Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh SHIT NO - I really need help here people...

I have had some shitfully craptacular news today. Apologies for the length but I need to put this story out as far and wide as possible to get any help and advice needed.

My scarily awesome Cyclone is 6 and is on the Autism Spectrum, and most likely ADHD. He started at a brilliant school at the start of the year but it was clear it was too stressful for him. He is very anxious, finds it hard to concentrate and can get very cross when frustrated. Apart from that he is wonderful and a very bright little spark.

We were referred by his current school to a new school that specializes in Spectrum Kids and ones that aren't coping well. They attend this school for one year, then are transferred back to mainstream school with a whole new confidence. They have an amazing track record of literally changing kids lives.

There are NO other schools that cater to kids like this. It is independent. I had several calls/meeting with the principal of "N School" and she said they could certainly help us out and we organised for Cyclone to start Term 3.

3rd June, 1st meeting at school with principal after several long phone calls.

11th June, Cycone had trial run at N School. He ran out of the classroom after about 30 mins and waited by the car.

Told shortly after that he could not attend N School in Term 3 due to – running out of the classroom. She brought up the fact that the school is on a main road and there were safety issues if he was to run out of the school again. Principal apologized and told me “I know it’s not the news you were expecting” and that they could definitely take him for Term 4 – he just ‘wasn’t the right fit right now’ and after I asked her what I should do with him, she advised me to call Current School and ask if they could keep him in a ‘holding pattern’ as they had already been doing for Term 2. I did not think this was a good idea, she asked me to press Current School to so do, for just one more term. I asked her again if they would definitely take him for term 4, she said yes.

I called several autism services/advisors and asked for their advice.
Discussed situation with several family and friends.

Decided reluctantly to homeschool. Advised N school Principal, she was not happy with this and felt he would get too used to being at home and out of a school routine. I advised I would do my best to keep the routine, and after all it was only one term.

I have since spoken to Principal at least 3 times, to advise her of our progress at home and with professional services and to ask her if there was anything further I could to do help his transition to the N School.

The second to last phone call I rang to arrange for Principal to come and observe him at the local library where we do some of our lessons(her request). She said she didn’t have her diary there but would call me in two weeks to arrange a time. I let her know any time was ok with us.

I have not heard from Principal since, but called today – ready for her to again bring up his homeschooling, but instead was told – that she ‘had it in her head that I was going to call her’, that there had obviously been a miscommunication between us both…(sorry, no). I said nevermind I was calling to make an appointment to formally enroll him ready for next term. She pauses then tells me that there is no place available for him.

I completely contained myself and nearly popped several veins in the process – here is a brief outline of the conversation.

– are you kidding me, what do you mean there is no place available? You told me he couldn’t go in term 3 but you could accommodate him in Term 4.
Her – I didn’t say that.
Me – yes you did, we have had several conversations about him starting next term, I have been speaking to you since May. I have spent the last 8 weeks homeschooling my son and preparing him for this, you are well aware of the situation.
Her – well I had it in my head that you were to call me, there appears to be a communication breakdown between us. The place has gone to someone else. I’m sorry, this doesn’t seem fair does it?
Me – regardless of you thinking I was to call you – was there a point you were going to call me and advise you had changed your mind about my son, did you think I had all of a sudden forgotten he was to attend?
Her – I have several families needing places here.
Me – have they been waiting as long as I have? Where is the priority here? Are you aware the effect that this has had on my life – are these other children still able to attend school, my son isn’t and needs to get back into the education system. You are the one that kept telling me homeschooling wasn’t the answer. Why have things changed?

Look it goes on and on, but at the end of the day she has nothing and can’t answer any of my questions.
1) She has stuffed up royally and expects me to walk away.
2) All kids need to be assessed – he has had ONE trial day and the principal wasn’t even there and has not met him. How can she assess him?
3) This is a private school, so yes they can pick and choose who attends. This will be a problem but I don’t see why I can’t put some sort of pressure on them to accept him. Especially in the light of the fact I was TOLD he was accepted. If I was told at any time that he didn’t have a definite place I would have made a backup plan.

The backup plan would have involved another school with a huge transition program put in place and these things take time. I also would probably NOT have chosen to homeschool and look for alternatives much much earlier. It is now 2 weeks from the end of term so Cyclone is totally stuffed. You would not believe the stress and pressure I have gone through trying to make sure he is keeping up with his ABC’s, doing physical therapy and running him to 8000 appointments.

I can’t keep him out of school another term, I just can’t. I’m not a fricken professional teacher, OT or psychologist. I cannot offer what he needs alone.

Our neurotherapist just can't believe what is going on, and will call the Principal tomorrow to try and sort something.

What else can I do? Who can I contact? The school board? The Stupidhead Principle Police?

If you are a teacher, can you advise me? What other sort of pressure can I put to get him in? TRUST ME, I will do all I can.
Email luluandcyclone@gmail.com

Please, if you know anyone who works in Education, particularly private can you please ask if they know the correct channels to address this.

And, lastly if you think (or know from experience) that I am up the creek in a barbed wire canoe, please let me know...but just do it gently.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Get your babies ready for Botox!!!

I saw this ad on shitful saturday commercial television last week and it REALLY PISSED ME OFF.

A bunch of bouncing preteens in lab coats using syringes to do their own cosmetic science. "Rejuvenate your mom" says the voiceover whilst a tired looking run down mummy has crap splashed over her by this sparky bunch of kids. This toy is aimed at 8 year olds so by my calculations, the raggy old mum is around THIRTY TWO.....or maybe even FORTY. Shit, what if she is FORTY FIVE, perish the thought.

Already I have digressed, but ranty pants will do that to you.

So to make your own 'cosmetics and skin care' you clearly need a lab coat and syringes. Excuse me but 8-11 year olds need nothing more than a wash cloth in their fricken watermelon scented bubble baths.

Making syringes and lab coats normal when it comes to skincare just makes me sick, and hurl even further when it is directed towards children.

Yes, I know some kids can have skin troubles at a young age but even if they don't getting to mix up some revolting-ass cheapo chemicals and putting glitter in it will more than likely GIVE them a problem.

So of course the answer is - we don't buy this crap for our kids.
When they scream "I want THAT" when the stupid ad flashes on, we will laugh and tell them what a load of bollocks it is, and that when they are old enough we will show them the way.

And what if you don't know the first thing about it, have forgotten or don't really care?

Don't worry - ole Aunty Lulu will show you so stay tuned.

Am I the only one that thinks this sucks?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Sagrada - Interior

Gaudi considered nature his greatest teacher, trees, limbs, tendons, ribs, leaves...

The man was colour blind.

It's just so........organic

I can't find enough interior pictures.....anyone got a spare ticket to Spain?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Ranty McRant.

Awwwww, isn't that sweet?

Ain't that just the cutest??

All together now for the basket full of adorable - AAAWWWWWWWWW

So what is the rant, where there is so much cute in da house?

Bloody people. People annoy me at the best of times but ones that decide to get a puppy annoy me more than most.

Someone decides to get a dog. They have a young family and think it would be great for the kids. Something to play with - help teach them responsibility and all....

What kind of a puppy should I get? What would be good with the kids? they ask.

Do you work I ask? Are you at home all day? Why don't you get TWO puppies? Do you have the time to spend on an extra child? Huh?, they say.

Well how much time DO YOU HAVE?

Because I am sick to death of talking to people about dogs (I'm not even a dog person for fucks sake) about the realities of owning a dog then have their eyes glaze over whilst they rave on about the cute factor, and the so called 'family factor'.

Because I am sick to death of these same people asking within a year if they should give the dog up.

It cries to be let in.
It jumps on the children.
It rips the washing off the line.
It eats the childrens toys.
It shits in the backyard and the kids can't play.

These complaints are all in the same tone - it's the DOG'S fault. All I hear is "I don't have enough time and I expect the dog to train itself and clean up it's own shit". "I have spent a good 3 MONTHS playing with my dog and doing all the fun stuff now it's annoying because it STILL wants attention".

I'm sick of these complaints because these people can't even see these issues are THEIRS as a dog owner.

Dogs want to play with you and be part of the family. Do you leave any of your kids in the backyard for long periods of time? (ok ok, I actually do that but I do let the kids sleep inside).
Do you only talk/play/pay attention to your kids when it suits you? Thought not.
If your child gets too rowdy, too needy, too much trouble do you return them or dump them on someone else because you can't be arsed meeting their needs?

NO? So why do people think this ok for pets?

Put the time in. Put the time in long term and you will get what everyone wants from a dog/new family member.

If you STILL want a dog after all that ranting, don't DARE go to a breeder. Don't DARE go to a pet shop.

Head to the local animal adoption service and talk to them first. It's TERRIBLE fallacy that the dogs available there are dangerous because they are abused. You have 10x the chances of getting a perfect (and probably already toilet trained) dog from these people because -

They have a screening process.
They are dedicated to homing these animals suitably....because they love them, don't care about profit and don't want to see the animals back on the street and surrendered again.
YOU will be scrutinised, your family, your situation and the time you have to give will be looked at and that can only be a good thing.
You will potentially save an animal from lethal injection.

And maybe instead of asking what a dog can do for you - why not first ask what YOU can do for the dog....

rant over...I need a bex and a lie down.

cheers xoxoxo

P.S I have no idea why the text is orange in this post.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Don't mind me....

It's just the 1st anniversary - WOOOOOO of the existence this blog...or blawwg as I like to call it.

I have been rather quiet this week after noticing the date of an old post. I spent the last few days traveling over the last year of my life as a blog. I have to say I am really thrilled that I actually started it. I've never managed to keep any sort of journal before due to my gnat like attention span.

I was encouraged to start blogging by my good friend Mrs Neurotic - she wholly believed I should rant in the webworld rather than her ear and I secretly wanted to start my own Agony Aunt column as well as bitch about shit.

I started off talking mainly about my garden and love of all things that grow in the earth, about the renovations I was doing myself due to total lack of budget and employment, my ex partner Scorpio and his constant brushes with the law and the many antics of my son The Cyclone.

Since then, *sigh - I have lost my house and moved in with a friend (The Batchelor). I miss my garden terribly. I miss my Magnolia, my weeping Japanese Maples and my huge vegie patch with the 8 foot celery. I will restart my garden tips as spring gets closer - The Batchelor is frightened of dirt so I can't dig up his pristine, FERTILE lawn and jam in carrots or tomatoes anytime soon...but I'm sure I'll get over it come summer when I am enjoying many a vodka by the POOL. You win some, you lose some.....

I STILL haven't started Roller Derby, I'm very very very close to relaunching my Bach Flower business, and I'm hoping to get the Agony Aunt up and running soon.

It's been a fun year really, lots has happened and I'm just glad I wrote it all down - life moves fast. Thank you to my "old" blog buddies and those who drop a comment on my drivel. This is surely a place for my own stories.........but it's nice to know someone reads the things I sometimes put my little opinionated, potty mouthed heart into.

I leave you with my three four favourite posts of the last year -

Scorpio gets arrested for assault whilst vomiting

The Day the Dog Jumped Through The Window

Scorpio versus Aquaman

Parenting Separately

and a big CHEERS to all my new bloggy friends that have joined recently, and a special mention to NEURI. Thanks for finally coming out of the closet bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

Here's one for you, and you, and you and you and you

When life give you lemons baby - REACH FOR THE TEQUILA!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Story

There once was a girl and a boy. They didn’t see each other very much now. Their worlds didn’t collide, their ships didn’t even pass in the night anymore. He was a now a happy memory and She was a fragrant ghost that would return only in his dirtiest dreams.

He was busy, she was busy – they both had their own lives now.

He saw Her walking down the street and hurried across the road to talk to her. She was pleased to see him as always. As they chatted over coffee they realized work would bring them to the same city the very next week. They arranged to meet then.

She got there earlier than He and fussed about with her hair and touched up her nailpolish. Finally He arrived, not a moment too soon. They were both squirming and self conscious. They made small talk for awhile until He pulled out a joint – for old times sake. To remember the uni days, where they first made their connection. To break down the time barrier and return them to the times when things were simpler, easier and hazy with sex.

She lit the candles, he lit the joint.

They laughed. They even laughed harder. They ate all the food in the mini bar and drank all the tiny bottles of scotch and fell about laughing again.
They crawled into the bathroom, where the spa bath was waiting. Full of bubbles but cold through neglect and stoned hysteria. They crawled to the shower, managed to turn it on, sat on the floor and washed each others hair.

They fell into bed with limbs entangled and were both asleep in minutes.


True or False?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sagrada Suspended For Headlines - read all about it.

Sunday Sagrada has been temporarily postponed until next Sunday due to the election stuff/stress/issues OMFG!!!

This is huge news in Australia, as I type there will be a Hung Parliament (?), Whoaaa Nelly.

I don't have much to say about it (shellshock) except to remind everyone to make sure you buy the newspapers today, read them and then stick them under your beds tomorrow. Keep them for your kids.

I KNOW the world is all online and kids can just type shit into Google for themselves, but there is nothing like having a tangible piece of history in your hands.

My Aunty Nancy kept the front pages of The Sun from the first landing on Mars, in a copy of Carl Sagans Cosmos. I treasure that hard copy, the smells the feel of the dry paper between my fingers. You can't get that off a keyboard.

Happy Sunday!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Teen Queen learns....

So...I spent alot of time consciously educating my teenage daughter about drinking. Did it work?

Here are my past posts on the subject HERE and HERE

When she was 16 she was invited to a small party. I didn't know about it until I called my father that night for a chat. Teen Queen has stayed overnight at her grandads on a Friday since she was little. Dad told me about the party and when I made seething noises down the phone he assured me he met the girls father and he seemed very very nice. I trust dad's judgement, but I was still annoyed Teen Queen hadn't mentioned it. Not much I could do now, I would ground her when she got home for not telling me she planned to go.

I had just resettled the baby and the phone rang. My blood ran cold. At 11.30pm it's never going to be good news. Scorpio picked up the phone and spoke for a bit, then passed the phone to me. "It's your mother, Teen Queen isn't hurt don't panic." My MOTHER? She lives nearly an hour away, what the?

It turns out my daughter is pissed out of her tree at this party. Her friends tried to call me but they couldn't prise the phone from her drunken fingers. She only released it on the promise no one would call me. I'm mortified - how embarrassing to hear my daughter is drunk from her grandmother!

Mum let me know the parents of the party girl were on the way to my place to drop off Teen Queen. I quickly got dressed and waited in the driveway ready to clobber whoever let my child get in that state whilst in their care. They arrived shortly after, Teen Queen in the back set with a bucket on her lap and friends on either side holding her hair out of the way. Scorpio practically carried her into the house, she could barely walk.

I squared up to the father. WHAT on earth was he doing allowing this to occur? He apologised but quickly explained he was bewildered himself. Whilst he did allow alcohol at his home, it was only a small party and he was supervising the entire time. He said one minute she was fine and chatting away, the next she just dropped to the floor. He didn't understand because she couldn't have had more than 2 drinks.

There was a horrendous noise from the house, so I thanked him and returned inside to find dear Teen Queen lying on the floor of the kitchen retching into the recycle bin. I demanded to know what she had drunk and how much. "Only one drink mummy", she said over and over (now I'm mummy lol) in between dry heaving into my bin. What was it, was colour was the bottle, who gave it to you?? Silence. Heave. Did you take anything else? "No muuuummeee, I promise".

I was concerned someone had spiked her drink because one drink just could not produce results like that, but she also seemed to be telling the truth. I left her there on the floor, satisfied she wasn't going to die of alcohol poisoning and had a cup of tea whilst calming down.

I called mum to let her know what was happening. "One drink, are you sure?" she asks, then thinks for awhile. "Well either she takes after her father or you brought the wrong baby home from the hospital - she certainly doesn't take after our side of the family". Too bloody right.

I went inside, poured her into bed whilst telling her she was no child of mine due to her pathetic efforts. Scorpio and I sat up for awhile laughing our asses off at the thought of Teen Queen stumbling to the toilet tripping over all the crap all over her bedroom floor.

She was sick for the rest of the weekend but I had no sympathy, just handed her the phone and made her call her grandma, grandad, the party girl AND her father to apologise.

That was a couple of years ago now, and she only recently confessed that whilst it was true she only had one drink, she let someone (a guy) she didn't know make it for her. She knew it was stronger than it should have been but she thought she knew better than her mumma.



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Simple Snacks

This is TOOOOOOOOOOO simple.

I got rather annoyed when I saw a packet of 'cheese twists' or some such other description on a box in the supermarket awhile back. You can make them in about 15 minutes with minimal fuss - kids love them for an after school snack, they go great with dips and if you are over garlic bread this is the thing for YOU.

Get a sheet of puff pasty out of the freezer. Let it thaw whilst you assemble the garlic (the minced stuff in a jar that should always live in your fridge), the parmesan cheese, preheat the oven and pour yourself a pre-dinner drink.

Spread the minced garlic over the entire sheet. Do it sparingly, depending on how much you love the stuff. I dip a teaspoon into the jar and use the back to spread it around. The garlic juice is lovely.

Sprinkle the parmesan all over the sheet. If you like you can use grated cheese too.

Cut the sheet into half. Place one half over the other so both cheesy sides face UP. Squash it down a bit.
Cut that in half crosswise to make it shorter.
Cut in half again and place that over the top - so you are layering.

Cut your layers into 1 cm slices - twist gently and place on baking tray, and into the oven at about.......ummm 180 for about ummm........10 minutes.


These are a little overdone because I forgot the oven has a TIMER....and the phone rang, then I had to wipe someones bum and answer the phone.


Other combinations - Why not add chilli if you like it hot? Sprinkle some mixed herbs over the garlic instead of cheese.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The noctural fashions of The Betty.

So as each day closes and I hear mummies all over the net breathing a sigh of relief that the day is done and children are sleeping - I start the nightshift of Kid Wrangling with Betty Boo.

Clearly it's not enough filling my day with homeschooling the Aspy Cyclone and therefore dealing with (so far today 3) meltdowns, filling in behaviour charts, adhering to rigid schedules and sticking gold stars all over the fricking place.

Betty has a problem getting to sleep. I'm pretty sure it's because Cyclone used to leap off the couch onto the hardwood floors at precisely the time I was placing her in the cot when she was a baby. Now she is 4 and still waiting for the other shoe to drop. By bouncing all over the bed and constantly coming out of her room, often till 10pm.

Then she stopped coming out of her room and that was almost fine with me, at least she wasn't wandering all over the place and interrupting my vodka appreciation moments. It wasn't worth it though. She spends her time in the room systematically pulling everything out of the wardrobe and wearing it in strange combinations, so by the time I would creep in to see her asleep there would be piles of (clean, DAMMIT) clothes all over the floor and Betty spread all over the bed looking like an extra from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, only cleaner.

Dora pjama top. Yellow sundress 2 sizes too small.

Return of the pink sundress, pink top 1 size too small and a pair of mummy's spanx.
At this point I realise she is foraging for clothes beyond her current wardrobe.

It looks like her favourite party dress and apron are too uncomfortable to sleep in after all

I wish I thought of taking more pics before last week, but hopefully the fashion shows are at an end and Betty will go to sleep just like a proper girl. I'm too fricken tired for this shit anymore.

Please tell me I'm not the only one going through this so many years past the baby stage...pleeeease???

Monday, August 16, 2010

Look at me - Kimmoi, look at meeeeeee!

Do you love it, do ya do ya do ya?

This is a temporary measure...I think. I've been bitching and moaning about wanting a new look for about 100 years, then it's all too much and I can't be arsed.

I would love a custom blog but shit on a stick there is so much choice and I have no fucking idea about columns sidebars widgets and fidgets. Well I sort of do but I just want to point at shit I like and grunt so I can leave someone else to do it.

The is NO "point and grunt" option on any of the custom blog designers so here I am.

AND sometime later today I am changing my brassy golden tresses (oh FUCK I love the word tresses)to chocolate brown. I'm hoping for this colour.

I'm not even going to backfill it with red cos I'm a RISK TAKER, ya hear? Hell yeah, I live on the edge. I'm even going to let Cyclone assist and god help the dog if she comes near me during the process cos she is gonna get a dose too.

I was going to do it last night before bed, but it's better during the day. Anyway last time I did that I stumbled into the bathroom half asleep the next morning and scared the shit out of myself.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Sagrada

The Passion Facade.

At the front of the Sagrada Familia is the Passion Facade. Harsh, blocky sculptures, and a skeletal look.

Sculptures by Josep Maria Subirachs, designed to be dramatic, provoke fear and to be a reminder of Christs suffering.

Still not religious here, but this is just stunning.

Thank you for your comments and complete agreement of the magnificence of The Sagrada Familia. For those who asked - no I haven't been there *sob *wail. If you do post pics on your own blogs let me know so I can link 'em up.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Teenagers and alcohol

Expect your child to try and break the bond between you and them. They are trying to become independent and lets face it, when you want to be BIG the parents have gotta go.

I told Teen Queen that I would ‘teach her to drink’. This did not mean giving her the taste so she could win drinking competitions at the local pub. More like a modern “Keeping Yourself Nice”.

I let her have a taste of the drink I was drinking whilst cooking dinner. She learnt to identify what taste (if any) and if it was too strong.
I explained the term ‘standard drink’, showed her a 30ml measure. I went over how alcohol can affect a person differently due to weight, the time of your menstrual cycle, if you have eaten etc.

I DID tell her in no uncertain terms that she wasn’t to drink those ridiculous alcopops or any other nasty cheap stuff. Standards people, standards!

NEVER to let anyone else mix a drink for her or to leave a drink unattended. I gave her more real life reasons for this.

I told her that without a doubt that any male who wanted to buy/provide an underage teenage girl a drink was up to no good and to avoid them at all costs. ALL COSTS. Yes darling Teen Queen you are beautiful and interesting, but these men/boys just want to get into your knickers.

I didn’t go on about the reasons why Teen Queen shouldn’t drink - there is a part of the teenage brain that immediately switches off when it senses a lecture approaching – I gave her information and hoped that she used it. HOPED??? Hoped – you say?? Will that be enough? I think it has to be, it’s not like I would be able to tag along everywhere she went.

I didn’t “sit her down” or sermonize, I didn’t speak to her like a child. I used whatever opportunities arose day to day. This went on over a period of years. All of this time I dropped her off and picked her up from parties. I called nearly every friends parents and introduced myself – I made quite a few connections with other parents with the same values as I.

Did it work? I’ll tell you next week……

brought to you by the nutter Lori at

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Silly post about something that irritates me.

THESE are AWOL. We love love love Spagasaurus at our place, especially for breakfast in winter.

Pity their numbers are rapidly declining from the supermarket shelves, taking with them Alpahgetti and Numbergetti. This is NOT COOL.

Not only do we love it for brekky but it's my number one back up plan in case of the I-can't-be-arsed-cooking-dinner moments. What am I gonna doooooooooooooo??

It's been months and I was just ready to face dinosaur re-extinction when I noticed them back. Well sort of. They are back. But smaller. And in stupid packs of 4. Completely overpackaged in paper and plastic. Now I'm not buying them on packaging principle.


Rant over

Monday, August 9, 2010

EMO Cat goes too far

Emo cat has been more mental than usual lately and usually it’s a source of amusement, not this time.

For the last two weeks, he has been going a little crazy. Eating like a rhinoceros, scratching my legs to ribbons and doing the Emo Cat Death Stare overtime. I think it’s because Betty Boo has been a complete ratbag and refusing to go to sleep at bedtime. Since that involves bouncing all over her bed, Emo cat can’t go to sleep at his preferred time of 8pm. He must be turning into geriatric old fart Emo cat.

He has always been a bit quirky, and has a memory like an elephant. He hates Aquaman because when we were married he wouldn’t allow Emo cat to sleep on the arm of the couch, which was up until the nuptials, his favourite place to kip. I know some people don’t like animals on furniture but personally I don’t see the point of having a cat and not let it drape itself all over the place. But I digress – Aquaman and I haven’t lived together for about 8 years, but everytime he comes to visit Emo cat strides up and pisses on his car. He doesn’t pee on anything else – he saves it for Aquaman.

But this time he has gone too far. Emo cat has been upset and apparently now I must pay.

The bastard peed on my dog.

Horrible, stinking boy cat wee, soaked deep into the plush pile of Fluffy Mutt’s coat.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Sagrada

I have discovered Sagrada Familia - official name Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, a Roman Catholic Church in Barcelona. Under construction since 1882 (yep, you read that right) and expected to be finished in 2026.

I am obsessed. Totally obsessed, so therefore I am sharing it with you every Sunday until I'm done with it. Which could be never.

The Sagrada Familia was designed by Antonio Gaudi, who took Neo Gothic to a new level with his truly impressive understanding of geometry and style based on nature. Gaudi died in 1926, the ongoing construction has been incredibly hard as the most designs and models he left were destroyed during the Civil War in 1936.

I can't find exactly how big it is right now, but when finished it will have 18 nearly 400 ft towers. 12 to represent the Apostles, 4 for the Evangelists, one for the Virgin Mary and the largest tower at 558ft representing Jesus Christ. It will be able to accomodate 13,000 people.

The scale is just mind boggling, the detail and design out of this world.

It's almost enough to get me religious!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Parenting Teens - should you let them drink alcohol?

So it's another Saturday night and teens everywhere around the place will be drinking alcohol...at 13, 14, 17 years old. Some with their parents blessing, some not.

But they will do it anyway won't they? We all have stories to tell - "my parents wouldn't allow it, but I did it anyway" or "my parents let us have a drink at home and I didn't abuse the privilege".

If you don't want your teen (or future teen) to drink, you have to really ask yourself why that is. You also have to plan for the fact you may not have the same close relationship with your child that you envision you will. It cracks me up laughing when I hear some parents say "oh we are going to sit down and talk about it". Bwhaahahahaha! What makes you think they are going to listen to you if/when they are full of teen arrogance and the 'rage against the machine attitude' that came out of nowhere.

My daughter turned 18 years old last month (the legal drinking age in Oz), and I can tell you that I fought, kicked and screamed that she did not drink alcohol before then. It was a massive bone of contention between Teen Queen and I, but I held fast. I know that she certainly did drink before then......but I still won the fight AND the battle.

I didn't want her to drink for several reasons. The effects alcohol has on a developing brain. The fact that teens engage in risk taking behaviour already, the fact that the liver cannot metabolise alcohol during these years....all the boring stuff.
The other reasons - is because she is more likely to do things she will regret, that through alcohol her danger radar will fuzz, and the fact that boys/men WILL try to take advantage of her sexually if she is drunk or even tipsy.

So I told Teen Queen all of these things. I told her she did not have my blessing to drink alcohol before she turned 18, and that when the time was right I would TEACH her how to drink. Huh?

Well from the age of about 15/16 I did let her have a sip of my drink. ONE SIP - why? So she could learn to identify the contents. She was surprised how tasteless Vodka can sometimes be. I told her stories from my years behind the bar, how one night 2 men came in with 2 very naive looking girls. About how these 'men' ordered double vodka and orange drinks for the ladies and beer for themselves. I also told her how I only put half-shots in those drinks, charged them the full amount and (put the difference in the tip jar) watched with glee when they got ridiculously drunk whilst these very sweet looking girls looked on in disgust.

At the first party Teen Queen was invited where alcohol would be served (a girls 15th!), I refused to let her stay overnight. I picked her up at 12 o'clock and spoke to the mother, told her that my daughter was not permitted to drink and that I expected her to respect my wishes. Which she did.

As much as Teen Queen hated me then, I didn't care. I was too busy being shocked that parents I had known since our kids were at primary school (and thought had half a brain) were dropping their 14 year old daughters off at this same party with a 4 pack of alcopops!

Bloody hell, we both learnt something that night.

I learnt that 'supervised party' can actually mean 'I will be in the general vicinity whilst several teenagers get so drunk they throw up and be too busy/drunk myself that I won't notice my own child is so drunk she is in her bedroom with several boys'.

Teen Queen was actually quite happy to be picked up....the party was practically over by 10pm, everyone there was drunk and stupid. She was a bit shocked at the behaviour of the friends she had known for years. "Thomas is such a sweetie mum, but you should have SEEN him.....Annie was just out of it on the floor and didn't even care they lifted up her skirt.....I thought Marcus was nice but he was just awful, and Tahlias uncle was there and he tried to kiss me yuuuuuk!"

She saw it all through clear eyes, just like I wanted her to.

To be continued...

Friday, August 6, 2010

The WINNER of the competition that never was...

So - there were some things I didn't tell you...

Yes I can make a mean body scrub....but I don't often make a face pack/scrub/mask because I believe so much in the power of clay. Yes clay. I am very time poor so to source a good yellow or kaolin (personal fave) is too much hard work for me, so I don't mind buying prepacked stuff. A face mask will give you a deep, gentle clean. It will remove old dead skin cells, draw out impurities and leave you with a lovely glow. Anything that contains zinc is brilliant for healing topically.

All my fave face masks/scrubs come from The Body Shop because so many contain those magic ingredients of clay and zinc....but I have found something even more awesome.

If you remember recently I had a wonderful massage in a town that brings me peace (read about it HERE). It is here that I found this lovely yellow clay face mask.

I applied it the evening I had my massage (gotta complete the experience) and was so thrilled with the results that I decided I really must share.

It comes in powder form, you mix one teaspoon with water to make a paste, apply to your face - drink champagne and eat chocolate for 30 minutes, rinse off and WHAMMO, fresh, smooth vibrant skin underneath.

So back to the competition that never was. I posted some body scrub recipes and thought to myself that I will send some of this magic powder to the first person that makes a comment.

And that person was SARAH from Just Me, and since she already mentioned she has sensitive skin I will be sending Miss Sarah a blend that will make her face/day..whatever.

In the next week I will be heading back up to the hills and will pick up more supplies so next time I do a comp I will actually tell people about it...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Leafblower dude - you blow

Firstly I have to credit Andrea at Revealing The Real Me for this episode.

I found myself responding to her post...but it got so long it was embarrassing so I backpedaled and thought it would be better to post it here rather than taking up her comment space with my rantings.

So - powertools on the weekend don't bother me. Either it spurs me on to get Up And At 'Em or I re-roll back into my doona and smirk at all the busy suckers in the world.

Sadly across the road from my old house lived a retired man. With a leafblower.

Every second day for at least an hour this silly bored fucker would have that leaf blower going at full pelt. These things don't have the low grunty sound of the chainsaw or the lawnmower. They have this horrible high pitched weeeeeeeeeee thing going like an outdoor vacuum cleaner, and it makes me want to hurt people. It took me ages to figure it out what it was because he does most of his blowing in his backyard and I couldn't work out the source of the head-splitting noise for ages.

By my calculations - since stupidhead neighbour has this thing going so often that on average he will be blowing away about 9 leaves per day. Heard of a RAKE???? Or do you have arborphobia?

I've even seen the silly old bugger running around on his roof, blowing 5 whole leaves out of his gutters. Before winter has even begun. I can't tell you how freakin pleased I am that I moved before all the leaves dropped because I couldn't go through listening to the shrill racket every day for two whole months.

Without a doubt I would have ended up rigging up a potato cannon in order to knock the bastard off the roof, hopefully landing on the infernal machine breaking it into 8 billion pieces.

this is a potato cannon,
thanks to Ants World for the pic

Anyhoo, I headed off to the old place to get some work done and borrowed Aquamans dirty great big leaf SUCKER. It's like the leaf blowers crazy biker big brother and I luuurrve wielding that thing. He never lets me use it usually so I couldn't wait to get it going. Of course I made sure I started it in the driveway so the neighbour could see and then treated him to hours of the joyous sounds of PROPER POWER TOOLS.

I know it gave him the shits because I saw him peeking out from behind his curtains, and stupid as my glee in powertool one upmanship (upwomanship?) is it made clearing up my monstrous garden in the freezing cold just a little easier....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Betty Boo goes AWOL

I finally sorted out my last few months of digital photos. Loaded them onto my laptop, categorised and named all folders. Yay and Woo Hoo for me.

I came across a random pic I must have loaded about 2 years ago. Betty Boo, beautiful child must have been about 2 years old and it brought back this memory I want to write down.

I was preparing to go back to work full time. The children were booked into daycare and I was busy making extra meals to freeze. I had sorted all the clothes, bought the little ones new back packs to take spare clothes and drink bottles and organised for Teen Queen to pick them up on the days I would be home late.

All was quiet. Too quiet - y'all know what I mean.

I popped my head into the lounge room and noted Cyclone was mesmerised by the television. Check. I found Teen Queen in her room writing angsty poetry by candlelight. Check.

Where was little Betty Boo? I looked in her bedroom. No. Not in Cyclones room. I raced to my bedroom - not there pillaging my clothes or makeup. Not in the backyard or front garden. All gates are firmly secure to guard the escape of the dogs/kids. Not in the toilet, bathroom...or anywhere.

I am just about to freak when I tell myself top stay calm and recheck.

And I found her.

Can you see?

She is under her new Hi 5 backpack. When I did the first headcount I just didn't see her there, curled up asleep under the bag that was nearly as big as she was. You can see Cyclone's back in the shot - still sucked in by the telly.

Tiny little baby girl. So excited about being a big girl with her own bag.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

WHY I'm so feckin tired.

I kinda forget to mention that I am now at work full time again. In fact I have taken on 2 new roles.

One as a teacher 4 days a week, and another 5 days a week as Personal Assistant to a high maintenance, egocentric young man. Otherwise known as my son Cyclone.

Yep, if you read my other blog HERE, you'll know the drill but in short I am now homeschooling Cyclone, and fighting my way through the raft of paperwork, phone calls, interviews, discussions, appointments with Occupational Therapists and Neurological experts.

Betty Boo now goes to daycare 2 days a week and kinder for the other 2. The poor kid needs something to herself - for the last few months (lets face it, longer than that) it's all been about Cyclone and the race against time to get his Autism funding. She has patiently sat next to me colouring in whilst I tap away on the laptop and take multiple phone calls and although I feel terrible about it, hopefully I'm clearing the way for more time with the Betty.

She is such a little mummas girl, and being my last baby I've always thought of her as my little dress up dolly. That I can't play with very often *sigh.

It looks like the worst parts are over now and if I get everything right, Cyclone will be back at school next term giving me more time. I've decided to hold her back from starting school next year too. She will begin at the age of 4 if I start her next year, I'm sure she will be fine if she did start - but this last year or so have been such a mess and horribly unfair for her. I think she will benefit greatly from another year at home and some time with her mummy, who looks forward to entire days playing whatever games she wants me to.