Archive for July, 2011

Even when I succeed I still freak out.

July 31, 2011

A good few months ago, I entered a writing competition. Well, a sort of pseudo competition. A publisher – the publisher I want to make my day job, actually – put out a call for people to write a little blurb on a little topic. This was on Facebook, that paragon of groups, pages, profiles, games, and time wasting.

So. A bunch of people posted their blurbs, and then I did. And then what happened?? All the motherfucking people clicked LIKE on my blurb. Even the other ones in the competition. Other blurbs had one or two likes, and I was all liked up in the hizzouse. Then the freaking publishers pronounced me their hero of the day, and I won.

My prize was feverish excitement and a choice of free books.

I tell you this not to brag, but to point out how fucking crazy I am. Totally crazy. For those of you not in the loop, I’ve written a few books and am too scared to properly edit and/or submit anywhere. Even though I had a fucking award winning film producer offer to hook me up with a director – I shit you not – to consider making a movie. Me, writing a movie. Yeah, moving on..

When it comes to the terror/procrastination/etc of submitting things I write, it knows no bounds. And it apparently links over into reading materials won during fake writing competitions. Yeah, they duly sent me my prize, and I was excited…..riiiiight up to the point where I got all shaky and had to put the book down.

It’s taken me six months to finally crack the book open and read it, mainly because every time I thought about reading it it made me think about writing a book for this publisher and I FREAKED OUT LIKE A MAMAJAMA. (Mah-muh-jah-muh.)

I have now read The Book, mainly because I had read and reread every other book in our flat in an effort to forget the publisher had mailed me this other book. When I got round to it, it was an enjoyable read. And not so scary.

The publisher has now accepted me into what can only be termed as a Big Time Writing Contest, and my ass refuses to even go read the rules.

So, dear, gentle, Constant Reader, my question: What the fuck is wrong with me? Seriously.

How quickly things can shift.

July 30, 2011

Snort and Coconut love their grandparents, but live near none of them. On our recent trip to Country A, my mom and my stepdad separately offered to buy a house if we moved back to that country. I won’t go into the curious mix of feelings those sorts of statements prompt in me, not now anyway, but.

But.

Earlier in the spring TMD’s dad & partner, and mom & husband, (four grandparents, keep up kids, it’s the age of the modern family) had cause to come up to our house and help us. These issues are always related to my health, or driving an entourage to the airport, etc. So after a lot of interaction with them, we then had two solid weeks with my family. That’s a whole lotta grandparent, and it sure was nice.

TMD grew up in a city about three hours from where we live now; all of her immediately family (with the exception of her brother, who actually lives ten minutes from us) still live in that city. The first time I visited it, almost eleven years ago, I remember pronouncing, ‘I will NEVER want to move to this place, so I hope you don’t have that expectation.’ She replied that she’d spent her whole life trying to get OUT of that place, to move to The Big City (where we did move, and have a good life, for seven years before moving out into our current place in the ‘country’), and there were no worries about her wanting to move back to surburbia.

Here we are now. It was all my idea, my saying, ‘Maybe we should move to Suburbia.’ There are so many reasons to do so, not least of which is how important our grandparents were to us growing up. My grandmother was the defining force in my life. And while my children sadly live across the world from MY family, they still have a lot of family over here that love them desperately and want to see them more.

Then, of course, the other reasons. We want to move to a place in the southwest eventually, but this is a good middle stepping ground. We want to move to a house, anyway. I would have people around to help on bad days. I would have TMD’s mum to help with the kids as they grow. We plan to home educate, at least for the early years and probably all the other years too, and if she took them a day a week my world could open up a bit more. I could write. I could get back into the world of counselling. TMD has actually already found me a nice little counselling centre for young LBGT people.

So.

The flip side of all this is that we are discussing moving in with TMD’s father. THIS is the huge lifestyle change. He feels relief, he says he’ll spend more time at his partner’s house without worrying about the house, he is overjoyed at the concept of us living in his house, etc. But there is a lot to consider. While we love him dearly, he makes comments about foreigners stealing jobs, he makes jokes about women needing to wash the dishes while the men relax, and he’s dirty. Not a thing has ever been replaced in his house. We’ve actually never taken the babies there because we didn’t want them crawling or playing on the carpet.

We also haven’t stayed with him in ten years – partially because the house is sort of gross, mainly because he and I had a blow out when he took it upon himself to stay out his welcome in our VERY TINY studio flat.

I have flushes of extreme worry. Every job is about a 50% pay cut for TMD. This makes my heart worry. On a single income, a paltry income, would we be able to get a mortgage? Because the plan is staying with TMD’s dad (who is a lovely man, despite the shortcomings I just mentioned.) until we find our own house. A few weeks ago TMD said we’d never get a mortgage, even on the salary she was on now, and that has stuck with me. She is now glossing it over, while I live in terror of getting into her dad’s house (and feeling somehow like I am regressing, and being uncomfortable living my life in someone else’s space) and us never being able to move out again. You know, until he dies unexpectedly and we have to move out because his estate does not leave the house to us.

I swear I’m not a pessimist.

I love our little flat now. I love the wildness around us, the berries growing alongside the road, the horses in our backyard, the winding paths Snort and Coconut and I walk and explore and sing on. I’m finally making local friends. TMD says, ‘But you are the one who said you didn’t care where we lived, that you had no ties!’ She’s right.

And in my head I know our flat is too small. I know it’s best for the babies to live in this other place. I am aware that the areas surrounding this city (yes, sigh, I guess I admit it’s a pretty hip place, too) are breathtaking country. We’re closer to the sea, a certain forest I really like, and it IS cheaper to live there. We’re also lucky to have family who will let us stay for a year or two – gulp – while we find a house we’d like to live in for a long time.

It’s just the little voices. There’s a job going in the southwest, a job that is rare as there are so few people there no one ever leaves their job, a perfect job. But an even bigger paycut, a paycut that is unliveable. And, really, I think the paycut we’re considering now is bordering unliveable, except we won’t have a mortgage.

We’re never going to be rich, especially if I don’t return to work. It’s what is best for our family, now, a quieter gentler existence without school uniforms and timetables. It’s all feeling sort of real. And am I grown up enough? What if our flat doesn’t sell, we can’t afford to pay the stupid mortgage earning a fraction of our current money. What if we get trapped in that other house? Can I feel comfortable there? Will he replace the carpets so Snort will be able to breathe?

This morning TMD got a letter in the mail, inviting her to interview for the first job she’s applied for. In that city.

Yes, it feels real now.

And while I was the excited one, the one who suggested moving in with her dad, TMD has now taken over that role. I am now the worrier, the hanger-backer, the glum one. I’d love to make that giant sweeping move to the place we really want to live, to have our cottage on some cliffs somewhere, big trees shading the yard. We just can’t do it now. What I need to decide is: does this current step feel like we are moving forwards or backwards?

A week in the life of our tummies

July 26, 2011

Please ignore all horrible formatting issues – this was written on my phone and is less than perfect!

But I have people asking us about food all the time. What do you feed toddlers? Vegetarian toddlers? Baby led weaning kids, one of whom is allergic to everything?

This is what we had last week- a week’s worth of food with no meat, eggs, peanuts – and no fighting, no food power struggles, no grief. Glorious!

Monday

Pre breakfast
Milk for coconut

Breakfast

Wholegrain Cheerios (with oat milk, we don’t do cows milk)
Plums
Water

Snack
Organic herb and tomato puffs
Bananas
Water

Lunch
Pizzadillas (tomato paste, broccoli, carrots, olives, mature cheddar)
Baby oranges
Milk
Water

Snack

Water
Milk
Fruit sticks (apricot, pear)
Crackers

Dinner

Mexican bean burgers (patties only)
Green beans (only ever had plain, but tried mixed herbs and butter on them tonight)
Mashed red potatoes (smash)
Nectarines
Organic yogurt (peach, raspberry)

Tuesday

Breakfast

Cheerios
Plums
Organic yogurt – strawberry

Snack
Water
Crackers
Raisins
Milk

Lunch

Potato waffle
Cod fish fingers
Green peas
Blueberries
Milk
Water

Snack
Water
Dilute juice
Organic carrot and pumpkin rice cakes
Olives
Fruit stick
Grapes

Dinner
Existere’s awesome bean soup – red kidney beans, black eyed beans (better with black beans but all shops near us apparently no longer stock), sweetcorn, chopped tomatoes (in the liquid), garlic, chili powder

Baked long baguettes
Milk
Water
Sliced mature cheddar
Bananas
Baby oranges
Organic yogurt – strawberry

Wednesday
Breakfast
Cheerios and milk
Plums
Oranges
Water
Plain bagels w/ cream cheese

Snack
Oat cakes/crackers
Water

Lunch
Creamy veggie soup
Hummus (carmelized onion) sandwiches (wholemeal bread)
Weird red fancy pears

Snack
Organic herb puffs
Water
Olives
Chocolate chip granola bar (one third each)

Apple /  pear – literally minutes before dinner, so don’t know where to put these!

Dinner
New potatoes, chopped into chunks with melted mature cheddar
Baked beans
Cherry tomatoes
Organic yogurt – raspberry, peach

Snack
Wholemeal toast w butter

Thursday

Breakfast
Cheerios
Plums
Toast
Water

Snack
Strawberries
Rice cakes
Juice

Lunch
Lentil soup
Full fat cream cheese sandwiches (referred to as ‘poor man’s sandwiches by us!)
Weird red fancy pears
Water

Snack
Baby carrots
Apples
Milk
Water

Dinner
Dominos fully loaded veggie pizza
Baby oranges
Organic yogurt – strawberry

Friday

Breakfast
Cheerios
Bananas
Water

Snack
Organic yogurt – apricot
Blueberries
Organic tomato and herb puffs
Water

Grapes

Lunch
Mandarin oranges
Blueberries (fruit given while I made lunch, as both freakishly napped before lunch and woke up starving!)
Toddler crack (wholegrain twisty noodles, bit of green pesto, some shredded mature cheddar)
Baked beans
Water

Snack
Chocolate (given by someone else tho I kept saying no! Ha. Broke the giant bars in half. I ate the pieces I took from kids. Score.)
Crackers
Fruit sticks
Water
Olives

Dinner
Italian vegetarian sausages (tofu based)
Potato waffles
Broccoli
Carrots
Honeydew melon
Organic yogurt – peach, strawberry

Daily liquid vitamins for vegan/veggie children

Sometimes it’s that easy for your life to be changed.

July 25, 2011

I went on my last ever date with a boy a month after I turned 19…or 20, I think. I’d always been a serial monogamist, but I’d just ended a serious relationship with one boy, fake dated a gay boy, and come out as bisexual about a year earlier. Things were confused, so I did what many people do – I signed up for online dating. Within a couple of days, a guy named Eric contacted me and we agreed to go out for coffee.

He was fine. Attractive, smart…and blah. As I suffered through the first fifteen minutes, I wondered how I would survive the rest of it – and how long were dates supposed to last, anyway? Then my salvation walked in.

She was sort of the Big Girl On Campus. Not big as in fat, as she was wiry and lean. Big as in, she’s so so so queer and powerful and outrageous, everyone wants to be her. Or be WITH her. She came into the coffee shop with a few other people in tow, one of them a tall boy with brown curly hair and an infectious grin. This girl, being who she was, thought nothing of traipsing over to give me a big hug and interupt my date – thank fucking God. And the boy? The fabulously cute boy who just had an aura of creativity and smarts and fun about him? He followed her over and sat down.

We’ll call him David. (Previously referenced on this blog as ‘Opposite Gender Soulmate,’ which is actually a term David created to describe who I was to him. And of course in the magical moments of life, these things go both ways.)

Within five minutes, we were friends. I don’t remember what we talked about, only that it was easy and somewhere in the middle of that afternoon, Eric left the coffee house. I should add that this was all happening in early October, the gayest month you can imagine on our university campus. National Coming Out Day, days of silence, pride parades, pride dances….and that evening was a pride dance. My first big queer thing, actually, and I don’t remember if I was planning to attend or not, but Queer Grrl and David were going and asked if I was.

Curly Girl, my roommate, and I got ready later that day. I remember having a long silver silk skirt on, a skirt that later that year (or perhaps that night?) would get big stains on the ass from where I sat on the edge of a stage and got lapdances from David – and everyone else present.

How was my hair? Not shaved yet, but perhaps already the curiously purple grey colour I had acheived when I tried for a deep plum. Was my tongue pierced already? I was a very young queer girl, experiementing with how I thought I needed to look in order to fit in. That all went away at that dance – and now just because Queer Grrl was wearing an outfit comprised only of green saran wrap. It went away because suddenly I was in a space with other people like me.

We didn’t all like the same sort of pizza. Maybe we didn’t even line up politically. Some of us were genderqueer, some were smart, some were from other countries. The thing we had in common was that when we were outside of that room, we were the odd people out. But within that room, we banded together into a group of powerful misfits.

I danced in public for the first time – high school dances notwithstanding. Much dancing was with David, who was charming and disarming and easy to love. He leaned in and yelled over the music, ‘If I was straight, and you were straight, I’d have already proposed to you!’ I laughed and said I’d have accepted. And it was a joke, but it was true.

After that evening, it was a few weeks before we hung out. And that first time alone we wandered around a mostly empty campus and made up stories, talked about life, and – well. I guess he won’t mind my saying that in his tiny dorm room, jokes were made about his ‘used’ tissues and my used pad meeting up in the rubbish bin and a baby – Pad Baby – being conceived. It was that sort of friendship, that sort of family, that sort of ease. Right from the beginning, even in the parts that were awkward. It was how it was supposed to be.

That friendship evolved. He worked at my camp with me, he moved in with me, he was there during the year after I came out to my mother and felt like my soul and self was being shattered. We stared into campfires, we drank wine. We ran around imagining ghost stories and went to gay bars and had a lot of fun. We sat on our balcony – and when we weren’t running a weird hair salon out there, we were talking about writing and black spaces in our souls and Deep Things. We joked about creating a sex manual for lesbians and gay men who were best friends. He played his songs for me on his guitar, and I brought laughter back into his life.

I could write a million stories about David. I started this with the idea of writing about one particular conversation we once had on that balcony. One that seriously rocked my world and made me think and scared me.

But for now, I’ll leave this. I’ll leave the stories of the very in debt David, the boy who laughed like a maniac when he got a pre-approved credit card from a local gas station, who said, ‘If those bitches are stupid enough to give me a credit card, they deserve what they get’ as he bought us gas and food. I’ll leave the picture of that boy sleeping on the lounge floor in that ugly green blanket (sorry, David), or that boy sleeping in bed with me as I desperately attempted to avoid my unwanted girlfriend who came up to visit on the weekends.

I’ll leave it with saying that more than anyone on the planet, I think this boy-turned-man understands my exact experience of hope, of creativity, of disappointment. He also knows I am still trying, still wanting, still unsatisfied and longing to tell more stories.

And that boy, the boy I loved so fiercely and funly (I am allowed to make up words), that boy I fought with so ferociously, he’s turned into a man who sent me an email that said, ‘I want to buy you a computer.’ So this brief introduction to a friendship that has lasted about a lucky thirteen years now, it’s thanks to David.

What feels like a million years ago we rescued each other, and this last week he rescued my ability to keep trying.

Easy as a, b, c. Right?

July 20, 2011

We are contemplating a serious change in lifestyle. When I think about it, it either seems like the best or worst thing ever.

Thanks to my awesome opposite gender soulmate, I’ll soon be writing about it here. And soliciting opinions.

For now, I’ll say that it’s a damn shame that all lifestyle options that we like also involve being financially poor. But hopefully emotionally alive, brave, connected.

Naptime, my wife’s nemesis and my one true love.

July 19, 2011

We are in a balancing beam situation.

The kids nap too long, or too late, and they won’t go to bed. Right now 30 minutes in the car seems to be the perfect nap length. Of course, I currently do not drive.

I also love naptime.

But TMD’s life is a misery with naps in the equation; she does bath and bedtime. Bedtime last night was 9 30. This might not sound like a big deal, but it means all the evening stuff she needs to do can’t happen. She also sometimes ends up sleeping on the floor in their room. (okay, she cosleeeps most every night, but usually more comfortably).

But a life without naps? I need the break. Physically, I need to lie down so I can stand and walk in the afternoon. Emotionally? I need to read and bask in the quiet. 

There’s no doubt naptime as we know it is evolving and needs to be managed, but there is a doubt about if I have enough willpower to cut naps way short.  Once I’m driving it’ll all be better, but till then?

No one tell TMD they slept till almost four this afternoon. She’ll be finding out soon enough.

Um.

Not having a computer sucks. Truly.

July 18, 2011

Having one of those times I wish I could blog, blog, blog. Know it would help me figure things out.

We also need to write the adoption people and say, ‘Yo. We have been on the wait list since our children were babies. They will now be 2 in a few short weeks. Can you please pull your finger out of your ass?’

Sigh. I miss having a computer. I can’t write the way I need to on my phone.

A reader suggested I ask for paypal donations; the grand irony is that I can’t modify my blog to add a paypal button without a computer. (if anyone wants to sort that for me – someone who I have chatted with as passwords are involved – just let me know.)

In the meantime, I will probably be kept up nights a little because all the words are stuck in my head, not poured into the wide, wonderful internet.

Part deux..or duex?

July 14, 2011

I had part one of an assessment for physical therapy today. Because my cootch muscles (pelvic floor) are very tense and in spasm, which is a contributing factor in my pelvis’ problems.

Physical therapy is to teach me to relax my lady bits. Which should be good as I’ve already been known to pee myself while sneezing, laughing, or breathing. My new loose internal muscles might just make my bladder never have to experience a sensation of fullness again.

And then I really WILL be called the pee lady.

(short posts as we still have no laptop. But hi!)

Land of overeating.

July 13, 2011

I gained The Weight in Country A. We have now been home a week exactly, and I’ve lost ELEVEN pounds from doing nothing but eating like I normally eat in Country B.

This happens every time we go there.

Lovely jubbly.

July 12, 2011

I want to move into a yurt. They had one at the music festival and Coconut and Snort loved it, too. TMD and I could totally do it.

What say you? Shall we find a special little glen with sunshine, trees, and a babbling creek?


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