Monthly Archives: March 2009

You have to listen to me, I’m a mum now!

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Let’s face it. Being a mother changes who you are. It really does. I never used to be an emotional person. Oh wait, scratch that. I never used to be a SOPPY person. You know, one of those people that cries at the drop of a hat? Who has little tearies when a moving ad comes on. If my mum would cry because of something in a movie I would say “Mum! Get over yourself!” Now I fear my children will be saying it to me when they’re older.

You see, your whole perspective changes. The child crying, lost at the station (that horrible quit smoking ad) is your child. The family waiting for their father to come home from work (work cover ads) is your family. The first time I watched Titanic after I’d had my first son, and I saw the mother and baby floating frozen in the sea towards the end of the film, I started crying. Because I was imagining that baby being my baby.

For me, being a mother has made me less careless and irresponsible. I would never go skydiving again for fear of leaving my sons motherless. If some losers are walking past my house being loud and obnoxious I will no longer scream out to them “Shut the hell up you filthy bogans!” for fear of them coming and threatening my children. Even as pathetic as worrying when I go out at night that random things will happen to me which will leave my sons motherless- getting into a car accident, falling tree branches, being kidnapped or raped (touch wood to all of those). I NEVER used to care about these things before I had children. Before motherhood I was indestructible. “It won’t happen to me” was my motto. I would have tried anything, and the scarier the better. I liked testing life’s boundaries. God knows how I’ll deal with it if my sons ever get to that stage.

But it’s even little, random things. It’s like that episode of Scrubs when Turk and Dr Cox are talking about how being a parent changes your life and the way you see everything. For most people having poo, spew or boogers on your hand is disgusting. But if I’m changing my baby’s nappy or wiping my 3yo’s bum and I get poo on my hand, it’s no big deal, I just grab a wipe or piece of tp and wipe it off. Hey, sometimes I even forget to wash my hands afterwards. And I could walk around all day with my top smelling like baby spew and it doesn’t bother me.

Now, I think like a mother. I haven’t chosen to do so. I didn’t consciously choose to start thinking responsibly. It’s just that everyone I come in contact to I see as someone’s son or daughter, or someone’s mother or father.My friend across the road popped by after a run one day, having seen Lachlan and me playing in the front yard. When we went inside I offered for her to ring her her mum and tell her where she was, which she didn’t, with my old attitude of “she’ll be right”. Needless to say, her mum came knocking, worried sick. When my friend told her mum I’d suggested she ring and say where she was, her mum said “You should have listened to her, she’s a mum now!”

I also remember having a conversation many times about how no good deed is ever selfless, because at the end of the day you do a good deed because you want to help someone, because it makes YOU feel good. That is, until you have children. And everything you do for your children is for THEIR happiness, THEIR well-being, THEIR safety. It doesn’t matter if the decision you make makes you feel like shit (and believe me, sometimes they do), because THEY are what’s important. They are THE most important people in your life, more than your partner, more than yourself.

Being a mother exposes you to the beauty of unconditional love. I don’t believe unconditional can exist for any other relationship except a parent for their child, and vice versa. It’s the most humbling, most fulfilling, most painful type of love there is.

So, I might still be Melissa Wallace- cheeky, immature, sometimes selfish, stubborn, determined, and fun-loving, but being a mum does take precedence over all of those. Not by choice. That’s just the way it is.

Book Review – Cents and Sensibility (Maggie Alderson)

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Sometimes it’s good to read something that requires no brain power, and this is one of those fabulous works of fiction where you can just get lost in another life of fantasy, pretending to be the character and leading that life.

Cents and Sensibility is about Stella Montecourt-Fain, a journalist at one of the best newspapers in London. She specialises in luxury feature stories, and so is exposed to that awe-inspiring world of luxurious clothes, accessories, high jewelry, money, and beautiful people. Not that that’s important of course.

On one of her regular trips to France (sigh) she meets the heir to one of America’s biggest fortune…but she doesn’t find out straight away. The story is about hers and her father’s reaction to the amount of money this man would inherit, as well as love (of course), and family values.

There are some colourful characters in the story, my favorite being the womanising Lord Montecourt-Fain, Stella’s father, who has had six wives and a myriad of children to each wife. Of course this makes for an interesting and complicated family mix, but full of love and fun nonetheless.

The story is a lighthearted read when you feel like escaping life without having to put too much thought in it.

You can buy Cents and Sensibility here

Book Review- Tuesdays with Morrie: an old man, a young man, and life’s greatest lessons (Mitch Albom)

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I loved this book. It is an easy read, but at the same time it tackles life’s greatest questions and makes you think, which is what makes this such a great book.

The story is about a Mitch Albom’s college professor (Morrie) who has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Mitch goes to visit him (yep, every Tuesday) as the disease slowly takes control of his body. During this time Mitch comes up with a list of topics he’d like to discuss with Morrie You see, Morrie is one of those people that everyone could benefit from having in their lives. He was the type of person who followed his passions, never let superficial things get in the way of his true loves, drew people towards him like moths to a flame, didn’t care what society thought, and was incredibly insightful and wise- all of which were magnified when he found out he had a terminal illness.

The topics (or the syllabus) that Mitch and Morrie covered are: The world, feeling sorry for yourself, regrets, death, family, emotions, fear of aging, money, how love goes on, marriage, our (western) culture, and forgiveness.

We need more books in our life that approach these topics with an open mind. I took away three lessons from this one:

1. That no matter how much money and material possessions you have, they will never buy you lasting happiness and contentment. I mean to the point where you say “I don’t need anything else in my life, I have all that I could possibly need to make me happy”. I’ve covered this briefly in my post Generation X and Y: the lost generations?.

2. The most important things in life really are friends and family. Because at the end of the day, if you have no one to talk to, it’s all worth nothing (unless, of course, you’re one of those people that is perfectly happy being on your own)

3. We will never be truly happy until we can look at ourselves and accept all our faults and try to make them better, rather than try and make more money, get skinnier etc. If we can learn from our imperfections, accept that we all age and eventually die, and learn to enjoy life for what it is rather than slowing down the process of death, we will be able to live better lives.

You can buy Tuesdays with Morrie here

Lesbian kiss censored on Channel 7

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Ok. A few weeks ago the Herald Sun decided that Home and Away having a lesbian relationship and lesbian kiss scene was newsworthy. So newsworthy that it made front page headlines (must have been a slow news day). And I thought “Please, how pathetic. That’s not news. This is the 21st century. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened sooner”.

However. On inspecting today’s The Age I found this. If you can’t be bothered reading it, the gist is that Channel 7 have decided to censor the lesbian kiss in H&A:

Protesters are planning to pucker up in a mass ‘kiss-off’ at Melbourne’s Federation Square tonight to rally against Channel Seven’s decision to censor a lesbian kiss on teen soapie Home and Away.

Hundreds of people are expected to gather as the soapie airs at 7pm to peacefully demonstrate against the move by the station to reportedly cut scenes from a lesbian storyline.

Policewoman Charlie Buckton, played by actor Esther Anderson, and deckhand Joey Collins, played by Katie Bell, were due to kiss on tonight’s episode.

But according to News Limited reports, some intimate close-up shots were cut following complaints from conservative groups and viewers.

St Kilda-based photographer Emma Phillips said it was a shame people still viewed homosexuality as “shocking”.

“It’s pretty outrageous in this day and age that we have programs still censoring any gay content and something like Home and Away which is on at prime-time, it’s pretty mild content that they have generally anyway,” she said.

“I’m surprised at their level of conservatism.”

Ms Phillips said she was originally pleased that a show marketed towards teenagers had decided to include a lesbian relationship.

“It’s a tough time being a teenager anyway, being a gay teenager is doubly difficult and it’s something that’s never spoken about at school and my experience has been that the majority of gay people were bullied at school so for something like Home and Away to actually have some positive content just would have contributed enormously to their well-being,” she said.

A Melbourne lawyer, who because of discrimination fears did not want to be named, said word of tonight’s gathering for straight and gay people was spreading through text messages and emails.

The woman said she did not usually “get involved with these sorts of things” but had been appalled that two women kissing on a television show was still an issue in 2009.

” I think it highlights that there is a large proportion of the community who feel they need to tolerate gay people as opposed to accept them and I think people lose sight of the difference between tolerance and acceptance,” she said.

The lawyer said she believed a minority of conservative voices were being given an undue level of influence over what was being screened.

“In this case the conservative minority has been able to sway public opinion to the detriment of the majority,” she said.

“And certainly when I forwarded this email this morning to 200 people on my email list, maybe less than a third or even a quarter of people on that list are gay.

“You’d struggle to find a straight person today who doesn’t have a gay friend, or knows someone who is gay, so what’s the big issues? Come on people, wake up.”

She said she was worried what kind of message the decision to censor the kiss would send to Home and Away’s young audience.

The lesbian relationship follows a kiss between two schoolgirls on the program last month that seemed to escape the controversy surrounding tonight’s episode.

This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2009/03/31/1238261562800.html

If you couldn’t be bothered reading it, the gist is that Channel 7 have decided to censor the lesbian kiss in H&A.

This is newsworthy. This is not ONLY newsworthy, it is FRONT PAGE OF EVERY PAPER IN AUSTRALIA newsworthy.
As mentioned in the article, I can not believe the conservatism that still exists in a society that allows pre-teen magazines to promote wearing makeup, women’s clothing stores to sell clothes labeled xxxs (I mean COME ON), and magazines that allows photoshopped images.

As if it’s not bad enough being a teenager. Even more so now than when I was one 8 years ago. How are those teens out there battling with their sexuality supposed to feel? I’d expect such conservatism from the Vatican, for sure. But Australia? Today? REALLY? Censoring something as normal as a lesbian kiss (I repeat KISS, not sex scene) is giving our society the impression that there is something wrong with it. There are so many things wrong with that on so many levels.

This really got up my goat. I don’t care if people think it’s wrong. The point is that gay people exist. Deal with it. Don’t alienate them more by censoring something as low-key as a kiss.

Second time around

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Photo sourced from Blog “Someone’s Photos”

I was watching Scrubs last night (which, by the way, they FINALLY put on at a reasonable hour- 8pm on a Monday- my blog must have got through to them huh?) and something really hit home with me. Turk announced to everyone that he and Carla were expecting a second baby, and no one really cared. And this made me think.

When Shane and I announced we were expecting our first child, everyone was ecstatic (albeit wary, as you are when you’re not sure if the couple was trying or if it was a ‘surprise’). In the hospital once Lachlan had been born, I was inundated with flowers and congratulatory cards. Both sets of new grandparents announced it to the world the very next day via our local and metropolitan newspapers. Visitors came in every day of the four days I was in, sometimes five or six at a time (screw the hospital rules). I went home with a car full of flowers, “It’s a boy!” cards and balloons, gift hampers, clothes and chocolates. When I got home I filled a whole scrap book of cards I received for Lachlan’s birth.

But.

Guess how many cards I received for my second son’s birth? Go on, guess………. Eight. Yep. Enough to fill two pages of a scrap book. Two. Pages. And guess how many flowers I received when I was in hospital? One bunch. Just one bunch, from my hubby and my mum (they went halves, the cheap bastards). And the birth announcements? I asked on the 3rd day:
“Has anyone put Liam’s birth in the paper?” to my mum.
“No, why, did you want us to?”
“Well, why wouldn’t I? You did it for Lachlan, why wouldn’t you do it for Liam? Isn’t he as important as your first grandson? Do you want him to grow up with a complex that he’s not as good as his big brother?” (I may have been slightly emotional).

My question is this. Why isn’t having another baby as exciting or important as the first time? It’s no wonder older children and only children have god complexes (well, not really, I’m an only child, but that’s not the point). Every child after the first one that is born is treated with a “meh”. I mean, how rude?

To this day (3 months later) I still can’t believe I only got one bunch of flowers while I was in hospital. That’s like everyone announcing “I’m sorry, I just don’t think having a second baby warrants a congratulations. It’s getting old already.” If any of my friends have a second baby, I will be sure to be just as excited when it happens, as I was with their first.

Book of the moment: John Lennon- The Life

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I’ve always been a huge fan of The Beatles. I don’t know where this stems from, but it doesn’t matter, their happy-go-lucky, sometimes psychedelic, sometimes sombre music has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. I especially liked John Lennon. I guess because he was the troubled one, the “tortured artist”, the lost soul of the group, and for some reason I automatically gravitate towards these types. So when I read about the a biography of Lennon by the same guy that did the Beatle’s book “Help” (Phillip Norman) in The Age M Magazine, I wanted it. I had to have it. Fortunately it was my birthday a couple of weeks after reading about it (read: today) so when my 3 year-old son asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I was quick to reply.

So I’ve started reading it already and I will keep you posted how it goes.

Toys, clothes and cute stuff

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If you’re after presents for babies, toddlers and children, and are tired of boring stuff found in the major stores, I have discovered two adorable websites that have unusual, original, and just plain fun toys, games and clothes. Everything- toys, clothes, decor, furniture- whatever else you can imagine. I only wish I’d discovered it 3 years ago so I could have spent my money on CUTE things that are quirky and different, instead of the same old toys! So, I am sharing these websites with you in the hopes that you won’t buy all the Egglings- I need some for Easter and an upcoming 3rd birthday party, so please leave me some!

Check out:
Cradle Rock
Kid’s Got Style

Nine-year-old rape victim aborts twins

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So sad…

A NINE-YEAR-OLD girl who was carrying twins, allegedly after being raped by her stepfather, underwent an abortion today despite complaints from Brazil’s Roman Catholic church.

Police said the stepfather has been jailed since last week, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Abortion is illegal in Brazil, but judges can make exceptions if the mother’s life is in danger or the fetus has no chance of survival.

Fatima Maia, director of the public university hospital where the abortion was performed, said the 15-week-old pregnancy posed a serious risk to the 36-kilogram girl, AP reported.

“She is very small. Her uterus doesn’t have the ability to hold one, let alone two children,” Ms Maia told the Jornal do Brasil newspaper.

But Marcio Miranda, a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife in northeastern Brazil, said the girl should have carried the twins to term and had a cesarean section, AP reported

I found this on another blog site and I have to agree with the guy- how can the church give the unborn fetus’s more rights than the girl, who was still a child?

Archibald Prize 2009

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I’m not really an art person. I don’t really get art. I can’t stand there an ponder a piece of art and what it means, or doesn’t mean, or how the artist felt at the time of painting, what they are trying to convey. I need to be told. I need it to be obvious. That’s why I like things like landscape, and portraits. Cos they’re obvious. So I like it when it’s time for the Archibald Prize, because it gives me the opportunity to appreciate art without having to pretend to understand it.

Have you seen the winner and finalists for this year’s Archibald Prize? OMG there are some AMAZING portraits! God, I wish I could paint…or draw…or even evolve beyond stick figures and 2D stuff…

anyways…

The winner this year was Guy Maestri for his portrait of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunipingu (the blind aboriginal musucian- amazing). But it must have been pretty tough for the judges, there were so many amazing pictures I don’t know how they choose just one (hence why I would never make a good judge, they’d all get 1st prize!).
Here’s the winning portrait and some of my fave finalists. Enjoy.


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