disclaimers and confessions.

by Zoë on July 30, 2008

I am ill. The kids gave it to me and I am sick, although I no longer am of an age where illness means slobbing on the couch watching Bold and the Beautiful and being glad I’m not in Related Modern History. (US/CIS relations could not be any less relevant, but I digress).

I’m sick, and during the day that means being a mother of three children, the keeper of the house (stop laughing all of you) the shopper of the groceries, the  nagger of the Dish Pig, the chef, switchboard, PA, Events manager,  and the sewing creative genius behind a flailing kids wear label.

But at night, assuming the offsprung go sleepy bo-bos at a reasonable time, I get to watch sick-lady telly. We are financially (ruined) blessed by having satellite telly, which so broadens one’s ability to hunt, record and rewind shite from all over the globe.

This has been going on for almost a decade, and some more notable moments have included: The Village
old re-runs of Prisoner, various English comedy shows (including early live stand up appearances by the highly attractive Dylan Moran ) and the alarming Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic (often fondly referred to as The Shabby Shit Show).

I try to limit my reality-competition show watching, and have it narrowed now to the Aussie and US versions of Project Runway and Next Top Model, and if I have nothing serious I need to vomit over, its Sunset Tan and Real Housewives of the OC. Trinny and Suz and Gok are mainstays, but tonight is one of my new bestest ones.

Hauling House. I cannot currently find web presence for this production, but a brief rundown follows. American people buy a plot of land. They find a house, or one they already live in that they love but they’d prefer a new view. They pay some guys with trucks, cranes, diggers and engineering degrees, and then they hold up traffic/slide down hills/almost collapse county bridges/bump power lines and relocate
It is gripping stuff, and usually in a thick accent. Tonight there are some people with a nice stone built home, which is sliding down a hill. They are budging it a short distance to the other side of the hill, but they can’t get i the regular trucks due to the narrow roads.

They’ve started shifting it without packing their belongings. SURPRISE! The ceiling collapses. TV smashed.

Hello people, sticking your house on the back of some caterpillar treads will probably mean you lose the 20 foot stone  chimney. Anyways, while the sneezing continues its serves its purpose, and I get to heckle.


I almost made it!

by Zoë on July 23, 2008

Ah the good intentions of busy mothers! All geared up to sew this week, after a great weekend with the kids riding bikes and hanging out with mates at the park for 3 days.

Into the second week of our new “3 kids at childcare” regime (thus increased cost of living) , and all three are both ill with some flu I’m going to blame on the influx of Cafflik Yoovs into Sydney last week.
Poor Willow is running a fever of 39, bright red on her cheeks, coughing like a seal and sleeping on the lounge room floor. She has managed to have water, and of course, the Aussie cure-all of flat schweppes lemonade. We use that one for colds and post tummy bug, for which it is brilliant in combination with salted white rice.

Darby is covered in all kinds of fluid, coughing like an even sicker seal than the one mentioned above, and has spent all night clinging to me with arms as stiff as stiff.

Zephyr sounds like a seal.

Having children has increased my ability to diagnose many ailments, and with the assistance of 3 parenting books (which I own SOLELY for their sections on illness), the local hospital help line and my mother, I have avoided quite a few doctor trips. I also happen to be very good mates with a teacher at my kid’s centre, so if they display queer signs of impending doom, a quick call to her for a weekly roundup of ailments will often set me straight. But, more often than not, I am totally floored by the symptoms presented and I return to feeling like an idiot trying to keep a strangely ill tribe alive.

One of the worst ever was the period before Willow’s second xmas, she had been refusing to eat for several days, and seemed unwell with on and off fevers but nothing in particular. Then she began screaming with this strange throat thing. Turned out she had really bad tonsillitis, and this then sparked about 6 epiisodes of it in an 8 month period. She hasn’t had it for a while now, which is great! It’s a miserable thing to have, I’ve been told.
Zephyr began the 3rd month of his life with something which sounded like whooping cough, we were staying with extended family on a rather remote island off the south east coast of Tasmania. Zeph has been ok, but in the mid afternoon he suddenly became rather floppy and pale and strange so we went off to the regional nurse, who then held the island ferry for us so we could make the dash to Hobart hospital. Luckily it was bronchiolitis and he was ok, and since then he gets croup rather regularly, but I’m now quick to remove his clothes so the fever drops, sit him upright and keep the air in the room warm.
Last year, just after Darby was born, I contracted Scralet Fever, luckily escaping permanent damage to my internal organs, and also lucky it didn’t get transferred to Darby’s umbilivcal opeming. A few weeks late we travelled to Victoria for a conference at which I was supposed to be presenting a talk with a friend of mine on Young Parents. We decided to go and stay with this friend and his family for the week prior, in their wonderful modern eco house in the bush. Willow started having fevers around 40, and couldn’t stay awake, and then at night she was getting so hot she would vomit. Her face turned very red and then suddenly, a rash! Bugger, german measles we thought. Off to the local doctors we went. Nope, better than that, Slapped Cheek (5th Disease). I got it too, and the unfortunate thing for adults is that it can manifest in acute arthritis-type pain in the muscles. I thought I was going to die, it hurt so much and the fevers made me feel like I was freezing.

Not 6 weeks later the children all contracted chickenpox extremely badly, although the rash bit really is nowhere near as bad as the flu symptoms that come before it. We discovered the super neat and simple remebdy of rubbing tea tree moisturising cream all over their bodies, which TOTALLY stopped the itching and minimised scars. Forget all the other lotions and stinky baths, this cream was the only way to go!

poxy children....

poxy children....

Erk, now I’m starting to sneeze dreadfully.
If you don’t hear from me again, you’ll know I have succumbed. Xanthe and Nikki, you’ll have to duel it out over the fabric.



by Zoë on July 15, 2008

I’ve had sewer’s block for a while (read, someone who sews having issues, not something full of poo and badly clogged…).

I seem to go through phases, a little manic if you will. Its all about how much I’m arguing with the overlocker, what the quality of the sunlight is, if i have actually cleaned the sewing room recently, how many white tailed spiders have leapt out and eaten me alive. Sometimes its to make myself clothing, or that quilt that poor Emily has been waiting for for 2 years (I promise she’ll have it for her 3rd birthday!).

This week I’m working in colour, and really pushing the boundaries. I reckon I have a pretty good eye, and I cheerfully take risks with oft occurring pleasant outcomes. I do this with other things too. When renovating our old house for sale, I decided that instead of lifting a small courtyards worth of pebbles and reconditioning the soil for turf, it would be far cheaper and quicker to rip the weeds from the raised gardens beds on the perimeter of the space, and put the turf there. Garth rolled his eyes, did the measurements and faxed the plans through to the turf company who rang immediately to double check the back-to-fronted-ness of our request. Garth assured them (nervously) that it was as it was, and would be just that, next Tuesday thanks.

They came, shook their heads, totally appalled at my request, put down the turf and then we all sat down for a cup of tea, exclaiming what a brilliant idea it had been! It worked, looked great, and the men kept scratching their heads commenting that they had never done this before but how clever it washttp://www.planetproperties.com.au/image.php?2,OTUz

Later on down the track there was my choice of a fanta orange kitchen, which also looks fab, although we are now reconsidering the green tiles, which looked great with the original decorative ceiling which deteriorated beyond repair and has now been removed.

The green tiles, combined with the orange in a super square flat space now looks undeniably crap, so I’m off to hunt for new tiles tomorrow before we begin The Great Kitchen Paint Colour Argument (which I will probably win). At the moment I’m thinking a pale and elegant pink, harking to a tropical flower kind of feel. I’m sad the original plasterwork had to go. There was only a panel left, and we could have had it replicated, but we just don’t have the cash to give this house that level of loving right now 🙁     .

There was also the Choice of Colour For The Kid’s Room Argument, which began with a deep red, moved to a peacock green-blue, lightened to a pea green and then, following some deep discussion with these highly intelligent colourists

we settled on a vibrant blue, and with a little tweaking (who knew paint people could actually be that clever, narrowing it down to 75% mix being perfect for the light conditions?!) we ended up with a gorgeous bright blue that feels sunny and cheery and not unlike a Tiffany box.

So anyways, I’ve been sewing with colour this week, and getting some new mousepocket goods together for a client viewing next week. I’m really picly about the colours and patterns I mix together, and if it just ain’t working, I have to stop. Perhaps its a visual version of when you sniff too many perfumes and your nose stops registering. But then, one day, bingo! its all flowing together and everything looks like it was textile destiny.

Pictures of that stuff tomorrow!


Little. Bit. Excited.

Loads of stuff is going on, as usual. Darby has been on the edge of tonsilitis all week, which means not being good at feeding, up all night rolling around and screaming, and snot. Nice. I attended a rather spiffy pattern making course intro on saturday morning, and will commence classes tomorrow(ish). This particular Italian style of pattern making involves 2 rulers, which are like the pattern maker’s calculator. You just take you measurments and use them to plot points with the rulers and in under 20mins or so you have a custom pattern!

Tomorrow I commence CBT for anxiety and other stuff, which I am looking forward to, but am also seriously nervous about. It feels like a new life/starting again and a bit exhausting and frightening. I’m hoping to get a seperate blog sorted later this week on love and clutter so I can keep it contained to the house and one blog.

Ok, bedtime. I need to sleep. Or be kept awake by squawking baby.




by Zoë on June 8, 2008

My very first! Ah penni, you are too kind!

Some facts about me! meme

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. At the end of the post, the player tags 5 people and posts their name, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What was I doing 10 years ago?

10 years ago it was 1998 and I was just getting into second semester in my first year of BA Comms Broadcast Journalism degree at CSU Bathurst. I was living on campus, just turned 19, just taken up smoking (can you believe, to meet people?) and living in what I now understand to be abject poverty and clinically depressed.

I had gotten the opportunity to perform my HSC drama major work at OnStage and had befriended Rose Byrne

I had HD’d my subject in media production and presentation and had been tagged by 3 lecturers for being top on auto-cue reading. I failed media law and ethics and my compulsory politics subject, in fact, compulsory politics would be the core reason for me quitting in second year and going off to wear black full time in Newtown. I lived on $20/week, ate noodles and drank UHT milk (and cheap nasty vodka) and discovered mIRC. I was beginning to suspect something was very reproductively wrong with my body (it took another 4 years for a doctor to diagnose Endometriosis) Thinking back, I was desperately home sick, desperately poor and desperately better suited to doing a cadet ship, rather than a degree. Later that year I met DishPig the Uber Geek and the rest, as they say, is history.

Five snacks I enjoy in a perfect, non weight-gaining world: (slightly different, as mine include snacks that cause food intolerance reactions rather than weight gain)

* condensed milk out of the tube    *golden gay time ice cream    * red snakes     *Woolworth’s cake with bright pink icing    * BBQ flavour chips

Five snacks I enjoy in the real world more nutritious snacks (since I am not opposed to eating the above in this plane of reality):

*Kettle chips dipped in Quark cheese     *pikelets    *  bananas (they make me ill though)  *  baked chicken bits *  left over  roast veges with garlic salt

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire:

* enjoy living debt free   * enjoy hiring a good accountant   * take my family (plus my side extend-eds) traveling  * not spend it on stupid things like pink limos or gold plated loos  * invest lots in my local schools and gardens

Five jobs that I have had:

* haute couturier garment beader/finisher   * dating agency phone operator (as in making meetings between other people)   * florist   * Tea Lady   * Bakery wench.

Three of my habits:

*  getting professionally fitted for bras at least 4 times per year  * not finishing anything     *staying up way too late

Five places I have lived:

* Sydney, Bathurst, Bourke, Kyoto, North Arm Cove

Five people I want to get to know better: (A nice way of saying TAG!)

Kris at Garden Variety
Xanthe at House of Hot Kettles
Alison at 6.5s
Melissa at All Buttoned Up
Ace Chick at acechick


have you tried sleep therapy?

by Zoë on June 3, 2008

Not yet, but sometime this year i plan to go to bed before 11pm.

Recently, fellow blogger kris wrote about sleep deprivation in parents, and an amusing thing that she had done as a possible result of it.

Well, this morning, for the second time in a fortnight, I attempted to flick the indicator on my pram handle as I turned left into a shop.

In other, far more exciting news, the baby has decided that the washing basket full of all the toys I am sick of tripping over is the BEST TOY EVER. Darby has worked out how to climb in and out, and he sits and rummages for ages and ages. Its great. Not only is he happy, but the items stay contained, and he is now working out how to re-locate the basket so he can play in it in different rooms.


the game

by Zoë on June 1, 2008

Seen at eglantine’s cake

✰Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
✰ Using only the first page, pick an image.
✰ Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name

credits here


jack and bill

by Zoë on May 31, 2008

This is Jack. This is Bill. They have known each other for 5 years. This is them at Jack’s 5th birthday gig. Jack is calm, quiet, thoughtful and curious. He really likes Willow. She is loud, fast, fiesty, dramatic and curious. Willow really likes Jack.

They play Space Rockets and Building Houses.

I love Jack, he is wonderful.


rack ’em up, bartender…..

by Zoë on May 31, 2008

Earlier this week, I got a free pass from DishPig and booked me and my partner in crime, Leah, a night out at the flicks. The aim was to see the new Sex and The City, get dressed up for it, have a chick flick night out, be home in time for the 11pm baby-feed.

I’m not sure why I like SATC so much. Well the writing is sharp and funny, and the wardrobe department ought to be sainted I suppose. Perhaps its because I will never be able to relate directly to these women. I will never be a career chick, I had 3 kids at 28, and have just celebrated my 6th wedding anniversary, and have been with DishPig for a decade this Halloween. 4 distinct lifestyles I will never realise. And I’m not sure I’d want to anyways, but I don’t mind imagining walking in someone else’s Blahniks.

Yah. So, as I was saying….

right, movies.

Leah’s co-workers spent all day yesterday telling her that the film wasn’t releasing till next week. Nope, Leah was certain that despite me being a tired mother of 3, I was on top of it and would know the right night.

I got frocked up, went to pick up Leah at the tail end of peak hour, we made it to Fox Studios with loads of time to spare, so we did some window shopping and headed up to the theatre to collect the tickets (pre-booked online, just to be sure.)

As I got the tickets out of the spotty-skinned lad’s greasy paws he asked me “Would you like an envelope?” puzzled, I said cockily “Nope. We’ll just go straight in. “But those tickets are for next week.” “No look, it says Friday, today is Friday.”  “No, the movie is released next  Thursday, these tickets are for next Friday.”

I swore the lens zoomed in on me and there was amplified canned laughter and cackling from the 2 people in the line behind me.

Well, deciding to make the most of it we decided to go back to my place, drop the car off and cab in back into Newtown for some cocktails, maybe a little people-watching and have a stab and pretending we weren’t desperately tired mothers.

The bar was dark, professional and full of teenage Uni students. We scored a booth right next to the bar, and settled in to enjoy. We drank Red Carpet Martinis, chomped on a bag of chicken chips (all class mate!) and assessed the carnage.

Yes, carnage. I don’t know if we are on the wrong side of 20, or if people are really are getting sillier with clothing. Firstly, people, business shirts do not make cute dresses. I don’t care who designed them or what pattern the fabric is, it doesn’t look good. Especially when worn with fishnets and pvc black stilettos , or a cowboy hat.

Furthermore, I personally feel it is inappropriate to wear boy leg shorts. Full Stop. Male, Female, Donkey, no boy leg shorts. And the thing involving white denim mini skirts? Not all of your social circle at once.

And if you must wear a dark shirt and suit to the pub, perhaps reconsider on the white tie and sneakers. And the spikey hair gel. It just reminds me of the little fat kid from Hey Dad.

And do you know what? I went to a lot of trouble to not look like someone’s mother tonight, so no, I won’t be minding your coat while you go for a fag on the porch.

We knew it was time to go when the two promo blondes in ill-prescribed yellow playsuits (on behalf of Bundy Rum) by-passed us with their free drinks vouchers.

Yep, we are so 29.

I’m going to enjoy the movie. When its finally released.


testing images

by Zoë on May 26, 2008

lets see if taking the machine out of the house makes it easier.