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Setting a Land Speed Record for Decorating for a Birthday Party

I’m still having trouble getting my head around the fact that my daughter has turned 17 in the last couple of weeks. My sweet little baby with the blonde ringlets is gone and in her place stands a fiercely independent young woman who is smart and funny and confident and beautiful and everything I wish I was at her age.

She is also a disorganised swine.

So when she gave me 4 days notice that she was changing the date of her birthday party and I didn’t have any time to prepare for it because I had to work and do other boring grown up things I was a bit disappointed because I had huge decorating plans that I thought I had a couple of weekends to bring together.

It turns out that when you only have 2 hours some cardboard and scissors in order to bring a party together that you can do okay as long as you’re going for the ‘sleepover fun’ style rather than ‘holy crap this is amazing’ style.

Bek wanted a 1920’s style poker party where they gambled on monopoly and go fish. I had grand plans for it, but with no time to shop, make and decorate we toned it down to a playing card themed decorating style with a quick tip of the hat to the 1920’s. I’d already begun a Pinterest board to gather decorating ideas so I quickly had a squiz and then made my templates. I completely love the way the doors turned out.

Super happy with how quick and easy and awesome these are.
The kitten thinks he is going to get credit for how super quick and easy and awesome these are. But I’m not that nice. No credit for you.

They particularly fabulous Morgaine Ford-Workman of Madcap Frenzy supplied the printables I used to decorate the front door:


1920sSlangand I also used her brilliant list of 1920’s slang.  I printed out enough copies for all of them so that they could use them while playing poker.

Bek was amazing with her contribution to the affair. She realised the day before that she didn’t have enough monopoly money for everyone to be able to play so she went online to get pictures of monopoly money and she photoshopped her friend’s faces into the middle and printed out stacks of the stuff.


I’d say it was a successful sleepover party in the end, they played games, ate pizza around the fire out the back and then roasted marshmallows and cooked damper on a stick (if you’ve never done this, you should embrace your inner Girl Guide and give it a red hot Aussie try). Sang Avenue Q songs around the fire (editing out the bits the little girls next door shouldn’t hear) and laughed. So much laughter. Such a beautiful noise for a proud Mumma to hear.

I can’t tell you how much I love that at 16 my daughter and her friends are not trying to grow up too fast, wanting loud parties without parents present and that I can trust a group of them of mixed sexes to all sleep in the lounge together. I know I was not this awesome or trustworthy at her age and I all can say is “I’m sorry, Mum. It turns out that being a decent teenager skips a generation…”


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There is a Shrine to Me – I might be a Deity of Some Kind. Also, it is Ryan Reynold’s Fault I Can’t be Trusted with Your Souls.

Oh my god, you guys!! My daughter came home from school with the BEST story to tell me today.

“So my friends Dad is a teacher at our school and he was wandering around the staff rooms and he found something that was so awesome he had to tell me about it straight away. He came running up and he was all ‘OMG LISTEN’ and he told me about this cork board in the PE teachers area, it has a bunch of stupid excuse notes and it has Every. Single. One. That I handed into the sport teachers. The mutant squid cyborgs and the time dinosaurs ate my sport uniform, everything PLUS a two page letter from my teacher to the head teacher about how I shouldn’t be able to get away with this and how I should make up for the lessons missed.”’

The thing is, I think that physical health is important. But I don’t think that it is important to make children spend hours running around the perimeter of the school in the mud and rain in winter. That’s just stupid. Especially when yoga, indoor cricket, hot chocolate and common sense exist. So I write notes letting my children get out of cross country running when the weather is wet and slushy. And out of competitive sports that they don’t give a damn about. Which is most of them. Except Mario Kart. Mario Kart is a sport, right? Poorly spelled notes like this:

PE Note

Rebekah is excused from PE today due to a particularly vicious & fashion impaired heard of wild dinosaurs attacking the house & stealing her PE uniform, her running shoes & a pot plant. This has caused her untold amounts of stress and physical imparement.   She now, quite curiously, has been able to smell nothing but sauerkraut since the incident. As such, no PE for her on Wed 27/2.

And this:

PE Note #2

All hail the dark overlords.

Rebekah, in accordance with the wishes of our Evil Cyborg Squid Zombie masters is unable and unwilling to participate in Cross Country Running today so as not to anger the ECSZ overlords.
Only indoor sports may be done.
And eating braaaaaiiiins……
Brains mmmmmmm…..

Now I was quite proud of these notes and had written many like them in the past for genuine absenteeism and sport related apathy when the children were at other schools, and it had amused the teachers and excused the children. Not so much with this school. The 2 page letter writing whimsy police sports teacher prompted the head of the department to call me to tell me that I was weird. Not at all offensive. And by not at all, I mean TOTALLY. He went on to tell me that PE was the most important lesson that they have. To which I politely disagreed that running around in a circle would further my daughter’s chances of getting into NIDA as she plans to do, especially as she was making straight A’s in her other classes and I also politely (read firmly but respectfully) informed him that I was her mother and I was comfortable with my decision to excuse her from running around in the rain. To which he quite abruptly informed me that as her mother I had no right to have a say in her education. Cue me hanging up after informing him of the importance of my role in her life and education. And cue a less dinosaur studded letter to the principle to complain about his rudeness.

The next note was every bit as weird.

This was back in 2013. And I haven’t had cause to write too many zombie notes in the past year. On the odd occasion I have filled in medical consent forms and added chocolate as a recommended medication/incentive for laziness or wondered in writing if not being able to find things when looking for them was a medical condition. But all in all, Jurassic housebreakers and undead overlords have been kept to a minimum. (Also, my spell check doesn’t think undead is a word. It is. It knows this now.) And these notes are still on display in the teacher’s lounge nearly a year and a half after I wrote them.

So the take home message from all of this is:

  1. Teachers need something to break the boredom, besides putting vodka in the water cooler. Because I’d become a teacher if they had vodka coolers. I’d be the most drunk fun teacher there if there was a vodka cooler. Also, I’d invite the students I didn’t like into the staff room and give them a drink of ‘water’ from the cooler and then BAM!! I’d have them expelled for drinking on campus.
  2. It was worth it. Mwahahahahaha
  3. There is a shrine to me. This is undeniable proof that I may be a deity of some kind. But not the kind of deity that anyone should trust their soul to willingly. I can’t be trusted with souls. I’d probably lose them in a game of strip poker with a heavily muscled and slightly oiled Demi God. Like Helios, Kevin Sorbo or Chris Hemsworth. Or Ryan Reynolds. And yes, I know Ryan isn’t a real Demi God like Helios, Kevin or Chris, but c’mon – its Ryan Reynolds guys. I’d totally gamble your souls to try and see him up close and personal without his shirt.
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Hitler was right………. Don’t be a superficial asshole. (Please keep reading).

So I while I was looking for work and getting more than a little frustrated that people don’t seem to be looking past my job title to see that I have solid admin skills that would transfer over to a PA or office management role. I was expressing this frustration in a definitely not ranty type of manner to my boy and his response made everything okay.

“Its kind of like your resume is Romeo and Juliet and the title is ‘Hitler was right’. And people just look at the title and go ‘ooooo no’ and throw it in the bin.”

So the lesson here, people, is never try anything new never judge a smurf by its outfit…. or never judge a book by its cover….. or something like that. Actually, the lesson we should all learn here is don’t be a superficial asshole – people can surprise you if you take the time to let them.

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China Tastes Funny

One of the most wonderful things about my husband is what a total and completely adorable nerd he is.  Suffice to say that when I met him, he was working in IT and living with his parents. (I choose not to mention that he had moved back in when them to support his father through his battle with cancer, because it makes it funnier to imagine him sitting in his parent’s darkened basement , bathed in the pale green glow of several computer screens and surrounded by unopened, mint condition Star Wars collectables. AND THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE A BASEMENT.  Weird, huh?)  When my in-laws gave our daughter a clicky clacky bally thing with the strings* he was incredibly jealous and excited.

“No, you don’t understand.  This is what physics looks like.  It’s actually quite impressive.”

So, in my completely supportive way, I looked at him as if he were not only completely insane,  but had to get out of the house soooo much more often.

This goes a long way to getting you to understand just how underwhelmed I was (by his standards) when he brought home a world globe for our girls.  Now don’t get me wrong, it is kinda cool, it has a light inside and bumpy mountains on it.  But it would be completely out of the ordinary for me to let him know that I thought it was cool, and it would have also ruled out any shenanigans. See – priorities, people.

The girls were in bed, so my son and I pretended to be were incredibly interested in being shown the wonders of the globe.  We first started with the basics, sitting there turning the light switch on and off saying “Daytime, night-time, daytime, night-time, daytime…” ad nauseam.  Which in itself was fun, but the most joy was to be found in seeing the look on my husband’s face as we did this.  Suffice to say, he had a look of unimpressed incredulity.

On the up side, the incredulousness and unimpressedishness (they are totally words, take my word for it, don’t look them up) were quickly replaced as his son leaned in to the globe, licked it and stated:

“China tastes funny.”

On the down side it was replaced by a fleeting look of horror and defeat.  I say it was fleeting, but we really only saw a fleeting glance at it before we hit the floor laughing.

And this is the thanks that I get for trying to show my interest in his toys.  You’re Welcome!

*My husband informs me that this is called a Newton’s Cradle and is actually an extremely exciting and highly sought after gift for a child.  I promptly informed him that children prefer candy and flamethrowers, but he stands by his original statement despite evidence to the contrary.  I would be much more impressed if they had given her one of these kind.

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A Deep Hole and a Sandwich Could Fix So Many of the Word’s Ills.



Conversation with my son upon seeing this photo:

Me: “Wanna see something that will make you weep for humanity?”

S: “Yeah, okay…”

*sees photo and holds sharp pencil to his chest*

S: “Do you have a hammer?”

Me: “Yeah, staking yourself through the heart is preferable to living in a society that has made that necessary, isn’t it?  I really don’t want to be in a gene pool that has had people needing pictograms to manage their shopping splashing around in it.”

S: “I don’t really need to take me out of it, do I?  I could just take them out of it.  Have you got a flame thrower?”

Me:  “You wouldn’t need to go to that much effort.  You could manage it with a deep hole and a sandwich.”

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“I’m Looking at You D”

A post I have regurgitated from another site from 2011:

As I set off today and indeed when I got home I was thinking that I would have nothing to blog about today.  I spent the day at a training course being all professionally developed.  I feel way more professional now. All properly named for the day (I was student D) and already being an advanced student inasmuch as I can turn the computer on and off again without being told to when trouble shooting, I was expecting boredom as we waited for the less computer literate people in the class to catch up to where we, the more computer literate people in the class were.  Now I’m not saying that I’m smarter than everyone else in the class, I don’t need to.  The facts speak for themselves, people.  Lets just say that due to my short attention span and penchant for thinking about monkeys and unicorns when not properly amused, I got what I expected.  Boredom.  Well, I would have if my boss weren’t sitting next to me being more distracted and bored than I was.  How is it that I always manage to find the biggest ratbag in the class to sit next to?

Just lucky I guess.

We were learning the new Specialised Homelessness Services data collection platform and the online reporting system, using a dummy training platform.  A sandbox, if you will.  We had entered in the data necessary and I was playing around making notes on why our ‘client’ had not been offered service.  In a completely non-judgmental and strengths based fashion I wrote “ugly shoes” as the reason for service refused and moved onto finalising the report.  Completely forgetting about what I had written and having no idea how the data was displayed in reports, I pretended to pay attention to the lecturer.

I would like to inform you that I now know that notes written in an Unassisted Person’s record are not private and show up to the whole class on the projector,  turns out that dissing a homeless person’s footwear in class will brand you as the class troublemaker.  And have you singled out…………

“I’m looking at YOU ‘D’.”

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“It Fits Perfect!”

Boys are weird.

That statement really stands alone now I come to think about it.

I came across a picture of my best friend’s daughter today and I thought it was adorable.  Not that I’m biased or anything…  She was holding a picture of her mother’s x-rays showing the massive spot on her lung from the pneumonia that almost killed her landed her in hospital a while back.   I showed it to my husband and he was all like “Oh my god, that’s a big spot”.  And that is the difference between my husband and I.

He sees a trivial by comparison spot on a lung and I see a beautiful little girl that has grown too much since I last saw her, wearing a Flint Lockwood style lab coat, pretending to be a doctor by pointing to an x-ray with a chopstick.

Boys are weird.

But that’s okay.  I love you anyway.  You’re welcome.

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Elmo, a leg rash and arson

Regurgitated post from 2011 from another site:

So I saw on Facebook yesterday that my best friend had been taken to hospital.  Before you judge me for finding out via Social Media that my best friend was dying of an unnamed disease, I’m not sure what, possibly testicular cancer or hemorrhoids, I would like to point out that a) I moved interstate a couple of years ago and can totally be excused from knowing what is happening half way across the country and b) she is even more obstinate than me (as hard to believe as that is) and never lets on when she needs help.
So, there you have it.
I’m totally blameless in all of this.

Stop judging me.

Having her in hospital all the way over there made me think about the last time I was in hospital and she came and brought me a care package. I don’t usually like to tell people how I ended up in hospital, I like to call it a clumsy moment.  But really is was a Coordination Failure of the Highest Order.

Here’s the thing.
I was in the middle of trying to get a restraining order against my ex-husband so I had paperwork spread out all over the living room floor, at the same time I was mopping the kitchen and chatting online to my, then, boyfriend.  My boyfriend said something that was grossly offensive that I can’t exactly remember (I can’t be expected to do all the work, people!) like No, Ryan Reynolds is NOT the sexiest man alive or I see your point and it has validity, but we’ll have to agree to disagree this time, My Darling and I got justifiably upset, turned around as I let out a curse word or two into the empty room….

This post is interrupted to bring you the “Tip of the Day”
Curse at your partner behind their back.  That way they never have the right of reply and you will always win whatever disagreement you are having – either real or imagined.  After all – Winning is what matters in a marriage.
You may now return to your regularly scheduled blog.

stormed into the living roomWherein I promptly tripped over the bin that I had moved in there in order to mop the kitchen floor, skidded on some paperwork and impaled myself between the toes on a 2 ringed binder quite deeply and convincingly.  To cut a long story only a little bit long – the ensuing infection spread up as far as my knee before I was admitted to hospital.

Knowing me as well as she does, my best friend recognised that I was going to get bored very quickly sitting in hospital connected to a drip with no shiny things to distract me or small children to make fun of and brought me a care package.  I’ve heard talk that flowers are the traditional gift in hospital, in this case my hospital gift consisted of:

  • a Mr Potato Head style Elmo toy, complete with elephant outfit and noises
  • Bubble Wrap – thank goodness it wasn’t my thumbs that were injured
  • Maccas Trivial Pursuit – all my pursuits are trivial
  • Coke Zero
  • Grain Waves

Which is why when I found out she wasn’t well, I called the local florist there and convinced her to go and buy a colouring in book and crayons to deliver with the flowers I was sending.  Cause I’m the kind of caring friend that makes sure the hospital staff delivering your gift start to suspect that you’re one of the special kids. You’re welcome!

Quote of the day:
After seeing that a chicken schnitzel was burned
<creepy stare with knife and fork by his face> “Mmmmm Dinner is arson flavoured, tonight”

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I Hope You Don’t Get Flowers and Chocolates

My son is the best boyfriend.

Now stop that. I don’t mean that in a Phil Donahue kind of way. We are not Tasmanian/*insert your country’s backwards, my-brother-is-my-uncle state here.*

I mean that I did done raised my boy right and he understands that it is just as important to show his love on the other 364 days of the year as it is on Valentine’s Day.   And the true measure of love isn’t in the cost of the gift that he gives, it is in the actions he displays even when Hallmark doesn’t tell him to.

(I started this post back in February and probably got distracted by lots of shiny things and fairy floss, but I think the sentiment is still valid even though it is a little late.)

So I am hoping that on Valentine’s Day, you didn’t get roses and chocolates.

Now don’t get me wrong, just because I believe in the over commercialisation of the holidays in order for companies to sell us more things we don’t need, doesn’t mean that I don’t love the holidays like Charlie Sheen loves snorting coke off a hookers arse. And it certainly doesn’t mean that I hope that you end up miserable in a corner, crying because your significant other didn’t think to get you anything on Valentine’s Day.

It means that I think that you are worth way more than standard, no-brainer gifts. I hope that the gifts you receive required thought and/or effort. And here’s where the title of this post becomes a little less ‘call child services’ and a little more ‘give that lady a parenting medal’; my son remembered that months previously he was watching Man Vs Pin with his girlfriend and she had commented on how much she would like to make a ‘Cloud Light’. She hadn’t gotten around to it with all her uni studies and so he made her a cloud light, complete with little hearts raining from it.


My husband refuses to buy me flowers on Valentine’s Day, he says that he would rather grow me roses than buy me them so that I can have them whenever I want. He believes it is the thought and effort that shows how much he loves me, not the one off flashy gifts. So I often get a nice chai latte in bed on the weekend, or we go out to brunch because he knows that I am part Hobbit and brunch is my favourite meal of the day, or for a drive because he loves indulging my love of seeing new places. And I also get shiny things, but oftentimes we go shopping together after having lunch out so that I can choose the exact piece I want.

And although he doesn’t like Valentine’s Day, he acknowledges it because it makes me happy (in the same way I don’t celebrate his birthday because it makes him happy that I respect that he doesn’t do holidays). So this year, while he was out I built a fort in our room. I dragged the TV to the foot of the bed and used sheets to make a fort for us to watch telly and laugh and giggle like teenagers in. I used post-it notes to make an 8-bit heart on the bed and wrote something I love about him on each one. And I cut roses from the garden that I had been tending because I know he loves rose gardens, they remind him of his grandmother’s house in England. And for the record:


Fort snuggles and laughter are the best kind of snuggles and laughter.