for what ails you

This shitty, wet weather has made for one damp companion animal.
Constant rain = moist hound.

Rufus is getting on in years and has been ailment free his entire life - he's nine and a half and has never required anything more than an annual grease and oil change. An unexpected side effect of the saturated environs is he has developed 'hotspots' for the first time in his life. Acute moist pyoderma or moist eczema to be accurate. Nasty, nasty raw oozing sores that just erupt from nowhere.

After initially panicking and convincing myself
   A. he was terminal
   B. I'd have to donate him to veterinary science to pay the vets bill
I did some research into home remedies. Apparently Apple Cider Vinegar is the shizz for all manner of skin complaints in animals... who knew!

$11.50 later, latex gloves donned and I'm bathing those weeping wounds with the best raw, organic APV one can get in Thirroul (you have to do it multiple times per day). The juries out on Day 1 but the poor pup is getting some TLC, some tasty fur to suck + the acrid, vinegar smell is covering up
'Eau de Musty Mutt' nicely.


...domestically that is.

Sometimes I wake up and seem incapable of asserting any control over this place. Full bins, clean washing four-ways (folded, piled on sufaces, thrown in baskets, wet in baskets), unmade beds, dishes in the sink/dishwasher/table, piles of debris on my desk... shit just everywhere. When its like this I lurch about not solving any of the problems and getting myself in a stupor.

The looming arrival of my OCD partner is usually enough to snap me out of it and I do often manage to pull it together as he walks in the door. Very 1950's actually...


boy scouts... cub scouts... both big boys have signed up since our move down here. In Paddington, it was probably the most dork-tastic thing you could do and noone we knew was involved. Here plenty of boys (and lots of girls) don the uniform and dib, dib, dib, dob, dob, dob. Even the image conscious nearly-teen is a card carrying member complete, with the vintage Johnson hat (provided by the Salvos).

It's been a really refreshing addition to our weekly routine. They attend at a gnarly old hall which has hosted the local Scouts since the 1920's... the decades of writhing, sweaty bodies are soaked into the timbers and nothing has been done to deodorise or sanitise it in any way... refreshing.

The boys have been on more hikes, treks and bush outings in 12months than their entire lives. Jasper even went on an overnight trek into the bush with 5 other boys/teens - no adults. Unthinkable to most of my friends (actually I didn't have time to consider my true feelings about it because we arrived at the set-off point completely unawares that were going it alone, so I played it cool to spare him any embarrassment and then had a minor conniption on the drive home). We aint the Bear Grylls type of parent so this really compensates for our inadequacies. Starting fires, bashing about in the wilderness at night with a headlamp on, building giant multi-story structures... tying each other up. All good apparently.

There is saluting and strange left-handed handshakes that I don't know anything about... there are prayers, but there is a lot of respect + inclusiveness.

poor weather

I know everyone is banging on about the shithouse weather... constant, non-stop drizzle interspersed with major downpours and fluctuating temps. The hottest January night in 15 years, followed 4 days later by trackpants + wool jumpers.

Not only is it a pain in the ass and an extremely disappointing summer, for our family it means we are scraping by financially. No film/TV work means housepainting for Al but houses can't be painted in this weather. Poor weather really is poor weather. Getting the boys back into their school groove means my ability to work is restricted (that plus a healthy case of CBF)... Two freelancers in one family makes for a financial roller-coaster. It's nauseating.... and boring.

At least someone can find the fun in all the wet.

Itchy ball sacks

The boys are back.

I haven't had them with me for a whole month which in parenting terms is a lifetime. Mum + I collected them from their dads yesterday. Gus was asleep when they burst into the car - he just about wet his pants when he woke up to see his big brothers 'in his face'... sheer joy. There is a whole lot of noise associated with three boys.... I forgot.

Not only do they seem bigger after such an absence they actually ARE bigger. Shoes have been outgrown, clothes are tighter + shorter, toe nails are like talons, bits are sprouting hair (Maude help us, puberty is here)... The grandparents did a good job at undoing all my hard work with the big son - the lean, mean, lighter boy came back more than a little squishy around the middle after all the festive indulgence. He is brimming with pubescent confidence/arrogance + is sometimes a little hard to bear. He often oversteps the mark with his commentary and likes to think of himself as sitting at the adults table... he loses sight of himself as a child and thinks he can participate with the grown-ups. That's hard... for all of us. Harder still when you find his input amusing + you indirectly encourage him to overstep those boundaries.

We played ping-pong tonight. Hysterical. This is definitely something that all of us will get a huge amount of enjoyment/engagement from. Thanks Salvos for offering up our table! Even Felix, who so often gives up when he feels inadequate, felt a degree of proficiency/aptitude within a short period of time + stayed, played + cacked himself. Al kept his equipment (the 'golden paddle') locked in the shed until it was his turn, the rest of us had to make do with homebrand equipment. Suffice to say we are all as competitive as each other and this was the perfect opportunity to let rip. There will be a trip to RebelSport in our near future where uber paddles will be bought

So lovely to actually really laugh with each other + just play. There will be a tournament. I am 'Methane Lightening' on account of my flatulence at the table (as the mother of boys I understand the benefits of loud farting for effect). Felix is 'Killer King' from the QUEEN lyric. Al is 'Slowy'. Jasper is 'Itchy Balls' as a nod to his constant scratching of his nether regions. There IS hair sprouting + there IS a lot of itching, scratching + contemplating.

Waiting, watching

My mum arrived yesterday. Of course I was late to collect her - I spent the morning cleaning like a woman possessed, scrubbing away a month of domestic apathy in her honor. I promised Gus some up close plain spotting, so after throwing her bags into the car we reentered the departures area for some aero-gazing. Yes, the boy is emerging in earnest. I wonder how many goobery, sweaty, germy little faces have been squished up against that glass.

Mum has flown in from WA to join us for Jaspers first day of high school next week. We were together when when I waved him off for his first day of primary school so it seems fitting she is here for the start of this new chapter.

Gus has her to himself until Friday when the big brothers return from their dads house. It will be a month since he clapped eyes on them and I know their reunion will be divine. He loves those boys.

Meanwhile a boy + his Gran are getting reacquainted.

I have three sons. I never imagined myself as the mother of 3 boys.. really how could you? There is much to say on the subject but I didn't envisage myself with only boys. Really. After having the big boys I did come to grips with how quickly the passage from baby to boy transpires and promised myself that this time I would pay more attention... slow down... be engaged.

 Shit, I woke up and my BABY is a boy child. I may cry.