Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The one month mark

It's been bang on a month since my husband left me.

Let's just say, I don't want this shit situation to define me and I also don't want it to consume me. It sucks that so much was taken away from me, but hey, life throws massive challenges at you and the best you can do is the be the best you can be.

In a sucky situation, I have discovered sooo many things about me and have actually found some positives:

I have a gorgeous community of friends who are neighbours, neighbours who are friends, old mates, new mates, a most delicious mother's group who are also splendid caterers and a whole village that is Yarraville taking care of me and checking in. I've never felt such support and I'm so grateful that I have so many sweet people around me and my son.

I'm a good person. This situation is making me a better person. I have goals and they are exciting. Being a better person is one of them. Growing my son into a respectful, kind and adventurous young man is another.

I bought a new bed. I've never owned a new bed. It's so heavenly and fresh and soft and sweet. I love it. I also love my little Alfie running in at morning time and giving me a big cuddle in my gorgeous bed. He gives me a reason to get out of bed every morning. He's the best.

I have all the space I want in my own wardrobe. All. The. Space.

I have gazillion of display pillows on my new bed. And I don't need to explain their relevance, my display techniques or the fact that I want more.

I have a raging battle going on inside my belly. It's an angry ball. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm seeing a counsellor. It's good to dump angry balls in the bin. Anger can be poison inside a human body. It makes you smell, it gives you crook guts and keeps you up at night. I'm determined not to become bitter and angry. Life is way too short for that. I don't even know if I can face drinking lemon, lime and bitters this summer. I don't want any bitter inside of me. My counsellor has wiry hair and wears a kaftan. She gave me a cuddle and she smelt like rosemary.

I am an excellent female.

Mindfulness is not just a buzz word. It's good to be present. I've put down my phone. Actually, I've turned it off (outside of business hours).

It's ok to be successful. It is also ok to be happy. Success and happiness are not threats, they are actions that I want my son to grow up knowing to be awesome.

I'm actually a really organised person. I'm also very good at my job. There is nothing wrong with big plans, I'm good at making them happen. My country house plan didn't happen for a reason, that's not to say that my next cool plan won't become real.

I watch romcoms on the TV every night. Because I can. Sometimes I eat chocolate while doing this.

I painted my son's toenails the other night, the same colour as mine. They look beautiful.

Alfie and I have created a map marking the places where all the lighthouses live along the coast. We've got adventures planned.

This is a pic of us on our last adventure together in Hobart. We looked at heaps of cranes. If I can take anything out of this crap time in my life, it's to look forward to the adventures my son and I will have together in the future. We've been doing things as a duo for over three years, here's to millions of years more.

I can do this. I am doing this.

As my mum said, don't let his failure, fail you.

Be kind. Be adventurous. Reach for the stars. Love Ali

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Random Acts of Poo-mess

You have a few coffees, it's natural, it's going to happen. You're aware that it will and you plan accordingly.

I know my kid is only 3 but the instant urge he has to take a crap right then and there is still a bit beyond me.

Yesterday in the supermarket. I've got a full trolley.
Alfie: "mum, poo's coming out my bum."
Me: "ok, let's pay the lady and get you to a toilet."
Alfie; "it's coming out now. RIGHT NOW MUM. I can feel it!"
We abandon the trolley. The poo was coming out. I throw the Paw Patrol undies in the bin. I shouldn't have waited. It wasn't his fault. I just assumed he could hold it for 2 minutes and 48 seconds longer. 

He couldn't.

Today in the main street of Yarraville. Alfie starts riding his bike standing up.
Alfie: "mum. I need to do a poo."
Me: "ok, let's find a toilet. The pub's open."
As I rush towards the pub carrying his bike I turn around to see him doing a poo in a shopfront with a garden. I pick it up with a doggy bag and turf it in the bin. Let us never speak of this again.

I think I'm becoming a lot more patient as a parent. I can deal with things easier as they happen, I'm  crap when it comes to planning. 

And that's how I had a rad weekend. 

We had our first open for inspection at our Yarraville house. Loads of attractive bearded men and chicks with patterned socks checking out our goods while we peeked at the house traffic from 50 metres down the street in the pissing rain. The three of us held hands while Cheef Dog weed on the neighbour's fence.

I was an anxious mess before it happened. The inspection was planned. There was lead up. There needed to be a result. There was waiting. Someone recently told me that having an open for inspection was like holding a massive party and not knowing if anyone would turn up. 

Once it was over Alfie and I headed to the NGV with mates to lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling. Today a random massive bike ride lead to hot chips in the park watching sprinklers turn on and off in places where 'ginger turtles' live. Splendid, rancho relaxo stuff.

Reg finishes up at work this week. That's a big milestone. Hopefully we lease out our Yarraville house this week. Another big milestone. Then we settle at our Trentham house on the seventh of November and from there... golly, who knows?  We don't even have daycare let alone an inside toilet.

So in the meantime, I'm liking the 'winging it' theories of life at the moment. Going with the flow seems to be the only way we can get a grip on this tree-change. 

I'm not saying that if you need to take a crap, just drop your dacks and do it in a shop front, but there's something to say about not over-thinking the big things in life and just letting them happen. Even if it is a poo.

Have a most excellent week.

Ali xx

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Eating for peanuts

Leading up to our big move, Reg and I are on a budget. But let's be honest, we're pretty big tight arses so most weeks we keep  the purse strings tied up.

What keeps our costs down is planning our meals in advance. A big part of our little home is centred around food. Alfie loves to help in the kitchen but like most three year olds, he thinks that most things we cook up for him are 'poo' or 'wee' or most recently (and he was sent to his room for saying it), 'shit'.

We eat mainly vegetarian food in our house - not just because it is more affordable, but because I actually don't really like handling meat. Every now and then though, I heat up the slow cooker with a cut of some beast and eight hours later I forget that I've handled meat and become distracted with the waft of a good curry or casserole in the house.

So I thought I would share what the Webb household is cooking up this week. Most of this stuff is in our pantry, fridge or freezer. I can't stand shopping at the major supermarkets, so much bloody packaging and the milk aisle makes me tear up - last time I went to Coles the whole milk section was ONLY Coles' branded milk. C'mon guys.

Monday:   Lentil Shepherd's Pie (the kid thinks the lentils are meat- I  swear!)
Tuesday:   Pea, mint and lemon linguini (you can chuck all the ingredients in your food whizz stick)
Wednesday:  Veggie fritatta. We have so many eggs in our fridge at the moment and I'm done with egg sangas.
Thursday: Schnitz and chips. If we have time we will crumb our own, otherwise our local butcher does a mean schnitz.
Friday: Egg filo pies. We will take the leftovers with us to the BMX track on Saturday.
Saturday:  The slow cooker will go on with either a casserole or corned beef. It might get frozen for a mid week meal next week.
Sunday: We eat all of our left overs or cook up something with whatever is remaining in the fridge. Free balling.

I'd love to know what your quick and easy mid-week meals are. We are starved for time at the moment, so cooking tea calls for 30 minutes or an episode of Octonauts.

Happy cooking!

Friday, 30 September 2016

You change, me change, tree change


The Webb's are moving to the bush. And we're so bloody excited.

This November, we're gonna pack up our little Yarraville house... you know the one: the house that started this blog while we renovated knocked up to the sky rocket. Silly kids.

We're heading to Trentham, leaving our sweet 160sqm joint and spreading our wings on a quarter acre down  the road from the pub.

It's been a year in the making. Reggie started the ball rolling, but Alfie hit the pedal to the metal when he asked us if we could take the back fence down so we could keep running. I wish we could, but there's an apartment block in  the way.

Reg and I smashed some funds together, both working full time, dying a little of exhaustion - single parenting but living in the same house, just without a day off together.

We started hardcore house hunting six months ago, trying to find an old dame with a porch in  the sun. Each of us taking Alfie with us on separate days, Alfie exhausted at the thought of looking at another house.

We turned the house hunt into adventures, taking a measuring tape with us each  time to work out a space for a pirate ship-themed cubby with a trap door and a pterodactyl nest.

And then one day we cracked it, chucked in an offer on a joint and then sank some beers at the local pub while we watched our kid demolish chips.

We didn't get the house. Then a few weeks later... we did. I squealed like a madwoman in my open plan office.

So here we are, pooing our pants at the thought of the massive change ahead of us. A massive change involving a 110 year old house located next to a cemetery. Possibly haunted, definitely in need of renovation.

We don't really know what we're going to do. We don't have any daycare nearby, I'm going to be commuting to the city an hour each way five days a week, Reg is going to be hanging out with our kid growing some veggies and putting on a home brew until Christmas. Then I'm sure we will wing something to take us into the new year. We're gonna be poor, but we will have space for a bonfire which makes us happy.

All I can say is I'm so bloody relieved. Reggie and I suck at being adults. The chaotic life that we've had over the past year was all a bit much. Trying to be a grown up is hard and sometimes not very fun. We're chucking it all in and we're gonna make our own bread (in a COMBUSTION WOOD FIRE OVEN) and maybe purchase a piece of shit Holden and do it up in our front yard. Man, I'm also thinking about building a half pipe in the back yard. Just because we have space and I've always wanted my own skateboard ramp.

But I'm going to need some help. Firstly, I haven't lit a fire in  about 20 years. I haven't chopped wood in about 25. I've forgotten how to use preserved lemons - let alone how to preserve them. And our dunny is fucking OUTSIDE. That will change pretty quickly.. since it snows in Trentham.

I moved to the city from the bush when I was seventeen and I'm so excited to be heading back.

Wish us luck. We move in November.

Ali xx

Saturday, 10 September 2016

The eighties mum

Paleo, green-eating parents look away! I just made jelly crystal bikkies.

And they are so fucking tasty, I've already eaten four.

So what! My kid cleans his teeth (sometimes I have to pin him down or bribe him with an episode of Rabbids) and has been on his bike for the past two hours smashing leaps off jumps and scraping his knees through classic burnouts. 

I sometimes wonder if my own  mum, in her drop waisted summer frock, ever felt slightly guilty or required any justification for when she made us these as kids in the eighties? 

We were skinny little runts of kids running around the paddocks, told to stay outside until we were hungry. It was awesome. We were too busy to be hungry. But when we were, we would kick our gumboots off at the back door, run inside and smash one, two, three rock cakes in a row. If mum had made her cinnamon scrolls, hell we'd be floating our way back to the house from the fort Pepe-le-Peu style.

So I'm sure it's all in good measurement and of course, all in good taste. Whatever it is, these bikkies aint gonna last.

Super easy to make, thanks to  CWA. Have a go, maybe mix some colours together and then you will be a bloody legend at the park.

Courtesy Berris (of course) Sharman, TAS CWA branch

225g softened butter
1 x packet of jelly crystals (I used red)
2 eggs beaten
3 cups of SR Flour
1 tablespoon corn flour (don't ask me why)

Cream the butter with the jelly crystals, beat in the eggs, add the flours. Roll into little balls then press the top of them with the back of your fork. Pop in a pre-heated 180 degree oven for around 15 or til golden-brown.

Be an adult. Wait five minutes for the bikkies to cool. Breath. Then chew.

Bam! Jelly Crystal Bikkies