Thursday, 29 April 2010

Future's Sky High

On Tuesday morning, I had run out of anxiety meds. Knowing for a while I needed a new prescription, but I was too embarrassed to see my doctor. So I did what I always do with most things in my life - leave it until the last minute when I'm all stressed out and in a panting rut. I rang my doctor, he is away on holidays. I rang everywhere .... no appointments for a week. I joked to a receptionist, "Ha ... this is for my anxiety meds and now I'm getting all anxious about not being able to get them hahaha." Except I wasn't joking and she knew I wasn't joking and fobbed me off.

I got off the phone and started pacing around. Dave was home because he put his back out. I went in to him, a little bit wild-eyed.

"HON! I need my anxiety meds and I left it too late for a prescription! Hey, what's wrong?"

The guy was in agony, like seriously couldn't move, couldn't cough. The chiropractor said a nerve in his back is inflamed and swollen and he needed meds too. We both had an interview at the US Consulate in Sydney the next day, to get our visas. He said he could lay in the back of the car while I drove. I pictured us walking in, me all hand-wringing and sweaty, him hobbling like a freak.

I drove up to the chemist to get Dave some anti-inflammatory meds and painkillers. I explained to the chemist guy what was wrong with Dave, and he asked if he has any blood or kidney problems in the past. "No. Ummm, but he's had cancer and now he's in remission." So we talked for a while. Then I blurted out, "Actually, I'm having a bit of an issue - I'm on medication and I need a new prescription and no doctor can see me, ahahha. It's for {ANXIETY WEEDER} hahaha. Because of Dave's cancer, actually, heheh - and I was wondering ..."

Before I'd even finished talking the chemist guy was looking me up in his magic computer and getting me my meds. I was so relieved, saying thank you thank you. I looked at him - suddenly he was pretty cute. He told me not to worry; they should put it in the water supply where I live because everybody's on it. Then he laughed and told me HE should be on it. I said well, if you want, I know this great chemist guy. I said that over my shoulder as I was walking off, smack bang into about four women standing in line right behind me, listening to the whole sordid exchange.

I fanged it home and came into the house. "HON!! CHECK OUT OUR STASH!"

Yesterday, we all got up at the crack of a sparrows fart, so Dave and I could drive down to Sydney to get our visas because it was someones STUPID IDEA to go to New York for BlogHer in August. (I couldn't even get on a plane to go on a honeymoon with Dave, so worried was I about us both dying in a plane crash and leaving Max an orphan. Apparently I'm over that worry, now?) (Yes, we had Max before we got married. He thinks it's pretty cool he was at his own parents wedding.) (Little bastard.) (KIDDING).

Rocco was riding his little bike in the yard, and then he just disappeared. I went out and called him - nothing. I walked all the way around the house - you know when your kid vanishes and your voice gets higher and higher and all strangled? Yeah. I ran around and around. ROCCO! ROCCO! ROCCO! I yelled at Dave to come help me look - he didn't. I ran up the street, stopped a car from driving and said "I can't find my little boy! Can you please keep an eye out!" Max was in a panic.

I turned around and there stood Rocco, smiling. I was so relieved. "Where were you!" He mumbled something, but I'll never know. Dave was all pissed off because my maniacal screams had drawn the neighbours out. Dave is a real tool, sometimes. For the rest of the day I was relieved - Rocco was ok. My GOD it was freaky.

We only had one silly argument in the car, and that was because he kept butting in when I was talking. I slumped my shoulders and called him a buttinski and refused to tell the rest of my story. So we drove in silence for ten minutes whereupon the silent treatment was magically lifted, and I pointed at a billboard saying "I LOVE YOU" and Dave gave me the finger and I knew all was forgiven.

Running late, we ran through Sydney. Up to the 10th floor where we had to check-in to the consulate and leave our bags and phones and walk through a metal detector. Mine kept going off, I took off my shoes, then my belt. Everyone was watching me .... as I pulled out my emergency chin-hair tweezers from my pocket. I thought of Maya, my fellow hairy one. (Maya I'm pretending you are still coming to BlogHer. You ARE. I just googled flights from Israel to NY, it's about a thousand bucks return. You can sleep in my bed with me. So that's that then.)

Then we sat down in front of a huuuuge colour picture of Glacier National Park, Montana. And I thought of Pam, and her wee baby girl and I got all teary eyed, at all the friendships I have made online - all over the world, and how valuable they are to me. Then we went up up up in the lift so high my ears kept popping and it was like Charlie Bucket going up in the lift, through the sky.

We took a ticket, and marvelled at the view of Sydney below. Just beautiful. Then we waited. And waited. And waited. Dave said I should have packed him a snack. I said, oh, sorry ROCCO I have no snack packed.

After two and a half hours, we were experts in who would get visas approved and who wouldn't. There was no confidentiality at all, it was all open and you had to shout into this microphone. We waited so bloody long that we were the last people there, Dave was so delirious he didn't care who heard him talk then anyway. We were honest about our intentions, and we got approved.


We got lunch in a crowded city food place, both felt like country bumpkins. I said to Dave "We don't even need to go to America .... we're spun out just by being in Sydney during lunch hour!"

I took photos of Dave as he walked to the car, spunkiest guy ever. I busted a few blonde chicky babes checking him out.

A delivery guy had to wait while I took this photo in an underground carpark. Dave is wearing his prayer beads from Tibet that someone gave him when he was on chemo:

We talked all the way home, excited and relieved. Dave looked at this block of flats and said, "Geez, someone should do those up. They'd be unreal."

I thought about how he unknowingly did me up, on the inside. He really has made me a better person. I should tell him one day, when he's not being such a buttinski. I just love him so much it hurts .... that he is coming to America with me is so fucking cool, such a bloody triumph.

Just then, I noticed this bumper sticker.

And in that moment, every single thing in the world was all as it should be. (It probably all fell apart again after five minutes but hey, gather ye rosebuds, etc).

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Vlog: The Tim Tam Game

DISCLAIMER: I have actually been off chocolate for two whole days now. I'm having sugar-comedown-rages. Poor Dave.

How beautiful is my assistant in this vid?

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Wabbit Season

You know what's harder than being a chocoholic at Eastertime?

Being a chocoholic at Eastertime when left-over easter eggs are half-price.

It's like, Universe WANTS me to have dimply arms. And I freely admit to being a skinny bitch, but my goodness eating enough truckloads of chocolate = bloating, self-hatred, and not being able to wear my good jeans anymore.

At my local supermarket, these Gold Beauties have been on sale for WEEKS NOW. Obviously, someone over-ordered. Which is equal parts wonderful and terrible. For I have gone there every single day, to pick up a three-dollar bargain. Complete with the fucking carrots in the giftbox. (For myself, no sharing of course.)

There's only so many empty Lindt Deluxe boxes that will fit in the recycling bin, before it overflows and mummy gets BUSTED, man.

And, I'm like a hunter. A hunter of bunnies. But instead of deer antlers hanging on my wall, I now have about twenty-four of these.

Whenever I brought a new bunny home, it would see its fallen brothers and start whimpering in terror.

I met a lady in the discount aisle, she too was furtively going through all the cheap good chocolate eggs. I went up and grabbed my usual Lindt box, proclaiming, "MAN I wish they would hurry up and sell out of these." She laughed, a little too nervously, telling me how she ate hers for a midnight snack.

I asked if she ate them with fava beans and a nice Chianti, but she didn't get it.

Monday, 19 April 2010

The Maximum Effect

When Max was born, I was lying dead on the beach. My eyes were open and I could see seagulls, but until that moment over eight years ago ... I was dead. He breathed life into me. And love. My love for him had the power to slice open my addiction and blackness. I remember sitting down one night when he was two weeks old, sobbing that one day he would leave me.

I didn't want him to ever leave me.

These days, I'm steadily getting my groove on when it comes to parenting. I have fucked up, spectacularly. I come from a long line of shouters; proudly I can say that I have hardly ever hit Max. But man can I shout. I didn't realise that it was just as bad as hitting, if not worse.

One day, when he was about three, I had yelled at him for something. He is so sensitive, and unlike both of his brothers, can't STAND being in trouble. He sniffled up to me, and his words I will never forget.

"Mum, you broke my feelings."

I held him in my arms for so long, told him I was so so sorry. I thought about how, as a child, my feelings were broken. Not just hurt, broken. And I really didn't want that for him.

Another night, he was being unusually naughty, so I was shouting at him to get into bed. Dave came in, starting HURLING abuse at me, shouting right up in my face. I was so angry and shocked, said what the HELL are you doing?


Completely dysfunctional way to make a point, because by that stage Max was fucking terrified. But I understood.

I hardly yell any more. Except at Rocco. (Joking ... mostly.)

Max is growing tall and strong. He does football, hip-hop class, swimming. He's the most popular, beautiful little guy. He thinks big thoughts, always talks about how he saw me down on earth and chose me to be his mother. And maybe next life he will choose to come back as a frog, because they don't have to go to school.

I have made so many mistakes with him, and will make many more. He still loves me, still wants me to tuck him in bed every night.

I'm obsessed with his hands, they are so slender and handsome and delicate.

For many years, I was intent on making him a younger sibling. Then it happened, and it was a terrible time. A baptism of fire. Max instinctively knew he couldn't wake me up in the middle of the night any more, I was run ragged. He took a back seat, for a while. He learned to read, fluently, when I was too busy to notice.

It was hard enought to meet everyone's basic needs of eating and clothing. I had nothing in me to give.

My Max has been here, the whole time. Quietly, watching everything. The past few days he has been away with Dave, bonding and running on the beach and watching inappropriate films together.

(My husband goes off his nut for me giving Rocco half a vitamin C tablet ... but takes Max to see Kick Ass. Rated MA. WTF?)

He's home now, I can hear the strains of Super Mario Bros on his DS upstairs.

He is my anchor to the world, the prince who kissed sleeping beauty. I get this funny warm feeling in my heart when I lie down next to him, like our spirits are saying hi to each other.

One day he will leave me. And when he does, I want to send him out into the world prepared, able to take care of himself. Solid and grounded and hard working ... not a broken feeling in sight.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Remember that scene in Poltergeist when the mother turns her back for five seconds and the ghosts pile all those chairs on the kitchen table?

Obviously, I can never go to the toilet again. Maybe I could get a colostomy bag. I wonder if they make shoes to match.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Rocco Gets a Haircut

Dave put the clippers on number two, and did it on the back deck. I waited inside, expecting screams. All I heard was laughter, from both of them.

He now acts older, possibly because we treat him as if he is older.

But he still has the last vestiges of babyhood .... fat chubby hands, face scrunched during a wailing session, and the stinkiest nappies in the world.

Saturday, 10 April 2010


"'To be born again,' sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, 'first you have to die ....'"

- Salman Rushdie, Incipit of the Satanic Verses

Two nights ago I had a dream that has stayed so strongly with me. I was living in Mormanland, except I was a pretend Mormon. I tried so hard to be good, but kept failing. There was a guy there who was a pretend-Mormon too. We made a secret rendevouz, to meet at a hotel. Our plans got foiled by the real Mormans, my dream guy gets pushed off the hotel balcony, which gets made to look like a suicide. I repented all my sins so they wouldn't kill me. I ran to the end of town, found that the whole world wasn't made of Mormons. I went into this really dark place ... like, superdark. With all the other fucked-up souls. I could turn around but didn't. I chose to walk into the dark.

Then I woke up.

For so many years, I actively chose the darkness, in so many forms. Maybe more than I ever admit to myself. Sometimes, my sisters and I are all together; wild, maniacal laughter galore .... and they make me tell them one of my stories. And it's so terrible, we just laugh and laugh.


I wondered who my dream guy was. Maybe a guy with cool blue eyes across the other side of the world woke up at the same time and wondered who his red-haired fake Mormon woman was.


This morning, everything was in a mess. The dishwasher was broken ... so I had to wash up, like in the olden days. Dave was cranky at Tim, who went out last night. Swears he didn't get up to mischief, I laughed and said "Of course not, Timmy! You sat there reading your Bible, huh?" He didn't think it was funny.

We had no maple syrup for porridge, Rocco broke the house again, and Dave was weighed down by the Burdens of a Very Important Person. (I say, DAVE! YOU ARE NOT A BRAIN SURGEON, YOU ARE A BUILDER. He doesn't think it's funny.)

Last night I dreamt that this woman knew all of my bad, bad secrets. And was telling them to EVERYBODY. I felt so ashamed, especially when I woke up. Until, I realised that it was just the Truth. What am I scared of the Truth for?

I don't choose darkness any more, I choose the Light. I yam what I yam, shady past and all. Pffffft. So what.

It's so freeing.


I watched video hits this morning, for the first time in eons.

As soon as I switched it on, U2s "All I Want is You" came on - remember that clip? With the midget and the woman he's in love with? And he tries to impress her by going on the trapeze except he falls, but then flies out of the room. And then the funeral scene, and you think he died, but the woman actually died. Except you don't know how.

I watched that clip not long after my dads suicide, the coffin in the ground, wondering what the hell happened.

This morning I thought, what if the woman didn't die? It was just all symbolic, and it was actually a happy ending.

And then Dave told Tim to get back inside and go to bed, Max couldn't find his soccer boots, and Rocco stood there screaming because all the boys were leaving the house and he was stuck with stinky mummy.

I chose the Light.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


I think about her every day, this bewitching girl who captured hearts all over the world.

But especially today.

My lavender plant has started blooming. A picture in a cafe. The necklace on my dresser. All of these things remind me of her - specifically, to not take my life, my joys, my boys, for granted. To love with my whole heart, while I still can. Don't hold back.

I'm already halfway through the 7th April down here ..... 365 days since she left. I send the day up to her family with utmost tenderness; a soft kiss; a sense of peace.

I just bought a support pack, in her memory. One day, a confused couple will be standing in the NICU wringing their hands .... hopefully the support pack I just donated will offer them some comfort.

Comments off here, but please feel free to visit any of these sites .. let her mum, dad and baby sister know you were thinking of her today.

The Spohrs are Multiplying

Friends of Maddie

The Newborn Identity

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


I heard this song just once, about four months ago. The chorus has lived in my head ever since.

The freedom they sing with breaks my heart, for so many different reasons.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Anatomy of an Easter

For the third son in a row, Dave did the usual "cut off their curls with a carving knife/have you ever seen such a big boy in your life?"

I can't upload photos right now ... but my GOD. Bye bye, baby Rocco.


I'm at my MILs house. We are totally BFFs forever. Which means I am allowed to hang shit on her partner. Who smells like wee, is the boss of the remote, and annoys the shit out of everyone. But he loves Rocco and Rocco loves him, so I let it all slide. My boys will never know either of their real grandfathers. Once I told Dave that my grandfather used to take me and my sisters out all the time for chocolate paddle pops. He then told me that his grandfather used to take him and his brothers out for chocolate paddle pops. Amazing.


Dave really hurt my feelings, pretty much all weekend. Sometimes I'm so soft I can't stand myself. So .... female. We sat on the grass today watching Rocco and Max on the jumping castle and I was crying underneath my big sunnies, telling Dave that I'm sick of always telling him to be present. That I get so lonely sometimes and he's right next to me but so far away. That his harsh words hurt. That he shouldn't have seen The Blind Side without me because I was saving it to watch with him. And why doesn't he put more effort into our relationship? I cringed when I said the word "relationship" ..... like a stupid, needy female. In a world of men.


I'm blessed to be living in a world of men. Like, my present family of male energy is making up for all the male energy that was lacking in my early years.


Later I saw Dave play with Rocco in the water. For so long. Dave kept looking up at me to see if I was watching. I was. I always am, I always soften when I see him playing properly with the boys and he knows it. I cried more underneath my big sunnies. Maybe I just needed a big cry. Poor Dave.


My MIL gave me a kiss. She has never, EVER initiated a kiss. I was so touched. She is not big on demonstrating her affection. I think she has been stifled her whole life, not knowing who she really is inside. I tell her that my favourite photo of her is when she was in Prague in the late seventies and she had on a big fur coat and oversized sunglasses. She looked so damn cool.

Daves mother had four children - one daughter and three sons. Her daughter was her firstborn, she died at 12 weeks of age.

The first I knew of it was when I had a C-section with Max, eight years ago. She showed me her C-section scar, I said, "Ohhhhh, which boy did you have that with?" She stood and stared at me, perplexed.

"Look, it was a terrible business and I don't want to talk about it!"

I learned later that her daughter's name was Elizabeth. I cannot imagine the pain she has carried around in her heart, for all these years.


I saw both of Dave's daughters yesterday, for the first time in two years. The hardest thing about being a step-parent is that you have entered a family that is broken. It's tricky. I think they are always expecting me to try and slip them a poison apple ..... but I would never do that. I would much rather be Ashton Kutcher.


I'm in a sugar haze. It's dreadful. Thank goodness Easter is over. I never want to see another creme egg for as long as I live. Or at least a year. Dave has taken Max and Tim to see Clash of the Titans, I am trying SO HARD to not eat his Lindt bunny.

I just don't think I can do it.

Sometimes, giving in feels SO GOOD.

Heeeeeeere, bunny bunny. Eden wants to show you something ....

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Ah Louie Louie, oh no, say we gotta go. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

Dave has this knack of pulling funny stories and amazing facts out of thin air. Things I didn't know.

"I didn't know that about you! How could I not know that!!?"

He had just told me about the dead body he and his brothers found as kids. Dave looks at me, his huge satisfied grin spreading across his face.

"Ohh hon .... I gotta keep you innerested."


The day we went to the apple orchard, I found a Las Vegas casino chip in his ashtray. It was SO COOL. Of course I can't find it right now because Rocco has put it somewhere .... it looks like this:

When I asked Dave about it, he said he found it three years ago, when he was digging on a job. Can't believe he didn't tell me.


The thing that really takes the cake is Louie.

We had stayed at Dave's mothers house for a few days. When we were packing up, Dave goes, "Hey hon I reckon you might like a case I've been storing in the spare room here for a while."

I told him no, I didn't need another suitcase. He told me I might want to take a look at it. So I did.

I laughed, said oh yeah, an imitation one huh?



I stood there, hyperventilating.

Dave couldn't quite believe my excitement, he was all puffed out and impressed with himself. Not answering any of my questions about it.

"Gotta keep ya innerested hon."

I was very, very innerested.


Louie now takes pride of place in my bedroom. He is just so beautiful.

If tongue pashing Louie is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

(Dave walked in just as I snapped that photo. He looks at the wet patch on the case from my kiss, looks back up at me, says nothing, and walks out. HA)
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