ham, and chicken. From my lunch."

L: " Oh. Yeah. He must've seen that and wanted you BAAAAD!!!"

E: "He did mate. I just brushed it off. It's still sitting under my car seat."


My biggest battles in life take place in my head. It's exhausting.

So, home again. I lit the fire, had a shower, and instead of wallowing like I really wanted to do, I took Rocco for a big walk in his pram. He fell asleep and I listened to my iPod. I blasted all the powerful songs, and was so fucked off that I sang aloud. Like a crazy loon at the train station. I'm singing Coldplay at the TOP of my lungs, through all the streets where I live.

"For some reason I can't explain ... I know St Peter won't call my name."

The world looked sharp, like it always does when I'm in emotional pain. I saw profiles in the cracks of the pavement and they reminded me of my dad, all those years ago, teaching us how to draw profiles out of a squiggle. Walking along, I suddenly remembered the dream I had last night. (True fact - my dad had the same name as my husband.) In the dream, I was trying to figure out which one killed himself, which one had chemo, which one drove off last week. It's such a cliche, all the father issues I have, abandonment, yadda yadda. Dave threw me a blanket last night. I was ignoring him (because apparently I'm twelve) .. he goes, "Here, it's for your cold shoulder." Then walks off to bed. It stung ... but it was good! Clever turd.

Then this morning he went to the beach. So, he's kind of "left" me a lot, the past week. In rehab, that would be called "triggering my issues."

Here in Edenland, it's called "FUCK YOU TOO."

The long walk today was nice. I can almost smell the end of winter. I never noticed seasons, in the wilderness years. How amazing, that all the buds and flowers are growing beneath the bare branches, waiting to come up.

Sometimes, I feel like a dried up autumn leaf that forgot to fall and it's spring already and everyone's rejoicing but I'm still all deep red and crinkly, half hanging on.

So. In conclusion, after writing all this down, I realise why I got a speeding ticket - I was trying to outrun my shadow. She followed me, all the way to Bong Nanna's and back again. Now if I can just stroke her head, put her to bed for a while. She's so tired.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Meat

Last week, Dave had organised a dinner party. I asked him, what was he going to make for it? Of course we both knew that I would do all the cooking. And I did - the morning of, I was putting together 45 gourmet meatballs, rolling them while feeding Rocco his brekkie and tying Maxs soccer boots up. Then, I baked a wholemeal berry cake with cream cheese frosting, and cleaned up a bit. Then, Dave informs me that he had cancelled the dinner.

Tim looked at me, looked at Dave, and wisely stepped out of the room while I asked Dave a few questions - like, who the hell was I cooking for then??

All of Dave's good mates were coming up, and he canned it because he was too stressed.

Cancer has knocked Dave around, more than he will ever admit to. It's usually ME, doing the friend-push-awaying, and canning plans. (My sisters call me The Flake.) Dave has not been himself, since, oh ..... 14th May 2008. He's deciding a lot, thinking, planning. He's not happy.

I think it's good. He needs a big life change - cancer gives you new glasses to view the world. He has only put his on now, a year after the diagnosis.

I love Dave very much. Finally I deigned to take his call today. (He and Tim have been Away). He said he missed me, and I snorted. But he meant it, and I miss him, so the housesitter is organised and soon I shall be Away too.


This morning Max begged. "Mum! Please, please can we NOT have meatballs for dinner!"

I've eaten a piece of that damn berry cake with cream cheese frosting every fucking night this week. Sometimes two pieces. It's like I have bulimia without the vomit.


Dave hasn't been here for his usual 5am bottle duty for Rocco. I do my deepest sleep from 2am - 6am. Max has gleefully been allowed to sleep in with me all week. Now, I don't remember doing this but it's definitely something I would say .. Max tells me that this morning (at 5am) I told him that if he gets up and heats Rocco's bottle to 50 seconds and gives it to him, then I will give him seven thousand dollars.

So he got up, did the bottle, and will now tell me I owe him seven thousand dollars every single day until I die.


Told Dave I bought a new Trivial Pursuit. Silence. Then:

"But you always win."

"Well hon .... I can ask you the kid questions, so you're in with a chance!"



Taking my computer Away with me. So going to blog while I'm there.


I hate 5am bottle feeds.


Just then, I checked my emails to find my sister has sent me footage of a female nude skydiver. The camera panned over her lady parts, as she was falling through the air .... I won't describe what I saw, but the title is called: "WAT.CH THE TA.CO FL.UTT.ER."

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

I Have Absolutely No Clue What to Call This Post

Sometimes I get so stuck in life and it takes a lot of shedding and peeling back the layers to become myself again. And I go to write a blog post about it but freeze ... why do I think I'm so special that I need to tell the world what's up in my life? Blogging is indeed a strange thing, can mean so many different things depending on the mood or circumstance.

I've avoided Dave's phonecalls for days. I'm ridiculously stubborn. He has hurt my feelings so much lately that I've just shut down, for a while. It's very, very easy for me to do this to people ... except the two that matter most. My two boys, my sons. (I have sons!?)

Watching Rachel's Getting Married yesterday, I wept. Such a brilliant portrayal, I would be surprised if the writer of that film is not an addict. Remembering my sister Linda's wedding, when I was fresh out of rehab and my whole extended family was there and I squirmed in my white Lisa Ho dress with the silver shoes. Everybody knew my business. I was beneath everyone, and felt alternate bursts of Fuck You, Straighties! to Oh My God everyone is better than Meeeeeee.

Honoured to be bridesmaid, but I was the bad bridesmaid. A raging egomaniac with the worst inferiority complex ever. So fucking self-obsessed it was ridiculous. A few short months later I was to relapse again and my sisters and I stopped all communication, for a while. It hurt like a bitch. Simultaneously fucking up my life, yet truly had enough of being the family's scapegoat, who carried all the shame and pain. I stopped my role in the family, forcing the others to either change or resolutely remain the same.

If you'd told me back then I would have the relationship with both of my sisters I have now, I would have spat out my coffee. But I do - we do. One of the biggest gifts of recovery is my two big sisters. Our blood is thick. We see everything that happened, in each others eyes ... like Vietnam Vets we laugh and rage about it together, stuck like glue, a sense of "You were there, too, huh. You saw it and lived it." Not how children are supposed to be brought up. We were dragged up ... often, by our hair.

I talk to them on the phone, and listen to them struggle too. Always about the same thing ... parenting, the challenges that arise from trying so desperately to parent your children the exact opposite you yourself were raised. The Anger is in all three of us. I secretly think it is in me the most, but that could just be my ego talking. My sisters are wonderful mothers. They come back to the page, time and time again, always striving to be better, stronger, compassionate. We all don't want to crush our children's spirits, the way ours were crushed. We try to be good mothers. And when we fuck up, we apologise. Max always accepts my apology very gravely, in this knowing way. Like he understands the struggle. Having parents who looked through you .... were burdened by you, who hated you. Leaves a fucking cavern, that's for sure.

Max knows there was a lot amiss, in my childhood. I can't lie, he is so in tune it's breathtaking. For a few days lately it has just been Max and I, reconnecting again, for the first time in over a year. He is on school holidays - the bliss of not rushing around every morning getting him to school on time. Told me he had never seen Men in Black, so we quickly rectified that. I bought the family edition of Trivial Pursuit, with kids cards and adults cards. He has won both times. Finally, somebody to play board games with! (Dave hates board games, because I always win. Because I am smarter. Whoopsies, did I just blog that out loud??) I'm taking Max down to KFC tomorrow, beause he forlornly tells me he has never been, in his whole life.

He has had recurring dreams that an owl pecks him on the head. I look it up in my dream book and it means "death, something grave will happen. Foreboding. Enemies approaching." Freaked the shit out of me. If anything happens to my kids, I swear to God I would slit my throat rather than live without them.


I think the events of the past year have marked me even more. Maybe in a good way, maybe made me more fucked up. Who knows. I guess I struggle through life .... just like everybody else.

The other night Max was chatting away, about the difference between adults and kids.

I said "You know what, mate? I'll tell you the secret about adults."

His eyes lit up and he looked at me half smiling, half smugly, because he was about to be told a secret.

"Yes? What secret?"

"Well, the secret is .... you never actually feel like a grown up. Every single adult just feels like a kid inside."

It was like I told him who shot JFK.

"Oh my GOD MUM. Wow. So we are all the same."

"Yes my sweet baby guy. We are all the same."

He thought for a while.

"Are you going to call me your sweet baby guy when I am 37 and you are 67?"

"Yes. Yes I am."

Wow. It's like, my neck is a treetrunk.

Friday, 10 July 2009

You Win This Time, Penis

I've had a blah yucky week. Scratching the surface a bit deeper, I realise it probably has something to do with the death of my favourite uncle. My sisters and mum are going there today, for the funeral/memorial service. But I'm not going. I have heaps of excuses ... six hours to drive there, no childcare for my kids, I'm still on antibiotics, etc. Or, it could be my vow to not go to any more funerals. At last count, I'd been to seventeen. I have known a LOT of people who have died. Odd that the word "fun" is in funeral. Funerals make me want to howl at the moon ... every time I go to one, just triggers all the other ones and I am grieving a big, big grief and it's too hard.

I wrote in a card to all of my cousins, telling them that Uncle Vince taught me and my sisters what a "real" dad was. He would challenge Dave for the Ocker Aussie Bloke crown .... we spent many school holidays on his farm where we would help get all the sheep ready for shearing. I rang him a few weeks ago, he told me how proud he was of me and how far I have come. "You were always a delightful little kid, Eden. Always had joy in your heart."

Was I? Did I? I've never really had adults to mirror back to me what I was like as a child, so his words were a gift. (Never a day goes by when I don't tell Max some quirk or funny something he used to do when he was younger).

It would never cease to amaze me how much Uncle Vince would heap love and more love onto his four daughters .... that you could have a parent like that, who wanted to know you and play with you, didn't get cranky unless you really did something wrong. He died from cancer, which was a bit too close to home for me.

But I'm thinking of you, Uncle Vince. Thank you for throwing some love my way .... it helped sustain me like those crazy fucked-up trees that grow on clifftops and only need a few drops of rain each year to survive.


Anyway, here are some totally random pics I found on my computer -

Mum holding me as a baby. Is it just me, or does my big fat Charlie Brown blockhead scream "Mother of Rocco!!":

Not happy, Max! (Taken when he was four):

This is a picture of my bath. I'm not joking when I say you need to pity me:

....... try bathing a baby IN THAT FUCKING BATH. Also, it is a prick to clean. Also, in winter, our bathroom is the Antarctic. Max and I made up a song to sing to Dave: "The penguins, they get too cold, in this baaaaaaath-room." Dave sang back in the exact same way: "The penguins, they need to be graaaaaaaateful they even HAVE a baaaaaaath-room."

Dave dressed up as George Michael for a friends party last year. He gives great gay, don't you think? His faux brown leather jacket covered the "W" on his shirt, so he walked around all night with it saying simply "HAM". (Which made me hungry, as I was eight months pregnant at the time):

Lastly, this is what I would totally try to do if I were a guy:

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Vlog: What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor Early in the Morning

The one where he discovers his sea legs, gets an injury, then a hug off the big bro. I LOVE how Max hums the end of the news promo song.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Retrospection is for Pussies

The usual thing you do after you have a baby, is look back, and marvel at the milestones but also at how tiny the baby was. The tricky thing about that for me is ..... the time when Rocco was born was so terrible, I don't like to look back. When I do look back, I always always inwardly shudder. Makes me want to gag.

Something Nancy wrote in a comment to me last week has stuck with me:
"... the fact you had a baby by yourself and then took yourself to see your cancer-ridden husband - that's a fucking war wound."

A fucking war wound. Now there's a turn of phrase.

I've been kind of keeping my feelings around Rocco's babyhood to myself, but the terrible truth is .... I can't wait for him to not be a baby anymore. The oddest feeling, especially since I pined for him for years, and did IVF to have him.

The day I left hospital with Rocco, all I wanted to do was visit Dave. He was down in his big hospital. I had an argument with the hospital staff about Roccos jaundice, they kept wanting to heel prick him but I knew he was fine. They also wanted to do a deafness test on him, but I knew he wasn't deaf. This one lady got a bee in her bonnet about my refusal to re-try the test (they tried in hospital but after 40 minutes the machine still wouldn't work so I ordered them out of my room). She kept calling me for weeks afterwards, trying to get me to come in so Rocco could do his hearing test. Finally I cracked the shits. "Look, you know what? No, I'm not bringing him in for a test. He's not deaf."

She couldn't believe it. "But how do you KNOW he's not deaf?"

"Because his dad is in hospital with cancer. He can't have a sick dad AND be deaf."

Funnily enough, she had no comeback for my warped reasoning.

My sister came to pick Rocco and I up from hospital, to take us straight down to daddys cancer ward. Wooot! What a fucking day that was! On the way we had to stop at a chemist to get some painkillers for me, for my c-section scar. (There is nothing more blissful than legitimate painkillers). I had Rocco in the sling, walked into the chemist, and his teeny foot kicked the photo frame display. It went crashing to the ground, after every single mirrored glass panel fell on top of each other, folding into itself like one of the twin towers collapsing. It cause the biggest ruckus, and these ladies all came running over. I stood there, honestly not giving a shit. "Oh, sorry. My husband has cancer." (Because that made SO much sense!)

I took Rocco to his dad. It was such a relief to see Dave. He still looked ok, but had been in immense pain from his surgery.

I was starving, in that manic/breastfeeding way. Linda took our photo outside in the cafeteria - it's a wonder you can see us through all the cigarette smoke.

Driving off and leaving Dave in hospital while I took our new baby home was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

Things sucked bad..... but I was still managing. Then, Rocco started having these crying jags in the night - that grew longer and longer. So many times I would cast my eyes up and just shout-think to God ..... "Seriously, I can handle this, but please make him stop crying. Don't give me a screaming baby."

But I had a screaming baby. I had a screaming baby for a loooong time. He screamed so much I had to walk away, so many times. His cry made me want to hurt myself. Or hurt him. Sometimes I didn't even want to pick him up, or look at him. Looking back on it, I was too stubborn to ask for help from any professionals, but I'm pretty sure I had some kind of PND.

"Argh, me hearties ... there be some cryin' in this house tonight!"

I have posts brewing about IVF, getting the baby I wanted to much, about Dave's subsequent remission and how I swear to God I will never, ever be taken by surprise in life again. Every day is indeed a blessing, because it's another day that I didn't think we would all have together. Even today - today I feel angry, fucked up, listless and sad, BUT .... Dave is alive and we are planning shit together. The kids are healthy. It's even the middle of winter, but nothing was as bitter and as cold as the winter of last year.

This does not mean I'm all Pollyanna - why, just then, Dave pissed me off so badly that I yelled him out of the house. He's possibly too scared to come back today. (He really needs to stop making fun of me and laughing. What part of "over-sensitive due to a fucked-up childhood does he NOT understand?")

Rocco is my wonderboy. He has slept through every night this week. This makes me want to run naked on the back deck. He loves his family - even me, the Angry One. The One who almost wished him away. I love him with a ferocity now ... I'll never forgive myself for not loving him like this since Day 1, but it's better late than never.

"Anyway, my MUM crys more than me. She is a big fat crybaby. Now pass me that cake."

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Topcat 4 Gemini

Satan thoughtfully sent one of his demons to come live in my throat for a week. I've never felt anything like it. The hardest part was trying to explain to my husband (you know, the one that was so tough and stoic through CHEMO) .... how sick I actually was. Poor Widdle Eden does not get much sympathy when she is sick, which then makes me sick AND sad, turning me so needy that I then push EVERYONE away out of anger. So then I'm lonely as well.


Dear Winter, Get colder. Oh, wait I forgot .... YOU CAN'T.


There are some draughts in this house that Dave built. Sometimes, after I've sprinkled some extra-strong bitchy on my Cheerios that morning, I'm like: "Dave, just a hint. If you're going to build a big house, BUILD A WARM ONE."
This re-ally hits him where it hurts, he hates being criticised about his work. I need to say it and run.

But, now we have mice running around in our house. Lovely! One actually woke us both up at 4am this morning, Dave said he came out and: "Because they are bushmice, hon, they hop around like little kangaroos." I don't know if he's having me on or not. No mouse I know hops like a fucking kangaroo. I've told him to videotape it, so I can post it here. So now, he's finally plugging up all the draught-holes that I've been asking him to for years. So, thank you, Mouseroo. (PS Stay away from me. Go outside to that nice doggie, she has a surprise for you.)


I pulled Rocco's nappy off, he does a huge wee on the floor and starts to drink it. Hardcore.


Lastly, the awesome Gemini Girl has done a guest post!! And, her last line was the EXACT same as the last line of a post I did last week, and we didn't even know it. Spooky. I'm going to meet her when I come to Americaaz next year. Told her we can walk on a New York street and get a bagel together. Then I will watch her in her bathroom while she straightens her Jew-fro. She has the most amazing hair. Maya posted me the biggest fattest parcel last year, when Dave was so sick. Most of the pressies were for Max - awesome Ben 10 gear, that no-one else in his school had yet. Max loved it - she totally brightened up his life, I will never forget it. Thank you, Maya. XOXOX


So a few weeks ago I asked Eden to write a guest post for me. I asked her to do this because she is freaking awesome. I am sure you all know that already considering you are here reading her blog. Eden was one of my first blog readers. I started my blog about two and half years ago when I was struggling with infertility. I never thought anyone would ever read my blog. But my first comment from Eden after finding out I was pregnant on May 17th 2007 was "Yay for you!! That’s fantastic Maya, congratulations."

Of course, when you have no readers and someone actually leaves you a comment, you click right away to see who it was. I didn't actually know Eden's name until much later- as she went under the pen name "Topcat". I actually thought it was super cool. I remember as a kid, I spent my summers in Israel at my grandparents house. There were many cats that came and went from their estate- as my grandmother believed in always feeding them.

She said that they were G-D's creations and needed to be taken care of too. She was awesome. There was one cat who was orange and FEARLESS. No matter how much we tried to shoo him away, he would not budge. He always waited by their front door for food. He was kind of annoying. My brother and I dubbed him "Topcat" because all he needed was a fedora. (Note - I am annoying, and I want a fedora! - Eden)

He was a very chill feline - never scared. Then one day, he disappeared. Never to be heard from again. No. OK, I lied- he was hit by a car and died. But isn't the disappearing story better? I have no idea how this pertains to Eden. Anyway, I adore this woman beyond belief. The truth is, I had a very sheltered upbringing. I grew up with both a mother and a father in a SUPER DUPER dysfunctional household- of course Eden takes the cake for dysfunctional upbringings.

There is an awesome memoir waiting to be written in our little redheaded Eden. Yes, she took a detour or two to get to where she is, but she is raw and emotional and in touch with herself. And through it all this woman is a ROCK STAR. I wouldn't dare say things that she says (although I definitely think it- especially about nose hairs and such). She is FEARLESS. Much like our old friend Topcat. I just hope she doesn't get hit by a car because that would suck.***SMOOCH**
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