Monday, December 10, 2007

Baubles, Bangles, Bright Shiny Things

Check out my balls!

I love Christmas. I was told today that it is because I am still a child. I guess that's true. There is still a big part of me that is too excited to sleep on Christmas Eve.

Strangely, it has nothing to do with getting presents and everything to do with the 'magic of the festive season'. I love that for one day a year everyone believes in fairies or Santa or their own pagan jollyness.

For me there is an element of the 'keep the Christ in Christmas' about it. A very unpopular state of mind the other 364 days a year, just on the 25th of December, it's OK to go to church and be grateful to the big fella.

I try to live my life with a 'glass half full' attitude. I am committed to an 'attitude of gratitude' and I would like to think that I 'pay it forward' as often as I can. All cliches covered, I really do quietly, all year round, like to try to be the best, non homophobic (it's all about loving and being loved), non judgy (there is only one true judge), non pro life (every woman's right to choose), non preachy (the best evangelism is a spring in your step) kind of Christian.

I sometimes fail miserably. I am sometimes a vile old bitch who has nothing but mean things to say about everyone and everything but, Looking at the miracle that is the monkeys, it really cements my belief that 'you can't tell me God ain't good!'

It is really so unfashionable now that I'm almost embarrassed to admit it. Publishing this, even to my audience of me; putting it out in the public forum is kind of scary. I don't generally discuss my faith with anyone (except John and that's only when I fancy being personally held responsible for the Crusades and the Salem Witch Trials) so this, for me, is a pretty big deal.

Still, as the Salvation Army float said in the Johnsonville Lions Christmas Parade, 'Jesus is the Reason for the Season'.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happiness Is

Remember those revolting cupey (sp?) doll people on those 'happiness is' cards and calendars in the 80's? I have to say I always found them repulsive.

Short, nude, prepubescent. There is nothing even remotely charming about that. And yet, it spawned a range of stationary that people actually chose to spend their money on.

It's like the whole 'Lady and the Tramp' thing or 'The Lion King'. In fact any movie where animals play the romantic leads.

Adult humans have romantic feelings, short, fat children, dogs and lions do not.

Anyway, I digress.

The actual point that I am trying to make is that happiness actually is... silence coming from two bedrooms and a clock that reads 7:01.

Now, I love the monkeys. I love them in a way I never dreamed possible. I love them with every particle of my being. My soul actually sings when they smile. I love the way they laugh. I love the way they sing. Hell, I even love the way they shout at each other in the car. Their cuddles melt my heart and, when I am not my evil alter ego, 'sleep deprived mean mummy', I even love their funny little leg kicking tantrums. I love them from the minute they open their eyes in the morning until the minute I tuck them into their beds at night. That however, is my limit.

At 7:00pm everything they do or say ceases to be amusing or cute and instead becomes annoying and foul. Every utterance from their tiny poisonous mouths makes me want to scream 'SHUT UP' and start phoning 'round possible foster carers.

I don't know weather it is an innate body clock thing or simply that once I click out of mummy mode the switch can not be turned back on 'till morning. All I know is that 7:01 brings on a bad case of "SHUTTHEHELLUP" in me.

I even feel bad writing about it but I figure that the incredible guttural overwhelming love that I feel for them for 13 hours a day, cancels out my evil longing for some peace and quiet and time with my husband.

Doesn't it???

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Naked Chefs

Yummy, yummy, yummy I got love in my tummy.
Man, I make cute babies.
I should breed for a living!

Only 3 More Sleeps

Monkey Senior is 4 on Tuesday or, in an engineered, it's your birthday today because it's easier on me and it falls on the weekend and your daddy's home and you're only 3 so I can tell you it's your birthday because you can't read a calendar kind of way, it's her birthday on Sunday.

3 More Sleeps.
Now, I know it's genetic (I started planning my parties about 364 days in advance) and I also know that I feed the psychosis with my 'it's nearly your birthday', 'wanna see what's in the goodie bags?', 'are you excited? I'm excited', 'who are you gonna invite to your party', only 10 more, 9 more, 8 more sleeps...' etc. etc. etc. But her excitement has reached epic proportions.

She talks about her birthday, quite literally, in her sleep - I went in to tuck her back in around 10pm last night, she smiled, rolled over and said:
"it's very nearly my special birthday. How exciting" without waking up!!!

Anyway, this is not helping my party planning compulsion and I am feeling overwhelmed by the need to meet her expectations for the best party ever. Hard enough living up to my own exacting standards without the added pressure of letting down my monkey princess.

Next year, I'm gonna seriously consider 'junglerama' or 'lollypops' (for about 10 seconds until I discount them out of hand for their poor white trash mystique and repuls-o-ramic clientèle and disgusting greasy food)and then I'm gonna do it all over again.

What am I gonna be like at her wedding???

Monday, November 12, 2007

Animal Cruelty?

And she wonders why he bites her!

Bert, the cat who was sold to us as the worlds 'most passive and loving breed of cat' (note to the uninitiated - don't believe everything you read on line) has mutilated every part of my baby's body.

The problem is... there is not a man or woman alive who would blame him.

Monkey Senior is drawn to drama. She loves the excitement of the wind up. Reminiscent of my sister and I with our father, who would goad him mercilessly until he lost his temper and then run and hide; Anna seems to be exhilarated by the few moments leading up to the attack.

In fairness to her, Bert is boring 99% of the time. He eats, he sleeps and he meows at the door. None of these things are fun for a three year old. It's just that I am worried that she will be taken off us by some well meaning social worker who thinks she is full of whatever that German word is that means world sadness and is self harming.

She told my mother the other day that all her 'skin used to look like this' - here she pointed to a small area of unmarked flesh on her belly - 'until Bert came along and now it looks like this' - here she points to the huge scratches that run over the rest of her tiny frame.

She acts out the same kind of scenario with her cousin. He plays on his own or watches the telly. Very independent wee man. She desperate for him to notice her irritates the living crap out of him until he smacks three shades of shit out of her. The fun? the moments just before his fist connects with her head, when he is paying her attention.

What vital parenting skill are we lacking? What have we failed to instill?

I am fretting that she will grow up to be one of those women who chooses abusive boyfriends because the making up is so great.

Maybe we should have bought her a fish!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


So tired! The sort of tired that makes you want to cry. The sort of tired that you feel in every molecule of your body. Bone tired. Dog tired (dogs are very energetic though - except big fat Labradors).
Big fat Labrador tired!
Have no excuse.
Feel old!

Keep wanting to lie down and go to sleep. Want to beg monkey senior for peace and quiet and an hour uninterrupted on the couch.
Monkey senior has sixth sense about tired adults. It affects her volume control and her ability to do anything for herself. She becomes incapable of watching anything on the T.V. for more than three seconds and screams for assistance in rolling over.
It also changes her voice from cute and funny into 'ultra-whiney-hideous-screechy' mode.

Think I may have malaria (the kind that you get in New Zealand that has no symptoms except tiredness). Maybe have Tsetse fly illness. Not sure. Know it must be very bad, very serious illness and not just lazyness.

Bed is still unmade. House is unhoovered, repeat UNHOOVERED! All is not well in my universe. There are crumbs on the bench and I don't care. Would gladly crawl in top of crumbs and sleep on bench.
Even yucky, poor white trash stylie, unmade bed (surely only trailer park residents still have unmade beds at 1.47pm) looks appealing enough to climb into.

Must motivate self. Am nodding off at computer.

Will hoover.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hallo-weeny bit late

Forgot to post this at the time but so cute am posting it now. Totally irrelevant and out of context. Still, aren't my monkeys yummy??

Just sat down after marathon event/party/extravaganza.
John made me promise that next year would be much more low key and I agreed with my fingers crossed behind my back. By next year he will have forgotten how much work it was and how tired we
are. Parties are a little like child birth in that way. Hideous at the time but quite good when you look back at them.

I like Halloween. It is my very favourite holiday. With a focus on dressing up and eating. Surely it is truly a 'woman's' holiday.

We spent maybe a full 40 hour week getting ready. Halloween cookies shaped as skeletons, jack-o'lanterns, ghosts, bats and black cats; body parts cupcakes, pumpkin pizzas, the list goes on.

Poor John spent his evenings icing cookies and stringing cob
webs around the house. He's a good lad really and didn't complain once. He knows better! Last year he made that mistake and was greeted with a howling banshee. This year he just smiled, sighed and went about his assigned tasks.

Unfortunately, children's parties bring out the worst (or best depending how Martha Stewartesque you are) in my OCD and send me spiraling into a frenzy of trying to outdo my last years effort. I guess at least this way I'm always the winner.

The Monkeys were a vision of yummyness. Monkey Senior dressed as 'The Little Mermaid' and Monkey Junior as 'Nemo' or 'Flounder' if you're talking to his sister.
Monkey Junior screamed when we put his costume on (and for the next hour or so) and Monkey Senior screamed when it was time to take hers off. How are they both the product of one uterus?

Our house is small but normally we would use the word cosy to describe it. Today it was just small, small and hot and cramped. 16 sugared up children and their hungry, thirsty mums and dads were squeezed into our 30sqm living room. fueled with Halloween sugar cookies and candy, it was a sight to behold.

We went all old school and had bobbing for apples and a modern, more clean up friendly version of the treacle doorstop game (old Scottish game with a treacle covered slice of bread on a string). We also did a cracking game of statues to Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' and a hilarious children's version of 'Ghostbusters'.

We went trick-or-treating at the neighbour's. A truly wonderful thing to be given candy by strangers. Little did they know that muggins had provided all the candy and delivered it 'round the houses in the week before - all the expense none of the glory.

Anyway, a good time was had by all. And next year, don't tell John, but I'm bigger and better. Yay me!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


The thing about the late nights and the drinking is that I just don't bounce back like I used to. The squishy pillow creases on my face don't go away when I lift my head from the pillow. I can still see the traces of my 250 thread count around lunchtime.

In days of old, I would have got up, given my face a good scrub with 'apri' and then, got on with my life.

These days it takes a little longer.
No more is the 'last nights makeup and bed head' look a good thing. Those sexy panda eyes are not quite so sexy when the makeup has bled and settled into the wrinkles; and the hair, when not styled around the grey streaks, is a little too Morticia Addams to be enjoyed by anyone but Gomez.

I have though, recently discovered the huge anti-wrinkle properties of a couple of litres of water a day (It also works on the overwhelming feeling of fatigue that is unavoidable in life with two monkeys).

But more amazing (wait, there's more) is the incredible new range from No7.
This, yes, yes, I get it, it's sad, has changed my life.
I am looking younger. Markedly younger. The crows feet, almost gone!

Before you know it, I will be getting I.D'd at PG rated movies.


Saturday, October 13, 2007


This morning I woke up with the sort of yucky feeling that can only be produced by a late night and an excessive amount of alcohol.

Monkeys, I have found, are distinctly unsympathetic to this particular brand of poorly.

Try as she might, Monkey Senior is incapable of regulating her volume. Her energy levels, while incongruous with mine on a normal morning, are completely polarised on the days when the only way I can stop my brain from falling out is by keeping my hand pressed to my temple.

I may get up at 7 but I would choose not to speak, think or move until around 9. Monkey Senior opens her eyes and slips straight into top gear. She is terrified that somewhere in the world there is fun to be had and she is not getting her slice.

This morning, we launched straight into plastic high heeled banging and clacking ('tap dancing') and a 'concert' involving drums and whistles. This all happened before 7:10.

My pleas for her to sit down with her other mother (Playhouse Disney) were met with a look of total disgust. If we were gonna get this concert right, we had to start practicing now.

Monkey Junior spent the first part of his morning screaming for food and throwing everything that was offered to him to the floor.
Why can't he appreciate how hard it is to open the pantry and be faced with so many awful, vomit inducing foodstuffs?

Why can't they understand that, while we all need bacon, mummy's to sick to cope with the 'fridge smell'.

I can't help longing for the days of old, when Saturdays were spent drinking chocolate milk, eating Georgie Pie and watching movies with Julia Roberts in them.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Today, courtesy of my sister and brother in law and a trip to the wonderful land of mickey mouse, monkey senior became excited to the point of total mental exhaustion and complete physiological and emotional meltdown.

She's no shrinking violet. She's confident. Despite our best efforts to crush her spirit, she has an excessive amount of self esteem and this is best demonstrated in her love of 'dress up' and 'dance around a lot'.

Any occasion will do; 'we must make our visitors feel welcome by dressing up in my fairy dress', 'Pretend you were Cinderella and wished for a fairy', 'Let's put on my fairy dress and go to the mall'.

She has, until today, had one 'suitable for any social situation' fairy dress. It is cracked out 3 or 4 times a day and her donning it is, in most cases, the precursor to some hideous game of make believe that will call for a commitment from the whole family.
Today, her cup didth runneth over.

Direct from the Disneyland store came a 'Little Mermaid' (pronounced Me-ur-maid) dress, tiara, bag, gloves and shoes ensemble and a 'Snow White' dress and shoes combo.

She was also given 6 pairs of 'Disney Princess' branded plastic high heels. A sure fire way to break her tiny ankles - especially on our wooden floors.

She calls them her tap shoes and I wonder if my sister gave them to her in the same spirit that we give our friends' children drum kits and games that 'reward children with light and sound'.

The most wonderful thing about monkey senior is that she is truly the most grateful and gracious child in the world.

She is spoiled rotten and we can't help but buy her things but, she would be grateful to be given a piece of toast.

So this haul, was like Christmas on E.


Just remembered that the last part of my dream was me looking for 1 shoe, the left. I had the right but couldn't leave the holiday house (which was filling up with people for a party I desperately didn't want to attend - don't know why) without the left.

Is that significant? Does it mean something that t
he shoes were old school doc martin's brogues? Also they were a weird greeny/black colour. Did they come in that shade?

Maybe I'm looking for something that isn't there. Should I start listening to the cure again? Do I need to drag out my tartan mini? - I warn you, this, 20 years on, would not be a pretty sight!

It just strikes me as something that I will have an epiphany about on my deathbed.

A Hard Days Night

Spent all of last night cleaning a holiday house full of shoes and 'Star Wars' memorabilia. Very stressful. Now I am more tired than I was when I went to bed.

Holiday houses are notoriously sandy places and hoovers have trouble with sand. Not good for my cleaning obsession.

I get it, it's an anxiety dream like those ones where you're naked or your teeth fall out or you're late for work or you're in an exam for something you haven't studied.

Still a whole night cleaning on top of my day of endless hoovering. My subconscious is a cruel bastard!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Well G***le Me!

Just 'googled' myself and found that there is a couple with the blog name johnandesther@blogspot.
Kinda creepy!

I'm sure that it happens. I get that John is like, the most common name in the world and everything and that some other poor unfortunate who was burdened with my name would probably have married one of them. Still, it feels a little like identity theft. Do you think that somewhere in Canada, this couple are living it large on our maxed out credit card and mortgage?

But worse than that, and to be honest with you, kinda depressing, is that a 'google' of esther praill reveals nothing.
I don't exist in googledom.

In a world where monkey senior told me to 'google' the answer to one of her unanswerable questions (the 4,000,000th of the day) I feel I need to do something google worthy.

The question is... what?

It would have to be something requiring no travel - skint, no intellectual strain - scrambled nursing brain, and no effort - fundamentally lazy and devoting every child free moment to watching the entire DVD collection of the Sopranos.

That limits it to like, a Nobel prize in parenting (unlikely) or an in print name drop in one of those 'out on the street' interview, community survey things, in whatever our local newspaper is, about the general lack of interest in, or understanding of, the local elections.

In that, I would be p
rint worthy. Google worthy! A true authority, what with my total lack of interest in, and understanding of, the local elections.

Terrifying because apathy, as I keep telling my mother, is a vote and it's the only vote I can be bothered casting.

The Visitors

Funny how I can both look forward to and dread having people over.
It's hard for me, with my OCD, to have anyone arrive unannounced - what if the toilet bowl isn't shining? What if the bench isn't clear? What if all the crap that Jacob has moved out of his room into the living room/toilet/kitchen is still strewn all over the floor? What will they think if I haven't baked cupcakes/biscuits/muffins???

In the same breath, (a big breath - the kind that free divers use) I always dread anything I have organised more than an hour in advance.

I have particular anxiety surrounding anything that I have written in my diary. It sits there, on the page, taunting me with its 'what if all the other people there are mean and thin?' 'What if you get a better offer?' 'you've got nothing to wear/nothing interesting to say/nothing to contribute to anyone's social gathering'.

I am an enigma, a dichotomy! I am basically a 'fly by the seat of your pants' kind of gal, trapped in the body of a neurotic, uber-organised, neat freak. How, with all that modern medicine has to offer the world of anti psychotic meds, can this be possible?

That said, I had visitors this afternoon and it was nice!
Toilet clean, bench clear, Jacob's crap duly sorted, cupcakes baked and a good time had by all.

Monkey senior generally responds well to visitors of any description. She is her mother's daughter and likes to put on a show. Monkey junior is happy wherever there is food. Therefore visitors = home baking = 1 happy small monkey.

I realised pretty early in my foray into stay-at-home-mummery, that a whole day spent indoors with the monkeys was conducive to infanticide or at the very least excessive daytime drinking and, on our budget, liquor before noon is not an option.

So visitors to the rescue, if only because I find that other people's children, more often than not, make my children look nicer/cuter/funnier/smarter.

That reads as mean, doesn't it? But it's not - really! It's just my way of reminding myself that I am a lucky SAHM and life is great. And if I'm perfectly honest, my children are nicer/cuter/funnier/smarter.

So I spent the afternoon talking about non-parent related stuff, monkey senior played at fairies/princesses/doctors/weddings/schools and monkey junior ate. Oh how the winter afternoons sped by - really!

In the Beginning

I am blogging - which feels kinda weird because I am basically a Luddite and also don't think that publicly sharing my mundane blether is going to change the world in any way.

I guess the idea of actually forming sentences that didn't include any of 'The Wiggles' or 'High 5' lyrics was just too appealing to resist.

So here I am, a mere semblance of my former self.
First and foremost a mother of two terrifyingly yummy monkeys.

Monkey senior -
Age: 3 going on 4 going on 30.
In charge of: not only her brother, her father and I but, certainly if you ask her, the whole world.
Specialises in: dressing up, asking difficult questions and telling us that she hopes people won't be 'too jealous of how cute I look' and how 'magnificent my new party dress is'.

Monkey junior -
Age: 1 going on 2 stone.
In charge of: Mostly me (I'm a sucker for his boyish good looks)
Specialises in: being small, chubby and devastatingly cute. Unable to say any actual words but nods wildly in the direction of any foodstuffs.

In a wild panic, I began to realise that these two small creatures were maybe all defining. That I was just this 'mother' person, a 'wife' and 'mother of two'. A dull, tracksuit and fleece wearing creature that I had always ridiculed from the safe place of knowing that it could never be me.

Must be clear, don't actually own trackies or a fleece but figuratively speaking I am in a full kathmandu ensemble.

Somewhere in here is the semi articulate, sometimes amusing, single party girl of old and I am seeking to find just a small piece of her here, in blogland (note to self: do not access the part that was a shameless lush and hussy - she comes with killer hangovers and Saturday morning walks of shame).

So now, if this is the book of genesis, then on with the rest of
the good book.