Friday, 30 November 2012

Why I Started My Blog

For this post I am linking up with Musings of the Misguided on why I started my blog. Here's why:

Some time ago I started writing Christmas letters. You  know the kind. The ones where you detail everything your family has been doing all year. You make your life sound so busy, wildly exciting and interesting. Then go on to boast about your children being over achieving geniuses.

Except that I didn't do that. I told the truth. We are bogans. We are boring (mostly). When we go on a holiday it is to somewhere like Dubbo. Not that there is anything wrong with Dubbo mind you. But some strange people won't think it is as interesting as Disney Land. Weird.

Anyway, my Christmas letters met with a very  favourable response. A couple of friends actually read them. I think. Maybe. They said they did! Bloody liars.

So anyway, I started to toy with the idea of starting a blog.  But I never did. I figured we are too boring to find things to write about every week.

I forgot about if for  a while . Then started thinking about it again on and off. I tend to over think things and agonise for no reason. So one day, on a whim, in a weird mood, I just went, meh, what the hell, and started one.

It was at this point that I realised that I didn't have a single clue of what I was doing. So I kept doing it anyway.  Nobody read it except my Mum, but that didn't stop me. In fact, it's still mostly my Mum reading it. Thanks Mum.

I had no idea of what was actually involved in blogging and the whole concept of the 'blogosphere' was alien to me. In fact, for some time I thought having a blog was similar to having a Facebook account, except with a little more detail.

 Yeah, I know, I was jolly ignorant. Frightfully so. And I may have read too many Enid Blyton books as a child. Oh okay, I have read them as an adult too.  Which brings me to my other reason for starting a blog.

For some time, as a child, I was convinced  I was the next Enid Blyton waiting to happen. This was due to the fact that, ever since I was in 4th Grade, or Year 4, or whatever they call it now, in primary school, I had teachers compliment my writing ability. The compliments and encouragement continued in high school.

 However, my love of all things Enid, has meant my brain has remained firmly 'up the Faraway Tree' ever since I first read the book.

I'm a total off with the pixies space cadet. I can barely manage to stay on the same train of thought to actually finish  a sentence, let alone a full novel. Or even a blog post at times. What was I talking about?

Oh yeah. So, sadly, my Year 5 teacher's prediction that I was 'gifted' and a 'budding novelist' have not come true. Still, I figured that with a blog I can kind of. sort of, pretend I'm a 'writer'. Ahem.

So basically my reasons for starting a blog are to tell it how it is, warts and all, being bogans in Boganville, while simultaneously pretending to be a 'writer'.

Yep, that's my logic.

Why did you start your blog? Don't have a blog? Would you consider starting one?

And please, can someone finally answer the question I have been pondering for a while now. How did Enid Blyton turn out to be (according to Wikipedia) something resembling a bitch? I need to know. Why, Enid, why?   It's like finding out that Santa is just some creepy guy in a suit...oh wait..

Friday, 23 November 2012

T'is The Season To Be Jolly...Worried Part Two Plus Further Tales of Woe

I have been asked how I coped with everything at the time, when Micky Blue Eyes had Cancer. I can never really come up with an answer.

When you really have no choice but to cope, somehow you do. That's the best I can come up with. Sometimes it seems as if I cope on automatic pilot at the time then fall to pieces later. That does seem to be my tendency.

As I mentioned, Mick had to have chemo which would be ongoing for six months. 

Then we found out his brother had Cancer. Only for him, it seemed it was an even more extreme situation. The cancer was in a bad position and quite advanced.

So began a three year battle for him that ended when he passed away on May 13th, 2008. 

Previous to this we found out that the Cancer was, in fact, hereditary. It was caused by something called HNPCC which is short for Hereditary NonPolyposis Colorectal Cancer. This means the person (ie Mick) already has genes that would predispose them to certain cancers. 

We also found out that I was pregnant again. Something we hadn't really expected, but were thrilled.

Until, at the routine 19 weeks scan, they were unable to find any heart beat. The pregnancy was too advanced so I would have to deliver the baby.

Once again we were having to experience the unthinkable. I delivered our stillborn son, Daniel, on 24th August, 2007. The cord had wrapped around his neck.

I have to admit I've struggled rather a lot in the following years. Paranoia pervaded my every thought and I became fearful and anxious waiting for the next terrible thing to happen.

I was convinced we were cursed or jinxed. I tried to remember if I'd ever broken a mirror or a black cat had crossed my path. And I'm not usually superstitious. But suddenly I was.

Which wasn't extremely helpful because I was pregnant again. But of course this time all went well.

A blessing after a lot of heartache on November 2, 2008

After a shaky start (I was horribly sick for the first trimester) and a dramatic finish (emergency cesarean)  Mr 4 was born on November 2, 2008.  I'm assuming we just don't have girls for whatever reason. But that's fine, all I wanted was a healthy, living, breathing baby.

I love having boys. 

However, I am still trying to cure my paranoia after yet another family member now has Cancer. 

I'll also be holding my breath until December 14th, when Micky Blue Eyes has his colonoscopy.  Hoping to be boring.

"It's all very boring," the doctor informed us a year or two ago after the procedure.  Immediately we decided that we love nothing more than being boring. Boring is the best.

Bring on boring. 

Have you ever felt cursed or jinxed?  Are you superstitious?

T'is The Season To Be Jolly...Worried

A recent trip to the shops reminded me that Christmas is coming all to soon. The garish decorations everywhere and Mariah Carey belting out All I Want For Christmas were a bit of a give away.

All I've ever wanted for Christmas is Mariah Carey to shut up, but you get that.

Anyway,T'isThe Season to be Jolly and The Most Wonderful Time of The Year and all that. Apparently. Supposedly.

 I know I should really be happy and enjoy Christmas, especially having young children.

 Yet this time of year comes around and the normal low-level anxiety that seems to frequently linger around me is replaced by nail biting, heart gripping anxiety. No, it's not the fear of A Very Bogan Christmas. Although that will probably happen.

Every year, in December, just before Christmas, Micky Blue Eyes has his annual colonoscopy. He seems rather blase about it. I worry. Endlessly.

My reaction to hearing Mariah Carey for the
the millionth time is similar to this. Oh and thinking
about Mick's check up..

Normally, I forget every little thing on a daily basis. Where I put my glasses five minutes ago, what day it is, but the events of October 14th, 2004 are permanently etched into my brain. The day Micky Blue Eyes was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Master 11 was Master 3 and Master 8 was only 7 months old. 

We had just returned from a holiday in Cairns.  One night Mick fainted in the bathroom. I urged him to go the doctors as it didn't seem normal to faint for no reason. So he did.

They found nothing wrong and all seemed well, until one afternoon about a week or so later he had a sudden attack of the runs with rather a lot of blood. Enough to be alarmed.

Back to the doctors. Blood tests revealed he was anaemic.  He was sent to hospital.

"It's probably an ulcer," the doctor informed him "it won't kill you."

They took him to theatre.

Then I got the news the doctor was coming around in the morning to meet with us. My stomach turned. This couldn't be good.

He got straight to the point.

"There is a growth," he said "there is absolutely no doubt that it's Cancer."

He had to have a blood transfusion immediately.

Dr Hack* called into the room to inform us how he intended to hack Mick apart and operate.

The surgery was being scheduled for Monday.

Meanwhile, he could go home for the weekend and relax.

Um, what?

I don't think I've relaxed since that day.

At home, Mick was not particularly relaxed either. Funny about that.

A family friend rang after my mother had spoken to her and told her the grim news.

Being a nurse, she was familiar with the surgeon who was planning to hack Mick apart on Monday.

She advised us to go to another specialist surgeon.

If he went through with the procedure on Monday, with Dr Hack "You'll be crooker than Rookwood**." Her words.

Frantic phone calls were made.

The doctor oozed condescension when I called to tell him of our intention of switching surgeons. I didn't care. All I cared about was Mick.

The surgery was scheduled for November 1st and went well. Then came the unwelcome news. He would have to have chemo-therapy. For six months. 

We were a month into that nightmare when the next bombshell came.

Mick's brother was also diagnosed with Cancer.

More about that next time.

Yes, all I really want for Christmas is for Micky Blue Eyes to have the all clear. And I still want Mariah Carey shut up.

What stresses you about Christmas?  Or is it only a happy time for you?

*Not his real name.
**Rookwood is a cemetery

Saturday, 10 November 2012

I Need A Hobby

I must confess that the only truly obsessive interest I have is my fascination with Karen Carpenter/Carpenters which I have already confessed, and frankly, it's getting bit old (to everyone else, not to me). Therefore, I really need a new hobby or interest. So, for today's I Must Confess I thought I would share this old post exploring a few options.


So I logged onto the computer the other day, like I do most days, and began chatting with an online (or imaginary) friend.

"What have you been doing?" she asked, as usual.

My answer is always embarrassingly similar.

"Not much," I typed " the usual, just hanging around here."

"You don't do much, do you?" she helpfully pointed out. "You need to get a hobby."

I reminded her that I already had this blog and my Carpenters obsession, so I don't really have time for much else, but she seem unconvinced.

Perhaps she does have a point. Maybe I do need a hobby. 

So I thought I would take the opportunity to explore some options. Here goes:

SCRAPBOOKING : I currently do have several boxes of photos waiting to be sorted, so I could benefit from this hobby. However, I fear that I would go and buy all the bits and pieces and then just end up with even more stuff, without actually ever getting around to using it. So nah.

My boxes of photos awaiting sorting and my one
pitiful attempt at scrapbooking from years ago

KNITTING: This would make me feel like I'm a hundred year old woman named Enid. Oh wait, I already do feel like that when I wake up every morning, so...maybe. On second thought. No. Just. No.

CRAFT: I only have two words for this. One of them is rude. You figure it out.

ART: As I mentioned in my previous post, I possess zero artistic talent, as my greedy brother stole all the artistic genes. Hmph.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Laughable. I can never even figure out how to charge a camera or remember to take one to occasions.

GARDENING: I really, really wish I could drum up an interest in this, but alas the green thumb genes skipped me too, much to my Mum's dismay.

COOKING/BAKING: Considering my love of cakies I could possibly get into this. I may have trouble getting into to all of my clothes though, which are already alarmingly large. Too dangerous a hobby for me.

PETS: I accidentally murdered my dog. Enough said.

TEAM SPORTS: Micky Blue Eyes finds it astonishing seeing an old family video of me as a child, on an overseas trip to Holland. Why? Because I was actually running through the tulip gardens.(Well, it was more like skipping,but you get the point) This aversion to running, combined with a pathological fear of balls, pretty much rules this option out.

POLE DANCING: Now we're talking! Definitely a possibility.  I can't think of a single reason why a middle aged, overweight woman, with recurring vertigo shouldn't at least give this a go. You only live once.

LINE DANCING: While I'm sure I'd rock the whole cowgirl, western look, my curious dislike of country music (considering my generally woeful taste in music) makes this option a no go as well.

YOGA: Or Breathing Up People's Bum's, as it sometimes referred too. I have tried this in the past, and didn't mind it, despite having zero flexibility. So I may go all hippy drippy and get into it again.

In the meantime, I'll stick to boring you with this blog.

 Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.

Do you have any hobbies? Are there any you would recommend?

Friday, 9 November 2012

Let's Make A Deal

Recently it became obvious that the boys were in dire need of a hair cut. They could possibly be mistaken for girls if I left it much longer. Especially Mr 4.

This was a prospect I relished with all the enthusiasm normally reserved for a root canal.  For some reason Mr 4 has an unreserved antipathy towards hair cuts.  In his short life, I had only managed to make him have one at the Barber's once. 

To do this, K, the lady barber we always go to, was only able to manage to complete the procedure by shoving the lolly pop, usually handed out upon completion, into his glowering mouth, thusly shutting him up and putting a plug in his protests.

This has meant he has sported many a dodgy at home hair cut done by Micky Blue Eyes.  I wouldn't even attempt it. This may be considered the equivalent of child abuse to some people.

Unwilling to subject him to such embarrassment any longer, I decided it was high time to use my exemplary parenting skills and take swift and immediate action. Like so.

I  gave him my sternest look and said firmly "If you get a hair cut, I'll get you McDonald's after."

"Okay," he agreed quite happily and immediately. Well, duh.

Yep. Bribery. Works every time. 

I'd always been reluctant to use bribery on my boys and resisted it greatly when Mr 11 was little.  I suffered the indignity of every other parent smugly informing me how their child was fully toilet trained while I was still struggling with it. I'd never thought of using bribery.

I bribe my boys with junk food. And the Mother of
the Year Award goes to...

Well, that's not entirely true, I did think of it, but assumed that it would be the wrong thing to do.  What a novice parent I was. Some time later, I realised that I was the only idiot and other parents went straight to the bribe tactics. 

"Oh no, I always bribe them, " a neighbour told me, unashamed. 

So the bribery began.

Now Mr8 is a seasoned deal maker.

 "What do I get?" he demands, when asked to anything. Even something as simple as picking his shoes up.

"I'll give you a massage," he'll offer " for five dollars!"

But back to the hair cut.

Arriving at the Barber's, Mr 4 warily sat himself up in the chair. Reluctantly, he allowed the hair cut to proceed, eager to keep up his end of the deal. Trying to get him to talk, however, wasn't going to work.

"It's his birthday tomorrow," I told K

"How exciting!" she enthused, while he sat sulking and she kept clipping away.

Meanwhile, in stark contrast with Mr 4's sullen silence, Mr 8 happily chatted away.

"One time Dad took us to this other Barber's," he informed us " and they accidentally cut our ears."

"Really?" K replied "I don't think I've ever done that to you."

''Yeah," he went on "they were really bad because they were Chinese."

Taken aback, I admonished him, mortified.  Apparently, I was raising a racist. Oh dear.

K just laughed. Then it was his turn for a hair cut.  While he was in the chair a lady popped her head in to purchase a packet of cigarettes.

"Why do you sell cigarettes?" Mr 8 demanded, his tone dripping disapproval. 

"Oh, because my boss wants me too," K answered.

"It's not illegal to sell them," I told him. He looked astonished.

Apparently I am raising a deal making, racist, anti-smoking fanatic. Oh dear. Admittedly,I'm actually quite proud of the latter.

Mr 11 decided to skip the hair cut.

"I'm growing my hair," he announced. For years he hadn't cared what he wore or looked like. Suddenly at age 11, all that has changed.

He has to have Nike shoes and he's growing his hair. He's too cool for me. In a few years he'll be taller than me I expect. My miracle baby. Not a baby anymore. Sigh.

Hair cuts completed, we exited to conclude the deal with some Maccas. A done deal.

Until the next one.

Do you use bribery or rewards?Or would you? Is there a difference?

Monday, 5 November 2012

Talentless Technophobe

As you may have noticed this Bogan Blog is bigger, better and more bogan than ever.

I am responsible for the 'more bogan' bit and my brother is responsible for the 'better' bit.

The bigger part, I just made up. It's still the exact same size as far as I can tell.

I have a new header. Thanks to my brother. He is talented.

"If you don't like it, let me know," he said " it only took me five minutes."


You see, I can't even draw stick figures.  You'd think that mother nature would have balanced it out a little and given me a few artistic genes as well. But no, my greedy brother took all of them. Hmph.

There are many more ridiculously artistically talented people in my extended family, so clearly this is genetic trait.  So why did this part of the gene pool bypass me completely?

Not that it deters Mr 4.

"Muuum! Draw Spiderman!" he demands, thrusting pen and paper at me.  My attempts are pitiful. This does not stop him from returning with further demands, each one more complicated than the next.  After Spiderman, he'll want Green Goblin. Then, characters and space ships from Star Wars that he has in lego sets. All way beyond me. 

As well as having zero artistic talent, I am also an astonishing technophobe.

Just using Blogger leaves me in a perpetual state of confusion, causing massive brain explosions. As my Mum says, if my brains were dynamite they wouldn't blow a part in my hair. (She has lots of other funny sayings too but I'll save them for another post.)

Walking home from school the other week Master 11 enquired hopefully:

"Mum, can I get an Iphone?"

" I don't even have an Iphone!" was my indignant reply.

Impervious he continued "Can I get an Ipod for Christmas? Or an Ipad?"

I don't have those either.  We are such a technologically deprived family.  It's quite tragic. 

If we ever do end up purchasing such gadgets, I may never work out how to use them. Or, by the time I do they are already out dated as the next model has usurped them.

That's the problem. Technology changes so fast, it's hard to keep up.  Especially for a technophobe.

I fear my boys will grow up and I will not have documented every second of their existence with photos, videos etc.  After all, shouldn't I have uploaded every cute thing they have ever said or done to Youtube?

Instead I miss photo opportunities on a regular basis. Despite charging up the camera, I turn it on only to have the red light blinking frantically at me.  This happened when I took Mr4 to Featherdale Wild Life Park last term with Playgroup. Consequently I missed a chance for a cute snap of Mr 4 with a koala and other animals.
This photo has no relevance to this post whatsoever,
I just don't have any current photos, of course. Oh, shut up.

Undeterred, I charged it again before our recent bogan road trip. Again, same thing. No go. This means there is no photographic evidence of our trip.

The only positive side is having no photographic evidence of my double chins. Bonus.

It strikes me as absurdly ironic.  As an introverted Aspergian I'm supposed to be a techie geek. I should have computer skills and knowledge of a genius like level rivalled only by Bill Gates, a suspected Aspergian himself.

Since my diagnosis I have been trying to work out what genius like talent or savant skill I possess, as many Aspergians are reputed to have them.   I have come up with: NOTHING.

I guess I can always  comfort myself with the knowledge that not being able to purchase or work out a computer, camera, phone or any gadget pretty much falls into the category of First World Problems.

Besides, my alarming lack of skills and talent will never stop me from banging on here in this boring as batshit bogan blog. So ner.

Do you have artistic talent? Are you a technophobe? (Somebody please say yes...)