Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Parallel Universe

Who are you and what have you done with my family?They (Kieran, Kaitlyn, Ashley and Melissa) turned off the TV and started a game of Trivial Pursuit. I was scrapbooking in the other room for awhile and then went off to bed with Harry and the game was still going. And the TV was still off!Then Rod turned on the tv in the lounge and called out for them to watch – South Park with reference to LOTR. Kieran began to follow instructions from Dad, but then the others announced if he turned the tv on, he would forfeit the game and he sat back down!!! Poor Rodney was still trying to coax them (come on, you know you will like it!) while I sat holding my breath …. But the tv stayed off!!Quite obviously my kids have been abducted by aliens and these stepford children left in their place! Considering we have a very open tv culture in our house – basically watch what you like wherever and whenever you choose – I was thrilled to see them actively choose a board game over the telly!!!!Next they will all be agreeing to eat exactly the same food ….. maybe?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Thoughts on Mothers Day

I treasure all my Mother’s Day cards and gifts the kids have given me over the years and am actually planning to create a memory box just for them.When they were very little, the cards and gifts were hand made at play group or kinder and cards were written in wonderful free form misspelt words. At primary school, it was something from the Mother’s Day stall. After many years hinting, they stopped buying edible treats (which they then nagged all day to eat!) and I have some truly awful treasures! I will never understand some of the rubbish mothers create for other mothers to receive! But it is bought with love and the fun part is helping them keep it til the day.High school doesn’t do mothers day stalls, so pocket money is usually spent frugally and with love. With paid work comes independent buying and presents are a feast or famine depending on cash flow!DH advised me years ago he is not my mother. Some years he buys me a gift or card or flowers and others years he doesn’t.Brekky in bed is my treat, but I have learned that patience is the key. While any other day of the year I would happily stay in bed all day, for some reason the urge to get up and have brekky nearly drives me mental on mothers day! This house has an en suite, but before we lived here I had to carefully sneak to the loo and back without being sprung Up Before Breakfast, a severe crime! LOL.One of my favourites was Kieran’s personally crafted pancakes – coloured playdough green with a generous dollop of food colouring! Cold tea with too much milk, cold burned toast, rubbery eggs ….. I love it all! And I love being the centre of their attention for a whole half hour or so!!!Just because there is a commercial motivation doesn’t have to mean these days aren’t special. We love the few weeks leading up to national Pink Day, when the shops are overflowing with marketers ideas of what mothers want/need/deserve! It is nearly as much fun as Corporate Love Day in February!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mothers Day

I was allowed a very long lie-in: that's what comes with a house full of late sleepers! Rod was up and away early for cycling and the girls surfaced about 10.30 and stole my car to go to the shops.Not long after they returned around 11, I was brought a tray in bed by three beaming offspring. My breakfast tray included croissants fresh from the bakery with jam in a little pot, a beautifully frothed chai latte courtesy of Kaitlyn the McCafe whiz and a wine glass of cranberry juice. All nicely laid out with napkin, flower etc.I was presented with a card from them all and a Cherry Ripe and a lovely bunch of flowers - orange gerberas and purple something (stunning!) which Kaitlyn then artfully arranged in a vase for my bedroom. They then lit oil burners and candles around the house and let me stay in bed reading all day! I began the first Harry Potter book and plan to read the series again in time for the new release in July!Rod presented me with a card when he came home and then later he and Melissa went round to see his mum. Kaitlyn prepared a lovely dinner and I stayed in my jammies in bed all day! I watched the Einstein Factor and Robin Hood and decided to skip the bastard boys and turned out the light at 8.30!I feel much refreshed today, though my legs and feet still ache all over from Friday!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mother's Play

I am not sure it is possible to describe the day, but I’ll give it my best shot!It actually began on the Thursday, when Karen Paterson and I spent the day at the venue for the set up and bump in of some of the exhibitors. Now, you already know this, but I want to state it anyway – our branch president is a dead set legend and should be dipped in gold! That woman works tirelessly in the background and Mother’s Play would not have been possible without her. On Thursday she worked herself into the ground working out the set up with me and liaising with the hire people, lighting techs etc. We finally left by 5.30pm and I got home about 7pm and collapsed into bed, because..…Friday began at 5.30am! Did you know the sun isn’t up then? Amazing! So my darling daughters and I dragged ourselves out of cosiness and set of for the city and arrived at 7.30. The remainder of the exhibitors were setting up by 9am, so there was lots of pointing and questions etc. The ABA tables flanked the main entrance outside the door, so tables etc had all to be moved out and set up. Wonderful helpers like Vanessa Hardie began arriving early and set about following our muddled instructions. By 10am, all was set and IT began!I have still no idea of numbers, that will come later, but every activity had plenty of people enjoying it. All the exhibitors seemed busy most of the day and the exercise workshops were popular. Massage tables were always occupied and a lot of hands were spa’d! The scrap booking activities were popular and lots of goodies were being smuggled home!!! (or was that just me??)Outside, the extraordinary Karen Ingram worked the crowd as our MC, with diverse entertainment including belly dancing, stand up comedy, live music and a fashion parade! All appeared trouble free. The fashion parade was a hit, with our Yummy Mummy models working the stage like pros, even with toddlers in tow. My daughter Melissa brazenly modelled four gorgeous maternity bras, which seemed to keep the attention of the sound guy especially!Vega’s Denise Scott was a huge hit, as were Rebecca Barnard and the Mud Cakes. Meanwhile nearby, Dharma entertained the kids and the two face painters had a steady crowd.Our wonderful volunteers – no names, no omissions! – did a fantastic job selling entry tickets, prize draw entries, showbags, ABA raffle tickets and generally making the whole entrance run efficiently. We had hundreds of prizes and a lovely percentage were won by ABA volunteers. My favourite was the winner of $1000 worth of saucepans from Tupperware, won by counsellor Jen Hocking who had travelled in by TRAM and needed a TAXI to get them all home! My daughter Melissa swapped her prenatal yoga class voucher for a trapeze school class, which she thinks is a better deal (!) CE Merryn Watkins coordinated the prize draw wonderfully and will follow up notifying absent winners and arranging collection of their prizes from thee office.Pack up went smoothly and by 3.30, the venue was it’s empty shell once more. Karen P and her mum, plus me and my girls packed up the last of our stuff into Tardis-like cars and then we could go HOME! Our lot arrived roughly twelve hours after we had left! Early nights were in order as aching feet and legs screamed for mercy.I received lots of thanks for Mother’s Play, but they must be shared. Karen and Karen (P &I) did as much work behind the scenes as you can imagine. Liaising behind the scenes with venue, performers, equipment hire etc is mostly invisible but essential. Our lack of success with funding from City Of Melbourne meant the purse strings were tight – very tight – and numbers were crunched within an inch of their life. Despite best efforts, we will have gone over budget – but to put on such an event without significant sponsorship means the money has to come from somewhere. It is my quest that we will have an event sponsor for 2008 and free our branch from funding this wonderful awareness activity. PLEASE mention this to everyone you meet in the corporate world and let them know what a wonderful opportunity exists.I already have exhibitors booked for next year but am not thinking that far ahead yet as we have a small gathering here in August which will now be my focus! But Mother’s Play will be back next year, so start planning to be there!Tired but elated,

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A taste of Mother's Play

All the spicks and specks fans, tonight is very special as it is a mothers day special and features not one but two featured artists from this week’s Mother’s Play! Both Rebecca Barnard and Denise Scott will be there and on opposing teams!!!BTW, I was in a quandary about who I could coopt to model bras in our Yummy Mummy fashion parade, given that our volunteers are all mums who might not be that bold. So I looked closer to home …. She’s bold, she’s got the boobs and she’s just home from NZ, where the lingerie company – Hot Milk – is coming from to launch in Melbourne this week!!! And of course she said yes!!!!!

At The Hairdressers

Last Friday at the hairdressers, the young mum before me was still being blow dried, so Melissa and I sat down to wait. The baby started making hungry noises and I sighed as the even younger friend prepared a bottle and went to heat it. This all took some time and I was quietly pointing out to Melissa how distressed the baby was becoming and how sad it is to keep a hungry baby waiting. By the time the bottle was ready, the 3mo was beyond the whole thing, screaming, red in the face and very distressed. The mother, about the age I was when Melissa was born (as I pointed out when she commented how young they were) took over from her cousin, but the baby was not going to take the bottle. The cousin stood and jiggled and rocked but to no effect. So she took baby out onto the footpath to rock and jiggle: we could hear the crying throught the glass. I withstood the impulse for about 10 mins, but the cousin caught my eye when I looked out and I motioned her inside. I asked the mum if I could try and settle her and she agreed, somewhat stunned!Jiggle, jiggle, pat, pat, ssh, ssh ...... hand firmly on bum other hand firmly on back of head against my chest. Almost instant result and soon the eyelids drooped and she dropped off to sleep. I felt so guilty and hastily added my 3rd cried for six months and you never forget, yada, yada and threw in I work with babies for good measure. She asked if I would come home with her! Baby cries like that often. I wasn't game to ask about bf etc, just made lots of reassuring noises about it getting better.Hairdresser (my new one, 21 and childless) was quite impressed and confided her mum would have done the same thing! I confessed to my ABA role and mentally noted to get a BF welcome sticker for the salon.