Friday, December 25, 2015

My kids each got a box of mixed chocolates from their Grandad for Christmas, and I was trying to score myself some. How they reacted completely reflect their personalities.

14 year old: "I ate them all already, sorry."
9 year old gave me two
5 year old gave me one

In other news, I may have completely messed up my hair. Don't dye your own hair while in food coma Christmas haze.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Teenagers Make Good Decisions

Kitchen and pantry fully stocked with chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheese, cottage cheese, hummus, bowl spilling over with sweet fruit - all the fixings for a delicious and nutritious lunch.

"I hope you ate healthily today. What have you eaten?"

"I did. I had cereal and six slices of toast."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I love living next to a family with two little girls, and another with three little boys next to them. It means that the other neighbours can't tell where the screaming and yelling is coming from. #blessed

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Me: "Ok, I want you to do the vacuuming while I pop out to the supermarket, alright?"


Me: "Hello? Ok?"


14 yr old daughter glances up from iPod: "Yup, hang on, I'm just learning how to make a gorgeous wedding dress with just 6 old tshirts."

Fair enough, it is exam week next week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monarch Madness

It's Monarch butterfly madness up in here. Last year, we had maybe 5 caterpillars which transformed into zero chrysalises. This year, we have S-E-V-E-N-T-Y-O-N-E caterpillars on the one plant. Kahu, my 5 year old and I are obsessed. So far, we have one chrysalis, but it's hanging off the awning of the house, not off the plant. Sooooooo exciting, can't wait to see the beautiful Monarch butterflies. Plus, it'll be great to be rid of the insane amount of poop they put out.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fantastic shot taken of us at the husband's work Xmas party at the zoo. My favourite part was when my youngest somehow ditched me in the meerkat tunnels and proceeded to get lost amongst 4700 people at dusk in a zoo. No big whoop.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hurry Up and Relax

Last November, I turned 40 on a depressing, rainy Monday.  We'd just moved to New Zealand from Japan and were finding our feet, so I didn't do anything to celebrate. My best friend in New York surprised me with a luxury spa treatment at one of the top hotels here in Auckland. She'd organised it with my husband, and I was genuinely surprised.

An actual 3 hour spa treatment at that gorgeous hotel. "I'll hang onto it until the perfect opportunity to book it in." I told myself. But then, life happened. I work from 9:30 am - 2:30 pm and my kids go to school from 9 - 3, so there's no time during the week.

Weekends? I have a teenager, 9 year old and a 5 year old. The older two are heavily involved in sports, meaning we all have to go our separate busy ways most weekends. No dice there, either. 

"Ah, no hurry, I have until October 28th next year to use it." I told myself on November 3rd last year. 

When did I actually use it? October 25th.

Of course, this happened to coincide with the boys' bonding weekend my husband and older son had planned for the first time ever. My daughter had her friend over to ours for a sleepover and I negotiated a deal with them to watch my 5 year old son while I went for my spa in exchange for a day of shopping the following day.

At this point, I was so anxious, I wasn't actually able to look past organising the logistics of it enough to even look forward to it. The thought of being a 20 minute drive away, getting a massage without my phone in my hand should have been enticing, but I was convinced something awful would happen at home base while I was off being selfish. As I sat in the waiting area, I took a photo of the spa's business card and texted them off to my husband and daughter "just in case."

Before I knew it, I found myself lapping up the amazing 45 minute pre-treatment ritual of jacuzzi, snail shower, ice flicks, sauna, back to ice flicks, then to the herbal steam spa. This was just the lead up and I was the most relaxed I'd been in who knows how long. To be honest, I probably would've been perfectly satisfied to have gone home at this point already...until I was called into my private room for the 2 hour treatment. As I lay in dimly lit room, feeling woozy from the heady combination of all that relaxing and the heavenly aroma of coconut and vanilla oils, I had no trouble getting comfy on that massage table. About 15 minutes into it though,  I started having visions of my son falling off a tree and breaking his arm, or him putting his leg through the large front window while playing soccer, my distraught daughter desperately trying to get a hold of me through the hotel operator. I played both roles of devil and angel on my shoulders as I was supposed to be relaxing. 30 minutes of exfoliating later, I was placed in the most beautiful, candlelit tub for 30 minutes of soaking. This was magical...for about 10 minutes. Then I subconsciously started bracing myself for the knock on the door with one of my kids wanting to use the toilet or wanting something to eat. I didn't know what to do, I felt guilty with all that peace and serenity to myself for all that extended period of time. When the masseuse came back and I got back on that table for another hour, I continued my game of dreaming up worst case scenarios and talking myself down. I'd left my phone in the locker - what if there were dozens of urgent texts and missed calls? No, my daughter and husband had the hotel's number, if there was some kind of emergency, I'd know by now and on and on it went. All that worrying actually gave me a headache! How pathetic is that? In midst of this decadent, time for self indulging, I couldn't shut my mind up for longer than 10 minutes. 

After the treatment, I was led to a gorgeous chaise lounge, draped with a canopy. Beside the chaise was a mocktail, a shot of ginger and lemonade, fruit and nuts and a pot of herbal Chinese tea. The masseuse talked me through the final ritual of my experience. I was to just be still and treat myself to these refreshments, to take as much time as I needed. Then, when I felt ready, I was encouraged to go and repeat the whole pre-treatment spas again. I didn't have my phone or watch on, so I had no concept of how much time had passed (I think I might've fallen asleep during the massage, adding to my complete being out of it-ness) so when I glanced at the clock on the wall and saw that it was 10 minutes away from "the latest" time I'd given my daughter of my anticipated return home, I took the refreshments like a series of tequila shots and high-tailed it out of there. 

As I sped home, I couldn't help but laugh. Only I could turn an opportunity to just let go and relax into a session of overthinking and rushing! It wasn't all like that though, there were lovely bits in between where I relished the experience, vowing from this day forward, I would only ever gift fellow mothers with a spa voucher. I told myself that I needed to start being nicer to myself and treat myself once every few months with something like this. 

Even though I'd only been out of the house for a total of 3 and a half hours, I felt like I'd been away for days. "Who needs a holiday? A massage is just as good as a tropical getaway" I was telling myself, as I opened my front door. I was on Cloud 9 - until I was greeted by my eye rolling teenager with a "FINALLY!" handing my hungry son over to me as she stormed off with her BFF. 

Normally, I would've launched into one of my standard speeches about attitude and how we treat people, but not today. Thanks to my spa treatment, I had enough chill to let that slide. 

A whole lotta chill and one hell of a headache. Where's that aspirin?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

I finally rescued my nearly rotten bananas from the fruit bowl and baked a chocolate chip banana loaf last night at 10:40 pm.

Good News: Homebaked goodness in school lunches today.

Bad News: Homebaked goodness is school lunches for only today. Gone by tonight.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Teenager running late, so I chucked her house keys at her as she stood impatiently on the front path. Keys promptly became snugly intertwined on a branch of our oak tree. Lifted up son to get them, no luck (oh yeah, I'm short.) Used a boogy-board, scooter, random stick to no avail.  A mop did the trick. Got the keys. Teenager had left in humiliation long before. My boys in fits of laughter, between my five year old asking me why I'm killing the leaves.

You couldn't write this shit.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

School Holidays

School holidays are here, you know what that means! Two glorious weeks of sleep ins with not a school lunch to be made in sight. Imagine those lazy mornings you’ll have, sipping on your hot coffee, soaking up the sun in your garden, maybe reading a magazine or two.

Yeah, right.

You’ll be honing your skills as a short order cook to dissatisfied customers - one needs crusts cut off, one doesn’t like peanut butter anymore, but didn’t think to tell you until after you’d made it. 

When you’re out of the kitchen, you’ll be doing piles of laundry - washing clothes that were on the skin for 10 minutes tops, before getting covered in mud on the rope swing outside. You seriously contemplate putting them in school uniforms over the holidays just to save on the laundry. 

When you finally get the kids out of the house, your kids will ask why you’re going to the park or library again while so and so from their class has gone to Fiji. 

And on an on it goes.

I can’t promise you any miracles, but I can share with you, the fun experience I just had on this fine first morning of school holidays.

“Hey boys, come here, want to make your very own MUGS?!”

I sat my Boy 5 and Boy 9 down at the table with their $1 mugs from Kmart (oh how I love that place) and jar of Sharpies and some crappy colourful markers. 

Boy 5 decided right away that he’d go with the Star Wars theme. 

Here's how it went down:

Star Wars pals cheering him on... 

Star Wars guys abandoned by the boy, after being consumed with rage at not being able to get the letters right. To be fair, it's not easy writing on a curved surface. 

Maybe I should have thought this through.

Screw that, better curl up behind the sofa and lose my shit, thought the 5 year old.

Yup, so that took all of 4 minutes. 

Boy 9 loves pugs (news to me) - so here's how his went:

He wrote "PUGS" in block letters, coloured them in and even added a black stripe to the top of the mug. He's fancy like that.

Ooops, made a mistake. No worries, just need a bit of nail polish remover on a tissue. 
Some smearing happened there, but didn't seem to bother him. Oh well.

Some people recommend baking the mug to set the art. Tried this and the art didn't set 100%,  so we went with the miracle that is Mod Podge after baking. You can find this in the arts & crafts section of most stores. It is AWESOME for all sorts of projects. 

* To bake, put your mugs in the oven before turning the oven on. Bake at 100 degrees for 30 minutes.

Girl 14 had made hers last night, featuring some inside joke from a Vine (teenagers!)

So there you have it, custom made mugs using cheap mug, markers and Mod Podge. Do they look perfect? NO, this ain't Pinterest! This is real life. Pinterest has an endless collection of ideas to make perfect mugs, and they are amazing. Me, I'm keepin' it real. I'm showing you how your experience crafting with littlies will most likely go. 

You're welcome.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I need to start playing a drinking game where I take a swig every time someone in this house says "I'm hungry," "We're out of milk," "There's nothing to eat!" or "I'm bored." But then again, we'd be out of booze, like, immediately.

Change It Up

Next time you've had it up to here with your kids and you can feel the same script rise to your lips, stop.

Swallow those words.

They've heard it before.

They know how long the speech takes, how long they'll have to stop and pretend to listen, how long to be remorseful for before they revert to their usual shit behaviour.

What to do?

Time out.

Put yourself in time out.

They won't know what to do with that one, and their bewilderment may just buy you a few hours of good behaviour.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Oh, my aching heart. Today was my youngest's first school visit day. For all you non Kiwis, in NZ, children start school on their fifth birthday, so for 4 weeks prior to that, they have school visits. My boy will be at school for two hours every Tuesday until he starts on his birthday. "I'm so excited!" he said, as walked through the gates, "But I think I'm feeling a little bit scared!" Nervousness aside, he is ready. I thought I was ready. I have learned this morning, that I am not.

Having been through first days with my now 14 year old daughter and 9 year old son, you'd think I'd be a pro at this. I started having kids before my friends, so I remember a lot of them confiding in me during their second pregnancies, that they worried they wouldn't have 
enough love to give to the baby. That there wasn't enough room in their heart to love their second child as much as their first. But that's not true. Our hearts merely expand with more love, scoots over to give more to the next child. That's true in every aspect for me except when it comes to feeling like I know what the hell I'm doing. Sure, we've been through it all with our teenager, but it doesn't make the boys' high fevers, first days of school, first fight with friends, first bloody knees - any easier. At least not for me. Each child really is different. Each experience is different, and the deeper I go into this motherhood journey (fourteen years!?) the more I realize that I have so much to learn. Just when I think I've seen it all and know just how to deal with any situation, something comes along to remind me that I'm a novice.

He is just so little. He is so earnest, so innocent, so trusting. He is putting himself and his little heart out there, trying to fit in with the other children. He can barely reach the hook to hang his backpack. I had to just watch and let him figure it out. His school uniform, in the smallest size available, seems to be swallowing him up. The pencil looks so big in his hand. These were all the thoughts swimming around in my head this morning. I thought I was ready. I am not. He's been in daycare since he was 8 months old, so we're used to being apart while I work part time, but this is different. This is school. All of my children will be in school. The hubs and my chapter of paying a nice portion of my paycheque to childcare is coming to a close after all these years. Well, that's one thing I am ready for.

This was only the first visit and it affected me in a way I hadn't expected. Three more to go before it's official. I should be ready by then. 

* 4 weeks later*

It's now official. Three more visits came and went. He became more and more ready. I became more and more emotional. I'd been checking in with my husband during the entire process as my boy and I went through it. He'd listened, but I don't think it had hit him, hit him just yet. Kind of like how as women, the idea of a baby is very real to us as they grow in our bodies, but it doesn't hit Dad until the baby is out and in his arms. 

So this morning, on our boy's fifth birthday and first day of school, I had him take the morning off work so that we could walk through this doorway for the last time together. We watched as our little one carefully put his uniform on. We physically stopped ourselves from coming to his aid as he struggled putting his shoes on over the socks that are too big for his little feet. We walked with him to school, watched him hang his bag up, on his tippy toes. We followed him while he walked in a line with his class, to the morning assembly to be introduced to the other students in the junior syndicate. 

We walked back with the class to their room and watched them sit for their morning mat time. We blew him a kiss and wished him luck for his big special day. He grinned and waved. Just an ordinary wave for him, but such a big, symbolic one for us. 

We turned away with tears in our eyes and walked to our cars to head off to work for the day. 

Our boy was ready. We were not. 

The longer I am a parent, the more I understand that my children are here to teach me how to parent. There I was, always thinking I was supposed to be teaching them but it's the other way around.

It's me that needs to keep up and be ready, because they always are.

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Middle Child

So what's your take? Is the whole middle child syndrome a myth? I'm the oldest of two so I never had an opinion on the matter but now I'm the mom of a middle child.

I have a 14 year old girl, 9 year old boy and a nearly 5 year old boy. I definitely have quite a few moments of mom guilt with my son because he is the most mellow, kindest, most sensitive one of the bunch (read: no drama) so he often flies under the radar. Girl 14 has a huge personality with a lot of fire and Boy 4 is Girl 14 magnified. My Boy 9 is the sweetheart. The one who will out of the blue, pick up on my exhaustion and say: "Are you ok? You aren't very genki today." (Japanese for "your energy levels seem a bit zapped.") The one who will go out of his way to tell me that something I've made for dinner is delicious. The one who will wait for me at the bottom of the stairs while I get all the groceries out of the car to help me while the other 2 scamper upstairs. The one who seems to remember things I've said in passing and follow them up later during a quiet moment. He is shy and reflective. Don't get me wrong, he's no angel. I'm sure, to the average person, his mischievous side is pretty evident but he is the careful watcher who navigates through our family gauging the two big (lovely) storms on either side of him.

The truth is, he has the strongest grip on my heart. My husband's, too. We lost a baby 10 weeks into my pregnancy between Girl 14 and Boy 9. I got pregnant with Boy 9 the very month that baby would have been born. Boy 9 was the catalyst. The one who seemed to bring the light and laughter back into our family.

He fights like mad with Girl 14 and is ever so patient with Boy 4's short fuse. He gets called by the wrong name the most. He, unlike the other two, can't ham it up for the camera and doesn't like to be the center of attention. He has his ups and downs. He has days where he is grumpy for reasons he can't put his little 9 year old finger on. But always, at the end of the day, he will give each of us a kiss good night and be out like a light before we can close the door behind us.

He is my middle child.

Middle children may be the "forgotten one" but in our house, he's the glue. 
Me, after a long day of dealing with my three kids:

Ugh, I can't take the fighting and yelling anymore. I need to get out and clear my head.

I'll go for a massive run.

Oh yeah, I hate running.

I'll go for a long, brisk walk.

Oh yeah, it's freezing outside.

Wine. I'll just have lots and lots of wine.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Not Crazy About Crazy Hair Day

I was so smug about how organised I had been about Crazy Hair Day at Boy 4's preschool today. I'd taken him to the $2 shop yesterday and let him go nuts, picking out the horns (labeled Girls Night Out accessory) and some glow-in-the-dark orange hairspray. He could barely go to sleep, he was so excited about the head of super duper orange he'd be sporting the next day.


I took him outside, wrapped him in an old shirt of mine to protect his clothes from the insane level of orange that would be coming out of that can. So I sprayed. Shook and sprayed, shook and sprayed. NOTHING. Nothing but plain old hairspray, not a speck of orange in sight. He is giving me the gleeful look I've ever seen, anticipating that he would be winning the Craziest Hair Award that day.

He scurries off to the mirror and I just wait for what's coming. 1...2...aaaaah, there it is, the wailing shriek whine that only he knows how to achieve. I'm going to save you from the 20+ minutes of tantrums and negotiations. He finally agreed to me using the green facepaint that's been sitting in the cupboard from last Halloween. He even agreed to let me take a photo, the photo I hoped would appease his utter devastation over the dysfunctional orange hairspray from the "you had ONE job" category.

He let me take the photo. Doesn't mean he had to be happy about it.

Here it is.


Like a Grape

For the past 10 days, our house has been abuzz with Monarch butterfly fever. Boy 4 found a little caterpillar on the leaf of our swan plant out front. All summer, we'd eagerly count them as they got nice and plump on the plant, only to be picked off by the wasps. This time, we were determined to see the little guy through. We cut four healthy branches, put them in water and found him a prime spot in our kitchen. For breakfast, Boy 4 would even bring him to the table so that we could happily admire his striped pal. We tracked his progress and we even lost him at one point, only to find him chilling on a painting in the kitchen.

When we went to bed last night, he was still hanging upside down from the leaf. The kids were delighted when they saw that he'd formed into a chrysalis overnight! Not only that, there were eggs on the branch, and another wee caterpillar chomping away on a leaf. I carefully boxed it up and took it to Boy 4's preschool so that they could see the entire cycle and get to watch the miracle of a glorious Monarch butterfly emerge from its cocoon. Boy 4, classmates, teachers - all so excited, marvelling about how unusually late in the season it is for this natural wonder. Went off to work with warm fuzzies about the exciting day of learning ahead for the children.

Cut to pick up time, I practically skipped to his school, ready to hear all about it. I had sacrificed taking it in to my preschool to share with my students, because I knew how invested Boy 4's class was. I'd promised my students that I'd bring in a cutting with the eggs so we could follow their journey. I walked into Boy 4's centre, only to be greeted by his teacher's solemn face. Apparently, the children had gathered around the plant to start their lesson with her. 30 seconds in, a girl squashed the delicate little chrysalis between her chubby little fingers, like a grape. I was shocked at how disappointed I felt, and a bit miffed at the girl, even though I completely recognise the fact that she's only 4 and couldn't help herself. But geeeeeeeez girl, that caterpillar worked his butt off to get that far!

The kids actually did end up learning a valuable lesson about the cycle of life, just not exactly the way that the grown ups had hoped for!

Farewell, stripey friend, we'll always have Paris (or in this case, our kitchen bench.)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Taking your children to a skate park is absolutely the least relaxing way to spend your time.
I swear, my children have a roster coordinating which one of them hates which meal to avoid them all liking the same meal at the same time.


Bedtime chats with Boy 9:
Boy: "I don't like girls, girls have cooties."
Me: "No they don't."
Boy: "Yes, they do."
Me: Who told you that?
Boy: "It's ONLINE!"


It seems a cruel joke that I'm now having to endure songs by Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys all over again, but this time as "old school." Ah, the joys of having a teenager in the house.

Is there something in my nose?


                                          How Lego starts...

How Lego ends...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I LOVE to read. Love, love, love it - ever since I can remember. So it's important to me that my kids love it, too. The older two don't, but my four year old son - oh, how he loves to read. He loves the peaceful quiet of the library, the promise of future friendships and love affairs on the shelves. Two out of three ain't bad. It's quite handy, that song, when you're a parent of three.

The town we live in just spent over 7 million dollars renovating the local library and it is out of this world gorgeous. I want to work there -  no,  LIVE there. It brings me a feeling of peace and joy that my own home cannot because my home is never so quiet and beautiful. The only flaw that it has is that it closes at 5:30 pm, so by the time the kids and I get there after work and school, we have about 45 minutes to an hour to soak it up.

The last few visits, I've hunted down my favourite authors to see if they'd released anything new (within the past month to 10 years, before my second and third children came to steal away my time) and to my delight, there have been "new" books! One from Nick Hornby, another from Jhumpa Lahiri, Wally Lamb...and each time, I've checked them out while daydreaming about all the cozy, rainy days in bed for me to get lost in the books. The image of myself, stylishly dressed and without a child in sight, tucked away in a cafe corner, devouring stories from my favourite tellers or poring over the treasures while I take a luxurious bath (we don't have a tub, btw) is almost enough to make me skip to the counter. Every time, I tell myself that I will carve time out and treat myself to just sitting and reading.

So far, I've returned three books unfinished, in two cases, UNOPENED over the course of a MONTH.

I'm currently Day 5 into owner(borrow)ship of Jhumpa Lahiri's The Lowland. The cover is gorgeous and just the fact that it was written by her makes me positive that I will fall in love with it, as I have with all of her other stories. But have I even opened it? No. Will I make some progress by Day 7? Damn straight. Damn straight I hope to, we'll see if I actually will be able to.

I'll let you know how it went in a month. Tonight was supposed to be the night, but a round of baking, laundry and dishes later - it's 12:25 am and I have to be up in 5 hours.

Tomorrow, I will open the book, tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mom Fails

My sister, my best friend in the whole, wide world, lives in the States and I live in New Zealand. The age and geographical differences have always been a bit tricky to navigate for us, being eight years and oceans apart. But now, thanks to technology, we're able to chat instantaneously on our phones whenever we please. Thank you, Viber.

She has a freshly turned two year old son and a nearly four month old son, while I have Girl 13, Boy 8 and Boy 4. Over the years, we've used Viber for a whole array of highly important topics ranging from screenshots of The Onion stories that crack us up, to what we're up to on the weekend, to which mutual friend is doing what with another to good old celebrity gossip. I told you, important stuff. These days, we've gotten into a fun little habit of swapping Mom Fail stories. Just this afternoon, we swapped a few gems I'd like to share with you.

Boy 8 is on Day 6 of antibiotics for a dental issue. Day 6, I realize that I have not been giving him the correct dosage. Too little, thank goodness, not too much. In a bit of a panic, called the dentist - phew - no big issues there. No harm, no foul, dumb Mom!

Yesterday, I was barefoot out in the garden with Boy 4 when he declared an imminent toilet emergency. I quickly scooped him up in my arms and skilfully, effortlessly dashed up the front steps like a gazelle. At least, that was my intention - that's not what happened. What did happen was, I caught my big toe on the bumpy stair surface and I won't go into detail here except to say that it now resembles the lid of a treasure chest. Boy 4, taking one glance at the blood said "Oh no Mommy, you're going to die!" As you can imagine, I was feeling like a moron to top of the less than ideal day I'd had at work. My usual arsenal of negative thoughts were swirling around in my head about how careless and distracted and half ass I am about everything, etc etc. Boy 8 came sauntering down the driveway as I bandaged myself and announced that he needs a pair of flippers and some goggles by tomorrow. Damn it, I don't know why my children always do this, but off we go to the store again. Hobbling around in pain, with my throbbing foot, the boys and I managed to find the aisle we needed. Of course, it was at this point that Boy 8 needs to go pee. We make it across the store, the size of a football field and across the mall, which felt like two city blocks and made it to the toilet. Boy 4 assured me adamantly that he didn't have to go. Juuuuuust as we made it back to the aforementioned aisle, Boy 4: "Mom! I need to POOP!"

And scene.

Okay, so these aren't exactly "fails" - well, the antibiotics thing is, but that's not the point. The point is, there are so many moments where I feel like I'm failing as a person, a wife, a mother. I, like most women I know, have a gift for taking everything onboard, internalizing it, taking responsibility for it and blaming myself even when it's something beyond my control. I am the queen of this. Sorry if you feel I'm snatching your crown away from you, but I'm not even kidding when I tell you that guilt is my oldest, most loyal friend. We have been through a lot together over the years.

It's my hope that as I share my Mom Fails of the Day with you, they will make you chuckle, or shake your head, or nod your head in agreement or SOMETHING that will make you realize that you're not the only who feels like they're not doing it right. Or at the very least, you'll see that you're doing better at life than I am in my current state of Mom Fog.

Oh - guess what? I started writing this hours ago. Took a break to make dinner, get everyone off to bed, and made some banana bread to stick in everyone's lunches for the week. I nearly put it in the oven without adding the bananas. Yup, that's where my head's at at the moment - not in the moment. Probably dreaming of past days where I thought life was hectic, before I had kids.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

In My Day...

Helping my high schooler with her super complex science homework, trying to figure out how the hell to cite websites for the bibliography. What the hell? Bring back libraries and encyclopedias and good old fashioned books with authors and published dates and all that good stuff. I've uttered the words "In my day..." far too many times this week.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"I Met a Man in Rome!"

I had a total "I met a man in Rome!" moment today. Do you know what I'm talking about? If you're my age-ish, you'll remember that line. For those of you who are too young to appreciate the Steve Martin gem from 1991, let me enlighten you. It's from the remake of "Father of the Bride"- Steve Martin's daughter has just returned from a year abroad and that's how she announces her engagement. Only, in the scene, the line is uttered by a little girl version of his now twenty something daughter.

Today, I rushed home from work, geared up to launch into the mess of dishes and laundry when my 13 year old announces that she needs a new swimsuit by TOMORROW. My kids just love this trick - we've just come out of an 8 week long summer break (summer here in New Zealand) where we had oodles of time to run those pesky little chores. But NOOOOO, let's wait until Mom is back at work and her patience and sanity are wearing as thin as...her repertoire of clever metaphors. So I piled the three kids into the car and happily joined the bustle of rush hour to head off to one of the only stores open past 6 pm. (Stores close early here. Really early. Like, "Oh, let's close the shops just as every working person is finishing work and able to spend their money on our goods" kind of early.) As soon as we enter the store, the boys (ages 4 and 8) scamper away to look at toys they can beg me for later.

My Girl 13 and I peruse the swimwear section for girls. Nope. Only brightly coloured fluorescent pink flowery numbers here. She's looking for plain black. No choice but to go to the women's section while I know in my heart that my skinny rail of a daughter won't find her fit there, but we are desperate. I rummage through the pile and manage to find the smallest size, a (NZ) 8 and tell her to try it. Just for the hell of it. Why not? We have no other options. While she's trying it on (over her under garments, don't freak) my boys are trying to entice me into buying the "amazing and so cool" Hot Wheels and Lego sets. NO. I will not cave, no matter how many "Please, please, pleases" they string together. Exasperated, I'm already thinking about how to talk her into one of those cute fluro numbers.

The dressing room door opens and there is my girl, wearing a size 8 and it FITS her. Fits her perfectly, without any tweaking or stretching of the imagination or wishful thinking. And just like that, we have paid for it and we're back in the car. She's not surprised at all, of course - why shouldn't it fit her? She's pretty much my size now, but to me, it was as if my Boy 8 slipped comfortably into hubby's work shoes. Not ready for this. Not ready for this at all. This just went hand in hand with the utter shock I felt over the weekend, as I read the words in a Word Search for the Puberty section in her Health Studies book. Oh my. But that's another story for another day.

This journey into being the mother of a teenager, a teenage GIRL is going to be a bumpy one. I need to get ready for this. They always say adolescence is a confusing time full of hormonal, emotional, and psychological changes.

I always thought this applied to the kids. How could I have been so stupid?