Finding my mojo

I have been slack of late with updating my blog, I haven’t even bothered to review comments, which isn’t a bad thing, they’re usually spam anyway. I know for a blog to have success one has to keep publishing. Successful bloggers spend many hours a week tapping away at their keyboard bringing what could essentially be a dull boring topic to life. I feel like I’ve lost momentum and certainly the passion for some of the topics I’ve published in the past: being a nanni, adoption and depression to name a few.

I have a theory of why I haven’t been depressed of late and therefore not writing deep and meaningful blogs on my dark days. I haven’t had any dark days ever since I had a minor operation to fix a medical condition known as hyperparathyroidism, which depression is one of many side affects – and quiet frankly I’m not amused. I believe I produced my best work when I was depressed. I can only hope it’s a passing phase as I’m not terribly fond of feeling normal all the time, it’s terribly draining and not to mention boring as hell. I was quite use to the swings and roundabouts of my mental state.  The ups from downs felt pretty damn good as I’m sure most depressed people would agree.  My favourite depressed person of all time Stephen Fry admitted his depression may have helped him be successful. He said he was driven by the energy his depression gave him to be creative. Not that I’m comparing myself to the great Mr Fry but he certainly does have a point.

My passion for writing about adoption has also waned. I can’t help but think it’s directly related to my recovery from depression as it was on my down days I’d reflect on my search and subsequent failure. Or maybe I’ve just given up after 30+ years, maybe I’ve just thrown the towel in the ring!

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here, maybe I’m not cured of depression, maybe I might have reached a point of acceptance in my life, acceptance that this is it. Oh surely not, the thought of accepting that this is it, is, well it’s slightly depressing. But alas only slightly!

And there’s my gandkids who have given me so much blog material but with a month away in Italy and their subsequent holiday in Fiji (with their parents of course) has meant I’ve hardly seen them in almost two months.

That being said I now find myself in a quandary, how can I get back my writing mojo?

For starters, it may also be helpful to get my fat arse off the couch and stop watching the Real Housewives series, all of them:  Orange County, New York City, Atlanta, New Jersey and Beverly Hills.  Yes I admit it, I really do watch them religiously.  I try to analyse why I, a somewhat intelligent woman, gets engrossed in these unreal reality shows. I can only conclude it’s pleasing to see beautiful rich women fight like feral cats over the carcass of rats. I wish I had friends I could fight like that with, how liberating.  My friends are just way too polite to behave so unladylike and I’m just way too polite not to reciprocate the same level of politeness – how boring!  Our retaliation is defriending on Facebook.

Back to my quandary!

I’m obviously not suffering from writer’s block because after all I am writing this blog, so the issue isn’t that I can’t write but what to write. I saw an interview with Jerry Seinfeld who said he finds material for his stand-up routines in every aspect of his life and when he gets an idea he’ll work on it day and night until he’s happy that it’s perfect.  And since he’s a very successful comedian, his work philosophy is certainly one to emulate and I’m sure the same word ethic would apply to writing blogs. Do I have that dedication?  Now this is where I should come out with fighting words but all I can say is “I’ll give it my best shot” – how lame.

I may not have my depression to drive my writing but I still have my crazy friends and family, especially my Grandkids who I’ll be seeing more of since we all have our holidays behind us. Surely with all this subject matter and my sarcastic wit and bold opinions I’ll be writing up a storm from now on. Now to work on my bone idle laziness and addiction to the not-so-real housewives!

Nanni day and night care – NO!

I had my lovely grand children over on the weekend which happened to be one week before Easter 2012. I love having them but I also like seeing them go after a day and night of entertaining their busy little minds and bodies.  I’d love to have them longer but unfortunately I have a day job that pretty much exhausts me after a long week.  So I like to think I’m helping out my daughter and son-in-law with a much needed night off from the kids. I know I loved it when my Mum had the kids overnight. And more power to her too, she was much older than me and I had three kids to drop off.  I didn’t give my Mum enough credit for it – miss you Mum!

The weekend starting off with an Easter egg hunt near my place. Unfortunately my daughter was a couple of minutes late so we turned up just as 100s of kids where running around madly looking for Easter eggs.  Mind you, the eggs hunt was conducted on a cricket ground so the eggs weren’t hard to find and because the venue wasn’t clearly marked we also missed out on getting a balloon and an egg basket.  So poor little Matilda (3 years old) managed to find one broken egg. Poor little Charlie missed out all together.  However, we did notice some kids with overflowing egg baskets. My daughter noticed one mother with an overflowing basket, she also noticed this women and her kids resembled the overstuffed fat family you see on “Save my family” – the show where an expert shows them how to change their eating ways.

Oh well, back home to my place where we’d enjoy a nice morning tea of baby cappuccinos and soon after my daughter left us to get on with Nanni night and day care.

PS:  Sometimes having my daughter over with the kids just adds to the kiddy tally.

After morning tea I set the kids up for a morning of craft. Matilda loves loves loves her craft. And I love love love it too – it keeps her occupied for ages.  Charlie on the other hand is good for one or two paintings then he’s done. He moves on to blocks, trucks or generally wondering from one game to another.  We just need to ensure he doesn’t jump off the 9th floor balcony.

I’ve noticed as the kids get older they’re developing their communication skills, they have opinions and on many occasions opposing ones to ours. It’s the later that causes the most stand-offs and this weekend’s standoff – the dummy!

Me:  Charlie – you can’t have your dummy until you go to bed.

Charlie:  Yes I can.

Me:  No you can’t.

Charlie: Yes and he beings to cry.

You just can’t reason with a little boy who cries, they know it and I know it.

Me:  Ok, he’s your dummy then,  but you can only have it for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile after 15 minutes of peace of quiet and no arguments with a 2 year old the whole matter is forgotten and Charlie’s busy sucking on his dummy.

Charlie 2nd, Nanni 3rd – but 1st place goes to peace and quiet!

Like three peas in a pod

Last Sunday my daughter, son-in-law and two grand-kids picked me up so we could visit my furniture designer.  My daughter got into the back seat in-between the kids, my son-in-law didn’t know where to go so I popped into the driver’s seat and away we went. We were happily chatting about design ideas for my daughter’s bedroom when all of a sudden a stupid women decided that my lane looked more appealing. I think she had the idea that she was the only one on the road and therefore didn’t give any warning about her move into ‘my’ lane.

Needless to say I was rather upset by her lack of driving skills and given my propensity to swearing profusely, especially when under the influence of road rage, I began to launch into my usual barrage of profanities using all my favourites such as the ‘f’ word and depending on the driving offence at hand, the ‘c’ word is another favourite. I must add here that all this is done within the confines of my car, so no one is the wiser.  Before I got my favourite words out, I realised that my impressionable grand-kids were behind me.  Immediately I stopped and finished the sentence with “you damn idiot”.  Feeling rather unsatisfied because I couldn’t finish what I really wanted to say, I finished the rantings with mumblings under my breath.  I looked over at my son-in-law for sympathy but all I was presented with was a look of surprise followed by the rolling of his eyes.  “What?” I asked.  “Like two peas in a pod” was his reply.

Now this is not the first time my son-in-law has had this same surprised look or uttered the old English saying, like two peas in a pod, which dates back as far as the 16th Century.  I think the look of surprise is when he realises yet another instance where my daughter and I show remarkable similarities.

No sooner did he utter the words when my daughter followed through with “look into the future, Mum’s just me twenty years older”, then she launched into an infectious giggle which I immediately caught and so did my son-in-law.  After a moment or two I stopped giggling and said “what’s wrong with that?” which only inflamed the giggle session.

I’m sure at the end of the day, my son-in-law is bestowing a compliment on me. We’ll that’s how I see it anyway.

Like I mentioned, there have been many occasions my son-in-law has given the same look and has uttered the same thing. He’s even said many times that me, my daughter and grand-daughter are like three peas in a pod.

I must admit the similarities aren’t lost of me either. Sometimes I feel like I’m watching a re-run of my life and thankfully that’s not a bad thing.  And the older my daughter gets the more she’s turning into me and the older my grand-daughter gets I see my daughter at that age doing, saying and acting the same way.

And I can’t finish this blog without mentioning my two sons who I have watched turn into their fathers.  My eldest son is the spitting image of his dad and that’s great because his dad died and I’m so lucky to watch his legacy live on in our son. My youngest son looks, walks and thinks like his dad and luckily for him, his dad’s pretty cool.

And then there’s my beautiful baby grandson, who reminds me so much of his uncle (my eldest son) and in turn reminds me of my eldest son’s dad. As I’m sure my son-in-law’s mother sees similarities between the generations as well.

It’s comforting to know that our legacies are being passed down the generations and from what I see of my kids and grand-kids, it’s one to be proud of even if the legacy includes the odd occurrence of road rage, albeit road rage no one ever hears or sees unless you’re in the same car, as my son-in-law can testify too.

Nanni night care – cut version

I was charged with the task of babysitting my two gorgeous Grand-kids last Saturday night. My daughter prefers if I stay over so the kids don’t get out of routine. My daughter is a routine freak, read Nanni Day Care . Little did I know that by the end of the night I would be babysitting one unsettled baby, one drunken father and one partying mummy.

I was charged with the task of babysitting my two gorgeous Grand-kids last Saturday night. My daughter prefers if I stay over so the kids don’t get out of routine.  My daughter is a routine freak.  Little did I know that by the end of the night I would be babysitting one unsettled  baby, one drunken father and one partying mummy.

The night started out like most other babysitting nights where I’m screaming at my daughter and son-in-law to get the hell out of the house before Charlie starts crying because they’re leaving. To be fair to my son-in-law, it’s never his fault there’s a dramatic exit, after all my daughter is a drama teacher and she lives and breathes her work.

Once the parents were gone the kids settled down with 150 books for me to read, or at least attempt to read, and a glass of milk.  Charlie goes through the process of selecting a book, handing it to me and climbs on my lap for me to read.  Once he’s on board the Nanni lap we get to around page two and he’s sliding down my leg, off to select another book.  In between Charlie’s trips to and from the book case, I manage to read a book to Matilda.

When there was a break in the book readings, I managed to pour my Nanni night care potion – on this occasion it was a lovely Margaret River Red.

Charlie was showing all the signs of sleepiness so I put him down to bed and lo and behold, he went down without a whimper. One down and one to go!

Not long after Charlie went to bed, Matilda announced she too would like to go to bed. And off we went. I didn’t believe for one second she’d drift off to sleep after I read the obligatory book or two. And my hunch was right.  So Matilda and I snuggled on the lounge and watched TV.

Now here lies the problem.  My son-in-law is a sports fan (or should I say sport freak) so if I was at all interested in watching the football, horse racing, soccer or frigging tiddlywinks,  I would be in TV heaven.  Unfortunately for me, I’m not.  As part of his pay TV package he gets all the sports channels and only the basic channels of anything else.  Meaning, there’s fuck all to watch on TV. 

Luckily for me but unlucky for them this Saturday night’s Movie selection was good, so I ordered two movies – both charged to their account. Just desserts I say. Anyway, after a time I carried a sleeping Matilda to bed then settled in for an easy night of Movies and wine. Ahhh sweet relief but not for long!

Around 9.30 I heard Charlie coughing which on my daughter’s instructions, I ignored. After another while the coughing was accompanied by some crying, which I didn’t ignore so I snuck into his room and bought him out for a cuddle.  After 30 minutes he went back to sleep and I put him back to bed. Not long after putting little Charlie to bed, I noticed the front porch light turned on and thought I heard someone rustling outside and figured it was my daughter and son-in-law.  However, no one came through the door so I figured the light was tricked by a bird or passer-by and I went back to the movie.

Another 20 minutes passed and I heard another rustling, this time at the back door, right next to where I was watching TV. I figured they were home and waited for them to tap on the door so I could let them in. After a minute or two the rustling continued but no one came to the door. Being rather brave, I stuck my head out through a slightly ajar door and ask who was there.  My son-in-law said it was him, so I let him in.  Immediately I could see he was drunk.  He gets this funny look on his face where his eyes are transfixed on the ground approximately 1.5 meters in front of him and his upper body tilts wildly to one side. He made it to the lounge, sat down and proceeded to sleep.  Not before I asked where my daughter was, which he replied that he didn’t know. I might add, his lovely white shirt that my daughter insisted I tell him looked good earlier, was now dirtied with what appeared to be grass stains. 

Where the hell had he been I wondered?

If only the son-in-law would go to bed so I didn’t have to arrange myself another comfy spot on the lounge. Ok, I resettled myself and got back to the movie! Ten minutes passed and Charlie was crying again.   This time his crying was a little more intense and it was clear he wasn’t going to settle. So I got him up.  He was pleased when he saw his father but when his father didn’t respond to his attempts at a cuddle, Charlie wasn’t happy and made it very clear. I don’t normally text my daughter with any news other than the kids have gone to bed.  I do this to prove to my doubting daughter that I’m more than capable of getting the kids to bed before midnight. On the contrary, they are usually in bed or asleep before 7.30pm. But on this occasion I sent a text asking how long she was going to be?  The reply was she was heading off to the pub.

While I was trying to re-settle Charlie, my son-in-law got up off the lounge and headed out the back door.  “Where are you going?” I asked.  To that he told me he needed to go outside.Ten minutes passed and still no son-in-law. It was quite cold and I was worried he’d get hypothermia. I would have gone outside to check on him but I thought what the hell,  it was too cold.

So armed with an unsettled baby and a lost son-in-law I decided mummy (daughter) better come home – Nanni night care was over and out.

Did I see both movies you ask? Besides the commercials interrupting my viewing so to was one unsettled baby, one drunken son-in-law and one partying mummy, but funnily enough I managed to drink half-a-bottle of wine and watch two movies.

Ahhh sweet relief!

PS:  To keep the peace with my favourite son-in-law, some facts have been deliberately left out but if you ask me next time you see me, I’ll fill you in on the details.