Saturday, February 27, 2010

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

My mother-in-law.

Now, before all the jokes come in and the horror stories abound (and I know, there are some shocking mother/daughter-in-law relationships out there), to all intents and purposes she and I get on excellently.

Over the phone.

With half a world between us.

And I have people who can vouch what a lovely person she is. Her son for one thinks she is pretty special - but I also have it from a former daughter-in-law of hers, so that is high praise indeed, isn't it?

However, put me on the terrified-of-meeting-my-mother-in-law meter and for some reason it is measuring high.

The poor lady has already had some adventure in Australia.

They landed yesterday. (She is travelling with a friend of hers who is versed in travel) We advised them it would be best to catch a train to bridge the 400km distance between where their plane landed and nearby big town, as they are pretty fast, its a great trip and you get to sit back and admire some pretty spectacular scenery on the way. They followed our advice and booked tickets on the aptly named Sunlander.

Now, if you read any Queensland blogs that actually update regularly and give you the latest happenings, you will know one of the biggest latest happenings has been rain. Lots of rain. Rain that makes rivers run. Rain that cuts off roads. Rain that block trains from reaching far-flung places. Apparently, rain that also blocks trains from returning from far-flung places.

So to put in their "cute Australian phrases they got to hear" recounts, they are able to tell the story of how they couldn't catch their train because it was stuck in Longreach.

I am sure it will be far funnier to them in hindsight once they have arrived and relaxed - after finding a hire car and driving ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD 400km to visit us. And as well over 250 of that 400km is single lane highway with signs blaring "Be Alert", "High Fatigue Zone" and "Survive this Drive", we will be extra glad when they get here. Safely.

I have had experience at the mother-in-law stakes. I have Baka. Although P. and I never nupted, I have had a long relationship with his family - longer indeed than I ever had with him. Baka is the matriarch, binding her brood together with great cooking and a touch of familial guilt. One day I will write the sitcom that is my Outlaw family and she is indeed an integral member. (One day indeed I will write a blog post explaining the enigma that is Baka)

So - I have sent V out for provisions (and the eldest daughter, who is socialising) and am tidying (and realising we have mess everywhere that I never see, as I am someone who equates mess with comfort despite having a husband who equates comfort piles with mess) and trying my best not to make this molehill into a mountain. The baby is sleeping - she knows when to keep her head down!!

When next I visit here, I will either have freaked and be deemed as one or we will have shot down this albatross and I will have other pastures to stress upon...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Calling Upon Minions to Fluff the Fur

Bush Babe has invited us to share our pets - as we are Eddie's pets, here are a few shots of our little lord...

(BTW - once upon a time, Axel - Bush Babe's Giant Dane - came to visit Eddie. They didn't really gel. Eddie spent most of his time in the spare room pretending he didn't care there was a giant canine in the outdoors section of his domain, anytime Axel saw the Ginger King he was amazed there was a fluffier version of the black vixen who lords it over him at home.)

(PS I know this is an extremely incongruous post after yesterday, but sometimes we have to embrace the fluff to make the reality a little less stark. They have charged someone.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hold your children a little closer

I come from a sleepy little town near a bigger town.

The bigger town has its share of problems - a lot of alcohol-fuelled shenanigans (considering a brand of the most aggresive of spirits is actually named after bigger town is not only a coincidence and due to manufacturer location) that falls WELL outside what I consider acceptable (and man, I feel closer and closer to my mother the more I moue the local news), the sort of violence that sends me straight into middle-age with my aghast attitude at "young (and actually, not so young) people today" and local magistrates who, if local newspapers are to be believed, have a mandate of keeping punishment levels as low as possible.

However, we were all shaken to the core by reports yesterday that an 8 year old girl was abducted from her bed while her family was sleeping on Sunday night.

Many prayers were said - but unfortunately by yesterday afternoon reports that her body had been found shattered everyone that I have seen.

My daughter, who was introduced to death too early when P. passed on has a huge fear of dying as it is. There are nights when she can't sleep because she worries about people dying.

Something like this happening so nearby and as yet with no explanation is just too shocking to try and comprehend or give any comprehension too.

So all we can do is hold her a little closer, explain that we will do all we can that it will never happen here and hope to goodness that society stops its madness soon.

We had to drive close to where it happened on our way to training yesterday. We saw the traffic jam as people had to slow to pass the scene. We saw police tape and cars. We saw a lot of news cameras and reporters.

My daughter turned to me and asked why the news never told us anything good. I know we have to know that this evil occurs, and to be wary - but she has a point.

There is no line to wrap up this blog. I am in shock. The community is in shock.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I know why you are here

I actually had a few hours due to a sleeping baby today - I even wrote 70% of a blog post but by then, my whinging bored me - and then the lightbulb came on.

You aren't REALLY here for my whinging (despite you being such a polite bunch).

And its not the quality of my shots that do it for you either, eh?

That's okay - the baby on the right has sucked my brain out anyway... (and the one on the left is her cousin)

Friday, February 05, 2010

No! Sleep! 'Til Bedtime!

I did not have this baby with the intention that that would be ALL I would blog about.

I was going to continue on with insightful observations of the world, gems mined from my memory banks and reflections on the thoughts of other bloggers. #1

Unfortunately I had not counted on what Paris would bring to that equation. And what she has brought (besides some very gorgeous "ohhhhh" moments) can be encapsulated in three words, folks.

Sleep Dep Rivation.

Not during the night - oh no, I have the poster child for evening sleep. Between 8 and 9 every evening she switches her lights out and will generally only call upon my services once in the next 9 hours - there have even been recorded instances when that call never came! I know - there has to be a glitch...

Well, you are right. Right now, I am typing this with every other fibre on my being touching wood because Paris is having a nap - and it has actually lasted longer than 10 minutes. (avert, avert)

She doesn't have a hassle with dropping off - its just the jerking awake and screaming within 5 minutes of doing so that is starting to mess with my mind.

On Sunday, she went 17 hours without entering double digits in the naptime stakes. There are adults (myself included) who consider such things as akin to defining torture!

Yes, yes, I know I don't need to nap during the day and what the heck am I whinging about and other people do it with 10 children, 3 dogs, hold down 2 jobs, look after an in-law, keep their house clean AND write a thesis. #2

But if you are bringing that to the reading of my blog, you must be new - because I have a low threshhold for "putting up with" and whinging is what I am really good at. Welcome, by the way.

Yesterday she contemplated that record, but luckily was disqualified due to the 40 minute mega-sleep she had at 3pm (ever tried doing all you have to do in a day in 40 minutes AND spend quality time with your eldest?)

Today, she didn't want that and nor did I. We agreed on a new strategy when I would try and keep her awake until she was really sleepy, and so I didn't try and put her down until she had been awake for 5 hours. I (silently) danced with joy as the 10 minute mark passed - and both of us had real tears when at 12 minutes she yelled for me (on the plus side, I CAN have dinner, peg a load, start the washing up, celebrate AND check emails in 12 minutes, it seems).

As I said, right now she sleeps, because I have found one crutch that helped - if I fall asleep beside her and have a half-hour's kip, the "alert I wake" response does gradually dissipate (to the degree that when it happened when I left her, some logical neuron in her brain said "shut up, I am sleeping" to that response).


#1 - I know I didn't actually have all that going prior to the birth due to the blog becoming a pregnancy blog - or even prior to the pregnancy - but hey, let me fool myself at least - and try to fool those new readers.

#2 - Actually, I have (for me) been trying to do a little of the super-mum of late, as I foolishly said "yes" when an old client said "could you please" and buttered me up with a little flattery and the words "small job" - and couldn't find the "no" switch when "extremely urgent" entered the equation and the small job mushroomed

#3 - Darn it - guess who JUST woke up?