Monday 30 December 2013

The circus big top for 2013

As we sit on the cusp of a brand spanking shiny new year I'm going to use this as an opportunity to say THANKS. That's thanks to everyone who's ever read One Woman Circus over these past six months (or even it was just the once and by accident!); thanks to my husband for listening to me go on about it all the time; and thanks to my mate Jo at Down To Earth Mother for some great blogging advice.

I was actually very against writing my own blog for ages (every man and their dog blogs right?); but finally all the random thoughts, rants and article ideas overflowed out of my brain and made their way to this online channel. Aside from a few a-hole technology issues to start with, it's been so much fun. I still struggle with the word blog though, in my head 'online journal' seems more apt. Meh. Much a muchness right?

Anyway, it's been a hell of a ride so far so thanks for listening people. The circus will be continuing into 2014, but as my last post for this year I thought I'd give you a rundown of my most popular articles - the ones that were the most read, shared and talked about.

So here they are, the One Woman Circus top five posts of 2013 (as dictated by you awesome readers):

1. 8 things I've learned since becoming a mum
Looks like my teeny tiny old piklet boobs topped the list - who would have thought? Parenthood is crazy on so many levels and physical changes are just one part of it (for mums at least). You've either got to laugh or cry - so I'll take hilarity any day thanks.

2. Don't take that cup of tea for granted
I never dreamed that going on a diet would be so interesting to people. And that's not one for weight loss either, it was to uncover an intolerance and it made me crankier than a cat with a sock on its head. Rest assured, no diet happening now - happy New Years people, yew!

3. WARNING - kids and holidays don't mix
A holiday in Bali. With a toddler and a baby. Yes we were crazy and we didn't even know it. We did learn a bunch of stuff though so if you're thinking of doing the same you might want to check out my tips first.

4. I'd like to thank God and...
I got a Liebster Award - rock n' roll! Clearly the blogger 'pay it forward' initiative works. Nice one. Or, maybe you were all just seriously loving Haley Joel Osment's man-body. Yeah, that was it.

5. The secret weapon every parent should remember 
Music. It rocks my world and even as I write this it's helping tame the little lions. Are you using it? Do it. Now.

See you on the other side people...

What was your favourite circus moment this year?

photo credit: dongga BS via photopin cc

Monday 23 December 2013

The Christmas gift I can never have...

Several weeks ago after not being able to think of any ideas for my Christmas wish list, I came up with a bunch of things I DIDN'T want instead (check it out here if you missed it).

I've since had a rethink and now the big day is almost here I finally know what I want. The only problem is I know no one can give it to me.

So what is it? Well it's quite simple really, I just want effing technology to work.

Lately almost everyone I know has had major issues with technology - phones wiping contacts, not being able to send or receive emails, computers acting crazy, Facebook pages having multiple glitches - you know, that sort of thing. For some unknown reason though I naturally repel technology and seem to have way more problems than anyone else.

I swear my body gives off some kind of anti-technology vibe and causes things to malfunction. I've even done experiments before to test out this theory, which proved that a computer acting nuts for me can often instantly go functional again, just by someone else being in front of it - even if they're doing exactly what I was doing, or doing nothing at all. I'm telling you, I must give off anti-tech energy and it sucks.

Yes technology is wonderful - and I'm not even talking about newfangled gizmos that I don't even use yet. The concept of a landline phone or how it's physically possible to take a photo still blows me away - pure magic. But technology is also a bastard. It lures you in with it's wizardry and then leaves you high, dry and on the phone to Telstra about to have a stroke.

Technology is of course extremely complicated and temperamental, so I know I won't get my desired Christmas present this year. Sigh. To make me feel a bit better though, I'm going to leave you with one of my favourite clips from the movie Office Space. If you've ever felt my technology pain, click play immediately to feel instant satisfaction.

Are you allergic to technology like me?

Photo credit: Google Images

Thursday 19 December 2013

My children are food snobs

What the F is this?!

Move over Matt Preston - the next Masterchef judges and food critics are my 3 and 1 year-old sons. Here are just a few samples of their mealtime snobbery: 

The judging process starts with sight and smell
When lunch or dinner is produced their sceptical eyes scan warily over the dish and have a good sniff. Have I passed the test? Have I? Sadly often I do not. It is then extremely hard to convince the judges to even try my meal. Sigh. 

They're experts on food temperatures
I didn't realise that food served warm was displeasing and dangerous to the general public. Next time I will be more careful to ensure it is stone cold first as to not scald anyone with lukewarmness. 

They love a good pressure test
Nothing like two children screaming they're hungry and clutching your legs as you're trying to prepare dinner to put the pressure on. Didn't they have pre-dinner snacks only half an hour ago? Chances are they're not even going to eat it when it goes on the table. The only conclusion I can make is they just like to see me sweat. 

They like their food deconstructed
I've spoken about my hate of deconstructed food before, but my children obviously didn't get the memo because they're all over that sh#t. Homemade fried rice? Forget it, not a chance in hell they'll eat it. But if I pop three piles of peas, plain rice and bacon on a plate instead they'll go for it like a lion on a zebra. And if the food they're served isn't deconstructed (e.g. a Vegemite and cheese sandwich), they'll instantly pull it apart and deconstruct it themselves. Cos' that's how they roll. 

They like food displayed in other unique formats
Food served on a plate on the table is not nearly as interesting as food tipped on the floor, covered in cat hair and half trod on. Brings out the flavour and makes things more exciting I guess. 

They're not afraid to let the cook have it
Meals are regularly sent back and "Yuck" or "That's disgusting" are also common phrases bandied around the dinner table these days. Why don't they tell me how they really feel? Perhaps I should smear it on the floor and see if it tastes better then...

What antics do your tiny food critics get up to?

Photo credit: Sproot

Monday 16 December 2013

Unconditional love? Future slave? No, the best thing about having kids is this


Having children of your own is awesome, no doubt about it. Challenging, exhausting, expensive and mind baffling - but yes, still awesome. There are lots of things you could list as the best parts about being a mum or dad (everything from sweet little hugs and kisses down to the assurance there will be someone around in years to come to wipe your bum when you check in to the geriatric nut factory), but I think the best part about having children is this:

You get to be a child again.

This year both of my boys have experienced many 'firsts,' but two stand-outs are when I took my eldest to the cinema for the first time, and when I let him stay up to watch his first fireworks. On both occasions his mind was blown and it makes you realise how much stuff we take for granted as adults. Just because I've been to the movies hundreds of times shouldn't mean I find it any less amazing.

Children allow you to see everything - even seemingly ordinary objects, places, people and experiences - through their fresh, innocent eyes. So it's almost like you're back to being a babe in the woods again, soaking up life like a sponge.

And it doesn't end there. There are lots of other parent perks that come with this cool second childhood, such as the licence to be ridiculous, and the toys. Oh yes, the toys.

I am so obsessed with my son's Kinder Surprise smurf figurine collection (they were toilet training rewards). Every time he opened an egg and out came a character we didn't have, I felt a rush of pure elation. I thought I lost Papa Smurf the other day and was devastated, but after searching high and low and finding him under the couch - again, pure ecstasy. There is only one character we still don't have yet - fishing rod smurf - but they're not selling them anymore. Crushed. I've seriously considered contacting the makers.

I also spent about 30 minutes the other day working out a super cool musical arrangement on a toy guitar which has ten different riffs programmed into it. My kids were not as impressed as myself (or my husband), but I was rocking the casbah. For that half an hour I was on cloud nine with not a care in the world. Bills? Chores? What are they?

Ok, so have I already checked into the nut farm? Quite possibly. But if you're a parent you'll know what I mean. And if you're not one, then maybe this is another good reason to think about having children. Because who wouldn't want to be a kid again?

What stuff do you love about parenthood (aka second childhood)?

Photo credit:

Friday 13 December 2013

Sorry, it's just that time of year

Just a quick note to say sorry the circus has been a bit quiet this week - well, at least on here anyway! At home the baby lions have still been roaring and I've been juggling even more crazy balls than usual.

If you want to see what I've been up to check out:

It's a new fashion and lifestyle online magazine which launched this week and I'm the Deputy Editor. Exciting times!

On top of that there's all the usual mother duties, other work and general end of year craziness, but I'll be back on deck next week.

The countdown to Christmas is on - try and keep sane everyone!

Do you have a million things on the go this December?

photo credit: Larry Myhre via photopin cc 

Friday 6 December 2013

Do you REALLY want to do this to yourself this weekend?

Kill me. Now.

Confession - I'm into self-harm these days. And now that it's the silly season I know it's only going to get worse. Yep, I'm talking about drinking when you have small children.

People who aren't parents have no concept of just how bad a hangover is when you have tiny people in your life. It's like being tortured over and over again with no reprieve. And the worst part is, there's no one to blame but yourself. You did this. Yes you. Shame on you.

Hangovers have been quite few and far between since I entered motherhood. When they first arose I was mortified beyond belief and quickly learned that wine doesn't pay. But lately hangovers have started rearing their ugly heads again, and boy are they hideous. I don't know even know how I've fallen into this self-harm trap again. I'm blaming end of year craziness.

They should put warning labels on alcohol like they do for minors and pregnant women - got kids under 10? No soup for you. When you have children, every drink you have has double the effect the next day. Dangerous territory that is not remotely fun.

It's true parents with hangovers suffer big time, but children also pay the price too. When Mum or Dad is hungover, what do you think appeals best: heading to the beach for a fun-filled day of action, or reaching for the remote to drown out the demons? Not cool at all. When I'm hungover my tolerance levels go down to practically zero and everything is just way too hard. Cooking turns into takeaway, baths turn into wipe downs. It's horrible and I hate myself for it.

Every time I've had a hangover in recent years I've felt nothing but guilt for the poor excuse of a mother my children have had to wake up to. Add that guilt to your thumping headache, rotten guts and mega sleep deprivation, and that's not a nice cocktail.

I've now come to the conclusion that the only time you should let go and get boozed is if you've arranged for your partner to do the morning shift with the kids (or better yet, organise a sleepover at their cousins' house so they're completely out of your hair and properly attended to). Otherwise, it's just not worth it. Not one bit.

Yet still here I am, not able to stop hitting the bottle. Some days music and other solutions just don't cut it and it feels like a drink is the only thing keeping you sane once the lovable maniacs are in bed. Yet it really isn't the answer. A measly moment of carefree drinking that you then pay for heavily. 

So parents, I urge you all this weekend (and over the Christmas period) to stop and think about what you're doing before you guzzle down that extra beer or glass of wine. Is it worth it? Is it? I think not.

Do you self-harm regularly? Any tips for surviving the silly season with kids?

Tuesday 3 December 2013

What NOT to buy parents this Christmas

Don't you dare put socks in my sack again.

The Christmas countdown has arrived. Hooray hooray! Jingle all the way! Or maybe I could tell you where to shove those bells...? I normally love Christmas but now I'm three years into parenthood I'm finding it's a lot more stressful than it used to be.

The tree only went up yesterday and already almost every decoration has been either smashed, ripped or eaten. The advent calendar was jumped on before the first window could be opened and the Christmas lights have been licked within an inch of power failure and human electrocution.

I haven't even started on the Christmas cards or gifts. My husband asked me what I wanted the other day and I couldn't think of anything, because now I'm a mum Christmas is basically all about the kids - which I'm actually fine with. But me? What are you talking about? When asked about what presents I wanted, the only things that came to mind instead were things I knew I DIDN'T want.

So here it is - my anti-Christmas list (or what NOT to buy people with small children):

1. An alarm clock
Do you honestly think I need one? I don't even know what sleeping in or waking up naturally is anymore. If it's not one of the children forcing me out of bed at dawn's crack, it's the cat sitting on my chest purring in my face, or the kookaburras going crazy outside. Whether I want to be or not, I'm literally up with the birds.

2. Anything white
White dress. White trousers. White couch. White tablecloth. White rug. White couch...Are you insane? White lasts two seconds in our house - and I'm not just blaming the kids either. I'm walking around like a zombie half the time - combine that with natural clumsiness and a glass of wine and it's all over. And then I'm the mug that has to magically try and reclaim the whiteness. So trust me, I ain't dreaming of a white Christmas.

3. Anything breakable
I'm talking glass vases, precious ornaments, valuable electronics - anything that could easily be broken or smashed if it gets into the wrong hands. Yes I am clumsy, but this one's on the kids. Pretty much everything of value we own has either been destroyed, is tucked away in the garage or put way up on the highest shelves. I don't even know where anything is anymore. The easier solution would be to simply not own anything valuable until the children are old enough to resist the temptation not to break it. 

4. A dog
I already clean up enough poo that isn't mine. I do NOT need to add the task of picking up dog logs from the lawn to my list of chores. And as much as I love animals, I do NOT need the extra responsibility of daily walks and baths, not to mention potential noise complaints from neighbours and all the other general responsibilities that come with owning another animal.

5. A drum kit
No explanation necessary.   

What do you NOT want for Christmas this year?
Photo credit: Shark Chunks