Friday, 7 February 2014

It’s a Wrap People.



Break open the bubbly! Today is the last day of the 30 day blog a day challenge. Time to celebrate an achievement.

It’s a mixed bag of feelings and awakenings.  I am:

Ecstatic that I stuck to it, and got through it.

Amazed that I managed to juggle a blog a day with two kids under three and Mr. Lucky.
In addition to the mundane, I have spent the last 30 days looking for alternative accommodation in Greece and the UK. We are moving to another short stay apartment – so am packing up to move house. AND we’re looking at apartments to move in to for when we go back to London, am packing up what we currently don’t need to ship that back to London. FUN!!

Thrilled that I managed to reconnect with Ms. Lintern.

Sad that the challenge is over – I enjoyed dusting off my brain, and giving the fingers a workout.

Relieved that it’s come to an end, the pressure is off.  It got tough towards the end.

Liberated.  I have managed to expel a range of random thoughts; I now have space for more.

Conscious of friends that have actively supported the process and those that haven’t.

Touched to have heard from people I hadn't heard from for years who have been supportive or who have shared their stories or perspectives

Happy that I have met other bloggers, who have provided tips, advice and support.

OK, I haven’t saved lives, lost a few kilos, and changed the world.  But it has been fun.  In 30 days I have managed to clear a whole range of data, ideas that have been floating around in my noggin.

It’s been a great learning experience. I am now better connected with how I write, when I write, and what ends up on screen.

So what is next?  Stay tuned. I won’t be blogging daily – but will continue to blog.

After a break I am sure I will be up for another blog challenges. Who’s in?

Thank you following me, but don’t go away, watch this space.

This blog is the final installment of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me.

Follow me at: @mummyfried

Image: Explosion Of Champagne Bottle Cork" by digitalart / Freedigitalphotos.net


Thursday, 6 February 2014

Teasing and bullying.

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I often don’t write about things that make my blood boil or things that upset me. I take all that out on Mr. Lucky, and I pity my keyboard. It has already lost the TAB button and I don’t think I could bear it if I lost any other key.

Being in Greece for some time now I have seen shops close, people lose their jobs, and homes. The Greek financial crisis has created a fear that has dented Greece’s normally euphoric,’ live and love life to the fullest ‘state of being.

There is a growing divide between those who have, and those who have not.

We were in a taverna the other day. A young man came in selling candles. Nobody bought any. He left looking devastated, desperate and lost. 

After lunch, we walked to a children’s play cafe to let Little Miss run around. While we sat there, the same young man came in this time without his bag of candles and asked the proprietor for work. 

Without even looking at him, the proprietor asked him to leave.  As he escorted him towards the door, the proprietor noticed me watching the exchange. The proprietor began pulling faces and imitated the young man's walk. I couldn't believe it.

Here was a desperate young man searching for work, being teased.  I was too shocked to say or do anything.  A few days on, I still feel sick when I think about it.  

The only saving grace is that the young man didn't see what was going on behind his back. He looked so desperate and devastated at being turned away that I shudder to think of the consequences had he realised what was going on.

I grew up in a country town. Being a minority we were like hurricane chasers. We would chase after any Greek gathering within 200 km of our town  just so see, hear, eat and absorb all things Greek.

We went to a Greek dance. I was 9. My parent’s friend’s son, let’s called him Mr. NOT Darcy was being courted by all family members for my cousin. As law student, he was a sound marriage prospect a nearly educated man demanding respect.

Well, he teased me about my big brown eyes. Not in an endearing or flattering way.  Mr. NOT. Darcy was cruel. He was outright nasty.  The other kids my age heard him, and started to tease me. This continued at each gathering. I hated it.

Whenever I saw Mr. NOT Darcy, I put my big brown eyes to use by glaring at him with contempt OR I ignored him. Blatantly. It was uncomfortably noticeable to all that I did not like him. 

Thankfully he didn't marry my cousin. She married a nice, well... lawyer.

When I was about 18 I bumped into him, and to my absolute surprise, he apologised.  I was gob smacked. I swallowed my surprise and simply said, ‘It’s too late, I don’t accept your apology’. 

I have not seen him since but have often wondered if my refusal to accept his apology made a difference to him. It certainly didn't make a difference to me. 

Bullying and teasing affects a victim’s decision making, their confidence, and their sense of self. It impacts how and when a victim makes friends, how one enters a room, walks down the street, meets people. It affects how a victim relates to people. The list goes on.

As an adult I have revisited key moments in my life where my behavior and reactions to situations and people have been less than ideal. I have questioned (but not excused) whether the teasing / bullying was in any way responsible 

Of course education is key.  Cafe proprietors, adults, employers and leader’s must stop being bully’s. Even the most subtle kind of teasing can cause serious damage. These individuals in positions of power, authority should know better. They need to be made accountable.  

But there is more. Victims need support, guidance and direction so that they can turn that damage into something positive.  If a victim survives the bullying they need time to heal. But it’s important to ensure their wounds heal in the right way, so that the bullying ends with them, and that they do not become a bully themselves.

Can you imagine what further damage the teasing would have done to this poor desperate boy had he realised what was going on behind his back?

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me.

Follow me: @mummyfried

Image "Loud Hailer Character Shows Shouting Yelling And Bullying" by Stuart Miles /FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

What is in a name?

Last night we met up with some new friends. In typical Mr. Lucky and Mummyfried style, we didn't know their names.

They must have told us their names the first time we met, but of course it was summer, we had just arrived in Greece and were drunk on sun, good food and tsipouro (a rocket fueled version of ouzo). 

To be honest for a while I thought their names were Baby and Sweetie. When they started to call each other ‘Cutie’ or ‘Lovey’ I realised I had missed the initial name exchange.

I had a rare moment of genius and asked the husband whether his name was pronounced differently in Portuguese as opposed to Greek. So now we know the man’s name.

Mr. Lucky and I have names for each other Mr. Lucky being one, and more descriptive names when we have very very loud conversations.  He also goes by Mr. Cranky, Mr. Messy, Mr. Funny, Mr. I am in so much trouble, but I can’t say he ever goes by Mr. All Loved Up, or Mr. Baby.

Do people grow into the names or nicknames they are given? 

My girls are named after their grandparents. When I look at them, I don’t think of their grandparents. They have made their names their own.  

When I was younger my sister called me Ellie Belly.  Mr. Lucky calls me Kung Fu Panda for largely the same reason. I have a pot belly. Always did.  Today it looks more like a deflated balloon. I have spent many a night awake worrying about it, exacerbating the dark circles under my eyes. I am not sure I like this nickname.

Why I didn't get a nice nickname to grow into? Something like Barbie. I could have had an exciting career(s) Barbie Doctor, Barbie Life Guard, Barbie Rock Star, I would have a dream home, mobile home, jet, and oh what a wardrobe!! Talk about being cheated.

Do parents allocate flower names like Rose, Violet, and Jasmine because they want their kids to grow and blossom, or smell nice?  If it’s the latter perhaps these names should have been boy names. I have rarely met a boy that has grown into a nice smelling teenager.  

Nicknames for children, with the exclusion of Ellie Belly (thanks sis) are understandable. Nicknames for friends can be fun, if harmless. 

But for loved up adults... well, I prefer not to be within earshot of the exchange.  I draw the line at Baby. That is it. I just can't stomach loved up adult nickname exchanges.

I am a loved up adult nicknamephobic.  In my study of people that allocate cutsie names for their loved one, I have found that they are most likely to talk to each other using high pitched baby talk. People, like your dirty talk, please please keep the baby talk at home.

Hearing baby talk between adults makes me, a normally peaceful loving (OK lazy) person become ill with exhaustion. After hearing baby talk my panda eyes are ready to fall out. They just can't take it after seriously intense and sweaty session of eye rolling. 

Do you think you grow into your name or nickname?
If you have a nickname do you like it?
And finally, do you cringe when you hear loved up couples call each other cutsie names?

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me for more.

Follow me: @mummyfried

Image: Panda" by tiverylucky /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Crappy Day

As a new parent, you find yourself paying attention to things or dealing with things you would much rather avoid… like poo.

You are wiping it off baby or his / her clothes after those little soft cheeks have parted to erupt.

You are wiping it off your leg after it has seeped through his / her onsie and clothes.

You are observing it, Is it soft, hard, runny, green, black, yellow?

The color and consistency means something. There are websites with pictures that explains whether baby needs more veg, or if he / she is eating well, or not.

It’s not pleasant. 

Well,yesterday, I had had enough of it. After cleaning baby for what felt like the 100th time, I popped her and her clean butt into the pushchair and went for a walk.

No prizes for guessing what I rolled over. My nose could do with some work but its engine is working fine. In this case, I didn’t feel it. I smelt it.  And it smelt BAD.

I looked around for a puddle or long grass to roll over, nothing.

My worst nightmare.  I didn’t have a bottle of water to try to wash it off. I pulled out my wet wipes, antibacterial hand gel and held my breath.  I had walked a good distance trying to get the poo off the wheels, but this was one was a stubborn little so and so.

I cursed the owner that failed to pick it up.

I got as much off as possible while holding my breath. I washed my hands and returned home glum.

I couldn’t shake the smell. I wondered whether my nose needed a complete overhaul rather than just  a cosmetic nip and tuck?

The pushchair wheels were clean, but I discovered a different color and consistency on the sole of my shoe. A different dog perhaps?

I took my shoes off and left them outside hoping somebody would either steal them or clean them.


As I closed the door I had two thoughts.  

1. Do dog owners obsess about their dog’s poo the same way parents do with their child’s? 
2. How do you get poo off your shoe?

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me.  

Follow me @mummyfried

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, 3 February 2014

TOTPAS and balloons

Mr. Lucky plans to out try new recipe today. Yesterday he left the ingredients out on the kitchen bench in preparation. Like theatre staff prepping the surgeon’s tools before a big operation, I arranged his purchases, pulled out saucepans and chopping boards. I then searched high and low for it, and with a sinking fearful realisation, I discovered yet again, that the peeler was missing. 

I am afflicted with repetitive TOTPAS. For those ignorant to illnesses of the domestic kind, TOTPAS is short for Throwing out the Peeler Again Syndrome. I haven’t met anyone else with this serious disease.

I skipped out to the corner store to find a replacement peeler. . Sunday trading in this Greek Home and Away town is non-existent. It’s the corner store or nothing.

I told Mr. Right that I had to buy  Little Miss a treat as she had been a very very good girl over the weekend (that part of my cover story was true).

I must be the only person in this sleepy town with TOTPAS, as they didn’t stock peelers. I quickly focused my attention on getting Little Miss a treat.  Treats must be rare in this town too, the selection was dire.

I spotted a packet of 8 balloons. I sniggered my filthy thoughts aside and focused on the Greek text describing the balloons as 'animal shaped.' I paid for them and left for home. 

Check out the packaging.



Little Miss was ecstatic. I blew up the first balloon. She got scared.



I blew up the second balloon – I got scared.

I blew up the third balloon. We agreed it would be more fun to play with something else.


I rechecked the packaging to check that I hadn’t bought a blow up sex game. This is a small town after all and word gets around.  I also had a mild panic attack remembering that I told the lady at the corner store I was buying the balloons for my two year old. I certainly didn’t want child protection services knocking on my door.

I was in the clear. In addition to confirming that they were simply animal shaped balloons, the small print advised that they were made out of natural product (no information as to what that really means) and that they (the balloons I guess) respect me and the environment.

Despite being environmentally friendly and respectful, I still threw them and their fantasy packaging out.

I better hurry up. Retail trading today is from 8 am to 2 pm. I need to get my butt out to the shops to buy a replacement peeler before Mr Right discovers ours is missing.  Of course I will buy an appropriate treat for Little Miss. 

I then need to get back home and tell Mr. Lucky about my illness.  I don’t know if it’s hereditary, so no doubt he will worry.

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me for more. 

Follow me @mummyfried Go on, be the first to sign up!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Telling it to my sisters.

As February rolls in, I can’t help but think this year is starting to gain momentum. I am determined to keep hold of most of my New Year Resolutions (I am losing the ‘get fit’ & ‘eat healthy’ resolutions. They were boring anyhow).  I am still on track with celebrating even the little things. To keep this going, I need to do key dates differently.

Put on the party hats people, this is the month of love. Valentine’s Day and Little Miss’ birthday are both in February. Don’t panic, this is not a love story blog about me and Mr. Lucky. It’s too soon for another blog about how brilliant Little Miss is.  I haven’t written about The Baby, yet. Don’t stop reading, today is not that day either. It is a blog about love though.

The blog is dedicated to a group of women that I love. Friends old and new. Individuals that have allowed me to throw my head back, open my mouth and show off my one filling as I laugh and laugh and feel alive.

They are responsible for the additional wisdom lines around my mouth and eyes. They are the ones that have helped me to get off my backside and do something (even it if is to put down that final glass of wine I should have not guzzled and bolt to the bathroom to donate my half-digested pizza to the toilet).

These are women that have created a bond beyond blood, and who form the true sisterhood.  The list is short, there are more to add – but these are women come to mind this morning, and I need to hit the publish button.

So, this is a call out to:
  • My dear friend that lived down the road. I miss you. I miss our Friday chocolate biscuit (packet) consumption ritual. I miss our long walks, our chats and texts. We are forever connected.
  • My former flat mate turned best friend.  Nobody dances better to Donna Summer’s ‘No more tears’ Thank you for showing me your moves, and for project managing the renovation of my flat when I couldn’t.
  • My friend that let Little Miss sleep with her when we were in Italy.  Only you would be cool with taking a toddler to a bar at night.
  • The girl that started this blog a day challenge - you kicked me into gear, I may not write as well as you (seriously, who can??) but who cares, I am having a lot of fun so thank you for giving me this opportunity.
  • The girls I emailed telling them about Mummyfried. You know me well enough to know I hyperventilate each day with each upload. Thank you for your support.
  • To the beautiful long haired girl I met at Starbucks three years ago and whose energy and strength is to be admired. Thank you for being my friend and for introducing me to Portuguese beer.
  • To my friend that traveled to London, spent five glorious days with me and made me leave the airport looking like a panda when I said goodbye… you are terrible at keeping in touch. But I love you anyway.
  • To the child carer that looked after Little Miss for more hours necessary allowing me to recuperate.  Nine months on, and Little Miss talks about you constantly and still thinks that week was a holiday.
  • My beautiful niece in Adelaide who sent me a lovely email when Little Miss came into the world, and who continues to surprise me with her beautiful thoughtful messages. You combine beauty with hope. I can’t wait to watch you grow older and  for you to realise your dreams.
  • To the woman that treats me like her own blood daughter and who during difficult times has encouraged me to find my inner strength. You are an inspirational woman. Your hair always looks great – so you can now stop asking me how it looks.
  • I have to add Mr. Lucky. He read this blog and suffered relevance deprivation. So Mr.Lucky, you've made the list. 
These are my mentors, my guides, my motivators, my sisters.  If all women were like you, perhaps those ugly words used to describe particular women would not exist.

Who forms part of your sisterhood?

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern’s blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me for more.

I finally worked it out and have a Twitter account!!! Follow me @mummyfried

Saturday, 1 February 2014

My Little Miss

When my mother decided on a career change, she went to college, completed a child care course and started her own child care business.  I helped her with her assignments; cram for her exams. We even attended First Aid training courses together.  

After passing the police check (she tried to convince me that it was a work requirement, I still don’t believe her) she let me work for her during my university holidays. It was fantastic. I got paid to run around with a bunch of cute kids and play games.  

One would think the above would have prepared me for Little Miss. Well…

As a newborn, she rarely slept.  She grew older and we tried to introduce a routine. Despite an active day, nap or quiet time and a strictish 7 pm bedtime, she would sing in her cot from 7 pm to 10 pm. nonstop.  The neighbors commented.

As a nearly three year old she now sleeps all the way through. In our bed.

She wakes me in the middle of the night to tell me to be quiet (if I am snoring, talking in my sleep) or to move over. I try to tell her it’s my bed and she is a guest in it, but she refuses to listen to reason.

She regularly runs over to me and demands to be hugged. This could be while taking a shower, holding the baby or wrestling with bags of groceries. How can you turn her down?

Since moving, Little Miss’ diet has improved.  In London, it would be a good day if she ate something. In Greece, it’s a good day if I deliver what she wants to eat. Today she asked for endives..
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She asks to go in the ‘corner of thought’ - a time out mechanism introduced by nursery. If her nursery teacher refuses to comply, she does something naughty.  When she is in the ‘corner of thought’, she refuses to come out, having way too much of a good time, the teacher thinks.

She is the self-appointed swing inspector.  It doesn't matter how big or small the park is, she will road test every swing, and then provide commentary. I almost feel obligated to document her recommendations and send them to council.

She insists on wearing a pink shoe and red shoe every day.

If I start singing, she asks me to stop. 

When I am done reading a book, she asks to read it too. She will carry it around with her for days. At the moment she is reading  Marketecture’s ‘The B2B Content Marketing Cookbook.’  It’s a different read to Victoria Hislop’s ‘The Island.’

When we go out she packs a bag with her toys and her Hello Kitty pyjamas.  I pray she is not hoping to meet a nice new family to move in with.

She howls every night during bath time. When done, she turns to me and says, ‘It’s over. Well done Little Miss.’

She’ll call me over and point to the wall with new scribbles on it and will say ‘ohh who did that, oh, I did.’

She lines up her toys and reads to them. If they don't listen she puts them in the 'corner of thought.'

She doesn’t throw up on the nursery bus that picks her up every morning but throws up on any mode of transport we take together (car, bus, train or plane). We can’t work out if it’s the motion, the idea of a day out with her family, or my outfit that makes her sick.

She has called emergency services twice. What is she trying to tell them?

So there you have it, at almost three she is a force to be reckoned with.  She is a unique, happy, loving little mite and I can't get enough of her. Can’t wait for the next 20 or so years.

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's daily blog challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me for more.